Sunday, November 30, 2014

2014 Germany Trip - Marienberg Fortress (Festung Marienberg)

Location: Würzburg, Germany

German: Festung is German for fortress

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

The last leg of my journey across Würzburg Altstadt (that's 'Old Town' in German) brought me to the Alte Mainbrücke and the spectacular sight of Marienberg Fortress perched on top of the hill. I had visited the UNESCO listed palace, Würzburg Residenz, a palace fit for a price, and it seemed to me to be inappropriate not to visit the real residence before the commissioning of the more artistic residence.

Although the honor of a UNESCO status was conferred on Würzburg Residenz, the real power emanated from Marienberg Fortress, which had housed price-bishops for close to 5 centuries. It was a fort since time immemorial, its life being a refuge castle when first settled in the Bronze Age. Its first transformation was in around 1200 when Bishop Konrad von Querfurt built the large castle. Subsequent renovations and additions turned the castle into a fortified Renaissance palace and finally a Baroque fortress. It currently houses the Prince's Building Museum and Main-Franconian Museum.

Hilltop fortress

This mesmerizing view is the iconic image that visitors will not miss when crossing Alte Mainbrücke; more about the bridge could be read in Würzburg's Old Main Bridge (Alte Mainbrücke).

Friday, November 28, 2014

2014 Germany Trip - Eiscafé Mauro @ Rothenburg

Location: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

German: Eis is German for ice-cream (yes, fooled you didn't it)
               Eiscafé is German for ice-cream parlor, a place which sells ice-cream (not really a café)

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

Have you ever considered eating ice-cream when the weather around you is lower than 10°C? I had. It was quite fun and contrary to my initial belief, it didn't make me colder. With the environment being so cold, consuming scoops of ice-cream had little effect on my body temperature.

Good weather for an ice-cream

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

2014 Germany Trip - DJH Jugendherberge (Youth Hostel) + Roßmühle

Location: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

German: Jugendherberge is German for Youth Hostel
               Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk, or shortened as DJH, is German for German Youth Hostel 
               Mühle is German for mill (as in the windmill)

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

This was another off the beaten path find, located in an area far from the more populous and tourist filled streets. A walk around the perimeter of the town and along the wall brought me to quieter patches of Rothenburg, including one where a peculiar building was located.

From the sign at the front, I learnt that this was a youth hostel with a simple abbreviation of DJH, simplifying a long German word into 3 letters. Its outlook though reminded me of stone cottages from childhood bedtime stories, in which resided wizards and witches. The building of moderate height (5 stories I guessed) had rounded slits of windows built upon an angular roof face, casting an eerie likeness of a multi-eyed behemoth.

Multi eyed monster

Monday, November 24, 2014

2014 Germany Trip - Plönlein

Location: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

I can find landmarks easily shot from various angles, but this is really the one spot where everyone takes the same shot, and with good reason. Visitors to Rothenburg, whether they come on purpose or are on their way blazing through the Romantic Route, would proudly tick their checklist of places to photograph in Germany with a selfie on this spot. This is Plönlein, and it is one of the most ubiquitous picture of the Romantic Route and one of the most shown image of Germany.

Plönlein, although translated as "little square" from German, actually derived its roots from the Latin word "planum" which holds the meaning of "flat square". I personally find the former to be more agreeable than the latter for there is nothing flat about the triangular plot of corner. The intersection is made famous because of the view it affords to anyone standing at the intersection will get an unobstructed view of two towers. 


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Singapore Food Blog - The Asian Kitchen's Lu Gang Xiao Zhen 鹿港小镇

Location: Bugis, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Updated: This business is permanently closed.

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in Bugis+ branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

The Asian Kitchen's name is rather peculiar as its name English and Mandarin name does not match each other. Its Mandarin name is 鹿港小镇 (Lu Gang Xiao Zhen), potentially named after a small township in Taiwan though the reason why is beyond my guess. Apart from a peculiar name, I do find its dishes memorable, worthy of a recommendation from me.

I usually patronize the branch in Bugis+, personally because the restaurant is located on the highest floor of the mall and has a high ceiling. Despite its relative lack of deco the high ceiling and ample distance between tables gave a spacious feel to the place.

Herbal Crispy Duck (药材烧鸭) (small - SGD12.70) is one of our favorite dish in The Asian Kitchen . Its crispy skin and succulent flesh soaked up the sauce it bathed in, bringing forth the flavor with every bite and chew.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Singapore Food Blog - Café Gavroche

Location: Tanjong Pagar, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

I have no knowledge of this cafe tucked in Tras Street if not for my friend's recommendation, who in turn heard of it from his friend. He did warn me that the food was exorbitant relative to its meal but patrons usually visited for its ambiance that was famed for trying to duplicate the Parisian atmosphere.

Cafe Gavroche was its name, but it wasn't easy for us to locate it in our fist visit. Instead of a large signage declaring its name to everyone, the cafe was satisfied with a small one that was easily missed. For those returning patrons however, its front would be hard to miss - potted plants flanked its entrance which could easily convinced that you were about to enter another world 14 hours away.

The sign of the cafe is not easily located, but once you recognized the front of the cafe with its potted plants then locating it along Tras Street would be a breeze. The bar is right across the street from this cafe and opens in the evening.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Singapore Food Blog - Bakerzin @ Orchard Paragon

Location: Orchard, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Updated 29-Nov-2015: This outlet in Orchard Paragon is permanently closed. Outlets of Bakerzin can still be located in other locations through here: outlet locations.

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in Orchard Paragon branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

Every once in a while I would walk past a Bakerzin cafe, its colorful confectioneries attracting my interest now and then but rarely did I stop for a break there. That was until once when I spied this one in Orchard Paragon and thought that I could get a break there, what with the cafes overflowing nearly everywhere on a busy weekend packed full of shoppers.

My impression of Bakerzin as a confectionery store and coffee serving cafe was challenged when I flipped through their menu and saw that they offered several main dishes as well. They served drinks, both caffeine laced and caffeine free, delivering enough to suit diners with different taste.

Bakerzin's menu is like a recipe book. Each section of the menu start off with an introduction of some ingredient highlights , some of which pointed to their nutritious values in the dishes in subsequent pages.

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