A very short trip to Vienna

Last October, I finally had a chance to visit Vienna for a business trip. As it was a Monday morning meeting, I flew to Vienna on Sunday morning from Paris. I arrived at Vienna international airport and took a taxi to get to the hotel. It costs around 50€. The hotel is located pretty close to the River Danube and 2 km away from the city center. The hotel itself was pretty vintage, I had single bedroom with a small shower and toilet.

Here’s the address:
Hotel Urania
Obere Weißgerberstraße 7, 1030 Wien, Austria
website: https://www.hotelurania.at/

After checked-in and put the luggage, I decided to walk to the town to get some lunch, and find this very nice Korean restaurant on my way to the town center.

It was surprisingly good and it wasn’t expensive at all if I compare it to a Korean restaurant in Paris.

Here’s the good address:
Yori Korean Dining
Wiesingerstraße 8
A-1010 Wien, Österreich
Website: http://www.yori.at/

I had their homemade limonade for 4.9€ and a bulgogi set for 13.90€ .

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I was actually glad that they forgot to bring me the dessert , otherwise I wouldn’t be able to taste this popular cake shop in Vienna, ” DEMEL ” a salon serving specialties such as cream cakes, scones & strudels, with shady terrace since 1888. You need to queue at least for 15 to 20 minutes before getting your table.

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Photo courtesy by Demel
Here’s the address:
Demel

Kohlmarkt 14, 1010 Wien, Austria
Open from Monday – Sunday from 8 am to 7 pm
Phone: +43 1 5351717 Website : https://www.demel.com/de

I actually went there, because my colleague said that I should definitely come here, and he recommended me to taste their Apfelstrudel or Chocolate cake. As I didn’t want to regret not choosing the right thing, I ended up buying both of them.

After having tea-cake stop, I continued walking and strolling around the town center. It was quite busy Sunday, eventhough most of the stores were closed. I didn’t stay up late, as I didn’t want to get tired for the meetings, so I went back to the hotel before sunsets.

I woke up the next morning pretty early as I wanted to buy some souvenirs just in case I wouldn’t have time before I flew back to Paris. I decided to google the nearest souvenirs shops, and suprisingly found another tourist area, which actually located just 5 minutes away from the hotel. The place called Hundertwasser Village. It was built both on the inside and the exterior by concepts of artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser during the years 1990 and 1991. The building was used as car tyre factory before that time. Since then, this building is flooding by visitors as one of popular tourist attraction in Vienna. (Source: click here)

 

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First Sunday Brunch in Rouen

In the name of being a truly committed food traveler, my weekend restaurant / tea shops / brunches plans are almost booked at least until mid March. Believe me, it’s not that easy as you need to start making plans, reservation, and most important is having a rubber tummy. I even ended up canceling my Sunday outing in the afternoon, as I could barely move after having the brunch. Well, it’s kinda my fault, may be I shouldn’t have heavy dinner the night before, knowing that I would have brunch in the next morning. Wondering what I had at my first Sunday brunch? Here’s the story..

So, I booked it at this local cafe, le Déli Cat (click on best address for foodies – part 2 for more stories about this address).

This cat is Picasso, she likes butter.

It is good to note that most of the time, you need to make reservation for brunch, as you need at least 2 hours to be served. I went there around 11 am, and of course without having any prior breakfast at home.

Price of brunch : 20€ / person

This is what I got:

Tartines (breads) with butter and choice of jams.

You can ask for refill if you want too.

Hot and cold drinks

You can ask refill or try different hot drink as much as you like. Hot drink choices : hot chocolate, coffee, latte, cappuccino and teas.

Cold drink served once. You can have homemade vitamins juices.

Fruit salads

Served with raspberry sauce and crumble of spéculos.

Tartine of salmon and avocado, served with scrambled eggs

If you don’t like salmon and avocado, you can have tartine with ham and vegetables. Or if you don’t like both of them, you might ask customs meal.

Panna cota for dessert

You can have a classic panna cota with raspberry sauce, or if you don’t like it as I do. You can ask them to replace it with dark chocolate syrup.

Where to eat in Paris

I’m not actually living in Paris, but Paris is like 1 hour and 15 minutes away from my hometown, Rouen. It is reachable by regular train, or nearly 2 hours by bus. I always said to my friends that, it’s like I’m living in a Parisian’s banlieue (read: suburb),  even closer. The advantage of having this regular train, it makes Rouen looks closer than living in Parisian suburb as this train is somehow faster than RER (Réseau express régional d’Île-de-France). Well, I often go to Paris, mostly for food :). Fortunately, I have wonderful friends that always ready to get me to try new things every time I came to visit. They know me so well that food is always come first than anything.

So, I would like to tell you some of fine address to eat while you’re in Paris.

First. Les enfants du marché

It is located inside Le marché des Enfants Rouges in 3rd arrondissement. If you like french food but you don’t want to go to a fancy-restaurant, Les enfants du marché will be your great choice. As it offers you a french bistro food, so the price is also a bit pricey, yet it is worth to try. I spent 35€ for a main course and a glass of wine.

The address: 39 rue de Bretagne, 750003 Paris

Opening hours:

Tue/Wed/Sun from 9 am to 5 pm and Thu/Fri/Sat from 9 am to 8 pm

Website: https://lesenfantsdumarche.fr/

Second. Impérial Choisy

This restaurant is one of the restaurant that I would come back every time I’m craving  chinesse food. This is actually one of the best chinesse food in Paris, located in china town. How do you know that? When you saw more Asian people than western people eating inside, it means it’s a real delicious one. They offer wide menus of chinesse dishes, but my favorite one is still le crab mou au sel et poivre (salt & pepper crab). Reservation is not necessary, but better come early as people is queuing outside even before it’s open.

Address: 32 Avenue de Choisy, 75013 Paris
Opening hours: Everyday, from 12 – 11 pm.

Third. Chez Justine

My friend told me that this place has the best pizza. Well, I approved. Second, they have a reasonable price for Paris.. I remember having a good cocktail for less than 5 €, that’s actually never happened when you’re in Paris. The place is actually quite popular for trendy crowd, so if you come in groups, I’m sure you will get the table.

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Address: 96 Rue Oberkampf, 75011 Paris
Opening hours: Weekdays from 8 am to 2 am and Weekend from 9 am to 2 am.

Fourth. SaAm

Fancy for korean bibimbab with reasonable price? This is good place to try. It is located in quite trendy area, Canal Saint-Martin. The place is quite small, but it is really worth to wait if you need to.

Address: 59Bis Rue de Lancry, 75010 Paris
Opening hours: from Tuesday to Saturday at lunch time and dinner time.

Fifth. Pho Tai

I’ve heard about this place has Michelin star. So, I was really excited and wondered at the same time how it would taste. Well, the Pho itself is really delicious and if you are into spicy food, you need to add the chillies sauce, it was so so good. Yet, the place need to be improved, the tables are too close to each other, we can’t get out the table without disturbing somebody sit next to you. This is the first michelin star restaurant I’ve been in without spending more than 20€ (including drinks) and without any reservation.

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Address: 13 Rue Philibert Lucot, 75013 Paris
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday at lunch time and dinner time

Finally, all the above are some of my recommendations if you have no idea where to eat while you’re in Paris. Will come back again with another new list for sure.. so, I say à très bientôt!

7 Days in Dublin (part 2)

Hello again.. as promised I would like to let you know the up next of my 7 days in Dublin. And it starts with Day 4.

Day 4 – Strolling around at the city center

We supposed to go to the coast today, but unfortunately there was no train available to take us there due to some rail works. So we decided to stroll around the city. We walked through the Trinity College Dublin area, and enjoyed some local cricket team playing. Then we had a quick chinese duck for lunch before continue to visiting the shopping area.

Where we eat:

Duck Bao
Address: 15 Fade St, Dublin, Ireland

Day 5 – Malahide Castle & Gardens

Address: Malahide Demesne, Malahide, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Finally we went out of town! It costs me only 4.5 € for one way train ticket to the Malahide town, so 9 € return ticket, and it was really worth to visit. Well, I was kind of dissapointed when I visited Dublin Castle, because it wasn’t really look like a castle. So I told my friend to take me into a proper castle around Dublin.

If you want to go inside the castle (and you must) you need to buy a ticket for 12.50 € and you will enjoy a castle visit with their friendly guide.

Malahide Castle and Gardens offer a history of the Talbot family dates back to as far as 1175 and is one of the oldest castles in Ireland, set on 260 acres, this magnificent & historic castle was home to the Talbot family for over 800 years. (click here for more info)

The ornamental gardens adjoining the castle cover an area of about 22 acres and were largely created by Lord Milo Talbot. He was an enthusiastic plant collector who brought specimens from around the world to create the gardens here; he also re-landscaped the grounds here to dramatic effect. (click here for more info)

Day 6 – Kilmainham Gaol

Address: Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 RK28, Ireland

Killmainham Gaol is a former prison in Dublin. It is now a museum run by the Office of Public Works, an agency of the Government of Ireland. Many Irish revolutionaries, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, were imprisoned and executed in the prison by the British. (source wikipedia)

After visiting three landmarks around Dublin, I finally knew how it works, you bought an entrance ticket which already included the guide tours. So, instead of strolling and looking around alone, you will take the tours around the landmarks with mostly friendly tour-guides and they will let you know the history of it. I bet you won’t feel lonely when you’re travelling alone.

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As it was a prison, so don’t be surprised if some places are dark, gloomy, and pretty scary. However, at the end of the visit you will be overwhelmed by the victorian area of the prison.

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Day 7 – Time to leave

Finally, it’s time to leave Dublin. I decided to chill at home before taking my flight back to Paris. I walked to take the bus, and I was actually arrived a second right after the bus left the bus stop. It was red light, so I brave myself to knock on the bus door, and the bus driver open his door, smile at me and said “fortunately I saw you knocking..” and he asked me if my holiday went well in Dublin.. and even said had a safe flight before I left. What a nice Lad.. I’m not sure if you will see that kind of attitude from the bus driver when you travel in Paris. xoxo Dublin. Hope I’ll have time to visit you again another day..

The Holiday

Inspired by the movie The Holiday , I decided to travel alone to some cities I’ve never been before, so I would not feel kind of alone during the Christmas – NYE holiday. Sounds sad, but when your family is living in another continent of the world – spending the holiday and bumping at friend’s house or friend family’s christmas party is kind of tradition for me for 8 years already.

So I booked the train passes for two countries for 5 days journeys from Eurail (PS. This is only eligible if you do not have EU nationalities, and if you have EU nationalities you need to buy your passes from Interrail).

My first stop was Grenoble, France.

Is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of the French Alps. It took only 4h to get to Grenoble from Paris Gare de Lyon with TGV.

Bastille Hill

If there’s one place I always come back to, over and over again, it’s Bastille Hill. I’ve been dreaming to visit this landmark since a long time. The Bastille, an ancient series of fortifications on the mountainside, overlooks Grenoble on the northern side and is visible from many points in the city. The Bastille is one of Grenoble’s most visited tourist attractions and provides a good vantage point over both the town below and the surrounding mountains (source: wikipedia). To get to the Bastille hill, you need to take Grenoble-Bastille cable car, or well-known as “Les Bulles” (the bubbles) as it mostly looks like a transparent egg-shaped cable car.

My second stop was Milan, Italy

I actually only had one day out in Milan, well I kind of booked the train tickets at the last minute during the holiday season. So, I didn’t have much choice only to spend whole day in Milan. Here I’ve gathered a few of places that I’ve visited in one day.

Castello Sforzesco di Milano

It was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, on the remnants of a 14th-century fortification. Later renovated and enlarged, in the 16th and 17th centuries it was one of the largest citadels in Europe. Extensively rebuilt by Luca Beltrami in 1891–1905, it now houses several of the city’s museums and art collections. (Source : wikipedia)

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Piazza del Duomo

Is the main city square of Milan. It is named after, and dominated by, the Milan Cathedral (the Duomo). The piazza includes some of the most important buildings of Milan (and Italy in general), as well some of the most prestigious commercial activities, and it is by far the foremost tourist attraction of the city.

If you like historical buildings, this is the perfect place to visit.. What I did was standing in the middle of the city square and look all the stunning buildings surround you.. it was really breathtaking.

Duomo – Milano City

Milan Cathedral. The cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the largest church in Italy (the larger St. Peter’s Basilica is in the State of Vatican City) and the third largest in the world.

Honestly, I would not recommend you to visit Piazza del Duomo & the Cathedral during the holiday. Well, I was hardly enjoyed the walking and sight seeing in this area as it was too crowded and too many people did the same thing (read: taking pictures).

 

Naviglio Grande

The Naviglio Grande is a canal in Lombardy, northern Italy, joining the Ticino river near Tornavento (23 km south of Sesto Calende) to the Porta Ticinese dock, also known as the Darsena, in Milan.

It is actually pretty hype area to have a drink or social meet up after work. You won’t get thirsty around here. The area is filled with pubs, bars and restaurants.

Where I stayed:

As I needed to catch up very early train to France, I chose to stay at this Hotel. 10 minutes walking from Garibaldi Train Station.

Holiday Inn Garibaldi

Address: Via Valtellina, 2-4, 20159 Milano MI, Italy

Good Address to eat:

Andry Ristorante Pizzeria
Address: Via Rovello, 10, 20121 Milano MI, Italie

Last time I went to Italy, I tried deep-fried seafood, it was really delicious, and it made me promise to myself, if one day I take another trip to Italy, I will eat the same dishes. So, I did! I went to the local pizzeria, not really far from the landmark Castello Sforzesco di Milano. I ordered Gran Fritto Misto, it was mix deep-fried seafood with fried courgette (zuccini).

Mün Fine Asian Kitchen
Address: Piazzale Baiamonti, 2 20154 Milano Italia

I found this place by chance in the Chinatown, as I supposed to go to Korean restaurant that permanently closed. It’s a very fine fusion japanese restaurant with reasonable price. I ordered different kind of dishes and everything tasted amazing.

Last stop before going back home – Paris, France

For some people spending NYE is very important, for some people might be not. But me, I like spending quality time with my closest friends, like most of French people do.

Where to stay:

I kind of booked the hotel couple weeks before the holiday started, so this was the one I found that pretty affordable during NYE. It situated in 11th arrondissement of Paris and pretty calm area. The room was comfortable and modern for Parisian hotels, but the most important thing is they provide you free mineral water and kettle for tea/coffee for each room.

Hotel Hor Les Lumières

address: 39 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris

Good address to eat:

After craving Korean food when I was in Milan, my friend finally brought me to eat some Korean food, and it was really good. Here’s the address:

Ossek Garden

14 Rue Rampon, 75011 Paris
What to order:
Korean barbecue (marinated beef )
Beef Bibimbap in a hot stone pot

Good address to dance:

We spent our NYE dancing at this place. But actually, the restaurant is also open during the day for simply having coffee, casual drinking or even lunching.

Brasserie Barbès

address: 2 Boulevard Barbès, 75018 Paris
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Photo credit by Brasserie Barbès