Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Hey all, I’m back!

Sorry for the dearth of posts recently – I’ve been on a much needed vacation first to Austria (where apparently Meeta has been as well – view her travelogue starting here) and then chilling with family here in Sweden.

I’ll be back in full swing soon with new ideas I’ve picked up on the way and possibly some details about my native country, Austria!

Being European, I have been known to sneer at American coffee chains like Starbucks. “Frappuchino? That’s not a coffee, that’s a milkshake!”
Which I guess is true.
But I still must admit that ice cream and coffee is an addictive and delicious mix. Here in Austria, we’ve had Eiskaffee*, or ice coffee, for a long time.

To make a delicious cold un-mixed Viennese ice coffee, you need:
1 can of chilled brewed coffee, not too weak
Vanilla ice cream, or rather gelato as we don’t really have anything else in Europe
Optional: Whipped cream
Cocoa or chocolate flakes for decoration
1 highball glass
1 straw
1 long spoon

Mix the chilled coffee with some milk (don’t make it too light, just a tad or leave it out completely).
Spoon 2-3 balls of delicious vanilla gelato into the highball glass.
Pour the coffee over the icecream (careful, the ice cream does float!).
Make a pretty hat with the whipped cream and the chocolate flakes.
Stick in the straw.

Drink the coffee with the straw. Alternate with spooning the ice cream from the glass. Alternatively, suck the icecream and spoon the coffee. :)
I don’t need to tell you that you should enjoy, right?

More later!

* That’s pronounced Ice caff-eh, with a long e. An important difference between Germany and Austria is that the former pronounce Kaffee with a short e, the latter with a long one (stressing the second syllable). ;)

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Back! And weird fruit

Back from Austria, where I took photos of a nice conservatory.
I might be posting more photos later, but for now have a weird fruit:

A mutated citrus fruit in which the wedges do not connect at the bottom, but grow each their own peel. It’s called “Buddha’s hand” in its native India (I think).

I wonder how it tastes…?

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So, Italy –
I was working, so there wasn't much time to go and explore the city. But I did manage to go to the market and practice some of my old favourite, hip-shot photography.
The thing with me and markets is that I love to photograph and capture the unique atmosphere on camera. But the second you whip out your cam, people stop acting natural! The natural solution to this is, of course, to shoot from the hip – no painstaking setup or framing allowed, zoom out your cam and shoot as fast as possible.
The Sony Cybershot that I took on the travel is surprisingly good for this – tiny enough to carry half-concealed in your hand, and fast enough at focusing to manage almost blurless photos. Well, almost… but at least it’s fast.

You thought you’d see Italians at an Italian market? Wrong! Markets are multicultural everywhere, especially in Europe. Another reason why I love them!

Apart from that, I didn’t have much time to take photos of Italian culture. I sampled some restaurants, and their house wines (it’s usually a good idea to order the house wine in Italy, as it’s both good and cheap in most restaurants) but didn’t take photos.
I did take photos of the airline lunches though – most European airlines have stopped serving food on short-range flights, as it’s simply not worth it anymore. The Italian airline had a very nice idea though – they handed out boxes filled with samples of regional organic food! Even though most was prepackaged, the items were delicious.

More later! I should pack a lunch in my new boxes.

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