Crossing borders

One last breakfast at the Castle Resort, a quick goodbye to the dogs and our host Sofia and we were off to the airport. IMG_1440IMG_1420IMG_1418With only an hour delay we made the short flight to Kathmandu were nobody waited for us.IMG_1423 IMG_1424 IMG_1430We had ordered a driver from our hotel which was still operating, but the driver didn’t wait that long. Understandable in all this commotion at the airport. We got ourselves a taxi and drove to the hotel. What a difference this week made. Lots of people have fled the city after the quake and there was little traffic. On the other hand we also didn’t see a lot of destruction. Just a lot of tents all over the golf course and any other parks.IMG_1437 IMG_1442Upon our arrival at the Home Annex Hotel we were greeted with a cup of tea and the strongest wifi we had experienced so far on this trip.

I used my time to update the blog and then we made our way outside to find something to eat. IMG_1439 IMG_1461

We walked around for a bit and found some examples that also our district Thamel was hit by the earthquake but all the damage looked small compared to the pictures on TV. IMG_1445

We finally went to a restaurant just around the corner from our hotel. Fren’s Kitchen had a lovely garden and we and another tourist couple were the only guests. I tried a couple of new things, something fried with a spicy sauce and an Indian butter cheese dish. Maybe a bit on the heavy side but good nonetheless.IMG_1462 IMG_1456Sylvia went for her usual vegetable soup but had vegetable Dal Bhat instead of the momos.IMG_1454 IMG_1457

We went back to the hotel after the meal and had a good night’s sleep. After another interesting breakfast IMG_1486

 

the driver from the day before was bringing us to the international airport. The streets were again empty even more so than yesterday. IMG_1468 IMG_1469

We spent at least three hours at the airport waiting for our flight. Not that it was delayed but of course we wanted to be on time and the the drive was way shorter than expected. Nevertheless in the end we boarded our plane and after a disgusting meal we arrived in Lhasa.IMG_1824There we had to show our passports and visa twice andSylvia had to say goodbye to her Ghorka knives at the customs (no weapons allowed into China). Not the warmest welcome in this high situated city. At least our guide looked sympathetic to our plight.IMG_1502 IMG_1489 Already the air was a lot cooler and the sky immensely blue. The mountains around us looked brown and sandy with a white dusting of snow on top.  IMG_1490 IMG_1492 IMG_1495

The drive to the city took upon an hour on a very new and scenic road. Before checking into our hotel we had to make a stop at the travel agency to pay for our flight to Lhasa. There we were offered tea and advised to drink a lot due to the height and the very dry air. Also we shouldn’t shower this first evening. The reason behind it we didn’t really understand but found it funny nonetheless. IMG_1499

 

And then it was time to check into the Tibet Hotel which also offered hourly rates.IMG_1500 IMG_1503We managed to get the wifi password (sounds so simple now but took about 30 minutes including a visit from house keeping) and then set out to get cash and find a place to eat. This was all done in no time and we decided to splurge again and went for dinner at a hot pot place. With no language skills but with the help of a little dictionary we picked out the produce from the buffet that we wanted to throw in the soups. The choice was between vegetable soup with sausage and spicy oil. IMG_1505

Sylvia used only the oil and later paid a high price for it. Not only woke we both up during the night with a splitting headache but she was sick as well. Not such a promising start to our Tibet adventure. Yours, Pollybert

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On Market

After a lazy stroll around the Freihausviertel and the Naschmarkt, we settled on ON Market for dinner. Evi and I were joined by Cat which made dinner all the merrier. Love it when there are more plates to try from.

Anyway here is the restaurant, beautiful as ever. The huge ceiling lamp has such a big impact style-wise. This and the clothes panels give the place a very distinct feeling. 012013

For drinks I decided on something new and tried the cherry soda. Definitely something you should avoid, tasted totally chemical. For the same color go for the raspberry soda, 014has probably the same chemicals inside but tasted way better.

The menu overwhelmed us a bit with lots of delicious sounding descriptions. Besides the regular menu there are also weekly changing dishes. We finally ended up ordering squid, spicy beef and Asian fish & chips.015
I know the squid looks weird but was excellent. Very juicy and cooked to perfection, easy to cut and not rubbery at all (rarely achieved in Vienna).

016Spicy means hot here, even though it looked harmless it was far from it. So if you can’t take the heat, order it toned down.

017Must have been really good because when I wanted to try it, the fish was already gone.

It was as usual a pleasure to eat here and I loved it that the service has improved.
Yours, Pollybert

My love for asian food

My love for good food is well known and the older I get the more I care. This has some negative side effects for my bikini body which I try to avert by increasing my fitness hours. Doesn’t work of course, but love to think I can stall ageing and weight gain by talking about how much I work out!

In the beginning of May we tried a Chinese/Dim Sum place near the Naschmarkt called Aming Dim Sum Profi. I love that they carry the word “Profi” in their name suggesting that real professionals are at work here (quite possible after what I tried). While it seems wise to make a reservation due to the size of the restaurant, we got lucky without one. The place itself is super small with a partly open kitchen. The customers come here to enjoy the food but not to spend a leisurely evening with friends. For this the place is too stark and fast-food atmospheric. Nonetheless the food is great and worth a visit.

The two of us tried six different appetizers. We started with a chicken salad and spicy pork dumplings

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Then we had duck and something crispy fried with beef, ginger and spring onions.

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We also tried green beans with the 1000 year old egg. I can vouch for the egg though, had no problems afterwards. Also forgot to take a picture of it. But I have on more picture from something fried again, this time stuffed with seafood. I am obviously blocking any thoughts about it because I can’t remember the exact filling, only that it tasted awful. Or maybe it is an acquired taste an I am not used to?005
The place itself though I can definitely recommend! Out of the six dishes two were outstanding (chicken salad and the spicy pork dumplings) and the other three real good and only one not great! Since we only touched the surface of the menu, we have to come and sample some more! Yours, Pollybert