Friday, August 20, 2010

Arendal from A-Z

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Here you have a map on sights, restaurants, and hotels in Arendal, Norway - my home town. Here are stories from this city and stay tuned for upcoming articles on Enjoy Food & Travel.

Stories on Arendal here on Enjoy Food & Travel

Travel stories
See this presentation of Arendal on YouTube

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Scrumptious smoked salmon and cream cheese spread

I love bagels with cream cheese and lox (smoked salmon), as you may order in many Jewish delis in the US. Slicing a fillet of smoked salmon in very thin slices demands patience and a very sharp knife. A smoked salmon and cream cheese spread is an easy and delicious alternative!

It is the easiest thing in the world to make, if you have a blender in your house. I used a small handy one connected to my hand mixer to wizz up a small quantity.

This is a kind of spread where you may just improvise / experiment with what you like. The taste of the salt salmon will get milder when mixed with a creamy cheese. A good idea is to add sweetness. Ketchup provides colour as well as balance.

If you use plain cream cheese, you may flavour it with you favourite herbs. Dillweed is great to fish.

I took around 150 grams / 5 oz cream cheese. For cheese; pick what variety you want. I used Philadelphia cheese with chives. Then I just used 50 (2 oz) grams of smoked salmon and 2 tsp ketchup of sweet chili sauce for more balance.

I then just blended it all until it was completely smooth. If you want, you can mix in more diced smoked salmon for more taste.

Keep refrigerated.

Photo: National Institutes of Health, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Moving out - moving in..........

This was how people moved in Salt Lake City in 1911. I will move out and into a new flat late September, thus leaving interruptions here on Enjoy Food & Travel

I announced my flat for sale earlier this spring and sold it in June. September I will move into a newer and larger flat at Høgåsen south of Oslo with view to city and the fjord. Closer to forests and coastline I will still live just a 13 minute ride with suburban train from Oslo city centre.

Enjoy Food & Travel for sale! - see story here

Enjoy Food & Travel tries to deliver at least one story a day, in average, and I am happy to say that we have managed this much this year. In August and September, however, our goal is a new story every second day, leaving time to pack for that ultimate magic moving date.

So have patience, my readers, as more stories will emerge when I move into my new apartment on travel and food from Oslo and beyond.

View Oslo on Enjoy Food & Travel - from A-Z in a larger map

Monday, August 16, 2010

Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University

The first image of Boston and the US I have, was the sight of Massachusetts Hall as I ascended the stairs at the Church street exit of Harvard subway station. That was in 1987. Massachusetts Hall is still one my favourite buildings in the Bay area.

Massachusetts Hall is the oldest building in what used to be Newtown in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was constructed in 1720, and is the second oldest educational building in the US.

The oldest, the Wren building at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, dates back as far as 1695, but it has been ravaged by fire, Massachusetts Hall has not.

It used to be the quarters of 64 students of Harvard College, and today freshmen of the university live on the 4th floor, whereas other functions have taken over the other floors.

Many famous Americans have lived in the old dormitory, including John Adams, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Elbridge Gerry, and James Otis.

Other stories on heroes of the American revolution on Enjoy Food & Travel

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Best deal on hotels in Marrakech

We (i.e. me and two friends) have serious plans to go to Marrakech this winter. This will be my second visit to this beautiful city. I have already started my research on where to stay. Our brief is - top standard, good location, and a (heated) swimming pool at lowest possible price. Unless we choose to revisit the Eden Andalou Spa & Resort, that is!

When visiting this beautiful city in February, we discovered that picking hotels in Marrakech is a difficult job. Many of the highly praised and priced hotels and riads, received less than favorable reviews in tripadvisor.

We chose to consult this site again, as it has collected an impressive number of reviews of most major places of accommodation all over the world, and may be a good correction to glossy pictures on different websites.

Another challenge is location. Whereas most hotels in major European cities may offer precise information on location, on a city map we found that similar information for Marrakech was insufficient.

As we booked the Eden Andalou Spa & Resort last January, we did so believing that it was located close to the city centre. This was certainly not the case. We had consulted Google maps and found that the information there was misleading. It was, in fact close to 10 miles away from the city centre.

The best idea is to book a Riad hotel. Many of the old houses in the city are centered around one or two enclosed courtyards. An increasing numbers are converted into Riad hotels or guesthouses.

This time we would like to stay in a riad in the city's medina. I have already checked a number of Riads on tripadvisor and cross checked with prices on my favourite hotel booking sites, and flight+hotel package available on

The fare cost EUR 197, and there were no big differences between tripadvisor and venere, whereas and Norwegian did not have the selection of hotels. I ended up with the following 4 hotels to look closer at:
  • Guest House Riad Les Trois Palmiers*****
    Available at venere and tripadvisor
    Lowest: 7 nights per fare EUR 897, highest: tripadvisor EUR 932.
    Saves 5 EUR per night

  • Guest House Riad La Rose d'Orient
    Available at venere and tripadvisor
    Lowest: 7 nights per fare EUR 715, highest: tripadvisor EUR 722
    Saves 1 EUR per night

  • Guest House Riad Diana
    Available at venere, tripadvisor and
    Similar price EUR 617 on all sites

  • Hotel Terre Resort & Spa*****
    Available at venere, tripadvisor and Norwegian Air Shuttle
    Lowest: and tripadvisor 7 nights per fare EUR 722, highest: Norwegian EUR 761
    Saves 5,15 EUR per night
(Photo - middle top: Courtyard house in the Fez medina by Cuckooroo)