Saturday, March 05, 2011

Setterbergska kvarteret - Gothenburg

Setterbergs house anno 1849
This wooden house in the historic Haga district dates back to 1849. The Setterbergska kvarteret is one of two houses left by the trader R.G. Setterberg.
Tablet placed on the house outlining its history
There were five houses all in all, this and the neighbouring building are built by Setterberg.  He and his family lived in this house.

Furniture trader C. F. Hanson took over the house in the 1920s and the ground floor has housed different shops. The Grand Cafe took over and was in business from mid 1930's until the 1980's.

The buildings were renovated in 1992-1993.

View Gothenburg on Enjoy Food & Travel 2009-2010 in a larger map

Friday, March 04, 2011

Updated flight maps March 2011

View MARCH 2011: All direct flights from Trondheim Airport Værnes in a larger map

Citizen of Trondheim may from March travel with two air carriers to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, as Skyways start their new direct service. This and much more can be found on the new updated maps of non-stop flights from Norwegian airports to international and domestic airports. You will find them here on Enjoy Food & Travel. 
These maps show domestic and international direct flights operated by all airlines.  They are based on information from the Airport official website and different air carriers.

Errors may occur. Do consult airport website or airline for updated information.

New Galata Restaurant - Istanbul

The Golden Horn with the Asian part of the city in sight

Eating dinner on the Golden Horn is what you do if you dine in the New Galata Restaurant. This as it is located under the Galata Bridge connecting Sultanahmet and Karaköy. This was, as close to a tourist trap, you could get in Istanbul. Fabulous location and reasonable prices, at least compared to what we are used to pay. The food was good - at best!

Rating New Galata Restaurant: BBBB (4,08 points)
  • Location: BBBBB
  • Service: BBBB+
  • Interior & Atmosphere: BBB+
  • Food: BBB+
First serving - ready, steady - go!
Very few of us have ever thought of dining on or even under a bridge. In Istanbul you may do so,  at New Galata Restaurant. It rests on the waters of the strait of the Golden Horn with cars driving over you head, and boats driving past on the water outside as you eat.

New Galata Restaurant is located between the oldest part of town and the Karaköy area, with sights as the Topkapi Palace and the Galata Tower  within walking distance.
We found a generous amount of space under the bridge, with an elegant but slightly cold interior. There were none there, except us (a bad sign really), so we had a lot of room for ourselves, but even with a full restaurant, it would hardly have been felt overcrowded.

Fish pie
We were seated by a formal set table by the window and could enjoy the traffic on the waters outside through the large  windows.

The service was good, considering the fact that we were hijacked by the staff as we passed by. Being hungry for lunch and tired from walking, we ended up as satisfied victims.

We were handed the English menu, and decided,  as I was dining on the wet element, to choose seafood both as starter and main dish.

One whole unspecified fried fish ready to be eaten
I started with a fish pie, i.e. ground fish and seasoning in pastry. Served on a small tray it looked plain, but it tasted very good. Nice crispy pastry and well seasoned.

The main course was one large fish of unknown species, fried and served with a plain green salad with a tomato and a slice of lemon. I found the whole dish a little plain. Loved the crisp skin, but as often, I found that it lacked taste and the meat was a little dry.

I also prefer to have a good sauce, alternatively some melted butter to moisten the fish, but at New Galata Restaurant you were served plain fish and salad.


New Galata Restaurant scored high on location, as it is easy to get to. I do, however, suspect that it is a tourist trap as we were the only guests for lunch and the food was rather plain. The prices was reasonable, at least compared what we are used to pay.

You may have more luck if you order something else than we did, but I suspect that you may go somewhere else to get a great culinary experience.

New Galata Restaurant
Yeni Galata Köprüsü Altı K.B No: 10 Karaköy / ISTANBUL
Phone: 00 90 0212 292 62 15 - 00 90 0212 292 62 16
Fax: 00 90 0212 292 62 19

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Traditional Turkish cuisine

House style stuffed cabbage

Mediterraneans display food in a completely different way than us Northerners. In Galata in Istanbul I ended up admiring foods in a window of a local deli. The only words I understood  on the signs was dolma and köfte, but judging from appearance I would not have hesitated to have asked for  a serving.
Stuffed vegetables Turkish style
I checked on the net to find what was on display and thanks to the Google translation program I found what each dish was.

The Salaray Usulu Lahana Dolmas is a house style stuffed cabbage made with cabbage, tomato paste, onions, ground meat, herbs, rice and topped with mozzarella. Dolma refers to the dish being stuffed. 

The second dish The Karisik Dolma is a traditional stuffed mixed vegetable dish made from vegetables as eggplants,  zucchinis, bell peppers or tomatoes.

The stuffing is made from beef in a tomato stew seasoned with mint, pomegranate molasses and cumin.

Oven baked meat balls
The third dish,  the Kadin Budu Köfte is a Turkish meatball or a meat loaf. I found a site referring to it as "Women's Thighs meatballs."

It is made from ground beef, onions, rice, bread crumbs, parsley salt and pepper.

These meatballs seems to have a topping, maybe cheese or onions.

I have underlined the references to the translated pages. Even though the translation from Turkish to  English is a little peculiar, it is easy enough to  understand what ingredients to use and how to prepare the dishes.

So why not try a Turkish tucker for the evening? Maybe I will!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Decker Fort, Port Jervis

This gray stone building is the historic Decker Fort in Port Jervis located in the Tri-State area. It dates back to 1793. Two memorial plaques tells its dramatic story.

The first plaque states:


The second plaque has the following text:


The Decker Fort predates all buildings in Port Jervis. The original stone building was built by a Dutch immigrant Fredrick Haynes in 1760, and served as a defense during the French and Indian war.

Haynes left the building to the Decker family. It was burned down July 20th 1779 during a raid on the settlement led by the pro-British Indian leader Joseph Brandt.

The building was rebuilt in 1793, and served as a private residence until 1903. In 1826, it house dengineers working on the Delaware and Hudson Canal, including John Jervis, whom gave name to the city.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Rating Riad Libitibito - Marrakech, Morroco

Marrakech offers a wide range of accommodation to tourists. Staying in a riad in the Medina, the old city, is something to consider, for those of you looking for a piece of the real Morocco. We chose to stay at Riad Libitibito for a week, and we did not regret that choice.

Rating Riad Libitibito
: BBBB (4,04 points)

Outside Junior Suite Khmissa
Before rating Riad Libitibito I will make a few remarks to the rating-system. Mine or any rating system does not do justice to lodging like a Riad. 

Libitibito is here awarded a mere four star rating, but if you are looking for a "five-star riad experience" look no further. This low score shows clearly that the rigidity of any rating system as mine fails to describe an extraordinary experience, as staying in an old Moroccan guesthouse.

Libitibito is a riad with only 5 rooms. This explains a low score on facilities compared to a larger hotel, that may offer so much more to guests.

I have awarded the breakfast five star, even though the rating reflects the selection of foods available on a breakfast buffet. At Riad
Libitibito you get a simple, but extremely delicious  "five-star" breakfast.
  • Location: BBBB
  • Service: BBBBB
  • Room: BBBBB-
  • Breakfast: BBBBB
  • Facilities: BBB-
  • Price: BBBB
Ancient gate in the historic Mellah district

Secluded in the old Medina

I will clearly call the area in the Medina, with its maze of narrow streets and passage ways, charming. I can, however understand those of you that find it overwhelming and even scary. Small traders are flanking each side of the street and you are nearly run over by men carrying carts, bicyclists or mopeds.

Riad Libitibito is located in the middle of this maze, as you leave your taxi, you have to drag you suitcase for 10 minutes, into a  quiet part of the Medina.

Finding the direction and the right door requires a sense of direction, as this along this maze you find an even larger number of doors, each leading into a riad, a residence built around a central courtyard, providing much needed shade during the scorching summer heat.

We managed to find our way, by taking one or two fixed routes from the square starting by the Café Argana but finding the Riad may be difficult for those of you lacking sense of direction. 
Friends on each side, Middle left, Zahid, Tania, and Zachary
Exquisite service

The service at Riad Libitibito can only be described with one word - exquisite. Staying with Tania and Zakaria in their Riad is like entering into a home. The staff does an absolutely fantastic job.

All rooms were tidied up every day, and inspected by our host. We were served a delicious breakfast on the rooftop terrace, and one evening they made a delicious meal for us and served it in the parlour downstairs.

Palm trees and banana growing in the courtyard
Zakaria and Tania will give you advice on what to do, what to buy to what price. (The latter made me realize that I had been tricked twice- story coming). Talking with them gave us an intimate and insight in Moroccan culture, history, lifestyle  and culture, making our stay into much more than if we had stayed in an ordinary hotel.

Looking back on our stay, I realize that the relationship between us grew from a professional host-guest to more of a friendship, so much that we in fact are keeping up our contact after our stay.

My bed -  worthy of a sultan
Junior Suite Khmissa

I stayed in one of two Junior suites. There are one large suite, and two smaller double rooms. All rooms are located around a central courtyard.

I stayed in Junior Suite Khmissa on the first floor. It was a spacious room with a beautiful traditional decor.

Through to the bath- and shower room
The centerpiece was the most magnificent bed, worthy of a Sultan. The head board was carved into the stone walls of the ancient house in the shape of a niche, with small lit by small downlights.

I was pleased to find duvets instead of sheets, as I knew that North Africa nights are chilly during winter.

The bed was covered with a beautiful bed spread in white, black and silver with matching pillows. Having a bed like this for your self is pure luxury. 

The suite was long with only one window. The thick ancient walls would be perfect during the hot summer, but the room was a little dark. It helped that much of the decor was kept in white reflecting the little daylight. Other colours were grey and silver. The floors were tiled.

There were two ornate chairs and one table in dark wood, and a generous storage for one and two.

I loved the bathrooms. It was painted in a bright ochre colour, so typical for this area.

Suite Khmissa - beautiful hand crafted chair
It was divided into two sections - one contained a beautiful hand crafted copper sink that was polished to perfection every day and a toilet.

An arch led into a separate shower room. In order to take shower, you had to remove a cap in order for the water to run out. That could take much time, as the surface was not even and some areas of the floor remained wet long after you had enjoyed a shower.

You did not have to wait long for hot water. Our hosts asked us to put the cap back after a shower as fumes from the sewage system would creative an unpleasant smell in the room.

There are a few small and insignificant cracks and dents in the stone walls, but all in all the property is well maintained. Room and bathroom were kept immaculately clean and tidy, thanks to our maid and hosts.

Breakfast on the rooftop terrace

January mornings in Marrakech may feel cool, and I went up every day with a book, and immediately I was asked whether I wanted to enjoy a cup of coffee. This as I am always up early, and find myself waiting for those I am traveling with in order to get breakfast.

The breakfast at Riad Libitibitho was certainly worth waiting for. Instead of the ever present breakfast buffet, Tania and Zakaria served a delicious breakfast prepared for us. It consisted of:
  • Hot coffee, tea or chocolate 
  • Rolls and pastry, usually croissants
  • Freshly made msemen, savoury Moroccan pancakes 
  • Cold butter 
  • Freshly prepared fruit salad 
  • Yogurt
  • Freshly pressed orange juice
  • Cream cheese
  • Preserves and jam 
A healthy breakfast served on the roof
All you need before lunch, deliciously prepared and fresh, keeping you fit until lunch. Very good, European style, coffee with warm milk. If you chose chocolate you got warm milk and added O'Boy to your own taste.

The pastry was crisp right out of the oven, the msemen were still warm, some days neutral, other days flavoured with spices and onions, both delicious with butter and/or cream cheese.

The fruit salad and yogurt made it into a healthier breakfast option for me, than if I'd chosen the ingredients myself by the buffet table.

The breakfast at Riad Libitibito was one of the highlights of the day, and kept us going until lunch time.


The roof terrace - a great feature
As previously mentioned, my rating system is based on what is offered, and facilities is an important part of the rating. Personal terraces, large outdoor areas, abundance of resting space and large swimming pool is a plus, but all these facilities comes at a price. Eden Andalou, the resort we stayed at last year, offered all that, but at a price 60% over the Riad Libitibito.

A smal, riad with 5 rooms can not compete with larger hotels on what facilities to offer the guests. There is e.g. only one TV located in the living room on the ground floor and a small dipping pool.

For those of you in quest for lodging with character and charm, I wholeheartedly recommend the Riad Libitibito. Here is what facilities Tanya and Zachary may offer you. 

Dipping pool
WIFI - free wireless internet access throughout the hotel, but primarely in the courtyard as it fails to surpass the thick walls 
Airconditioning - in all rooms
Pool: A small dipping pool is found the the courtyard, not heated - a dip is a fresh experience in January 
Roof terrace covering the entire roof, brightly painted in Marrakech red
Resting area
on terrace or in courtyard. Separate living room.
- the hosts at Libitibito may offer you a traditional Moroccan meal, either served on the terrace or if cool in the living room   
Alcoholic beverages, wine and beer available at very reasonable prices.

Seating area under a giant banana
Highly Recommended!
I highly recommend Riad Libitibito if you going to Marrakech and are looking for a Riad. Our hosts Tania and Zakaria showed an extraordinary hospitality and the hotel has an atmosphere and character not found in any new hotels,  and all is offered at an unbeatable price. 

You are located in the heart of the mysterious Medina with restaurants, shops and sights just outside your door, but when entering the courtyard you are struck by the tranquility.

Riad Libitibito is a hidden gem, and I cannot wait to get back for another week!!    

Riad Libitibito is number 38 out of 730 guesthouses in Marrakech!

We are not the only grateful guests - see other reviews on Riad Libitibito on tripadvisor.

Riad Libitibito
6 Derb Ouaihah Sidi Abdelaziz
Médina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
See company website here

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Competitive summer on flights to Spain

Photo: Placa de Cibeles, Madrid by beamillion
Scandinavian Airlines launch 4 non-stop flights to Spain summer 2011 from Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger.

Madrid-Oslo has not been on the flight plan for years. Scandinavian Airlines starts flights from Oslo and Bergen to the Spanish capital from June through August 2011. Scandinavian Airlines summer program also includes flights from Oslo to Palma de Mallorca and from Stavanger to Malaga.

Bergen Madrid will run each Saturday, while flights Oslo Madrid will have two weekly departures, on Wednesday and Saturday. There will be three weekly flights Oslo to Palma de Mallorca.

Latest stories on Spanish destinations on Enjoy Food & Travel   

See more direct flights from Oslo Airport to Spanish destinations on this map

View FEBRUARY 2011: All non-stop flights from Oslo Airport in a larger map

More non-stop flights: