Saturday, September 24, 2011

Airbnb.com - private accommodation worldwide

Typical guesthouse in Tamchy Kyrgyzstan. Photo: Vmenkov
Decent accommodation is getting more and more expensive. On hotel booking sites it is hard to find hotels under 200 USD per night in cities as New York or Boston, unless you want to stay way outside the city centre. The alternative is private accommodation, and at airbnb.com, you can find budget rooms in people’s homes. That may be something to consider next time you want to go abroad.

I found the site airbnb.com on the web and it provides an alternative to expensive hotels. At airbnb.com, you can access as a logder or your own hotelier. Yes that is completely true. If you own your own flat in a major city or holiday destination you are offered a new business solution. You may earn a few bucks by renting out one room or even your entire flat if you are away.

If you think this idea seems risky, you are ensured that it pose a smaller risk than you think. You are free to check out the credentials of your guests in advance on the site and even reject them if you do not like them.

If you are a traveler airbnb.com provides you with a wide range of accommodation options at much lower prices, than in ordinary hotels on much better locations. Another great plus is that the cultural experience. It is a fact that you, by living with the locals, may learn much more on the place, people and culture, and may even end up with new friends. Several of those that rent out or book accommodation have made new lasting acquaintances

Am I ready for this? Maybe! I am a little hesitant whether I,  as a mature man with some bad habits, may adjust to staying in a flat with other strangers. What I am convinced of is that this kind of accommodation is ideal for young, low budget travelers. Seeing New York from the inside, by living in a flat on Manhattan will give you a long lasting experience and an intimate knowledge an ordinary vacation may not give you.   

Friday, September 23, 2011

WINTER 2011/2012: Two new direct flights from Oslo


- Scandinavian will fly non-stop to Palanga and Geneva 

(Source: Dinside.no, August 11th 2011) A seaside resort is hardly a destination to launch during winter season, but Scandinavian will October 31st 2011 start flights from Oslo Airport to Palanga by the Baltic sea.

Palanga is a very popular seaside resort in Lithuania offering 18 kilometres of fine beaches, but I do find it rather strange for Scandinavian to launch flights to a destination like this during the winter season. One explanation is that it is a strategic move to create a foothold on this destination for the coming summer season ahead its rival Norwegian Air Shuttle that also operate seasonal flights to this resort.

This is also the case on flights from Oslo to Geneva, Switzerland, where Norwegian Air Shuttle already has the upper hand by operating all year flights. Geneva is an attractive destination as the city hosts a wide range of international organizations. This is the market where Scandinavian Airlines wants a chunk of, as new direct flights starts January 21st 2012. 

Similar stories on Enjoy Food & Travel  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fjord Line moves future operations from Kristiansand to Langesund

                          M/F Bergensfjord. Photo: Company website
We have previously referred to the conflict between Fjord Line and Kristiansand Harbour Administration. The whole conflict has circled around the fact that Fjord Line only wanted to operate sailings during peak season, i.e. during the summer months. Now Fjord Line has decided to operate its new ferries between Norway and Denmark from the small port of Langesund.

If you want to cross from Northern Denmark to Norway, Fjord Cat operated by Fjord Line provides the fastest crossing. Fjord Cat will still sail to the port of Kristiansand on the southern of Norway. Fjord Line has, however, increasingly run into trouble with the local Harbour Administration, that favour sailings all year to seasonal services. This has led Fjord Line to look for alternatives for its two new vessels that will be delivered in 2012.

September 9th the board of the ferry company concluded. Negotiations with the local port authorities in the Grenland ferry company could be concluded, in order for the Grenland Port Authority to start to prepare to accommodate the two new Fjord Line ferries. This includes an upgrading of the present facilities at the port. 

More on Fjord Line on Enjoy Food & Travel:  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Duck liver paté

Mallard duck, our native subspecies. Photo: Richard Bartz
I love duck meat, and recently I made my first duck liver paté, and I found the process extremely easy and the end result excellent! There is no reason why YOU should not make your own, provided you get hold of good quality duck liver. You can also substitute the duck liver with chicken liver.

I love duck liver paté. As I planned for the buffet at my 50 anniversary, I found fresh duck liver from Holte Gård, a renowned poultry producer located in Drangedal in Telemark county. These special products are not regularly in stock, even in large supermarkets, so I was quick to snatch three packages weighing 1 kilo (2,1 lb) . I decided to make a traditional duck liver paté with extra streaky bacon  to add more fat, both for consistency and taste. 

Holte duck liver. Photo: company website
I made my paté from:

50 grams butter
300 grams (11 oz) streaky bacon, diced
4 cl (2 fluid oz) sweet sherry wine
1 medium sized onion, diced
1 kilogram (2,1 lb's) duck liver
4 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp potato starch or flour
salt, pepper
Herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary)
Sliced bacon to garnish

Fry diced bacon and onion in half the butter, until golden, then add sweet sherry wine, and allow the wine to evaporate. Place bacon and onions in a food processor.

Divide the liver into three batches. Fry each in butter lightly, and place in food processor. Process liver, bacon, and onions until smooth.

Add eggs, potato starch and seasoning, and continue to process all until smooth.

Line a ceramic paté tin with bacon slices. This will make it easier to get the paté out of the tin. Pour the paté mixture into the tin. Excess paté mix can be pured into smaller ramakins and frozen raw, to be prepared later. A great idea!

Place in a bain marie in a medium oven (180C / 375F), and bake for 60 minutes. Switch off the hea and allow the paté to continue to bake for 20-25 minute. Cool down and allow to rest in the refrigerator overnight.

Serve in slices with fried crispy bacon, fried mushrooms and pickled cornichons on dark rye bread.

More duck recipes on Enjoy Food & Travel

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Berlin from A-Z


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For your information I have made a map over the bars, restaurants, sights, and hotels I have reviewed here on Enjoy Food & Travel. It is interesting to see the area we roamed during our three days, and interestingly enough, most of the time we spent in what used to be East Berlin. For more on Berlin I have linked to the search on this city here on the site.

See all stories on Berlin on Enjoy Food & Travel here

Air Berlin: More flights from Oslo to Berlin

Photo: Air Berlin 737-700 by JuergenL
Norwegians love Berlin. The German capital have competing flights from Oslo operated by Norwegian Air Shuttle and Air Berlin. The German budget air carrier will increase from two to three daily flights from the Norwegian capital from May 2012.

Air Berlin hub Tegel Airport from air. Photo: Angr
I visited Berlin back in 2008, and I took a Norwegian Air Shuttle flight to Schönefeld Airport. Air Berlins hub is the Tegel Airport, and from here you can get transfers a large number of destinations in Europe and beyond.

An increasing number of Norwegians use Tegel as a transfer to other destinations. The number of Norwegian transit passengers has increased by 53% this summer compared to 2010.

Berlin has so much to offer, and it is relatively inexpensive to stay in the German capital for those of you that prefer e.g. Paris or London. If traveling on weekdays and/or outside peak season, a trip to Berlin, including air fare, hotel and food may end up relatively cheap.