Saturday, February 04, 2012

Stavanger - a new destination for Catalans?

As Scandinavian Airlines as well as Vueling offers direct flights from Stavanger this summer, it provides access to Catalans to another and very different Norwegian region. Stavanger and the south west part of Norway has a mild and humid climate and contrasts in scenery. This video shows a little what Stavanger and the surrounding area has to offer Catalans and other tourists.

Did you know that this region has the northern most "tropical island" in the world? The island of Sør Hidle outside Stavanger has a vegetation closer to what you would find in Catalonia than you would expect. A wide range of Mediterranean plants thrive outside all year around.

Visit the Flor & Fjære website here

Skyways ends flights Stavanger - Stockholm April 2012

Photo: Embraer ERJ 145 SE-DZB of Skyways. Brussels, July 2002 by Klever
Swedish Skyways ends direct flights from Stavanger to Stockholm April 1st 2012.

Skyways started direct flights from Trondheim, Bergen and Stavanger to Stockholm March 2011. Service from Trondheim ended after a short time, while flights from Bergen stopped at the end of 2011.

Summer 2012: Vueling starts non-stop flights Stavanger - Barcelona

Spanish Vueling is now starting flights from Stavanger
A new airline will start non-stop flights from Norway this summer. Spanish Vueling will start flights from Stavanger to Barcelona.

Norwegians love Spain, so much so that many of us have holiday homes to escape the cold Nordic winters. Ryanair, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Scandinavian Airlines run flights to a large number of airports on the Iberian pensinsula. The Catalan capital is a favourite destination for those combining sun, sand and sea with shopping, culture and a hectic night life.

Spanish Vueling will start its first flights from Stavanger, the Norwegian oil capital to Barcelona Thursdays and Sundays June 7th.  Flights will run to September 17th.

Drawback for travelers is departure time from Stavanger, as takeoff will be 3.55 AM arriving Barcelona 7.00 AM. Return flights will leave Barcelona at 11.00 PM, landing in Stavanger during night. Thursdays June 24th to September 17th. Flights will leave Barcelona 5.40 PM with returning flights from Stavanger 9.35 PM.

Air fare will start at NOK 800 per flight (105 EUR / 138 USD). 

View JANUARY 2012: All non-stop flights from Stavanger Airport Sola in a larger map

Friday, February 03, 2012

Hotel Admiral, Copenhagen

The Admiral Hotel, Copenhagen overlooks the harbour front, facing the magnificent new opera house. 366 rooms and suites is located in a storage building built in 1787. It has witnessed extraordinary historic events, as the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801.

See the the wonderful exterior and interior on this video provided by Admiral Hotel on YouTube

COMING: Copenhagen Admiral Hotel, Copenhagen Denmark

Copenhagen Admiral Hotel  is a modern design hotel in a 220 year old building.
                                            Photo: Hotel website
In February I will travel to Copenhagen for a weekend. This time I will not travel by ferry, but by plane and stay in a famous landmark. Copenhagen Admiral Hotel is a modern first class hotel in a 220 year old storage house, and has the Danish Royal Palace as its closest neighbour. 
Beautiful Nyhavn is just around the corner from Hotel Admiral
Copenhagen Admiral Hotel is located by Nyhavn, with its wide range of restaurants and cafes in beautiful old 17th and 18th century townhouses.

The Square Kongens Nytorv and the pedestrian shopping street, StrøgetCity Hall, Tivoli Gardens and the Royal Theatre is within reach by foot.

The Royal Palace Amalienborg is just around the corner, and we hope to wave to HM Queen Margrethe celebrating her 40th anniversary as the Danish queen and the latest head of state of the oldest reigning royal family in the world.

Copenhagen Admiral Hotel overlooks the harbour front facing the magnificent Royal Opera. 366 rooms and suites is located in a storage building built in 1787 by Copenhagen harbor. It has witnessed extraordinary historic events, as the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801.
Fried fish as served at Café Zeleste in Nyhavn
We have booked a executive double room at Copenhagen Admiral Hotel, and has paid DKK 1100 (€148 / $195) per night, not bad for a hotel this standard. The price does not include breakfast or free Internet access.

The latter costs DKK (€19 / $25), a horrific price for a service that should be included. I will not be deterred and bring my portable MacBook in order to report from the Danish capital.

So stay tuned here on Enjoy Food & Travel. I will, through my review, share my views on whether  Copenhagen Admiral Hotel is worth to stay in, when visiting the Danish capital. 

Copenhagen Admiral Hotel: More on where to eat (and drink) close by

Vis Copenhagen on Enjoy Food & Travel 2007-2012 i et større kart

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Rating Imroz, Istanbul

Display of delicious starters at Imroz
We were on our way to see the legendary Pera Palace Hotel on the Galata side, when we started looking for lunch. We walked through narrow alley ways in order to find a restaurant and ended at Imroz.   

Rating Imroz, Istanbul Turkey: BBBB+ (4,29 points)
  • Location: BBBB+
  • Service: BBBBB
  • Interior & atmosphere: BBBB-
  • Food: BBBB
Imroz - interior
Imroz is located in Beyoglu/Pera district, on the eastern side of the Golden Horn. Here you find a labyrinth of small streets with bars, restaurants and shops. 

Imroz is known to be one of the most famous fish-raki-meze restaurants in  in Istanbul.

It has a  rustic and very charming interior with newspaper clippings on the walls, wooden chairs and tables with nice white table cloth. Over the little bar you'll see small flags, including a Norwegian one. Very nice.

The service were great, and gets even better when the staff discovered that we were foreigners - even Norwegian.

Dolmas - rice in win leaves
We were taken over to the impressive selection of meze, small delicious starters and were served the dishes we chose.

These dishes were served in most traditional restaurants. At Imroz, however, the servings were fewer, but bigger than other restaurants, where you served a large number of small delicious dishes to taste.

We chose a wide range of different meze-dishes to share. Small herrings in olive oil, beans in tomato sauce, flavoured bulgur wheat, dolmas, and fried red peppers. Food in abundance and with different delicious tastes, but still light as we were to be served meat or fish as a main course.

Fresh fried fish
Then it was time to order main courses. I chose delicious lamb chops, Susanne picked a serving of fried fish and Per picked Köfte

The fish was served with fresh salad, and the meat dishes with fried potatoes, tomato and one large green, strong green pepper.

My lamb chops were good, but taste felt a little plain compared to all the flavours of the meze dishes.

The meze at Imroz is absolutely worth trying, but the main dishes were as interesting as meat dishes anywhere else. The smaller meze dishes we were served in other restaurants were even more aromatic, so much so that we felt full before the main dish started.

So the four B's are well earned, but the good score is given due to the location and the excellent service.

Hüseyinağa Mh.
Nevizade Sokak 16, Istanbul, Türkiye
Phone: 0212 249 9073

Vis Istanbul A-Z 2009 Updated January 12th 2012 i et større kart

More Mediterranean finger food stories

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Going to Copenhagen? Make your restaurant reservations way ahead of arrival!

I have known the dates of my trip to Copenhagen for a while, but I have waited far too long to make reservations at my chosen restaurant. Result - no tables available! The lesson learnt is to book way ahead when travelling to the culinary capital of Scandinavia.

Copenhagen is home to some of the best restaurants in the world. If you plan to visit Noma, voted the best restaurant in the world in 2011, you are well advised to book your table first - before booking your trip. If you are less ambitious, reservations for good restaurants should be made immediately after you have got your tickets.

This is a lesson recently learned. This as I am travelling to Copenhagen in the near future and planned to introduce my good friend Terje to the culinary wonders of Ida Davidsen in Store Kongensgade, and dine at the Lille Fede, another highly recommended restaurant in the Danish capital. Sadly I waited, and tried to book a table for two in both places yesterday.

Booking online at Ida Davidsen I was confronted with the following colour and notification on the booking site: gleaming red and “fully booked.” When calling Lille Fede, I was informed that all was booked for dinner the planned Saturday.

I know Copenhagen well, and know that there are no shortage of excellent places to enjoy open sandwiches for “frokost” and great dinners in the Danish capital. I know of several other places for excellent meals to try before culinary tragedy is officially announced. I will keep the details for myself for know, or until I have booked. If not you may beat me and book the table I would like. I’ll get back to you with more details later!!

My Ida Davidsen experiences: 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to make your own Baklava

Here is an instructional video for those of you that want to try to make your own baklava, the most classic of all sweet tasty, Turkish treats.

Some may have struggle to find filo dough, but for those city dwellers that have a well assorted Turkish grocer nearby this will be easy. The orther ingredients are easily available everywhere.

Good luck!!

More Turkish sweets

                                 Sweet pastries with chocolate and pistachio nuts
Turkish sweets is very, very sweet, even for those of us that like an occasional cake or piece of chocolate. Here are a few photos of some sweets from Istanbul.
Baklavas - hardly a choice for low carb' dieters
Baklava - the ultimately sweet pastry
These photos were taken by my good friend and Enjoy Food & Travel co-writer Susanne Koch by a few sweets shop in Sultanahmet area in Istanbul. Susanne even bought some Turkish delights to bring home.

Baklavas are among the best known pastries in in the Turkish cuisine. Thin filo-dough, almonds, butter and honey melt into an intensely sweet pastry experience.

I have had baklavas once or twice since then and I prefer one small piece preferably with one cup strong, unsweetened coffee or as a company to vanilla ice cream. 
Churchkela are found throughout the whole region
Churckhelas are traditional sausage-shaped candies originating from Caucasus.

Churchkela is popular throughout the whole regions and are found in countries as Georgia, Russia, Cyprus, Kurdistan, Greece and Turkey.

The Turks call them pestil cevizli sucuk, literally walnut sujuk because of its sausage shape.

These are made up by must jelly, nuts and have been rolled in what I believe is sugar, making them look like uncut Turkish Delights. Must jelley is made from unfermented grape juice with a high content of sugar. 
Candied pistachios
What a massive bloc of candied pistachios! It just waits to be carved up and brought home in rustic bites.

The Turks really love nuts! Walnuts, almonds, almonds, honey, sugar are vital parts of many traditional candies for sale throughout Turkish cities.

More pastry stories:   

Monday, January 30, 2012

DAT: Rygge Airport to Copenhagen next?

Photo: DAT ATR ATR-42-300 OY-CIU at Gdansk Airport by Quibik
Tiny Danish Air Transport is David challenging Goliath, Ryanair at Moss-Rygge Airport. It is expanding in the domestic market but may launch direct flights from Rygge to Copenhagen.

Danish Air Transport DAT have started direct flights to Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim winter 2012. The air carrier operates these services with planes based at Moss Rygge. DAT may expand its activity further, to include destinations as Copenhagen. This according to the company's Director Jesper Rungholm. 

View JANUARY 2012: All non-stop flights from Rygge Air in a larger map

Ryanair launch new flights from Rygge

Malta International Airport is one of the two latest destinations for Ryanair from Rygge Airport Photo: Wykebjs

Ryanair will,  from this summer,  operate flights from Moss-Rygge Airport to 40 destinations, as the air carrier launch two new flights in January 2012.  

Moss-Rygge is now dominated by the Irish budget air carrier, since Norwegian Air Shuttle moved its flights to Sandefjord-Torp Airport autumn 2011. Ryanair is expanding flights from Moss-Rygge by opening new direct flights to Malta and Cyprus this summer.

Norwegian Air Shuttle operates direct seasonal flights from Oslo Airport to Malta and the competition may lead to lower air fare for Norwegian travelers to this little known destination.    

Vis JANUARY 2012: All non-stop flights from Rygge Air i et større kart

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Marrakech: Mosque of the Golden Apples (Mosque El Mansour)

Mosque El Mansour - main tower with the famous apples 
The Mosque El Mansour or Mosque of the Golden Apples is one out of three main mosques in Marrakech and the largest mosque in the Kasbah area.
Moscue El Mansour - detail
Mosque el Mansour was built by and named after Abu Yusuf Ya'qub al-Mansur the third Almohad Amir that reigned from 1184 until his death in 1199.

Famous sights as Bab Agnaou gate and the Koutoubia mosque were also built during his reign.

The mosque is also known as the Kasbah Mosque and the Mosquée Aux Pommes D'Or (Mosque of the Golden Apples), due to the three gilded globes on the lantern of one its gorgeous minaret.

The present mosque was restored in the 16th century and in the 18th century. This is a working mosque, and it's closed to non-Muslims.

Vis Marrakech on Enjoy Food & Travel 2010-2011 i et større kart

Other mosques on Enjoy Food & Travel 
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