Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday at the Lima Zoo

Photo: Monkey island in Parque de las Leyendas Zoo in Lima by AgainErick
3.40 PM: This has been a hectic day, already. Three hours at the Lima Zoo, followed by sushi lunch at Makoto Sushi at Larcomar. 

My good friend John recommended a visit to Parque de las Leyendas, the Lima Zoo. My nephew that has lived here for a year was thrilled by the idea, as he has never visited it before.

Parque de las Leyendas is located in the San Miguel District in Lima, not far from Jorge Chavez International Airport. We went there by taxi, and paid arpund 20 soles (USD 8). I was surprised by the size of the garden. It had a mountain section, a rain forest section, and an international section with a wide variety of different animals.

I found the vegetation intriguing as well, with huge bamboos and trees creating that mysterious, dark and lush foliage found in a rainforest. Another interesting feature were a large number of historic remains from the Huaca culture found scattered within the garden.

Then we went back to Larcomar to the Makoto Sushi Bar, ordering 6 half maki rolls, three bottles of Sapporo beer and 3 small (!) glasses Pisco Sour. It was incredibly good and exceptionally inexpensive. 270 soles (€ 76 / $ 101) for three, including tip, is extremely good value for money.  I have taken many extremely delicious photos of our maki rolls, and it will be a pleasure to write my review later.

And now? Back in our flat in Calle San Fernando to have a rest. Tonight we will go to La Rosa Nautica for dinner. I will keep you posted. 

9.45 PM: No Rosa Nautica, sadly. I had a small tummy problem, so  much so that we decided to dine in the neighbourhood, and where to go, except Antigua Bodega? I ordered my favourite ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta in gorgonzola sauce. One of my clear favourites. My friend Laila and my nephew Nils chose a pizza with prosciutto and a calzone with lomo saltado. We shared a bottle of wine. The bill for all was 170 soles ($ 63 / € 48), a great bargain!!

Now we are back in our flat, winding down and getting ready for the night, and while we are getting drowzy, people prepare for the buzzling nightlife of the metropolis.  

Vis Peru April 2012 i et større kart

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thank God it's Friday

It is Friday, March 23rd 2012, 6.56 AM in Lima, Peru, and this is how the world looks from my angle - from my bed basically. A beautiful day ahead, and I can feel the heat is building up. 
Heliconia like the one we saw. Photo: I, Kenpei
Yesterday was such a beautiful day, yet to be told in its full, as I have so many photos to share with you. I would like to tell one episode.

We walked up Calle Alcanfores, a street nearby and suddenly stood by a gate protecting an enclosed area. Behind the gates were a number of beautiful ornate buildings in bright colours around a small alley with beautiful trees and flowers.

A man clearly watching the area, noted that we were tourists and told us that we could enter, and we walked into this small secluded area.

As we walked down the small alley, I saw a grey haired man walking down the street ahead of us, and as we approached the end of the alley he stood in front of his house, watching us.

We started to talk, informally, and he had seen that we admired the flowers. He told that the houses were built in the early part of the 20th century and belonged to immigrated European families, Greek, Italian, or German.

His wife was German, and the told us that he had a rare botanical treat growing in his backyard, and we were allowed to enter his beautiful house, met his wife and in a small courtyard we saw a large false parrot plant, or heliconia rostrata in bloom. Its flowers were so large, so brightly coloured and we could get a short glimps of what a rainforest could offer.

Lima is full of surprises like these, and I cannot wait for the day to start and see what it has in store for us. This short story starts Friday, March 23rd, and I will keep you updated on what is happening!!

10.10 AM: Have just returned from Supermercado Vivanda, Miraflores - as seen on this clip on YouTube.

Bought English ham and Serrano ham, two brands sliced cheese (one marked from the Andes), tasting plate with cured meats, olives and diced cheese. To quell our thirst I bought 4 bottles of beer, and a bottle of Argentinian Malbec red wine. 

Wonderful weather, close to 30 degrees.....

2.37 PM: Have been to the Miraflores beach area, a disappointment if you ask me.

We had to walk down the same steep road as seen on the end of this YouTube video leading down from the cliffs, risking our lives by crossing past that 4 lane freeway, in order to walk on a dirty and untidy beach area.

Pity, really as it is breathtakingly beautiful down there with the Pacific right out and the city located high up on the top of the cliffs.

Then we climbed the hill and went back to Larcomar, the tourist trap I love. We found a table at Café Havana, overlooking the steep cliffs down to the beach we just left.

We ordered one small Quiche Lorraine each and quelled our thirst with beer, water, coffee and frappe relaxing to the view of the Pacific and the sounds of the waves. Great stuff. Now I am sipping to my bottle of Inca Kola in my nephews apartment.

I wonder what the evening has in store for us?

1.55 AM: I have returned from an evening by Parque Kennedy, slightly influenced by the effect of a Pisco Sour

We started the evening by going to Trattoria di Mambrino. All shared a bootle of Spanish cava to an orange marinated  fish carpaccio. My nephew and my friend Laila followed by ordering a dish of four pepper tenderloin with spaghetti gorgonzola as main course. I, as the truffle hound I am, caught the scent of a taglioni with black truffles, zucchini blossoms and peas and could not resist. An excellent meal in any sense of the word.

Then we spent a few hours small talking drinking a pisco sour followed by two cusquenos, before ending up in our flat in Calle San Fernando.

And tomorrow is another day........

Good night!! 

Vis Peru April 2012 i et større kart

Hagia Irene Church, Istanbul

            Hagia Irene was commisioned by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century
Hagia Irene, located on the grounds of the Topkapi Palace, is an ancient building. It is in fact the oldest church in Istanbul, but most of what you see today dates from the 8th century when the church was damaged by a eartquake.
Hagia Irene - old foundations. Hagia Sophia in background
Hagia Irene is located behind the fortified walls of the Topkapi palace. It is one of those buildings you could tell is old, just by its apperance. Within her walls Christianity, as we know it, was formed. The First Council of Constantinopel was held in Hagia Irene, confirming the Nicene Creed as we know it today as well as banning the heresy of Arius

Hagia Irene is ranked as older as  the impressive Hagia Sophia, commisioned by Emperor Constantin himself in the 4th century, even though it was severely damaged by an eartquake in the 8th century, and then rebuilt. The church is said to have been preceeded by a pagan temple, meaning that the site has ben used for religious purposes for 2000 years! Hagia Irene is probably the oldest historic site I have ever visited.

The walls of the Topkapi Palace surrounds the Hagia Irene
The fascinating thing is, that the subterranean base, has been exposed so you can see the foundation of the building. At Hagia Irene you are looking at world history, literally.

After the conquest of Constantinopel in 1453 the Hagia Irene was used as an arsenal and warehouse for war booty. It was restored in 1846 and became the first Turkish museum. It is open by special appointment (except Mondays), and sadly we had not made one, so we had to admire the exterior - only. I would, however, if visiting Istanbul, tried to get admission to Hagia Irene.

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Miraflores, Lima: Another day - and more to see

Vis Peru April 2012 i et større kart

Woke up around 4 AM this morning, as quite a few had a great time on the other side of the road, severely affecting my sleep - but who cares? I am on holiday!!
Avenida Arequipa, Miraflores by: Maria Espichan

9.00 AM:
I have my bed close to a window going from floor to the ceiling in my San Fernando bedroom. This morning I rolled up the blinds to look out. First it was night with lights, and as darkness faded, lights did too, turning night into day.

I have no idea what music they played but the rhythm was smooth and people had a great time, as they talked and laughed, and I think I could locate the party to a small house nearby.

I had located a large insect on the ceiling in the corner. Thinking it was a large cockroach I felt slightly at ease, and it had moved a little closer to my bed. To my relief it was a big moth that suddenly took off and went through the opening in the sliding door.

I stood up at 6.30 AM, and found that my friend Laila as up too, and I went down to the Per-Lizza buying those fresh focaccias at 0,40 soles per piece, warm and newly baked. I made good coffee and then we made a good breakfast from the stuff I bought yesterday.  I say - breakfast in Lima tastes great!!

Plans for the day? Parque Kennedy, just a 15 minute walk away, Huaca Pucllana, a great pyramide is also located in the Miraflores district. I will keep you posted......

Pyramide. Photo: Hires an editor
4.00 PM: Walked up to Parque Kennedy, had a snack at Chef's Café - tequenos, pastry filled with cheese with avocado dip, sparkling mineral water and coffee. Walking on to Huaca Pucllana. Visited Inca Market on our way. Great place to look for hand craft.

Huaca Pucllana was extremeley impressive and larger than I had expected. Was fenced in, and walked around and got a few great shots.

Stopped at 4d, a small café / bar, not far from the pyramide, had a few Cristal beer, before walking down to Larcomar and ordered lunch at Vivaldino.

My first ( and probably only) time that I will eat tuna with caramel sauce. The dish was called Atun with aged rhum and coconut sauce, medium done. A giant sized piece of tuna served on mashed potatoes with a sweet sauce with chili. It was exquisite!!!!! Service was even as good as the food, with a funny waiter making our lunch even better. A dry Chilean chardonnay wine was an excellent choice.

Returned to our flat. Will keep you posted on the last lag of the day!!

9.32 PM: Just returned from Antigua Bodega. Enjoyed a delicious ravioli with artichokes in a blue cheese sauce, extremely tasty, as well as Crema Catalana and two glasses of vino tinto de la casa.  Sum: 75 soles, a ridiculously low price for a delicious meal.  This has been a very interesting day, all in all, with so many impressions, and I will read a few pages of my Maigret book before turning in.

Stay tuned for tomorrows adventures here on Enjoy Food & Travel.    


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Peru today - March 21st 2012

Vis Peru April 2012 i et større kart

This is the first short update on Enjoy Food & Travels activities in Peru Lima.

Morning in Miraflores, Lima
2.59 PM EST: Today has been a slightly chaotic experience. We arrived with our KLM flight from  Amsterdam at 7.08 PM local time last night, and had heavy turbulence over the Amazon rainforest. Else the flight was smooth and the comfort was decent, service brilliant. Will write review on my KLM experience later.

San Fernando, Miraflores in Lima is a quiet urban street. We live on 7th floor and have a brilliant view from a large rooftop terrace. I woke up this morning not knowing where I was, opened up my double windows and watched the metropolis bathing in morning mist.

We went to look for a breakfast restaurant, said to be outside our building without finding it, but found the corner shop Per-Lizza in 259 San Fernando bought water, cheese, croissants, butter, and cured ham for 21 Soles, not exactly a rip-off. We ate breakfast at the rooftop terrace.

Photo: Larcomar by Ciudades
Larcomar: Do visit this slightly tourist trap shopping mall embedded in the cliffside overlooking the beach underneath.  

I had my first taste of Cuscuenos, the famous beer from Cuzco at Vivaldino, a fancy restaurant facing the sea. 9 soles for two beer, around € 1,25 per bottle, reflects the price level, even though Larcomar is among the pricier places to drink.

The generous Macedonia ice cream cup my friend Laila ordered ended up at € 6,25, even that a modest sum for great ice cream dessert.

More on Vivaldino's see this video I found on YouTube. We will most certainly revisit Vivaldino for a full meal.....

We lunched at Tony Roma's, and had starter to share and a rubbed steak sandwich with fries for 120 soles, with three cuscenos and one mineral water for two. Very reasonable.

Back in our flat for a rest. This will be updated!!  Stay tuned!!

6.40 PM EST: Have just visited Supermercado Vivanda. Vivanda was an impressive supermarket, nice interior, wide selection of groceries, fresh cheese, meat were packed as you watched ensuring good quality and hygiene.

I bought bacon, cream cheese, sliced edam cheese, salted ham, butter, really, really freshly ground coffe (as I watched the man in the shop grind the whole beans), whole milk, shower gel, and orange juice. Price 96 soles.

Some of the articles I bought will be introduced in one of my later articles on shopping bags of Peru.

10.30 PM EST: We ended the day by going to the Antigua Bodega, just around the corner from where we live. As we were not very hungry, we decided to order just one main course before going back to our appartment. I ordered ravioli with ricotta and spinach in gorgonzola sauce, and Laila chose spaghetti with seafood.

A perfect choice as the portions were reasonable in size and tasted very good. Lailas pasta dish was packed with mussels, vongole, scampi, scallops (with roe - yum!!), and calamaris with olive oil and white wine. Perfect. My raviolis were equally delicious - great filling and the sauce had a pungent taste of blu cheese. Price was ridiculous. We paid 90 soles or € 22 (with a generous tip), and that price included to 33 cl Cristal beer.

The day or the night was concluded on the roof top terrace enjoying an Argentinian Malbec wine overlooking the vast Peruvian capital. What a day this has been!!

COMING: Tierra Viva Saphi Hotel, Cuzco - Peru

Our next hotel experience abroad will be the Tierra Viva Saphi Hotel in Cuzco, Peru. Our choice of hotel here was no coincidence, as this hotel was strongly recommended by my sister that stayed here in December last year.

Visiting Cuzco, Macchu Picchu and the Sacred Valley is one of the thing I really look forward to. We will have the old Inca capital as basecamp, and take two day trips to the unique historic sights. 

There are three Tierra Viva hotels, two in Cuzco and one in Arequipa in southern Peru. We are staying at Tierra Viva Saphi Hotel. My sister loved this hotel and praised its generous breakfast included in the price. That made our choice easy.

The Tierra Viva Saphi Hotel enjoys a great location in central Cuzco, just a few blocks from the city's cathedral and historic center. The colonial style building seem, as many others found in this city,  to have an ancient Inca foundation. The base is made up from delicately carved stones fitted with such a precision that you cannot squeeze a razoblade between them. 

We booked a suite at Tierra Viva Saphi Hotel with the following ameneties: 
  • King size bed, 
  • Orthopedic mattress
  • Private bathroom with bath tub
  • 32” LCD TV with cable
  • Free Wi-FI
  • Telephone for local, national and international calls
  • Heating
  • Hair dryer
  • Safe
  • Desk
  • Breakfast area
  • Private living room 
  • Soft bath robes
  • Fine hand and body lotions made with all natural cottonseed oil
At Tierra Viva Saphi Hotel, this luxurious alternative is inexpensive by my standards - $360 for three nights!

More on Tierra Viva Hotels 

Vis Peru April 2012 i et større kart

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beach grub in Indian summer

Cosmos Caffe, North Scituate MA. Photo Company website
Last October my nephew and I were surprised by record temperatures. The termometer passed 30 degrees Celsius (86 on the Fahrenheit scale. At that point, I bought a new pair of shorts and the whole family prepared for a day on the beach - and yes! We did have a swim!
The American summer season lasts from Memorial Day,  a United States federal holiday observed annually on the last Monday of May to Labor Day, first Monday in September. I have spent a week in New England around Labor Day for several years, and have experienced similar temperatures, but in October, we were completely surprised.

Before heading for the beach, we went to the mall to buy a pair of shorts. Then we went to Cosmos Caffe in North Scituate to buy some grub and then head for the beach.

At Cosmos Caffe you can order a wide range of grub to be eaten there or take out. As subs are filling, as well as easy to eat, we decided to pick one of the many warm or cold subs.

I ordered the Meatball sub priced at $ 5, and a diet coke (I would have preferred a cold beer, but drinking beer is banned on public beaches. Then we headed for Minot Beach in Scituate, one out of many beautiful sandy beaches on the South Shore of Boston.

The last time I visited it was Halloween and freezing cold, but this October could not have been much different. Summer temperatures had tempted many to find their summer clothes and head for the waves.
What a feeling to bite into a large meatball sub, while seated on a low camping chair, feeling the mild wind from the sea. For my nephew, a first time visitor to the US, this was a taste of how a summers day in New England could be. This freak weather is, however, typical of the climate of the eastern seaboard, as the northern cold winds from Canada, and the mild southern wind of the Caribbean are creating shifting weather patterns.

I loved every minute of my unexpected sub, summer, sun, swim, sea, seagulls, sand, salt, and soda in New England in October!! It has certainly made my winter shorter!!

Vis New England, New York State and Washington DC on Enjoy Food & Travel 2006 - 2010 i et større kart

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New direct flights from Stavanger Airport from 2012

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

On this map you find current non-stop flights from Stavanger Airport updated per January 2012. Following new flights will start from Stanvanger Airport in 2012:
  • Stavanger - Barcelona, Spain (Scandinavian Airlines)
  • Stavanger - Barcelona, Spain (Vueling)
  • Stavanger - Nice, France (Scandinavian Airlines)
  • Stavanger - Florø, Norway (Danish Air Transport)
  • Stavanger - Paris,  France (Scandinavian Airlines)
  • Stavanger - Palma de Mallorca, Spain (Scandinavian Airlines)
  • Stavanger - Split, Croatia (Scandinavian Airlines)
  • Stavanger - Warsaw, Poland (WizzAir)
End of direct flights: 
  • APRIL 2012: Stavanger - Stockholm (Skyways)