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My First Impression: Mad, Magical, Marrakech | 我的第一印象:瘋狂,嫵媚的馬拉喀什

The heart of Marrakech's medina - Jemaa el Fna. 馬拉喀什老城的心臟 - Jemaa el Fna 大廣場。 © Eileen Hsieh

The heart of Marrakech's medina - Jemaa el Fna. 馬拉喀什老城的心臟 - Jemaa el Fna 大廣場。© Eileen Hsieh

To many who grow up in Taiwan, Morocco is synonymous with Arab culture. The tales that capture our imagination in the translated version of One Thousand and One Nights come alive in the streets of this enigmatic nation, where veiled women with mesmerizing dark eyes still dance with handsome turbaned men to the hypnotizing tune of snake charmers.

After years of longing, I have finally made it to the cultural capital of this North African nation. But with just six days to discover Marrakech's countless secrets, where do I even begin? 

To see, to smell, and to feel -- that's all I want from this first trip, and just to get lost in time. 

No amount of planning can help me navigate this city's medieval labyrinth, and no words from my pen can properly capture the aura, energy and essence of those I encounter. Maybe with pictures, I can at least present to you some pieces of the grand and intricate puzzle that is Marrakech. 

* Click on each photo will take you to my Marrakech gallery, where you'll find more images of this magical city. 

對許多在台灣長大,讀過「一千零一夜」翻譯版的人來說,摩洛哥是阿拉伯文化的代表。在這個神秘的國度,我們仍然可以實地捕捉到童話故事裡的幻想,處處是蒙着面紗只露出深邃大眼的美麗女孩,還有包著頭巾的帥哥,在街道上隨著耍蛇人的催眠曲調翩翩起舞。

嚮往多年,我終於來到了這個北非國家的文化首都 -- 馬拉喀什。在短短的六天內,我只想感受她的色,香,味,還有迷失在她迷宮般的古城裡。

再多的規劃,也無法幫我建立足夠的心理準備來面對這個瘋狂的城市,我的文字也無力捕捉她的精神與精華,但或許我照個不停的相機,能為這個嫵媚的古都,提供一些線索。

* 若想看更多照片,請點一下圖片就可連接到我的馬拉喀什相簿


Marrakech is often referred to as the "Rose City" or the "Red City" for its salmon pink buildings and the nearly thousand-year-old ramparts.  馬拉喀什老區處處可見鮭魚色的建築與  近千年歷史的  城牆,為它贏得了「玫瑰城」或是「紅城」的美名。

Marrakech is often referred to as the "Rose City" or the "Red City" for its salmon pink buildings and the nearly thousand-year-old ramparts. 馬拉喀什老區處處可見鮭魚色的建築與近千年歷史的城牆,為它贏得了「玫瑰城」或是「紅城」的美名。

Bicycles, mopeds and donkey carts are the most common forms of transportation in the narrow streets of Marrakech's medina. 機車,腳踏車與驢車是在馬拉喀什迷宮般的老城裡最常見的交通工具。

Bicycles, mopeds and donkey carts are the most common forms of transportation in the narrow streets of Marrakech's medina. 機車,腳踏車與驢車是在馬拉喀什迷宮般的老城裡最常見的交通工具。

Entrance of a traditional Moroccan hammam bath house, where you can get the most thorough body scrub and come out shiny and new. 摩洛哥 傳統 澡堂的入口,進去被刮掉一層皮後(其實是汙垢啦),保證出來全身亮晶晶。

Entrance of a traditional Moroccan hammam bath house, where you can get the most thorough body scrub and come out shiny and new. 摩洛哥傳統澡堂的入口,進去被刮掉一層皮後(其實是汙垢啦),保證出來全身亮晶晶。

Colorful display of dried plants outside an Herbalist in the souk (market), including these pretty cacti. 草藥店外擺置了許多色彩鮮艷的乾燥植物產品,包括染色過的乾燥仙人掌。

Colorful display of dried plants outside an Herbalist in the souk (market), including these pretty cacti. 草藥店外擺置了許多色彩鮮艷的乾燥植物產品,包括染色過的乾燥仙人掌。

Morocco's coveted argan oil is produced from the kernels of the argan tree. 摩洛哥有名的堅果油(又稱阿甘油)就是由這種堅果搾取而成的。

Morocco's coveted argan oil is produced from the kernels of the argan tree. 摩洛哥有名的堅果油(又稱阿甘油)就是由這種堅果搾取而成的。

Enter the Herbalist den where you'll find remedies for any ailment or enhancement.  草藥店裡賣有各式各樣的 產品, 治病養身防老回春,要什麼有什麼。

Enter the Herbalist den where you'll find remedies for any ailment or enhancement.

草藥店裡賣有各式各樣的產品,治病養身防老回春,要什麼有什麼。

Getting lost in the medina leads me to this boutique beauty shop run by a woman, with products made for the modern woman. 迷失在老城裡,竟然撞見這個可愛的有機保養品店,老闆是女生,產品也全是為現代女性所製。

Getting lost in the medina leads me to this boutique beauty shop run by a woman, with products made for the modern woman. 迷失在老城裡,竟然撞見這個可愛的有機保養品店,老闆是女生,產品也全是為現代女性所製。

The boutique owner throws in a couple of these kohl eyeliners as gift, saying they can protect against eye ailments but should only be used on the lower waterline. 老闆娘給了兩隻炭眼線筆,說是可以保護眼睛,不過只能用在下眼線,因為上眼線不好畫。

The boutique owner throws in a couple of these kohl eyeliners as gift, saying they can protect against eye ailments but should only be used on the lower waterline. 老闆娘給了兩隻炭眼線筆,說是可以保護眼睛,不過只能用在下眼線,因為上眼線不好畫。

A variety of hand-made soaps and natural or infused argan oils can be found in the shop. 小店裡賣有 多種類的 手工肥皂與堅果油。

A variety of hand-made soaps and natural or infused argan oils can be found in the shop. 小店裡賣有多種類的手工肥皂與堅果油。

No haggling is allowed in this shop, and the price is still much better than what you'll find in the souk. 這個標榜不二價的小店,標價還是比傳統市場便宜多了。

No haggling is allowed in this shop, and the price is still much better than what you'll find in the souk. 這個標榜不二價的小店,標價還是比傳統市場便宜多了。

Snake charmers entertain onlookers in Jemaa el Fna every evening. Watch the video below to get a feel of the amazing atmosphere in the square. 每天傍晚都有弄蛇人在 Jemaa el Fna 賣藝。不怕蛇的讀者可以看以下的視頻,感受廣場熱鬧的氣氛。

Snake charmers entertain onlookers in Jemaa el Fna every evening. Watch the video below to get a feel of the amazing atmosphere in the square. 每天傍晚都有弄蛇人在 Jemaa el Fna 賣藝。不怕蛇的讀者可以看以下的視頻,感受廣場熱鬧的氣氛。

Dozens of juice stalls compete for business in Jemaa el Fna. The stalls are numbered for easy identification. Jemaa el Fna 大廣場上有十幾家現搾新鮮果汁的攤子,每家都有號碼標示,方便顧客再次光臨。

Dozens of juice stalls compete for business in Jemaa el Fna. The stalls are numbered for easy identification. Jemaa el Fna 大廣場上有十幾家現搾新鮮果汁的攤子,每家都有號碼標示,方便顧客再次光臨。

Tagine (or tajine) is a favorite dish in Morocco. Here's a beef tagine with prunes, walnuts, pine nuts, served alongside a bowl of couscous. 摩洛哥最有名的美食 -- 塔津蓋燉肉。圖是牛肉塔津加黑棗,核桃和松子,配上一碗 古斯米 。

Tagine (or tajine) is a favorite dish in Morocco. Here's a beef tagine with prunes, walnuts, pine nuts, served alongside a bowl of couscous. 摩洛哥最有名的美食 -- 塔津蓋燉肉。圖是牛肉塔津加黑棗,核桃和松子,配上一碗古斯米

Ornate pottery is sold everywhere in Marrakech and makes a popular and affordable souvenir, starting at just 10 dirham (about 1 euro) per piece. 馬拉喀什的市場裡到處可見這些漂亮花俏的盤碗,每樣只要10DH (約ㄧ歐元)起。

Ornate pottery is sold everywhere in Marrakech and makes a popular and affordable souvenir, starting at just 10 dirham (about 1 euro) per piece. 馬拉喀什的市場裡到處可見這些漂亮花俏的盤碗,每樣只要10DH (約ㄧ歐元)起。

Lamp, lamp and more lamp! Take these home and create your very own Arabian night. 家裡放幾隻漂亮的摩洛哥仿古燈,你也可以擁有夢幻的阿拉伯之夜。

Lamp, lamp and more lamp! Take these home and create your very own Arabian night. 家裡放幾隻漂亮的摩洛哥仿古燈,你也可以擁有夢幻的阿拉伯之夜。

Traditional Moroccan leather Babouche slippers come in an array of pretty colors and designs. 五彩繽紛的傳統摩洛哥皮革手工拖鞋。

Traditional Moroccan leather Babouche slippers come in an array of pretty colors and designs. 五彩繽紛的傳統摩洛哥皮革手工拖鞋。

Boutique shops, cafes and hotels line the wide boulevard in the new part of Marrakech.  馬拉喀什新區裡寬敞的大道旁有許多精品店,咖啡廳與酒店。

Boutique shops, cafes and hotels line the wide boulevard in the new part of Marrakech. 馬拉喀什新區裡寬敞的大道旁有許多精品店,咖啡廳與酒店。

The minaret of the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech. 源於十二世紀的庫圖比亞清真寺與尖塔,是 馬拉喀什最大的  清真寺。

The minaret of the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech. 源於十二世紀的庫圖比亞清真寺與尖塔,是馬拉喀什最大的清真寺。

Men sitting outside of Ben Youssef Madrasa (also spelled Médersa Ben-Youssef), once the largest Islamic college in North Africa.  坐在 Ben Youssef Madrasa 外小歇的居民,這兒曾是北非最大的 伊斯蘭神學院。

Men sitting outside of Ben Youssef Madrasa (also spelled Médersa Ben-Youssef), once the largest Islamic college in North Africa.  坐在 Ben Youssef Madrasa 外小歇的居民,這兒曾是北非最大的伊斯蘭神學院。

Founded in the 14th century, the Ben Youssef Madrasa in Marrakech had taught Islam to countless pupils until its closure in the 1960s. 於14世紀建立的 Ben Youssef Madrasa,一直是北非數一數二的伊斯蘭神學院,直到1960年代才停止教學。

The intricate mosaic wall in one corner of Ben Youssef Madrasa. Ben Youssef 神學院阿拉伯建築設計經典,處處都是令人嘆為觀止的拼磚和雕刻。

An oasis outside of the maddening medina, Jardin Majorelle is a top tourist attraction in Marrakech. Jardin Majorelle 馬若雷爾花園是城市裡的綠洲,也是旅客的最愛。

An oasis outside of the maddening medina, Jardin Majorelle is a top tourist attraction in Marrakech. Jardin Majorelle 馬若雷爾花園是城市裡的綠洲,也是旅客的最愛。

Entrance of the fabulous Berber Museum. 值得一看的「柏柏爾人博物館」的入口。

Entrance of the fabulous Berber Museum. 值得一看的「柏柏爾人博物館」的入口。

The world-renowned fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent at Jardin Majorelle. 名服裝設計師伊夫•聖洛朗 (YSL) 在 馬若雷  爾花園 的舊宅裡。

The world-renowned fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent at Jardin Majorelle. 名服裝設計師伊夫•聖洛朗 (YSL) 在馬若雷爾花園的舊宅裡。

Tropical colors are dominant in the beautiful Jardin Majorelle. 馬若雷爾花園裡處處都有熱帶的色彩。

Tropical colors are dominant in the beautiful Jardin Majorelle. 馬若雷爾花園裡處處都有熱帶的色彩。


Japanese Haute Cuisine: Kaiseki Ryori | 精緻的日本傳統美食:懷石料理

For many visitors to Japan, food is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating aspects of this friendly and beautiful country. Japanese cuisine is much more than just sushi, tempura and miso soup, and no matter the region or season, you can always find something fresh and delicious to satisfy your tastebuds. 

Best of all, the current weak yen is also making eating out - and eating well - a much more affordable experience than in the past. 

Last spring, I visited Kyoto and stayed at a quaint little ryokan on Nene no Michi in the temple-filled Higashiyama district, where I had my first experience of kaiseki ryori -- the Japanese version of haute cuisine. Being waited on by our graceful, kimono-clad hostess while enjoying the most visually pleasing (and seemingly endless) dishes of the chef's creation was an endearing highlight of that trip. 

This winter, I chose Motonago again for our family trip to Kyoto and reserved dinner and breakfast during our stay. It was exciting to share the experience with my parents who have had much more exposure to Japanese cuisine living in Taiwan, and get their verdict on the meal that drew me back.

Kaiseki ryori originated centuries ago in Kyoto (then Japan's capital) as a simple meal served at the tea ceremony and later evolved into an elaborate dining ritual favored by aristocrats. Today's it's widely considered Japan's finest style of cooking. 

Our elaborate dinner menu. 這是我們懷石料理的菜單。

The multi-course dinner comprises a series of meticulously presented small dishes inspired by the season, with colors, textures, and tableware to match. Fresh flowers are often used as decoration, injecting freshness and vibrancy to each course. 

Our dinner was everything we'd hoped for. Delicious meal, stunning presentation, along with the best company one can ask for in the world, Motonago had certainly delivered another triumph. 

對許多探訪日本的旅客來說,品嘗正宗「和料理」無疑是最有吸引力的玩點之一。這個友善的國家歷史悠久,風景優美,還擁有多元化的美食文化。吃的選擇不僅限於壽司,天婦羅和味噌湯而已,無論在任何地區或季節,總能找到許多新鮮美味的菜色,來滿足你的味蕾。近來日圓走跌,更是讓吃得好,吃的精緻,成為一個比過去更經濟實惠的經驗。

Motonago ryokan occupies a hundred-year-old wooden building in Kyoto's historic Higashiyama district. 元奈古旅館位於京都有許多代表性寺院、神社的東山區。© Eileen Hsieh

去年春天,我在京都一家古樸的旅館裡首次體驗到名為「懷石料理」的日式高級菜餚。端坐在有上百年歷史老屋裡的榻榻米,看著身著和服的女士優雅的呈現一道道賞心悅目的佳餚,是我那次日本行的亮點。

今年冬天我們全家前往京都,我再次選擇了位於東山高台寺下「寧寧之路元奈古旅館,預訂了早晚餐,期待與家人一起品嘗正宗的傳統和料理。

「懷石料理」源於好幾世紀前的京都(前日本首都),剛開始只是茶道中的簡單膳食,後來演變成為受貴族青睞的精美餐飲,今日它被廣泛認為是日本最優秀的烹飪風格。

我們的晚餐包括了一系列受季節啟發的菜色,結合食材與鮮花,每道菜都擁有與眾不同但融洽的顏色,質地和容貌,精心呈現於小碟上。大家這頓精緻美味的晚餐感到非常滿意,我也覺得自己好幸運有機會舊地重遊,與心愛的家人一同編織新的回憶。


Our Kaiseki Ryori Menu

 

STARTERS

Aperitif 食前酒

First appetizer 先附

Main appetizer 前菜

Fresh slices of raw fish 向附

MAIN COURSES

Boiled and seasoned food 蓋物

One pot dish 台物

Broiled fish 燒皿

Hot food 溫物

Fried food 揚汁物

Vinegary delicacies 酢鉢

SHOKUJI

Miso soup 止椀

Rice 御飯

Pickled vegetables 香物

DESSERT 水物


Prepping for tea. #matcha #kyoto #ryokan

A photo posted by Follow That Bug (@followthatbug) on

MOTONAGO 元奈古

Kyoto Ryokan 京都旅館

 

〒605-0072 京都府京都市東山区 高台寺道鷲尾町51

511 Washio-cho, Higashiyama-ku

Nene no Michi, Kyoto 605-0072

Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Printable Map

Welcome To The Fantastical World Of Sketch.London | 進入倫敦Sketch的夢幻彩世界

Interesting sketches by British artist David Shrigley adorning the walls of The Gallery restaurant. 餐廳的墻上掛滿了英國藝術家 David Shrigley 的素描。© Eileen Hsieh

On a quiet street in London's busy West End stands an interesting establishment called Sketch. Housed in a traditional white-washed 18-century building two doors from to the sumptuous The East India Company tea specialist on Conduit Street, passersby may notice the gravity-defying Great Dane sculpture on its exterior wall but easily miss the discreet, darkened entrance.

Behind the heavy drapery is where the magic begins. Once your eyes adjust to the dimly lit space, you'll notice that everywhere there's light, there's something wondrous to be discovered. I fee like I've gone down the rabbit hole and been transported to a world far, far away. I have come to a place like no other.

Opened more than a decade ago, the concept of Sketch still feels avant-garde in today's cutting edge London. The multiple personality venue is a "triple dream" - a place for art, food, and music. Just to kick things up a notch, it also has a futuristic bathroom once crowned the No. 1 must-visit toilet by TimeOut London. 

The Great Dane sculpture outside of Sketch. 門外挑戰地心引力的丹麥獵犬雕塑。© Eileen Hsieh

Hopscotch your way into the world of Sketch. 跳格子進入Sketch的夢幻世界。© Eileen Hsieh

Bespoke tableware by David Shrigley are used in the restaurants and available for sale. 你也可以把英國藝術家 David Shrigley 為 Sketch 設計的餐具帶回家。© Eileen Hsieh

Colorful pencils take the center stage at the East Bar. 彩色鉛筆也成了酒吧裡的藝術品。© Eileen Hsieh

This delightful wonderland is the brainchild of an international restaurateur and a French culinary master, and their influences are evident in every detail. Algerian-born Mourad Mazouz (the man behind the stylish Moroccan restaurant MOMO) collaborated with three-Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire to create a dream world for lovers of all things beautiful - from the artworks on the wall, the eccentric yet comfortable furniture, to the food you taste and the plates it's served on. 

Sketch offers five options for food and drinks: (1) the Lecture Room -- the Michelin-starred dining room serving lunch and dinner; (2) the Gallery -- a gastro-brasserie open for afternoon tea and dinner; (3) the Glade -- a whimsical woodland bar serving breakfast (weekends only), afternoon tea and comfort food; (4) the Parlour -- a dark and sophisticated lounge with all-day dining; and (5) the East Bar -- an intimate, circular space curiously located below the famous bathroom.

The Glade is an enchanting space to enjoy a lazy afternoon over tea. 夢幻森林是個享受下午茶的完美地點。© Eileen Hsieh

Tempting pastries at the Glade. 夢幻森林裡誘人的點心。© Eileen Hsieh

We had dinner at the Gallery, a room dipped in bright pink paint with 200+ original drawings by British artist David Shrigley adorning its walls, part of an "artist-conceived restaurants" programme that sees this space completely transformed by a new artist every two years. While I found the bubble gum palette playful and uplifting, my friend couldn't get pass its resemblance to Pepto-Bismo.

Luckily for our tummies, the food here was anything but upsetting. Everything on the menu had an element of surprise and the unorthodox combination of ingredients turned out to go amazingly well together. (Pig's trotter and kimchi or scallops with curried popcorn, anyone?)

The adorable tableware (also designed by Shrigley) that told me I'd cleaned all my plates was the finishing touch in this fun and fantastic dining experience.

坐落在倫敦西區的一條寧靜街道上,在一棟米白色傳統18世紀的建築裡,是一家名叫「Sketch」的餐廳,緊鄰着東印度公司精品茶店,外牆有一隻挑戰地心引力的丹麥獵犬雕塑,但路人很容易錯過它不顯眼的入口。

Futuristic design dominates Sketch London's East Bar and bathroom. 未來風格的廁所就在 East Bar 酒吧的正上方。 © Eileen Hsieh 2015

在厚重門簾的另一面,是個奇妙的世界。一旦眼睛適應了光線昏暗的空間,我好像突然變成了愛麗絲,從兔子洞掉進了一個充滿珍奇異寶的仙境。

「Sketch」在倫敦已有十多年的歷史,不過它前衛的理念在這個時髦的城市仍廣受好評。這是個「多重人格」的夢幻場地,向來以獨特,離奇的藝術品,美食與音樂為標榜。不過它的成名之作是間未來風格的洗手間,曾被 TimeOut 休閒指南封為倫敦必參觀的廁所第一名

The No. 1 must-visit toilet in London. 「Sketch」必參觀的洗手間。 © Eileen Hsieh

Meeting master chef and creator of Sketch, Pierre Gagnaire. 碰上了來倫敦查勤的 Sketch 米其林名廚 Pierre Gagnaire。 © Eileen Hsieh

這個夢幻世界是由阿爾及利亞出生的餐飲界大亨 Mourad Mazouz 與法國三米其林星級大廚 Pierre Gagnaire 聯手打造的心血結晶,處處可見他兩人獨特的風格。如果你喜愛欣賞,體味美麗事物,屋簷下的每個細節 -- 從牆上古怪的畫,華麗但舒適的傢俱,擺盤精美的食物和下午茶,到貼心的服務 -- 都會讓你會心一笑。

「Sketch」裡分成五區:(1) the Lecture Room 是米其林級餐廳,提供午餐和晚餐; (2) the Gallery 是個餐廳-畫廊混合體,提供下午茶和晚餐; (3) the Glade - 是個童話般的森林主題空間,供應早餐(僅週末),下午茶和輕食; (4) the Parlour - 昏暗的休息室,提供全天候飲食; (5) the East Bar - 舒適的圓形空間,位於洗手間正下方。

Dipped in pink, Sketch's Gallery restaurant is a doll house for adults. The Gallery 餐廳的粉紅世界。© Eileen Hsieh

The bronze bar at The Gallery. 粉紅色的牆襯托著銅色的酒吧。© Eileen Hsieh

我們在 The Gallery 用晚餐。餐廳裡的每一面牆都漆上了亮眼的粉紅色,掛著200多幅英國藝術家 David Shrigley 的素描原作。原來這獨特的裝潢是「藝術家構思餐廳」計劃的一部份,每兩年「Sketch」就會邀請一位新的藝術家來替 The Gallery 改頭換面。我個人是挺喜歡餐廳的泡泡糖顏色,感覺像在芭比娃娃的家裡用餐,不過我的朋友指出這調色很像 Pepto-Bismo舒胃藥,好像也有點道理。

想當然的,食物很棒,完全不會反胃。菜單上的每道菜都令人驚喜,很多直覺上應該不配的原料竟然意想不到的和諧美味,例如豬蹄加泡菜,干貝加咖喱爆米花都超好吃的呢!

餐廳裡使用的全部餐具也是 Shrigley 設計的,融合了可愛的手寫字體,是這次用餐體驗的點睛之筆。

Paper forks are on the menu too. 菜單一打開就跳出來可愛的紙刀叉。 © Eileen Hsieh

Scallops and curried popcorn. 干貝加咖喱爆米花,盤子上還有附近街道的名稱。 © Eileen Hsieh

Pig’s trotter, kimchi, turnips and carrots.  豬腳切薄片配泡菜。© Eileen Hsieh

An empty dish. 吃光光囉。 © Eileen Hsieh


Sketch London

9 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XG

map

Phone: +44 020 7659 4500

Click for Opening Hours

 

===============

* Click Here for an irresistible new year's offer from Sketch.London *

廁所,是「sketch」的成名作,不過它的食物和下午茶也很值得一試。好消息是現在直到三月底還有 £50 的午晚餐折扣呢!把握時機,找個朋友一起來享受美食,迎接新年吧。

Sketch, home of London's No. 1 must-see bathroom, is offering everyone a £50 gift voucher to dine at their beautiful restaurants until the end of March.

A Grand Stay: Al Palazzo del Marchese di Camugliano in Florence|短暫沈醉在佛羅倫斯的貴族歷史裡

Al Palazzo del Marchese di Camugliano is not a typical hotel or bed and breakfast. It is a historic, magnificent and comfortable "palace", literally, in the center of Florence, capital of Tuscany.

This town mansion house is owned by Italy's Marquis Lorenzo Niccolini di Camugliano of the prominent Niccolini family, who has numerous properties in the region including villas in the lush Tuscan countryside as well as another Florence residence with direct view of Italy's "birthplace of the Renaissance" - the Duomo.

位於托斯卡納首都佛羅倫斯的市中心,Al Palazzo del Marchese di Camugliano 不是典型的旅館,也不算是民宿,是個有著長久歷史,低調舒適的貴族居所。

這棟透天豪宅的主人是來自義大利著名 尼可里尼家庭 的 Lorenzo Niccolini di Camugliano 侯爵,富裕的他在佛羅倫薩大教堂對面還有一棟房子,現在也改為了五星級精品酒店,讓來自世界各地的旅客能有機會回到過去,體驗貴族般的精緻生活。

Set in a 16th-century building just minutes from the Arno river, the Palazzo has 10 rooms and suites, all sympathetically furnished in Italian Renaissance style. Every room is spacious and unique, with original frescoes, four-poster bed and large marble bathroom. The guests also have access to complimentary wireless internet and a minibar stocked with water, soft drinks and a few bottles of local beer.

In the morning a freshly prepared breakfast is served either in the beautiful inner courtyard, where guests can enjoy tea in the afternoon as well as apertif in the evening. 

Al Palazzo 是座16世紀獨立門戶的建築,離阿諾河只有幾分鐘的路程。別墅裡有10間寬敞的客房,每間都有四柱床,大理石浴室,而牆上的裝飾是源於文藝復興時期的精美壁畫,翻修後以原貌重現。

除了必要的無線網絡外,房內的免費迷你吧還貼心提供了多樣礦泉水,汽水還有當地的特產啤酒。

居所內蔥鬱的庭院是享用早餐與下午茶的理想地點,傍晚也可以來這兒喝杯開胃酒,讓辛苦遊覽一天的你有機會在晚餐前小歇一會兒。

The Palazzo is conveniently located near many touristy destinations, including the Duomo, the medieval bridge Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Accademia Gallery where you'll find the original David by Michelangelo.

It's also a short walk from countless restaurants and gelaterie. For delicious Florentine steaks and Tuscan cuisine, L'Osteria di Giovanni down the road is sure to please.

After extensive experiments we can also recommend the following places for heavenly gelato: the trendy Amalo and the beloved, family-run Vestri Cioccolateria (both on the same square near the Basilica di Santa Croce), and the friendly Eataly gourmet market just a 2-minute walk from the Duomo (their latte flavor is out of this world!) 

許多旅遊觀光景點,包括聖母百花大教堂,中世紀老橋烏菲茲美術館,和Accademia 美術館 (米開朗基羅的大衛像所在地)等等,離酒店都只有10-20分鐘的腳程而已。

來到佛羅倫斯勢必要品嚐托斯卡尼赫赫有名的碳烤丁骨牛排 (Florentine steak)。Al Palazzo 大門兩百公尺外,便是深受當地居民喜愛的 L'Osteria di Giovann 傳統托斯卡尼餐廳,夜夜滿座,所以建議先請酒店幫忙訂位,以免失望。

當然也不可錯過口味眾多,口感細膩的義式冰淇淋 gelato. 我們嘗試了很多家,覺得最值得推薦的就是位於聖十字聖殿附近同ㄧ個廣場上的 Amalo 與 Vestri Cioccolateria,前者摩登,後者則是常登上旅遊雜誌的老店,各有特色。另外大教堂旁的 Eataly 意大利美食超市內設的冰淇淋專櫃也很棒,尤其是它的鮮奶霜淇淋,好香好濃,回味無窮。

For one of the most spectacular views of Florence, make your way south of the river to the hilltop Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte, one of the finest Romanesque structures and the most beautiful churches in all of Italy.

After feasting your eyes and tiring your legs, you can retire to the Palazzo and learn more about this great city, as the house has its very own historical archive covering the history of Florence and Granducato through the origin of the Niccolini family and their estate in Camugliano.

雖然大多數的景點都在是市中心,千萬別錯過了坐落于阿諾河南岸山腰上的聖米尼亞託大殿教堂,純淨優雅的造型讓它在義大利境內享有「最精美的羅曼式建築」的盛名,這兒同時也是佛羅倫斯最美麗的觀景點之一。

Al Palazzo 其實也是個值得歷史迷參觀的小景點,居所內展出許多尼可里尼家庭的歷史檔案,有興趣的人可以經由這個貴族家庭一代代的成就來研究,來了解佛羅倫斯百年來轉變的過程。

在這兒,你真正可以完全沈迷在過去的貴族世界裡。


Al Palazzo del Marchese di Camugliano

Hotel | B&B | Residence

Via del Moro, 15, 50123 Firenze, Italy

Behind the Gates: Kyoto Imperial Palace | 與皇宮有約 : 春遊天皇故居 - 京都御所

京都御所的木造建築,風格素樸沈穩。© Eileen Hsieh

文:筱晴, Eileen Hsieh | 圖:Eileen Hsieh

One dilemma shared by many tourists in Japan is that there are too many beautiful places to visit but never enough time. Therefore to make the most of our upcoming trip, we scroll through numerous blogs and guidebooks and come up with an itinerary based on a list of mutually agreed, must-visit destinations.

Two of the sights on our list are the Imperial Palaces in Kyoto and Tokyo, which offer free guided tours but require advanced online application. (Please see the end of the article for guidelines.)

到日本深度旅遊就會發現,有太多想看的地方,但永遠不夠時間。所以這次出發前,我們很認真地做功課,參考了無數部落格和旅遊指南,挑選出一長串不能錯過的景點後,才開始編製行程表。

大部分的名勝古跡只需買票就能進場參觀,但是日本王室所擁有的皇宮平常不對外開放,所以旅客們必須先到王室官方網站上預位,才有機會免費跟隨著專業嚮導遊覽宮殿內部。

我們選擇了兩座皇宮,一是有千年歷史的京都御所,一是現在天皇居住的東京皇宮。(預票方法請看文章下方。)

「新御車寄」為京都御所內唯一的20世紀建築,是天皇車輛停駐的地方。© Eileen Hsieh

導遊用英文介紹「新御車寄」的歷史。© Eileen Hsieh

KYOTO IMPERIAL PALACE

In 794 A.D., the capital of Japan was relocated from Nara to Heian-kyo (later renamed Kyoto) by Emperior Kanmu.

Heian-kyo was laid out in a grid pattern similar to that of the previous capital, approximately 5.3km in distance from north to south, and 4.5km from east to west.

京都御所

西元794年,日本桓武天皇將都城從奈良的平城京遷至京都的平安京

平安京是一座南北長約5.3 公里,東西長約 4.5公里的方形區域。在東西的正中央,有一條貫通南北的朱雀大路(現在叫千本通),將京城分為左京(東方)和右京(西方)兩部分。像圍棋的棋盤格一樣,大街小巷貫穿其間,進行嚴整的規劃。

御所建築屋簷上代表皇室的十六枚菊花紋章。© Eileen Hsieh

從前收藏天皇寶藏的「春興殿」。© Eileen Hsieh

Kyoto Imperial Palace had remained the official residence of the Japanese royal family for over one thousand years until 1869, when the imperial court was transferred to Edo (today's Tokyo).

Although the imperial residence is walled and not normally open to the public, the vast leafy surrounding is a popular playground for the local residents.

The guided tour takes us through Shodaibunoma (reception room for dignitaries), Shinmikurumayose (where the imperial vehicles are stored), before entering the grounds of the main hall, Shishinden.

 

京都御所曾是天皇或皇室主要成員的居所,歷經千年之久,位於京都市中心。宮內幅員廣闊,林木蓊鬱,外圍土城牆,南北約450米,東西約250米,呈方形,面積約11萬平方米。在平安時代被稱為「內里」,經多次整修,現今的內里為1855年安政時代仿造平安樣式重建,稱之為「安政內里」,外圍修建成公園,卵石散步道,現已成為京都市民的最佳休憩處。

我們從參觀者出入口的「清所門」進入皇宮,開始京都御所的導覽。首先到「新御車寄」,這裡是獲准觐見者正式進宮謁見時的正門。接著到「諸大夫之間」,觐見者在此等候天皇召見。然後參觀「內里」最主要的建築 -- 紫宸殿。

進入御所正殿「紫宸殿」。© Eileen Hsieh

Shishinden, featuring a traditional hip-and-gable roof and a white gravel garden, is the most important ceremonial building within the palace grounds and had hosted a number of enthronement ceremonies of Emperors throughout its time. 

「紫宸殿」為正殿,是天皇即位和接受朝賀的地方,大正天皇和昭和天皇都在此登基。這是京都御所象徵性的代表建築物,以「入母屋檜皮葺」形式的高床式皇家特色的宮殿建築。殿旁台階,東面植左近之櫻,西面植右近之橘,前面是白沙鋪地的南庭。

「紫宸殿」為正殿,是天皇即位和接受朝賀的地方。© Eileen Hsieh

Behind the main hall you'll find Seiryoden -- the “Habitual Residence” -- which has a roof primarily made of layered Japanese cypress bark. This is where the Emperor would conduct daily personal affairs or receive visiting nobles.

Rites reading would take place in the nearby study hall Ogakumonjo, and its courtyard would serve as the field where the Emperor would play cuju -- an ancient ball game similar to modern day football.

「清涼殿」位於紫宸殿後部,也是採用「入母屋檜皮葺」的構造,但地板比紫宸殿低很多,建築內部隔間也較多,充分說明這裡原來是天皇日常生活起居的地方。庭園白沙鋪地,兩側種有吳竹,漢竹。

「小御所」面對著御池庭,也是「入母屋檜皮葺」的建築樣式,這裡用來舉辦各種儀式,也是天皇與將軍及諸侯會面的地方。「御學問所」位於小御所的北面,有書院風格,用來做學問之地。在小御所和御學問所之間的四角庭院,用來做蹴鞠活動的地方,就是「蹴鞠庭」。

御所屋頂所用的檜皮葺。 © Eileen Hsieh

建禮門」是正殿紫宸殿的正面入口,迎接國賓或重要儀式時才會使用。 © Eileen Hsieh

諸大夫之間「鶴之間」和室裡的壁畫。© Eileen Hsieh

Across from the study hall is the picturesque Oikeniwa Garden. Landscaped in traditional Japanese style, it features a spacious pond with strolling pathway, a footbridge and a shoreline covered with pebble stones.

「御池庭」是以大池塘為中心的回游式庭院。池中有三個小島,為一池三山格局。中島為蓬萊島,建成龜島模樣,並植有松樹,比喻松龜祝壽。南北島比中島大,南島有優美弧線的櫸橋,北島則有古樸的石橋。對岸有茂密的樹林,四季可欣賞到不同的景色。

位於小御所正前方的「御池庭」。© Eileen Hsieh

「御池庭」迴游式庭園。© Eileen Hsieh

The final stop of the tour is Otsunegoten -- the "Everyday Palace". This was the Emperor's residence, and also the largest structure of the palace with 15 spacious rooms featuring high ceiling, sliding doors and tatami flooring.

最後行至「御常御殿」,作為天皇日常生活起居的御殿,曾幾次搬動,在平安遷都當時使用仁壽殿,後來遷往清涼殿,不久因清涼殿居住條件不足,豐成秀吉就建了別棟「御常御殿」,內部有15房間,書院式風格,這是京都御所最大的御殿。

「御常御殿」內挑高寬敞的榻榻米房間。© Eileen Hsieh

「御常御殿」書院式風格的榻榻米房間。© Eileen Hsieh

As we approach the edge of the palace, we are again mesmerized by the lushness of the grounds and the beauty of the architecture. Unlike many royal palaces around the world, there's no eye-catching grandeur here, only the texture, smell and colors of nature that can be felt as you immerse yourself in this tranquil, elegant space.

It was good to be the Emperor.

參觀完各處宮殿後,深深感受到日本人對文物保護的意識非常強烈,所有建築都原汁原味的保存良好。因為採取預約制,可以控管進出人數,提昇參觀品質。又因導覽者是專業人士,對歷史古蹟非常瞭解,一堂課聽下來,讓我認識不少日本的古代歷史。

解散後,大家各自在庭園拍照。滿園松綠,典雅古樸的皇宮,在冷冽的二月中,為千年風華的歲月,做一番忠實的見證。

御常御殿」外胭脂色的花苞。© Eileen Hsieh


京都御所 Kyoto Imperial Palace

日本國 京都府 京都市 上京區 京都御苑 3

3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan MAP


預約參觀時間程序 Tour Reservation Guidelines

1. 請到日本宮內廳事務所(日/英版)。

Visit the website of Imperial Household Agency (available in Japanese and English).

http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english

2. 請按位於頁面右上方的「Application For Visit」(參觀申請)。

Click on the "Application For Visit" button on top right of the page

3. 請選擇第一個框框 -「參觀申請」。

Click on the first box on the page - "Application For Visit"

4. 請選擇「京都御所」。

Select "Kyoto Imperial Palace"

5. 請選擇導遊解說語言與遊覽時間長度。

Choose preferred language and length of the tour.

6. 請選擇首選參觀月份。

Choose the preferred month for your visit.

7. 請選擇首選日期與時間(藍色代表還有空位)。

Choose the preferred Date & Time for your visit (only the times in BLUE are available)

8. 請填寫申請人訊息表格。

Fill out the applicant details form.

9. 請選擇是要現在就填寫訪問成員的個人訊息,還是以後再填寫。

You can choose to enter visiting member's details now ("Type Member's Information") or upload them later ("Edit Member's Information and Upload Later")

10. 申請完成!去京都御所前記得要把申請證明email打印出來,還要帶護照喔!

Application complete! Don't forget to print out the confirmation email and BRING YOUR PASSPORT!



Lights. Camera. Action. It's Christmas time in London! | 倫敦鬧區慶聖誕,推出新耀眼彩燈

Covent Garden 今年聖誕走的是自然風,呈現青綠色的新彩燈,和它的蘋果市場相呼應。

Covent Garden 今年聖誕走的是自然風,呈現青綠色的新彩燈,和它的蘋果市場相呼應。

英國因為不慶祝感恩節,十一月就開始為聖誕節裝燈結彩。週四晚倫敦的兩大購物鬧區 Covent Garden 與 Carnaby Street 同時準備點燈儀式 + 街頭派對,吸引了成千上萬的民眾共襄盛舉。

Eileen 做了個短片,和大家分享歡樂的佳節氣氛。🎊🌲🎅🏼🌟🎉

Since Thanksgiving isn't celebrated by the British, Christmas is now on full display at the shops and in the streets. Two of London's busiest shopping areas both put on Christmas celebrations Thursday evening, and I've made a little video to share with you the festive joy. 😊✨

Carnaby Street 盛大的街頭派對吸引了不少民眾與遊客來共襄盛舉。

Carnaby Street 盛大的街頭派對吸引了不少民眾與遊客來共襄盛舉。

Real Bread Recipe: The Fabulous Wheaten Bread | 真實麵包食譜:小麥麵包

poilane london bakery bread followthatbug follow that bug.jpg

I will always remember the exact moment when bread became an integral part of my life. It was on a cold, rainy evening in Georgia, shortly after Christmas, when I made my first-ever loaf of bread in my brand new breadmaker.

It was the simplest recipe - a classic white loaf that I found on the back pages of the instructional booklet for the bread machine. Five ingredients (flour, yeast, water, sugar, salt and oil), five minutes of preparation, and after three hours of waiting, a perfectly formed loaf of bread was born, and my apartment was filled with the most intoxicating aroma of happiness.

That was the moment I fell in love with bread.

I'd liken the bread-making process to making coffee in a Nespresso coffee maker -- minimum effort required, satisfaction guaranteed. When you make bread at home, you can enjoy it with the comforting knowledge that only the purest ingredients are used, so there's no risk of consuming any unwanted artificial additives. It is based on this philosophy that the Real Bread Campaign was born, to get more people to appreciate the beauty of bread in its most natural form. 

Every year during the Real Bread Week, we celebrate not only the bread but its makers, and this time I've chosen to highlight my favorite baking duo on British television -- the Fabulous Baker Brothers -- and their fabulously delicious wheaten bread recipe.

麵包,是在何時成了我生活中不可或缺的一部分,我記得很清楚。那是在喬治亞州一個寒冷陰雨的傍晚,聖誕節剛過,我興奮的第一次試用我剛收到的新麵包機。

我選擇嘗試最簡單的食譜 -- 經典白麵包,只需六種材料(麵粉,酵母,水,糖,鹽和油),花個五分鐘混合攪勻,倒入麵包機即可。三個小時後,一條有模有樣的麵包便誕生了,隨之而來暖暖的天然麵包香,環繞著整個公寓。

從此,我愛上了麵包。

麵包製作的過程,就像用Nespresso咖啡機煮咖啡 -- 只需花一指神功之力,成品保證滿意。在自家烤麵包的好處多多,簡單可口多花樣以外,最重要的是吃的安心,不怕吃進人工添加劑。正是基於這一理念,英國的「真實麵包運動」誕生了,來推廣麵包的自然美。

一年一度的「真實麵包週」期間,我們要慶祝的不僅是麵包而已,還有賦予它們生命的師傅們。今天我就來和大家分享由我最喜歡的英國烘焙雙雄 -- The Fabulous Baker Brothers 貝克兄弟 -- 所提供的小麥麵包食譜,向愛麵包的大小師傅們致敬!


The Fabulous Baker Brother's Wheaten Bread

Click here for full recipe from Waitrose TV

Freshly baked wheaten bread is made perfect with a bit of butter or jam. 剛出爐的小麥麵包,無論是配奶油還是果醬都好吃。© Waitrose TV

食材

450克全麥麵粉,外加少許麵包粉灑烤盤和表面用
1茶匙 海鹽
2小匙 砂糖
1茶匙 蘇打
50克 燕麥,外加少許燕麥灑烤盤用
20克 奶油,外加少許奶油塗烤盤表面用
100毫升 黑糖蜜
200毫升 全脂牛奶
200毫升 酸酪乳

方法

1. 預熱烤箱170℃。若有烘焙石頭(baking stone),把它放進烤箱預熱10分鐘。

2. 將麵粉,鹽,糖,蘇打與燕麥在大碗裡混合均勻。

3. 把奶油與糖漿加入平底鍋,用小火加熱直到融化。

4. 將液體混合物加入乾燥成分裡,攪拌均勻成為濕麵團。

5. 烤盤內塗上奶油,灑上薄薄一層燕麥後,將濕麵團放進烤盤。

6. 把剩下的燕麥灑在濕麵團上,蓋上鋁箔,放進烤箱烤35分鐘。

7. 移開鋁箔紙,再烤10分鐘就完成了!

#Recipe: Olive & Sundried Tomato Scones | 食譜推薦:橄欖+日曬番茄乾英式鹹鬆餅

住在倫敦的一大好處就是時時刻刻有機會可以嘗試國際美食。在這個種族,宗教與文化的大熔爐城市裡,「食」是最容易打破冷場,獲得迴響的話題。當地媒體自豪的宣稱,倫敦的飲食選擇之廣泛,你我可以一年365天,天天光臨不同的餐廳,一兩年內也不需重複。

對愛料理的人來說,倫敦的超市與農夫市場提供了無窮的創作機會。只要願意嘗新,保證可以發掘種種令人驚喜的烹飪技巧和食譜。媽在聖誕假期時來了一趟英國,最愛逛附近的 Waitrose 超市,有事沒事就買些在台灣看不到的材料自創新菜,樂在其中。

Waitrose 是個百年老店,食物新鮮,多元化,品質可靠,價錢說真的也不比平價的 Tesco 貴多少。若是以一分錢一分貨來比較,我認為它是物超所值的。

Waitrose 自己的網站也提供了許多線上食譜與烹調視頻,簡潔的說明,簡單的食材與令人垂涎的影像,讓媽迫不及待地想回台灣大顯身手。

以下就是媽回台後照著 Waitrose TV 食譜所做的橄欖+日曬番茄乾英式鹹鬆餅。結果出乎意料地好,美觀又美味,已成為她最新的下午茶秘密武器。所有的材料都可以在台灣買到,所以你也可以試試做哦!

----------------------

One of the joys of living in London is the constant encounter with international cuisines. In this multicultural city, "food" is a reliable conversation starter. And as the local media would lead you to believe, London has such a vast selection of eateries that you could dine at a different place every single day for a year or two without risking a repeat visit.

The city's culinary allure is extended to its numerous grocery stores and farmers' markets, where you'll find ingredients from around the world and endless inspiration for creating your own unique, new dishes.

Over the Christmas break I introduced my mother to Waitrose's online recipe site, and instantly she was hooked. Here you'll find cooking videos with clear presentation, concise instructions, simple ingredients, and gorgeous, mouthwatering images.

Mom was eager to try out the recipes when she returned to Taiwan, and here is her version of the savoury Olive & Sundried Tomato Scones. They're apparently so spectacular that they've already earned a place in her afternoon tea repertoire! All the ingredients can be found in Taiwan too, so why not give it a try yourself?


橄欖+日曬番茄乾英式鹹鬆餅|Waitrose Olive & Sundried Tomato Scone

{ 需時 25~27分鐘 | 份量:8~10份 }

 

材料

350克   自發麵粉 (self-raising flour),準備多一點點揉麵時用 

1茶匙     發酵粉 (baking powder)

75克     橄欖抹醬 (olive spread)

6片       日曬蕃茄乾 (sundried tomatoes),切碎

20克     黑橄欖 (black olives),去子,切碎

2茶匙    切碎的新鮮迷迭香 (rosemary),或1茶匙 乾燥迷迭香

150克    0%脂肪優格 (fat-free yogurt)

6湯匙    半脫脂牛奶 (semi-skimmed milk)

2茶匙    磨碎的意大利帕馬森起司 (Parmigiano Reggiano)

 

方法

1. 烤箱預熱 220℃。將麵粉+發酵粉+橄欖加入攪拌機,混合均勻。

2. 將日曬蕃茄乾+橄欖+迷迭香加入攪拌機,混合均勻。

3. 把攪拌機裡的材料移至大碗,加入優格+4 湯匙牛奶,用餐刀將材料混合成柔軟的麵團。

4. 把麵糰移置灑有麵粉的工作台上,形成球狀,然後輕按出厚度 2~3公分左右。

5. 用約 6公分直徑的圓形曲奇模切出 8~10份鬆餅,把全部麵糰用完。

6. 把鬆餅平均鋪在防粘黏烤盤上。

7. 把剩下的牛奶+起司混合均勻,把混合物刷上鬆餅。

8. 鬆餅入爐,烤約 10~12分鐘,成為金黃色。

9. 取出後放涼約 10分鐘至微暖。

10. 請享用!

 

* For the original recipe in English, please visit Waitrose TV.

Christmas 2014: London's Festive Lights & Shop Window Displays

It is official -- Christmas has arrived in London.

The festive lights have already been switched on in Covent Garden and Oxford Street, and more shopping streets will be turning on their unique and dazzling displays for the holiday season over the course of next few weeks. 

The most eye-catching showcases, however, seem to reside inside the windows of London's luxury department stores. Selfridges brings us 23 windows conveying its surreal and enchanting interpretation of the most beloved fairytales (Snow White, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, to name a few). Not to be outdone, the other famous retailer Harrods has introduced its first-ever festival animated film to go with this year's theme: "The Land of Make Believe".

I can't wait to check out more beautiful lights around town and will bring you new videos and Instagram photos as I go. For more information on where to find holiday sparkles, TimeOut has a comprehensive page with plans and dates for Christmas lights across London.

An admirer posing with Little Red Riding Hood at Selfridges. © Eileen Hsieh

Golden Paddington Bear travels in style -- with his honey pot and taxi. © Eileen Hsieh

The miller's daughter spins a web for Mr. Rumplestiltskin. © Eileen Hsieh

探索倫敦帕拉林匹克運動會 | Discover the Paralympics Magic

School children enjoying picnic in the Olympics Park during the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

School children enjoying picnic in the Olympics Park during the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

作者:筱晴

作者:筱晴

2012年倫敦的奧運會已圓滿結束, 帕奧會正如火如荼地舉行中. 我沒趕上Olympic Games, 卻有機會看了兩場 Paralympic Games. 

第一場看的是健力舉重(powerlifting), 參賽者都是輪椅族, 雙腳縛住, 要躺著舉, 金牌得主是伊朗的大力士, 舉起280kg破世界紀錄的好成績. 因為買的是Day Pass ticket, 所以還可以到各場館看不同的比賽, 我們看了坐式桌球, 坐式排球及坐式擊劍賽,看到那些殘而不廢的運動員, 不屈不撓的奮戰精神, 真令人動容.

第二場賽事在主場奧運公園, 看的是足球賽, 正好遇上英國與阿根廷對決, 英國佔地利之便, 啦啦隊聲勢浩大, 身上披的, 手上拿的, 甚至頭上戴的, 都是英國國旗.  足球成員都患有小兒麻痹, 但球踢得很遠, 跑步很快, 一點都不輸給四肢健全的正常人. 中場休息時間, DJ 帶領大家做WAVE手勢, 鏡頭照到的人要打鼓歡呼,  還有打節拍, 呼口號, 就像開同樂會一樣好玩.

我們拿著Day Pass, 到各場館蜻蜓點水似的巡視一番, 其中最特別的是輪椅欖球賽(wheelchair rugby), 它結合了欖球, 籃球, 手球, 冰上曲棍球而成的運動, 專為嚴重肢體殘障人士而設. 只見輪椅互擋對方進球, 時而跌個四腳朝天, 好像機器人在打仗ㄧ樣.  

另一場是盲人門球(goalball), 由失明的三位運動員組隊, 球員要按球發出的聲音, 判斷球的方向和速度, 盡量阻止對方得分. 比賽要極度安靜, 確保運動員能專注進行賽事.

可口可樂是奧運的大贊助廠商之一, 在奧運公園裡有一個很酷的展示館, 紅白板子按一下會發出音樂節奏或心跳聲, 還有機械跳舞開花, 很像取自於台北花博夢想館的點子. 走到場館最頂端, 倫敦碗及軌道瞭望台就在眼前, 工作人員很貼心的拿枝火炬, 讓我們照相留念, 相片會寄到電子信箱內. 最後還贈送一瓶奧運紀念版的可樂,市面上買不到, 更覺珍貴.

由於學校已經開學, 有大批學生來此戶外教學. 他們搭乘地鐵, 安靜又守規矩, 低年級小朋友小手拉小手, 服裝出色, 隊伍整齊, 很是顯眼. 我發現各校都有自己的制服, 很符合小學生的身份. 有些只是白衣黑裙(褲), 卻配戴紅領巾紅外套, 簡單利落色彩分明. 有些靛藍上衣配鐵灰裙褲, 不失典雅莊重. 我看到最美麗的服裝是小格子淺綠色的洋裝, 戴深綠色的帽子, 襯托出英國小女孩的白皙皮膚, 紅潤臉頰,  可愛到不行. 還有一隊學生, 穿上反光背心, 寫上學校住址電話, 以防走失, 真是設想周到. 

數以萬計的義工們, 他們穿著粉紫色的制服, 臉上動人的笑容, 熱情地招呼, 不論風雨艷陽, 緊守崗位, 已成為倫敦今夏的亮麗風景線. 據統計奧運的五萬義工, 殘奧的兩萬義工, 共付出800萬個鐘頭, 承擔800種不同的任務. 不少人從遠處而來, 窩在親友家的沙發上過夜, 不以為苦.  等運動盛事結束後, 許多人表示, 他們回到家鄉, 還會為社區繼續服務. 

今年夏天英國人民最愛國, 不管到哪裡, 都看得到英國國旗. 服裝設計師還把紅藍白三色的米字旗變成時尚衣服, 大家穿上, 昂頭闊步在街頭巷尾, 引以為傲.

曲終人散後, 下星期一, 倫敦政府還要辦一場勝利大遊行, 起點從聖保羅大教堂, 終點是白金漢宮, 連綿數十公里, 將會擠滿百萬觀眾, 琳很幸運抽到特為義工安排的好位子, 就在皇宮旁的林蔭大道, 我則要像眾多觀眾一樣, 一早去搶好位子, 為今夏倫敦的盛事, 做圓滿的記錄. 


LONDON 2012 VICTORY PARADE 倫敦2012勝利遊行

Date: Monday, September 10, 2012

Time: Starts from Mansion House at 1.30pm

Locations: Multiple Venues ROUTE MAP 路線地圖

Piccadilly Circus Circus | 皮卡迪利圓環馬戲團

Winter Wonderland at Piccadilly Circus

mom profile green.jpg

2012年是倫敦的歡樂年,從六月的女王鑽禧慶典開始,接下來陸續登場的奧運,帕運,一連串目不暇給的藝術表演,令人耳目一新,驚喜連連。

Piccadilly Circus Circus -- 皮卡迪利圓環馬戲團 -- 是倫敦夏日活動中的重頭戲之一。來自十七個國家的250多名表演者,週日下午在十二個戶外舞台為遊客獻藝,壓軸則是傍晚在Piccadilly Circus上場的法國馬戲團空中特技表演。

成千上萬的觀眾聚集在廣場上,興奮的期待 20:00 的來臨。當燈光亮起,音樂響起,只見高樓上方的藝人緩緩滑下鋼索,一個接一個的使出渾身解數,翻滾,滑翔,跳芭蕾舞,還有倒立,運用高超的技巧在鋼索上表演,時而優雅,時而驚險。這時充氣的巨無霸胖天使也湊上一腳,在空中與特技演員們玩耍,極為逗趣。

突然間天上灑下片片如雪花般的羽毛,四處飄散,點綴着Piccadilly Circus的愛神丘比特雕像,浪漫萬分。頑皮的表演者似是玩上了癮,將一團團的羽毛傾瀉在萬千觀眾的頂上,讓大家驚呼不斷,趕緊拍下精彩鏡頭,傳上網路與世人分享。


For one night only London's Piccadilly Circus was turned into a giant wonderland, with the help of 1.5 tonnes of feather, a cuddly angel and an enchanting performance by France's Studios de Cirque

Watch the spectacular PLACES DES ANGES from my vantage point:

London 2012: An Olympic Spectacle for You & Me

This is how I remember my day as a volunteer dancer in the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, which kickstarted the most successful sporting extravaganza the world had seen in recent times.

Stunning, friendly and fun. It truly was an Olympics for the people, by the people and made me feel extremely proud to call this city home. 

Thank you Danny Boyle for your creative genius and an enchanting show (I can't get the music out of my head!) Thank you TIM dancers for your friendship and a delightful time. Thank You London -- for a job well done!!

Eileen 

The George Inn - London's Galleried Coaching Inn

Up until the 19th century the most common way to travel long distance in Britain was by stagecoach. At a speed of up to 7 miles per hour, travellers often needed to spend one or more nights on the road, hence the creation of the coaching inns.

Coaching inns provided stabling for the horses and replaced tired mounts with fresh ones. They also provided food and drinks and overnight accommodation for coach travelers. Today there's only one surviving galleried coaching inn in London.

Located south of the River Thames near London Bridge, the George Inn was rebuilt in 1676 and was one of many coaching inns in Southwark.

The inn used to extend around three sides of a courtyard, but two-thirds of it was demolished to make way for the construction of railway over a century ago. Luckily the south front was saved, and today it's home to a beautifully restored and very popular pub, owned and protected by the National Trust.

IMG_1767.JPG

The ground floor of the George Inn is adorned with lattice windows and oak beams and has several connecting bars. The Parliament Bar used to be the waiting room for coachmen and passengers and houses a rare Parliament clock. The Coffee Room, now the Middle Bar, was frequented by Charles Dickens, and a copy of his life insurance policy is framed on the wall.

The guest bed chambers were upstairs in the the galleried section which fronts the George Inn, a common feature on coaching inns back in the days to ensure that bedrooms had windows despite being backed onto other buildings. Now this area is a restaurant serving traditional British pub food.

As railway transport gained popularity, coaching inns saw a decline in business, and many eventually fell into disuse.


The George Inn

Address: 75-77 Borough High Street, London SE1 1NH MAP

Telephone: +44 (0) 2074072056

Opening Hours: 11am - 10pm Daily 

See Food Menu

London Through My Eyes (4) - Hotels

The #Dorchester #Bear. 💕

A photo posted by Follow That Bug (@followthatbug) on

Hotel browsing is one of my many guilty pleasures, and with over a thousand lodging options in London, I'm always discovering new and unusual places that I can't wait to recommend to visitors.

I also have a soft spot for historic hotels, therefore in this video we're going to look at some of London's surviving inns and hotels that have served travellers throughout time.  

What is your favorite home away from home in London? 

 

瀏覽酒店是我最喜愛的「休閒」活動之一,每每有空就想上網查看各地旅館的風格與評論,而住在倫敦最大優勢就是可以成天上街尋寶,讓我迫不及待地想向遊客推薦新發現的好地方。

我也對歷史悠久的酒店情有獨鍾,因此在這部影片中我們要拜訪倫敦唯一剩存的長廊客棧 The George Inn,順便認識倫敦旅館業的演變。

您有最愛的倫敦旅館嗎?

 

You can check out the rest of the series here:

London Through My Eyes (1) - Then & Now

London Through My Eyes (2) - It's Christmas Time!

London Through My Eyes (3) - Afternoon Tea 

London Through My Eyes (3) - Afternoon Tea


"If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you."

- William E. Gladstone


Dukes St James never fails to deliver the perfect afternoon tea. #delightful #autumn

A photo posted by Follow That Bug (@followthatbug) on

Tea, to the British, is a magical ingredient in the everyday life. They drink more than 165 million cups of the aromatic beverage every single day, making Britain the second largest per capita tea drinking nation in the world following Ireland. (Surprise!)

In the average British home, afternoon tea is simply a mug of tea with cookie or cake. But for tourists visiting London, they want much more than just the humble cuppa, prompting hotels and cafes to offer lavish and creative afternoon tea menus for that memorable, quintessential English experience.

A 3-tier afternoon tea spread can be as filling and costly as a proper meal. If you're seeking the highest quality in tea service in Britain, check out the winners of The Tea Guild Top Tea Awards - the "Oscar" of the tea world.

A tasty break doesn't need to break the bank though, and there are plenty of atmospheric afternoon tea venues in London that offer good value for money. The popular Bea's of Bloomsbury, famed for its moist cupcakes with buttercream frosting, serves a quirky menu at the St. Paul branch for under £20.

For a pampered afternoon in a peaceful setting, the five-star DUKES London boutique hotel will not disappoint. Hidden in a courtyard a couple blocks from The Ritz, afternoon tea here is served in the pretty Drawing Room with just five tables, and the attention to detail is exceptional.

If you also happen to be a martini enthusiast, a visit to the hotel's famous bar is a must. Frequented by James Bond author Ian Fleming, the Dukes Bar is said to to have inspired the secret agent's drink preference: shaken not stirred.

Afternoon tea and cocktail. Now that's a combination as irresistible as 007. 


Afternoon tea at Apsley's (image courtesy of The Lanesborough)