Saturday, March 30, 2013

What I ate in Copenhagen

Copenhagen was a delicious way to end our 2-week trip around Scandinavia. After enjoying some tasty meals in Reykjavik, I was a bit let down in Oslo and Stockholm (with the exception of some amazing salmon sushi in Oslo and a Thai buffet in Stockholm). Thinking Copenhagen wouldn't have much to offer, I abandoned the idea of a food list, and instead just decided to eat whatever was cheap and convenient. I was pleasantly surprised. 

Food wise, Copenhagen felt cheaper that Oslo and Stockholm, and seemed to have a wider variety of foods on the high and low end. We went cheap most of the time, but splurged a bit on one lavish dinner and some classy lunches.

  1. Food I wished I had but didn't:  homemade smørrebrød picnic, that's the way to go!
  2. Food I had but wished I didn't:  shrimp smørrebrød, but I don't like shrimp anyway.
  3. What should have been on the list: crepes and pastries
  4. Biggest surprise: I did not have any Asian food the whole time!(No lies - I missed it).
  5. Most delicious meal: Hands down, the pappardelle with black truffles from Ultimo restaurant in Tivoli Gardens.

Here are my best food memories:
Ice cream cones form Tivoli Gardens, one dipped in crushed candy, and the other dipped in chocolate. Seriously the best ice cream I've ever had. 


A Nutella waffle with bananas, from a waffle cart. 


Crepe with caramel ice cream.


Hotel breakfast buffet, with a latte machine, meat, cheese, and of course, muesli! 


Hot dog from a street cart. Wasn't quite as good as Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, but it made us happy for a moment. 



The most amazing meal ever. Pappardelle in truffle oil with shaved black truffles and Parmesan cheese, from the Italian restaurant in Tivoli Gardens.  This was a big splurge for us. I think the bottle of water we purchased was $15 USD alone.  Don't ask me how much the pasta was....


One of our more gourmet lunches. Nachos with salsa and guacamole...Danish style.


A three-style smørrebrød sampler. One with bacon, ham, and blue cheese. The other with shrimp (no thanks) and the last one with sauerkraut and chicken.


A delicious sandwich from the cafe in the Louisiana Museum. This was a prosciutto
 mozzarella sandwich .



A chocolate strawberry pastry from the cafe in Louisiana.



Another sandwich from the cafe at Louisiana. Everything in this place was so photogenic. They must have known that tourists would get hungry after the hour-long train ride  to get to the museum from Copenhagen. Still, it is totally worth visiting if you are anywhere in Denmark. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Xinbeitou Library




I was first tintroduced to the Xinbeitou Library aka "The Fantasy Treehouse" through the blog "Girl Meets Formosa" when I was searching for things to do in Taipei. Now, my partner happens to be from Taipei, but when I went in March of 2012, I was only accompanied by my Taiwanese-Japanese friend from middle school. My partner gave no advice as to how I should spend my time in the big city. This is either because I didn't ask for advice, or because when you grow up somewhere, you don't really know how tourists spend their time there. My friend, on the other hand, was well-versed in things to do as far as tourism goes....but I'm no ordinary tourist, and I have a particular fetish for libraries. Only after I returned from Taipei did I learn that my partner had full knowledge on the Xinbeitou library and had even been there several times! Then why did I search the Internet to find this place!? Oh well.



The journey begins on the Taipei MRT, where you board the Xinbeitou line from Beitou to Xinbeitou ("New Beitou"). Xinbeitou is famous for its hot springs, and even though it is only a half hour from the city center, it feels like you've entered the wilderness (or I'm just being dramatic). The inside of the train tries (in a cute but cheesy way) to imitate this natural beauty.




The gardens around the library were very well-landscaped. The library is located right in the middle of a crowded public park, which is awesome...on a less crowded day.


The library's roof juts out from the forest. It's wooden frame blends in nicely with the landscape, but its sharp angels also contrasts with it.







I took a lot of pictures outside the library, because the pairing of architecture and nature was so harmonic in this space.




On the other side of the library there were far less tourists, so I could photograph in peace. Some shots don't even contain a single person in them.











A profile shot of the library shows the crooked edges of the balcony mimic the ripples in water in the of a creek nearby. 



Alright, so when I googled the Xinbeitou library, I was surprised to find few photographs of the inside....

Now I know why.

Technically, it is against the library rules to photograph inside the building. The librarians are watching tourists like hawks, ready to reprimand them if they even so much as pull out a camera.  I tried to sneak a photo when I thought no one was looking, but I was caught!

Of course I was so embarrassed that as soon as the librarian walked away, I tried to sneak another photo, this time it was big trouble. I was taken to the front desk, where I explained in the worst Chinese anyone has ever heard that I was a blogger and  I just wanted to take pictures for my blog. They must have understood my message, because I was then required to fill out a form, and presented with a photography pass!

Success!



But now I have to wear this corny pass when I walk around the library, which makes me look so dopey, and I still cannot photograph any people (and people were everywhere) even myself.





View from the top balcony

Taipei: city and jungle

Woops! I guess I missed that rule about not photographing people

 A rare look inside the library!



A walk around the gardens in really worth doing if you have made the a trip to Taipei. My friend thought I was crazy for going all the way up to Xinbeitou just to photograph a library. This however, was one of my favorite parts of the trip. It was the only time I actually rode the trains by myself, and the view from the windows of the train reveals a very different part of Taipei than what you will see from  the 101. I really recommend this trip, if not for the library, then for the hot springs. And if not for the hot springs then just for the chance to experience a metropolis in the heart of a tropical paradise. 

Drains of Taipei

My last drains diary in Taiwan was back in 2012 , and I looked forward to updating it with a couple new finds: