Sunday, August 31, 2014

P365 TE Day 243

Saint Paul's Cathedral

Travel Bite: Saint Paul's Cathedral is the second largest Church in London (next to the Liverpool Cathedral) and sits at the top of Ludgate Hill the highest point in the City of London. It's popular for it's dome (not in the picture) and for the important events that have taken place here such as the wedding of Prince Charles to Princess Diana, as well as thanksgiving services for the Golden Jubilee, 80th birthday and Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Location: London
Date Photo Taken: May 2012

P365 TE Points for today: 2 out of 3 (for now)
P365 TE Points from Audience Interaction as of August 17: 227
P365 TE Running Points: 713 out of 729 (as of posting)

You can read the background of Project 365 Travel Edition here.  
Feel free to come back everyday. just saying...

Le Cure Neighborhood in Florence

I was lucky enough to live like a local during my last visit to Florence. I stayed at a B&B in the Le Cure neighborhood (which you can read about here) very close to the center of town. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to write a post about it since I couldn't find much information when I was doing my research, so I just want to share the love.

I stayed in Francesco's beautiful home in Le Cure.
On this street.
Le Cure is around 15 minutes away from the City Center,
easily accessible by bus.
These were my neighbors. Locals going on with their everyday lives.
There was a cozy cafe just at the corner,
but I never got to try it because the coffee was really
good at home.
The locals order their espresso and drink it while standing.
The place also had a selection of paninis and
pastries which I want to try next time.

The main square or Piazze della Cure is around 5 minutes away on foot. 
On the way to the Piazza, there's a small river you need to cross that's
so beautiful.
Especially on my way home in the late afternoon.
Here are some of my favorite pictures because I couldn't resist and I took a few shots everyday.

At the end of the street is the Farmacia, which was where
my landlord worked on weekends.
Across it was the Bus Stop for Bus 1 which goes
all the way to the main train station, but also stops
near the Duomo (midway).
You can buy a bus ticket before boarding (1.20Euros) or on the bus (2Euros)
but you'll need exact change. Then you validate your ticket after you board.
It's valid for 90 minutes and inspectors do random checks for compliance.
There's a market at Piazza della Cure with the usual knick-knacks.
There's also a permanent food market behind the flea market stalls.
There's also a 99cent shop across the bus stop that comes
in handy when you have no coins for the bus fare.
I just kept hopping on the bus.
My phone just tells me where I should go down.
A landmark I passed while on the bus. It's not my picture that's blurry.
It's the window that's dirty.
I always got down at San Marco Vecchio for the city center.
This is very close to Galeria Accademia and leads to
the Duomo.
I loved walking around the Le Cure neighborhood because it felt very safe, compared to walking around the city center where you feel like you're going to get mugged every time there are people close to you.

There was a nice neighborhood flower shop.

I really enjoyed the restaurants in the area.

And I couldn't leave without having a coffee.

Unfortunately, I like taking my coffee while sitting down and relaxing... very much like a tourist. just saying.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

P365 TE Day 242

Indian Breath Fresheners

Travel Bite: While in most countries you just ask for a mint to freshen your breath after a meal, in India, you'll get offered Mukhwas, or a handful of these colorful grains. It's a mix of various seeds and nuts often found with fennel, anise and sesame. They are made with sugar and peppermint oil so may either taste sweet or savory, take in small handfuls for your first time since they are an acquired taste.

Location: India
Date Photo Taken: November 2010

P365 TE Points for today: 2 out of 3 (for now)
P365 TE Points from Audience Interaction as of August 17: 227
P365 TE Running Points: 711 out of 726 (as of posting)

You can read the background of Project 365 Travel Edition here.  
Feel free to come back everyday. just saying...

Friday, August 29, 2014

P365 TE Day 241

Indian Street food at it's finest from Bademiya

Travel Bite: Bademiya is a famous street eatery in the very prime location, right behind the Taj Hotel in Colaba, South Mumbai. They are known as the place serving India's best known seekh kebabs, so they're not really cheap even if they are located on the street. If you choose to "dine-in" you need to wait for one of the monoblock tables on the side walk to be vacated as the place is really busy. I remember telling my friends "Let's just enjoy the food, and not think about where they wash the dishes". While we were there, they also head a steady stream of customers in nice cars ordering food to take away. It's definitely a must try experience.

You can visit their website here.

Location: India
Date Photo Taken: July 2011

P365 TE Points for today: 2 out of 3 (for now)
P365 TE Points from Audience Interaction as of August 17: 227
P365 TE Running Points: 709 out of 723 (as of posting)

You can read the background of Project 365 Travel Edition here.  
Feel free to come back everyday. just saying...

Nerbone's Panino Bollito for the yummiest best value meal in Europe at the Mercato Centrale in Firenze

I love Florence because of the shopping and the food. However, it was only on my last trip there that I really enjoyed the quiet Tuscan life (which you can read about here), and one of my discoveries was one of the best meals I've ever had in Italy - which turned out really cheap to boot!

The Mercato Centrale is one of my places in Firenze. It's a big covered building right in the center of town open everyday until around 2pm, with the leather market around it open the whole day.

Inside the Mercato is like a big deli, where you can find all the best ingredients to make a simple meal taste great. I love grabbing stuff here to bring home because everything is so cheap compared to buying it from the boutiques or buying it at home.
An assortment of Italian products.
Olive Oil in all flavors.
Pasta in all shapes and colors.
Truffle preserved in all forms so sauces and dips.
Fresh veggies, like Artichoke which happened to be in season.
This is really good served deep fried in the local restaurants.
Organic Sicilian sun-dried tomatoes
I took a picture of the tripe and other innards because I read that this
was part of the Panino Bollito from Norbone which I came for.
Big rocks of Parmesan and other kinds of cheese.
You can buy ready to cook packets for different kinds of risotto.
And my favorite, the different kinds of flavored salt.
The stalls normally offer free taste of their products.
And you can also order something to eat,
like a sandwich, which you're shopping.
There was also a stall that makes fresh pasta.
There are also several coffee shops, and tourists take their coffee standing
up, just like the locals do.

The highlight of my last visit was really the meal I had from Nerbone! Nerbone is located in one of the corners of the market, so if you walk along the outside perimeter of stores, you'll be bound to find it.
It has a distinctive green sign, and if you come around
lunch, a long line too match.
A closer look at Nerbone's open counter.
Tables are available across their counter, so you can sit and enjoy
your meal.
Step 1 is ordering at the Counter. I ordered from the nice man.
I asked if I could have a dish instead of a sandwich and he said yes.
After you pay, you get your receipt, and you line up again to claim it.
Claiming takes some time because the order is done
in front of you, based on your preference.
Bollito actually means boiled meat (I think!).
Then I think Lampredotto means tripe and innards (I think!) which is cooked
in that liquid where the bread is dipped for the Panino Bollito (sandwich).
This is someone's Panino Bollito order. I think if you're less adventurous,
you can get Bollito, but for the more adventurous you can ask for
Lampredotto to go with it. It's served with the best green and red sauce.
When it was my turn, I ended up with this dish. It was purely boiled beef.
The beef was melt in your mouth and so tasty, but I would have also loved
to try some Lampredotto, but that got lost in translation since I didn't
want to end up with a whole dish of tripe.
It's so good with the bread dipped in the broth. The green sauce reminds
me of chimuchurri sauce, and the red sauce is the hot sauce that provides
a nice kick.
This is an extremely happy me.
Note to self: must always eat here when I'm in Florence.
I can't believer that a full plate of the soft and tasty beef is only 6.50Euros.
This is totally a steal!!!
A miniature Nerbone Stand displayed in their stall.
They are so busy, the huge slab of boiled beef,
was only this small in the time it took for me to eat lunch.
I can't wait to go back to Florence, if only to visit the Mercato and eat here again. It's not really part of my plans for next year, but Sofia is already convincing me to take her to Italy because she's never been, so I may consider it for 2016, if I save enough money for it and she gets honors that is! just saying.

Da Nerbone
Address: Mercato San Lorenzo, Florence, 50123 | Map It
Phone: 055/219949
Open only for lunch and closed on Sundays