Fantasy Fridays: Macau, China

For the benefit of those who are reading this blog for the first time, we had earlier decided to give ourselves another reason to look forward to Fridays 🙂  A holiday every Friday! Not exactly a real vacation every Friday but more of a photo re-cap of a trip we or either one of us have taken in order to re-live our past travels and all the related memories of each trip.

FANTASY FRIDAYS!

Destination – Macau, one of the two special administrative regions of China. Getting there is easy – about an hour by ferry from Hong Kong, but leaving Asia’s gaming capital can however be difficult for some…

Temptations abound in the tiny Macau territory of 29 km² (11 sq miles). Be seduced by the variety of Chinese delicacies…

The Macanese welcome. Here’s the contingent greeting you when you get off the ferry.  All ready to whisk you off to the hotels and *casinos*…

The must-see attraction in Macau, the 16th century ruins of a Portuguese cathedral, the Cathedral of Saint Paul…

Macau was the first and last European colony in Asia and remnants of Portugal are still visible in Macau…

BollyChees goofing around in Macau. To be exact, Bolly goofing around 😉 …

One of the 35 casinos present in this “sin city”…MGM Grand…

Enticing those keen on a quick buck with bright neon lights…

Bolly has good luck and Chee doesn’t. Bolly won, Chee lost in the casinos…

We celebrated the unexpected win with a fine meal at 2 Michelin star modern and luxurious Chinese restaurant, The Eight before calling it a night. Highly recommended!No harm placing a few bets for the fun of it.  Don’t forget though, the saying “The House Always Wins” is true…

Hope you enjoyed reading this week’s edition of “Fantasy Fridays” 🙂

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens…”

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

– Helen Keller

Life is Like Eating Artichokes

“Life is like eating artichokes, you have got to go through so much to get so little.”

– Thomas Aloysius Dorgan

For the first time ever, I learnt how to eat an entire artichoke two nights ago.

Bolly was tickled at my child-like fascination at the artichoke sitting on my plate.

We’ve dined in our fair share of Michelin-starred and gourmet restaurants, mid-range restaurants and street-side stalls but somehow I’ve just never had the opportunity to eat an entire artichoke.

Bolly was a good ‘teacher’ who guided me through the process. For those like me who may have not been exposed to the artichoke, WikiHow provides a very informative 11-step guide to eating an artichoke (who’s heard of an 11-step guide to eating a vegetable?).

WikiHow’s Steps 4 and 5 tell you to “take the outer leaves off one by one and hold like a potato chip. Coat the tip (the part that was attached to the heart of the choke) in whatever dip has been offered.” Ours was a mixture of mustard and olive oil.

I must say the process of eating an artichoke can actually be quite beautiful.  “Artichoke Art” maybe?

I’m actually surprised at the sense of humour in WikiHow’s guide. Step 9 says “Pull off the centre leaves…They cover a finer, almost hairy growth just on top of the heart of the artichoke. Some people call this part the “choke,” which is what you will do if you eat it, as it is very prickly.”

After removing the choke, you get to the crème de la crème of the artichoke…the artichoke heart. Tuck in to the sweet and tender heart 🙂

For those who constantly tell me not to play with my dish or the leftovers…here’s what some ‘mischief’ can lead to…

All the effort to get to the heart of the artichoke. Nevertheless, I’d say it’s well worth it.

Just like life isn’t it? The reward is that much sweeter when we’ve put in our fair share of hard work.

Fantasy Fridays: The Bay of Arcachon, France

For the benefit of those who are reading this blog for the first time, we had earlier decided to give ourselves another reason to look forward to Fridays 🙂  A holiday every Friday! Not exactly a real vacation every Friday but more of a photo re-cap of a trip we or either one of us have taken in order to re-live our past travels and all the related memories of each trip.

FANTASY FRIDAYS!

Destination, the Bay of Arcachon. Whereabouts? A bay of the Atlantic Ocean on the Southwest of France that is located about 50+ kilometres (30+ miles) from the famous vineyards in Bordeaux. The website of the Aquitaine region of France describes the Bay of Arcachon as “first of all a geomorphologic curiosity: a bay of 15000 hectares fed both by the ocean and a large number of waterways, producing an inland sea with the colours of a lagoon, bordered on one side by a blond crown of fine sand culminating at 104 metres: the Dune du Pilat. From its summit you can also see the beautiful Landes forest.”

What all that means is that the Arcachon Bay is a perfect playground for seaside/water-based activities such as swimming, fishing and sailing as well as for those keen to visit quaint fishing/oyster-fishing villages lining the perimeter of the Bay. The likes of Bolly would prefer to luxuriate in one of the resorts in the area and spend their day doing a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. nothing whilst the likes of Chee who are keen for some adventures may wish to climb up the Dune du Pilat (Great Dune of Pyla), the largest sand dune in Europe measuring about 100 to 117 metres (328 to 340 feet) above sea level, 500 metres (1640 feet) wide and 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) long. It’s not exactly an easy climb but trust us, it’s worth the effort once you’re up there!

Feeling at home at Chez Pierre in Arcachon 🙂

Advantages of being located near to fishing/oyster-fishing villages…FRESH seafood…

Enjoying the tranquility of the Arcachon Bay…

Two ways up the Dune of Pyla…climb the dune or take the steps…

Take the steps while you can…climbing up the Dune is hard work…

Exceptional view from the top of the Dune with the Landes forest in the backdrop (and tiny tiny people)…

“The BollyChees have been here” 🙂

Bitten by the wanderlust bug yet?

🙂

(oops, publishing this slightly late on Saturday due to a technical glitch)