Sunday, 30 November 2014

Istanbul Buildings

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Süleymaniye Mosque

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

The amount of buildings, museums, monuments, castles and palaces to visit in Istanbul is vast and if you are only there for a long weekend, your time is therefore limited the main and most famous of the sights.

We visited the Blue Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, from our boat cruise we saw the Dolmabache Palace which would have been amazing to visit.

On our last day we visited another famous landmark the Topkapi Palace which was home to many sultans and their wives. I also visited the Harem which I will post some of the photos from there at a later date. I also went up the Galata tower and was rewarded with fabulous views of the city.

We did a lot of wondering around the streets and just being surprised by what we saw. We also wondered up to Taksim Square which for a long time was in the news with the protests. There were still many riot police hanging about as we walked up the main shopping street. We took a quick look around the square and left, just as well as about a hour later there was more protesting happening.

A brilliant and interesting city to visit and should be on everyone`s bucket list!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Photo of the Week - Plants Galore!

A couple of week ago while I was in Zurich I saw this very nice looking (well I like it) facade of a building. I liked that it has lots of plants, a tree and wall plants too. If I was any good with plants and trying to grow them I would like to be surrounded by them. But since I am completely no a green fingers I suffice with the help of others!

So it is nearly the weekend and the beginning of December, I swear that November just zoomed by so fast. Now all the Christmas markets are up and running I may get to visit some at the weekend although Alessio is not so keen on them.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Montrose Basin

While we were in Scotland we had a day trip to Montrose, first we visited the Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre. Afterwards we stopped for lunch and then proceeded towards the Montrose Basin which is a nature reserve and home to over 50,000 migratory birds. These include pink footed geese, Artic terns and Red Knot to name but a few. You cannot actually walk around the area but the views were sensational!

I am not sure but these birds may be the pink footed geese. There were so many of them quite amazing really!

There is the Scottish Wildlife Trust!s Visitor Centre which we did not visit but seeing some of the reviews the place gets it sounds very much worth a visit. We did visit another bird centre near to Loch Leven called Vane Farm, that was also quite interesting. Alessio got to look through binoculars, read information about the visiting birds and there is cafe too.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Turnip Parade Richterswil 2014

The famous annual Räbeliechtli (turnip) parade took place in Richterswil on 8th November and it was as usual very busy. This was only the second time I have seen it and it was a mild november day too.

The effort put into making these floats is amazing, just the thought of having to carve hundreds and hundreds of turnips is enough to make to run the other way. And it is not just the floats and the school kids all the buildings, shops and flats have to be decorated too!

The end result is quite stunning once the lights are put out and it is completely dark, it is well worth coming to see this at least one time.

And of course there was lots of stalls of food and drink to keep the hunger fangs away, I had my first Glühwein of the season. Still got lots of time for more, maybe even today in Zurich!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Photo of the Week - Pink Sky

Photo of the week was taken on the 1st November, in Horgen from a roof terrace! Lovely pink sky and I managed to the get half a moon too on some other photos!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Holmenkollen Ski Jump Oslo

Our trip to Oslo, Norway in April was a busy 5 days and we managed to see lots of the city and the surrounding area. We took a train up to the Holmenkollen ski jump which opened in March 2010 it towers above Oslo and it boasts the name of the world´s most modern ski jump and

It also houses the ski museum which we did not visit, it is quite impressive to see it and imagine someone jumping off it! Of course I think it would be much more impressive covered in snow, completely busy and some ski jumping going on!

Anyway it also offers some amazing views of the Oslo fjords and while we were up there, we stopped at the Frognerseteren restaurant and had some wine. We were still able to sit outside albeit with our coats still on. Alessio amused himself playing on the grass.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Apple Juice Making

Here it comes!

Into the funnel and glass jar!

Freshly made apple juice

Shop to buy fruit and other stuff too!

One of the trips we did with the kids from work was to visit a fruit farm and see how apple juice is made, also to make some for ourselves. In Wädenswil we took the bus up and got some lovely views of the lake, once at our stop it was a short walk to the farm.

The farmer showed the kids which fruits they grow such as apples, grapes, plums and kiwi to name a few. Then it was time to get ready for the first part of the apple juice making. In field the kids had to pick up lots of apples from the ground and to make sure they were not bruised or just did not look nice! Then they put the apples in a crate, once the farmer said they had collected enough if was over the road and back the farm area again.

Then the kids took turns putting the apples into the machine and turning the wheel so the apples got squashed. Once all the apples had been used they were then pressed with a heavy block of stone and we could see the apple juice coming out.

It was amazing to see how much apple juice the kids made, then they each got a turn to fill up small bottles to take home. And of course to taste the apple juice after all their hard work! And yes it did taste very nice and they all loved it.

I have been on many trips with the kids and they usually always love to go somewhere and have fun. This was an especially good one as they got to see how apple juice is made and the many different processes it has to go through before they get the end product at home.