Sunday, 28 July 2013

Vaucluse's little gem

Tucked away on the water edge of Vaucluse you will find Shark beach. This gorgeous white sanded beach is situated behind the unspoiled green Nielsen Park where you can play ball and enjoy your picnic. Of course it is one of the several beautiful beaches Sydney has to offer, but this one is special due to several reasons. The first reason is the way you can get there. You can park your car right behind the park but you can also park on Bay View Hill Road. From there you start a 45 minute hike which leads you along the foreshore of Vaucluse to Nielsen Park. The track, which is part of the Sydney Harbour National Park, is a bit up and down hill, but very easy to follow. You pass several small glistening white secluded beaches, as Queens beach and Milk beach and you have a constant view towards the city, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge! The other reason is that when your hike is finished and you have arrived at Shark beach you can sit down and relax at The Kiosk. This beautiful authentic cafe, formerly the Old Kiosk, has been build in 1914. It belonged to the Greycliffe house, a large Victorian sand stone residence, but is always used as a cafe for the locals visiting Shark beach and Nielsen Park. When sitting on the terrace or on the brick steps of the beach you can still feel the atmosphere of the early days, as if time stood still... Another reason to experience this gem!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Found it!

After being in Holland for a week, I managed to find the place for my cup of coffee; the Espressofabriek in Amsterdam. It happened this morning when they totally surprised me. When ordering, I already started my full story of how I like my coffee: 'Uhh, can I have an espresso macchiato but with more milk, not too much.., etc.' The guy behind the counter got a twinkle in his eyes and said: 'Ok..., you mean a piccolo?' Aaahh... really? This was the last thing I expected! Then he told me that it is not common in Holland, but that he got to know it from Australia! How nice! Their wifi password is even 'flatwhite'..., seriously!! Besides the easy way of ordering, their coffee was made in perfection and they even serve it with a cold glass of water, as it should be. Lucky me!
Espressofabriek, IJburglaan 1489, Amsterdam

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

24 hours in Hong Kong?

Do you have 24 hours in Hong Kong? This is the best way to spend your time:
After a long flight you might need some relaxing time, right? Well, first stop at 98 Wellington Street, 13th floor, Jade Center, for the best foot massage at Happy Feet. It can hurt a bit, but afterwards you will feel totally renewed! Walk the escalators upwards and stroll along Hollywood Road to check out nice antique stores and lots of vintage fashion shops. Walk down into Peel Street and experience the impressive food stalls on the wet market. When this did not spoil your appetite, go for lunch to Dumpling Yuan, 69 Wellington St, Central. This authentic Chinese restaurant makes their own fresh dumplings which are a must to try! Also order the hot and sour soup which will keep you on your feet for the rest of the afternoon, hot and spicy!
From there walk down Pottinger Street. This steep little street is full of shops with funny costumes, face masks, trimmings like buttons, hairbands, ribbings, etc. Cross Queen's Road Central and explore the so called 'Lanes' (Li Yuen St West / East and Douglas Lane) for nice souvenirs and cheap goodies to take back home. 
When you still have some energy, walk to Garden Road and take the Peak tram. This steep train track will bring you to the top of the mountain and you will be treated by the most stunning vistas of Hong Kong! At diner time go to Soho or Wyndham Street, where you can find divine restaurants from all over the world. Still time left for a drink? Dive into Lan Kwai Fong and soak up the buzzing atmosphere or go in style and head to the top floor of Prince's building to have a cocktail at the rooftop of Sevvas, bliss!
Of course these are just a few of the hundreds of tips what to do in Hong Kong, but I am sure you will be back soon to explore much more of this amazing city!