The (Easter) egg came first / Vienna’s Easter Markets

I haven’t seen as many eggs within the span of two days as I did at the Easter markets in Vienna last weekend. Mr.A and I were in the beautiful Austrian capital, walking around town, hopping on and off the trams, and strolling in and out of its many cozy markets showcasing local crafts and delicacies, among plump fluffy rabbits, cocky roosters and an immense collection of gorgeously decorated eggs. By the end of it we’d seen eggs made of wood, wax and glass, eggs small enough to hold in ones palm to those towering high above my height, eggs dipped in mild vegetable dyes to those bedecked in gilded pearls, dainty crochet jackets or mini oil paintings, and honestly, every other kind of Easter egg in between!

Summer traditions, Stockholm

There was so much fun stuff to do this weekend, it felt almost like vacation. It was time for three of Stockholm’s annual traditions. Each had a different flavor and I would have a hard time if I had to compare one with the other 🙂

First-up on Saturday, there was the Stockholm Zombie Walk 2015, an annual cosplay event where you can register to walk as a zombie. For those who do not want to be smeared with ketchup or other fake blood replacements, you can always track their route and get a good look at the creative make up. There is some gory imagery to be seen, some of the work is so impressive, it must take them a while to get the whole costume ready. Some make it a family outing, with kiddy zombies in tow; they are simply adorable! Photographers, both professional & amatuers, have a field day. I got some great shots from last year’s zombie walk, and was able to top it up with more ‘killer’ shots this time.

In the evening, there was another annual Stockholm tradition – the Midnattsloppet, or Midnight Run, a 10km run which hosted nearly 38,000 runners this year. That’s massive, no?! Mr.A made me super proud by being one of them 😉 Before you ask, no, I’m not much of a runner myself, so I was one of the bystanders, cheering for those who did the real job! The atmosphere was carnival-like – different bands played at every kilometer milestone, onlookers cheered along the full circuit, there wwas even a masquerade team that ran in costumes. The night reminded me of a college festival where the air would be charged with energy. It was also very heartening to see the spirit of the runners, as they encouraged one another to keep going, some even slowing down their own pace and hold hands to spur a friend or partner.

Then on Sunday came the Bokbordet, proclaimed as the World’s Longest Book Stall. All along Stockhom’s busy Drottninggatan street,  booksellers line up tables and vend books of any genre under the sun. Still better, most of the books are really cheap, starting from 10 Sek, that’s €1.06 or $1.18 by today’s rate. Now, find me someone that doesn’t think that’s awesome! Although most of the books are second hand, I never complain since they are always in good condition. English or other foreign language books might be rarer than those in Swedish, but I have managed to find a handful of interesting titles every time. It’s been a tradition for Mr.A & me to check out the book stalls every year, ever since we arrived in Stockholm, so that’s four years in a row for us. The book fest does own a special corner somewhere in my heart ❤

That was my fun weekend, how was yours?

Must eat in Madrid

Remember that time I told you about binging in Barcelona? Well, I have resolved – when in Spain, just focus on the eating. I confess I am a foodie and I’ve found my match in Mr.A! When we travel we like to get a taste of the local cuisine, and Spain in particular never disappoints us. On a recent weekend getaway to Madrid we treated ourselves to the must-eat trio of Spanish cooking.

What trio, you say?

#1 Paella

#2 Churros with Hot Chocolate

#3 Tapas

P.S. Special mention to Sangria, of course!

 

Let’s pizza!

Nothing says Friday night like pizza, right?! Here’s our joint effort half-home-made pizza, ‘half’ simply because the base is store bought. A red pesto base topped with onions, green peppers, tomatoes and mozzarella, plus a sprinkling of dried basil. Popped into the oven at 250°C for 8-10 mins. Done. Best enjoyed with a good movie. Have a happy weekend everyone!!