Fika, coffee and bikes. If you’ve received this as an e-mail notification please click-through to the post to see the video.
Berlin’s a great bike town. If you’ve received an e-mail notification click-through to the post to see the video.
Finally finished all our videos from 2017. This is Poland!
Our holiday started based around one restaurant booking, Faviken.
Why did we want to go? It was about passion, and the desire of the chef to promote and maintain the culture and heritage of Nordic cuisine. We had watched Chefs Table… and since then had wanted to visit and experience it for ourselves.
Booking for us was smooth, the computer was on, and the moment it ticked over 8:30am we booked the restaurant reservation and then accomodation. I recognise not everyone has this experience, so obviously it was meant to be. Once booked (and paid), the rest of our holiday was planned around the booking. Simple eh?
It was a long way to get to Faviken, overnight train from Stockholm to Åre and a taxi there. We learnt it is the largest hunting lodge in Sweden. The small section of the grounds we saw were picturesque.
Accomodation was very comfy. You could take a sauna if you wanted…. we elected to go for a walk and explore what we could.
We walked to the garden… this hut was heated and had a bucket full of drinks on ice! Perfect in winter… thankfully it was not raining.
While inside and perusing the gardening books, a chef/gardener came along and we were given freshly made raspberry gelato and lettuce leaves with cream. So, so good – and what a place to enjoy the tastes.
We were taken on a tour of the garden.
Some things are easier to grow than others…
They grow the vegetables (treat them, pickle or otherwise) and store them in the root cellar. They have a large garden – not just the small one guests see
We met some Australian’s (surprisingly enough). We had a great time talking to them about food and restaurants we had been to and going to on holiday.
The meal itself was amazing – and I’m not just saying that…! What follows are pictures of the food we enjoyed that evening….
Oyster was so tasty….
The taste of these eggs…
The spinach was Kym’s highlight!
The homemade alcoholic drinks were delightful…
Love a seasonal berry!
We went to bed – very satisfied and full! Here is a copy of what we ate that night – the first few courses are presented at speed, so I’m pleased to have this list:
Thankfully, the next morning we also was able to enjoy breakfast.
The milk/butter was provided by a local farmer who is in her 80’s – it’s what she has done for all her life. It was truely devine. Can you see yourself doing what you are doing now for the rest of your life? It’s hard to imagine….
Ah… great experience. Worth it – yes!
Sorry to all those people who have asked about the experience and our explainations have been a little average – hopefully this post goes some way in sharing with you our experience.
Some of you know I work in a public library. But the system in the Toyosu library leaves me slightly confused…
Very clear signage!
Just like every library around the world – I know people don’t follow written requests, or so I was told! To be fair I was in a local library, where no tourists venture – so I feel very fortunate to be taken there by our friends – arigatou!
At least with other signage, we get the idea what you are not allowed
Wish our signage was like the below one!
There has to be more to this sign
…. and to finish, this was cute! Still love Japan, despite a lack of understanding.
Learning a language is not easy – especially Japanese. I really enjoy learning the language, but I do have trouble remembering.
There are three character sets, hiragana (????), katakana, and kanji. I think perhaps I just need to do more repetition…. practice, practice and practice!
Although I will say when in Japan, I think it is probably better to go to places where you are less likely to use English. At least that way I would be forced into it! While waiting for Kym in a restaurant (don’t ask), I did manage to have a broken couple of sentence about how long we were in Kanazawa and where we were going, and how many days we were in Japan. When listening to people I could understand parts of sentences, and numbers when paying for items in shops. Let’s not forget the railway station announcements. Although it doesn’t sound so magical now compared to the first holiday. At least there is some recognition!
While on trains I did find myself attempting to sound out the words on the signs… not that I have the vocabulary to know what it meant – but it is a good feeling in at least recognising the characters.
However, when buying coffee the language is generally English! I’m just going to have to persist….
I should also thank our Japanese friends for speaking English with us. Otherwise the conversation would of taken longer, and more google translation use! Arigatougozimasu!
Only a couple more posts to do – one on the food we enjoyed, and a couple of highlights – so stay tuned!
One of our goals while on holiday was attending the “Brompton in Palace” meet and ride, which falls on the second Sunday every two months. While booking our flights we were careful to ensure we were in Tokyo the right day. Thankfully we were as over 100 Brompton owners & their bikes turned up for the event.
It was very impressive, seeing all the modifications and adjustments individuals had made to their bike. From customised parts to personal creative designs for different fittings. Impressive passionate owners!
Once everyone had turned up after the appointed time, the number was counted – in Japanese of course, which I understood. The bikes were then placed in order of colour.
…and they certainly looked impressive
Every Sunday between 10-3 the road in front of the Imperial Palace is closed for cycling. A cycling group provides lessons for younger kids to have a go. You also see a wide range of cyclists – roadies, families, tandem, and tourists. Not everyone wears helmets either- it’s up to the individual.
Afterwards a large number of people had a pasta meal, which was enjoyable.
Sadly, it was the last meet. A permit has to be obtained prior to each meeting, and the organiser has been told they group are not able to meet there anymore. It will be interesting to see what they continue to do as there are a number of passionate owners in Japan who meet and talk bikes.
The person is this photo is Mayumi, leader of Brompton in Palace, and she initiated the meets starting. Full credit to her, as it’s not easy to arrange something voluntarily for people to attend. The numbers on Sunday certainly demonstrate support for the event. We had a really great time and grateful and appreciative of the kindness showed by everyone we’ve met associated with Brompton bikes in Japan. We look forward to seeing what develops with the group- but hopeful we will cycle with them again!
Cycling is a great way to see a city and understand how al the different parts connect to one another. You begin to realise how close places are when you are cycling instead of using the underground/metro systems. Many years ago on one of our first trips in Tokyo we spent 30 minutes by train to get to a block around the corner from where we were! At the time our friend laughed when explaining we just had to walk! Still it makes for a good story.
This time round, on Saturday we spent time cycling with our Brompton bicycle friends.
I will acknowledge it was great to just follow someone else and not read a map.
We stopped off at a shop which sold pickled goods (sorry if I’m explaining it correctly). The owner enables you to try the product before you buy – so enjoyable & tasty!
Great looking public toilets!
Underground bike parking..
We were also taken to a monja restaurant – well truthfully a whole street full of them! Amazing! The best part is we didn’t have to worry about attempting to order as our friends did this for us – so wonderful, thank you!
Let’s not mention the notice on the bikes after when we went to unlock them!
Yes… everyone taking photos!
It truely was a great day on the bike – we loved it!
On holiday when travelling with others it’s important to do a mix of what each other wants. Today it was my choice to go to the Harry the hedgehog cafe! I booked it online (very simple).
It was pretty easy to find… as we had parked our bikes near-by by chance.
The cafe also sells them as pets, as it is allowed in Japan.
We must have caught the off peak time (between 1-2), as not many people were present.
This one is a year old. He eats a lot, and should do more exercise on his wheel… but he doesn’t!
Staff were friendly and had good English, and answered questions about the hedgehogs. It was pretty good fun!