Trip to the Vietnamese market

Saturday we were a group of about 20 people from MeetInPrague who went to Sapa a Vietnamese village/market on the outskirts of Prague. The week before a huge fire had ravished one of the buildings in Sapa but still there was a lot of other places to see out there. The highlight was the lunch at a local restaurant.

Most of the table

Dominic who organized the event had with the help of his Vietnamese friend Mickey found this delicious drink. It is snakes and some other unidentifiable animals soaked in vodka – yummy! Some of the others tried it out. I was a chicken but tried a sip of one of the others when they didnt colapse after trying it.

Dominic with the dead snake vodka

One of the new faces at the trip was Karen the blogger from Empty Nest Expat. It was really cool to meet her as I have been following her blog over the last six months. She had never been to Prague until 10 days ago but since she saw pictures from the Velvet Revolution 19 years ago she knew she wanted to go here. So she waited until her daughters went to college, sold her house and all her stuff and moved here to become a language teacher. Way to go!

Weekend in Lisbon

A week ago (before the Euro08) Femi, Mehmet and me took an extended weekend in Lisbon. We didnt really know much about the city before we arrived but we were very pleasantly surprised.

The atmosphere was really nice and everybody seemed like they took it very laid back. We followed suit and took it easy the days we were there. The picture at the top is from Praa do Comrcio (Commerce Square) where they had put up a maybe a hundred plastic trees decorated by school classes. On the picture Mehmet is taking a nap in the forest. Behind him you can see the Arch linking the Commerce Square and Augusta Street. After the nap Mehmet was up again.

Mehmet's jump

All over the city they had these violet trees which we thought were lavender (but please correct us if you can). Here its in Alfama the area with winding roads leading up to the citys castle.

Violet tree in Alfama

Many of the houses had tiles on the facades and it was impressive to see all the different colors and patterns they have come up with. A lot of the tiles even seemed quite old and hand made.

Tiles on the facade

We stayed at a hostel in the part of the city called Bairro Alto which a quite, sleepy neighbourhood during the day and turn into a block party at night with hordes of people at night.

Walking around Baixa
Crowds in Baixa

It was a quick trip but Lisbon is definitely worth the recommendation. After I got back I found this pretty cool pieces:

Lisbon has no idea how cool it is. The city lives in the shadow of Europes superstar capitals, unaware of its own modern charms.
- New York Times

Us at the castle

A bunch more Lisbon pictures at Flickr