Monthly Archives: June 2015

Roermond Designer Outlets

Roermond designer outlets in Netherlands is a popular shopping place for designer brands at discounted prices. Here many popular brands like Nike, Timberland, Coach, Prada can be found. Allocate at least a full day (if not more) ūüėÄ

On weekends it can get pretty crowded

   
             

Drielandenpunt, Vaals

I am heading to Drielandenpunt in Vaals (a town in Netherlands) where the borders of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands meet. There is also a viewing point where these 3 countries can be seen.     

Aachen Hbf

It can be reached by taking a train to Aachen then take a bus from Aachen Hbf to Vaals. From Vaals town it will be a short hike to Drielandenpunt. 

                 

Backpacking in Netherlands, Germany and Austria

We did our first backpacking holiday covering the Netherlands, Germany and Austria over 8 days. 

The trip started in Amsterdam which we flew in from Kuala Lumpur on KLM non-stop flight. Flight time around 12 hours.

Our trip will cover mostly Germany and much usage of trains, hence, we made use of a Rail pass covering just Germany as this pass is available for selected countries of choice. We chose a 5-day flexi pass which gives the flexibility to select the days to use it (can be non-consecutive). The pass covers all trains such as intercity (including ICE but non-reserved seats) and local trains but not buses, trams and subways within cities.

 We bought the pass in Kuala Lumpur (from MSL) prior to the trip.

German Pass 5-day flexi for 2 adults and 1 youth (for eligible and is cheaper)

Here’s some helpful information on the rail pass:

  • For our train from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Cologne (Germany), the Germany rail pass is valid after the Netherlands border therefore purchase a supplemental ticket to cover from Amsterdam to Germany border station (in our case to Emmerich). This way both supplemental and rail pass ticket can cover the single train journey
  • For our final leg overnight City Night Line train (unfortunately DB the operator has stopped all overnight trains) from Munich to Amsterdam, we use the same method with the rail pass, purchasing additional for the beds and supplemental for the Netherlands part. Use the tickets offices at stations to book this as these options are not available from the website or kiosks
  • The rail pass is valid for all German high speed trains like ICE but only on non-reserved seats. Most of the time these seats are available but for popular routes and during peak hours it can be a challenge to get seats. Booking reserved seats is possible with additional fee, but we did not use it
  • Try to use as much high speed or express trains to cut journey time. Use google maps for information on best train options
  • A bonus of the German rail pass, it can be used to travel to some cities outside of Germany (https://www.germanrailpasses.com/en/passes-prices/pass-extension). We used this to travel from Munich to Salzburg and is valid also for high speed trains such as the OBB Railjet

  Our travel itinerary as below:

Day 1 – Amsterdam, Cologne and Cochem

Day 2 – Burg Eltz and Trier

Day 3 – Cochem’s castle and vineyards

Day 4 – Middle Rhine cruise St Goar to Bacharach and Munich

Day 5 – Munich

Day 6 – Salzburg, Austria 

Day 7 – Amsterdam

Day 8 –  Zaanse Schans

Arrabbiata Pasta

Here’s another quick and simple recipe using Arranbiata which is a spicy tomato pasta sauce. You can get them in bottles from supermarkets.

   
 

Ingredients

  1. Spaghetti
  2. Onion 
  3. Capsicum
  4. Champignons mushroom
  5. Can of carrot and peas (for added fibre and protein)
  6. Arrabbiata sauce
  7. Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Cook the spaghetti, add salt to the water. When cooked, drain and plate it
  2. Heat oil in pan and add onions
  3. Next add the capsicum, mushrooms and carrot/peas
  4. Add in the Arrabbiata sauce, if the sauce is too thick or dry, add some water
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Pour sauce over the spaghetti 

Bak Kut Teh noodle 

Here’s a recipe for a noodle meal using Bak Kut Teh as the soup base. Bak Kut Teh refers to a herbal soup quite popular in Malaysia which is boiled with pork ribs and (usually) serve with mushrooms, fu chuk (a kind of soya sheets), taufu pok (thin beancurd), yau char Kway (Chinese crullers) and vegetables.

This recipe is a non-meat version and with noodles. The Bak Kut Teh packet i am using is the one below (you can find the same or other similar brands in Chinese sundry shops).



Ingredients

  1. Bak Kut Teh packet
  2. Rice noodles
  3. Mushrooms
  4. Iceberg lettuce
  5. Light and Dark Soya sauce
  6. Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Boil a pot of water and add the Bak Kut Teh packet in (should be able to make 2-3 servings)
  2. Add little bit both light and dark soya sauce together with salt/pepper to taste
  3. Boil 1-2 hours, be careful not to break the herbal bag
  4. Soak the rice noodles in water to soften it then set aside
  5. In another pot pour in required soup serving (dispose the herbal bag)
  6. After water is boiling, add in noodles, mushrooms and lettuce last (just enough to cook it)

Vegan beancurd (tofu) in Germany

It’s not easy to find beancurd in Europe as i guess it’s not common food. However, i found this particular brand being sold in certain supermarkets such as REWE in Germany. I have used it for stir fry and noodle soups, just cook or boil longer to soften it.

Here’s one which is stir fried with romaine lettuce

Rice with omelette baked beans and romaine lettuce

Here’s a simple recipe which is quick to prepare.


Ingredients

  • Rice
  • Onions
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Can of baked beans
  • 2 eggs
  • Light soy sauce

Directions

  1. Boil the rice, either using a rice cooker or pot (use 2:1 ratio of water to rice)
  2. Slice the onions
  3. Heat up a pan of oil and sauté onions till brown, use more oil to make an oil base
  4. Blanch the romaine lettuce in hot water and plate it
  5. Pour the onion and the oil over and with a bit of soy sauce
  6. For the baked beans, heat a pan with oil
  7. Whisk up 2 eggs into the pan
  8. Cooked like an omelette but not entirely through
  9. Break the omelette up and pour in the baked beans

Pomodorini mushroom spaghetti with broccoli


Ingredients

  • Can of Pomodorini (am using Dececco)
  • Champignon mushrooms (good source of proteins)
  • Onions
  • Spaghetti
  • Broccoli
  • Salt and pepper

Cooking method

  1. Dice the onions
  2. Wash and slice up the mushrooms
  3. Cook the spaghetti, make sure to add salt into the water
  4. Heat up some oil and sauté the onions
  5. Next add the mushrooms and Pomodorini and cook to boil. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Meanwhile drain the spaghetti and plate
  7. Pour the sauce over the spaghetti

Steamed broccoli 

  1. Wash and blanch broccoli in hot water
  2. Remove and serve with butter and pepper 

Apple cider for fruits and veggies wash

Here’s an alternative for a fruits and veggies wash using Apple Cider. Apple cider vinegar is a good natural option as it is anti-bacteria and anti-fungal. It also helps wash away pesticides and chemicals. Try it!

Osprey Farpoint 70 Backpack

We love to travel, especially backpacking. For this, we have chosen the Osprey Farpoint 70 which actually consists of 2 bags, the main bag with 55 litres and a day pack of 15 litres.

The Farpoint 70 is really well designed and have excellent features including suitcase style opening (instead of the traditional top load backpack), a foldable cover for the straps to avoid getting caught on luggage belts during check-in and the daypack can either be rear or front mounted.

For a week’s travel, it’s probably sufficient to cater for 1-2 person.¬† We used this bag recently for the first time during our 1-week travel to Europe.