Monday, April 30, 2018

Laderach, the Lucerne Indulgence

Lucerne has culture.  It also has the most chocolates one can buy.  I asked why the Swiss chocolates are the best in the world even though Switzerland doesn't even grow cocoa.  I was told that the secret is in the milk.  Apparently, the Swiss send their cows up on the alps after winter so they can feast on the mountain grass -  rich in minerals.  Because of the nutritious bovine diet, the cows produce the best milk in the world.  The milk is then used as an ingredient in producing the famous Swiss chocolates.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Red Fashion in Bern

Bern may not be the fashion capital of the world but there are some stores displaying European chic fashion.  I interviewed Chiquita Müller.  She used to go by Chiquita Banana until she moved to Switzerland and married a Swiss clock maker.  I asked her what interested her in the Swiss culture.  Without a heartbeat (because she doesn't have one), she replied hands down (even though she doesn't have hands) that it would have to be the chocolates.  I asked her if she missed bananas.  She told me that the Swiss have genetically modified the Edelweiss flower to bear any kind of fruit you can think of: avocado, mango and yes we have banana.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Lucuma Ice Cream - a guiltless pleasure

The Ice cream is made from the subtropical Lucuma fruit from the cool valley of San Andres, Peru.  It is very healthy.  It will make you lose weight and give you lots of energy.  So I'm told.  After all, have you ever seen a fat Peruvian?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Still Life with Swiss Francs and Wine Glass

One thing I noticed about the Swiss paper money is that they appear to be always crisp and newly printed.  I wonder if they replace their bill more often than other countries.  One theory I read is they do so in order to minimize forgery.  They also have the biggest five francs coins I've ever seen.

Taken in Lucerne, Switzerland.  Hanging out by the lake.  Life is good.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Shrimp Asparagus Selfie

Rose got this idea when we had Scallop Salad in Lucerne.  Combined with the Italian style plating in Baveno, she created this wonderful dish.  Shrimp over asparagus and garnished with parsley.  Simple.  But delicious.  Intended for two people.  Pair this with chilled Sauvignon Blanc.  Bon appetite.

Hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Scallop Salad

Salad is universal.  The only variant is the dressing.  Like most people who takes food selfies, I had to document this one.  To my eyes, the plating is impeccable.  It's well thought of.  Notice how the dressing is in between the asparagus and the rest of the salad.  The Scallops are nicely tucked in.  A single piece of cut tomato is placed over the dressing, and the bean sprouts are added to finish it up.

Enjoying the nice day at the patio of Grand Hotel National in Lucerne.  Right across is the Lake Lucerne.  It would be our final days in Switzerland.  The next day we head to Zurich for our flight back to LAX.

Hope your day goes well.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Japanese Cooking Through a Glass of Pinot Gris

Waiting at Zurich Airport Bar for our flight back to LAX.  Not sure if he is Japanese.  The guy was making Sushi the whole time I was sitting by the counter.  The title I have here is misleading because technically he is not really cooking.  He was assembling the prepared ingredients for Sushi.  The half emptied wine glass created a nice reflection of the guy.

Hope your day is going well.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Taglierini Pasta With Mushroom Sauce

Coming from snowy Zermat, we stopped by Lago Majorie in Baveno, Italy.  It had been raining for days in Baveno so a nice comfort food was in order.  I had this Taglierini Pasta With Mushroom Sauce.  The Northern Italians know how to plate their dishes well.  It tastes good as it looks.  Coupled with a bottle of Chianti - ah, heavenly.  Bon Appetit.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Blue Hour in Lucerne

We are at the end of our stay in Switzerland.  Image taken during the Blue Hour in Lucerne.  The Lake people do drink the water from the lake.  Lake Lucerne is so clear that you can see the bottom at 10 feet.  They say that Swiss Alpine water is the cleanest in the world.  Maybe I was not used to clean water because I had stomach upset the whole time we were there.  
If you decide to shop in Switzerland, Lucerne is the place to go.  Switzerland is very expensive but Lucerne is the least expensive place to buy Swiss watches and knives and souvenirs.  

The Swiss speaks French; Swiss German; Italian and Romansh.  Lucerne is a predominantly German speaking city but has a mix of French and Italian.  For instance, the locals say "merci" (French) when they say thank you but say "wiedersehen" (German) for goodbye and "bon appetite" (Italian) for "enjoy your meal"- all in the same sentence.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Shoemaker at Bern

This industrious shoemaker kept working on the shoe like clockwork - almost the entire day.  I never saw him took a break.  The Swiss are known for being very hard working people, and their work ethic is impeccable, which is the influence of the Swiss Protestant Reformer Swingli, who began the reformation in Switzerland during the 1500s.

Taken at Bern, the de facto capital city of Switzerland.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Swiss Chickens

The Swiss Chickens can be a bit wacky.  That is why their eggs taste weird.  I had a bit of scrambled eggs for breakfast and I started talking Swiss German.  Cluck cluck cluck.  Still nobody understood me.  

Taken in Zermatt, in southern Switzerland’s Valais canton.  The town, at an elevation of around 1,600m, lies below the iconic, pyramid-shaped Matterhorn peak, which hid itself the whole time we were there. It's a mountain resort renowned for skiing, climbing, hiking, and old fashion Fondue.  In fact this was the only place we had Fondue, which was as the waiter claimed good for one person.  The one he served us appeared to be good for four people and some leftovers for a couple more days.  Maybe even a week.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

House on a Hill

Stans, Nidwalden in Switzerland.  Taken on the train on the way up to Stanserhorn Mountain.  It's early spring but there are still lots of snow on the mountain.  This is how imagined Switzerland would be.  The Swiss alps, the blue sky, the corny but happy music, the endless green rolling hills, the fuzzy sound of the Alpine Horn, the experience of dipping a week old bread on the Fondue.

The people in the villages are very friendly. (Contrast with the people down by the lake. )   But that seems to be across the board in most of our travels in Europe.

Hope your day goes well.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The World Turned Upside Down

Nothing more to say.  Just go with the flow.  The world has turned upside down.  But the song remains the same.

Friday, April 13, 2018


I fell on track so many times.  It came to a point that I didn't want to go on.  My fire was burning out.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Pale Laitiere

On one of our tours, many in our group wanted to shop in Morocco.  Many of them were women.  So our tour director took us to this Barberry perfume shop in Marrakech. We were given a presentation on their products.   Midway through the presentation, I realized I was trapped.  I pretended to go to the restroom and end up sauntering around the shop for an opportunity to perhaps take some photos.

I'm not sure what this is.  It's obviously used as an ingredient for perfume.  I googled Pale Laitiere but didn't get any good information.  Anybody who knows what these are, please let me know.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Spinach Pecan Salad

Back in 1870, Erich von Wolf, a German chemist, examined the amount of iron within Spinach, among many other green vegetables. ... So when Popeye was created, studio executives recommended he eat Spinach for his strength, due to its vaunted health properties.  In my case, I added Blueberries, which is rich in anti-oxidant.  Some Pecans, which aid in digestion and lower bad cholesterol.  And a bit of Blue Cheese, which is high in saturated fat that threatens ones cardiovascular health, just to balance the healthy effects of the other ingredients in the salad.  Cynicism inserted here in case you missed it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

In an Octopus' Garden in the Shade

I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus' garden in the shade

He'd let us in, knows where we've been
In his octopus' garden in the shade - Octopus’s Garden, Richard Starkey

The idea of “Octopus’s Garden” came to Ringo Starr when he was on comedian Peter Sellers' boat in Sardinia in 1968. Starr ordered fish and chips, but the waiter mistakenly gave him squid, a first time for him, and he said of it, “It was okay. A bit rubbery. Tasted like chicken.” The captain went on to tell Starr about how octopuses travel along the seabed picking up stones and other shiny objects and create gardens with them.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Shrimp Salad

Shrimp can be a unique source of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory carotenoid nutrient astaxanthin. It is possible for a single 4-ounce serving of shrimp to contain 100% Selenium, 78% Vitamin B12, 52% protein, 14% Omega 3, and undetermined amount of Sodium Chloride and Cholesterol that can eventually be bad for people with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Oh, but they are so good.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Once Upon a Swiss Time

The Protestant Reformation not only produced the doctrines of Sola Scripture, Sola Gratia and Sola Fide.  It also produced the world renowned Swiss Watches.  The Italians who held to the tenets of Protestant Christianity fled to Switzerland to escape the persecution of the Roman Church.  The great French Reformer John Calvin wanted the Italians to be useful.  As it turns out that most of these Italians were jewelers back in Italy.  So he told them to make watches, which became to be the best in the world.

Taken while in Lugano.  Almost on every block, one can find watches on the side of the building.  I thought they make for great photo op.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Blue Hour in Budapest

Shot from the Buda Castle Hill during the blue hour.

Traveling by the Buda Hill Funicular is a pleasant and a fairly cheap way to save your legs a hike when you want to get up to the Buda Castle Hill from the river level on Adam Clarke Square.  That was exactly what we did.  It was a great view going up.  Such as watching Rose's lens cap falling slow motion down the hill.  Getting lost around the vicinity of the castle.  Nearly panicking as it was already dark.  And we still couldn't find our way out.  We bumped into an out-of-duty cop who didn't speak English but understood our horror so he went with us to get down back on the streets.  We still didn't know where we were but we kept on walking.  Not even knowing which direction we were heading.  We stopped by a restaurant and asked for directions to our hotel.  The nice young lady pointed across the street where our hotel was.  

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Whispering soul

He is here to serve.  Ready to fight for his country.  Ready to die for the people.  Yet this country and the people loathe what he does.  The people burn their flag.  They whine and complain.  They desecrate the sanctity of life.  They are full of hate for what he stands for.  Life, liberty and the pursuit of wealth.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Reading The Onion

Ignoring the Italian coffee until it gets cold.  Just finished a couple of Palm Mall cigarettes.  The man is not reading a real newspaper but The Onion.  A satirical media that parodies current event news.  Behind him though is a real red onion.

Hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Swordfish and Not So Kosher Easter Lunch

Swordfish, Asparagus, Bell Pepper and Shrimps.  All grilled.

Last Sunday, we celebrated Easter to commemorate the Lord's victory over death and sin.  Most Roman Catholics abstained from meat and sweets prior to Easter.  Fish was commonly eaten.  In our case, we had Swordfish at Easter.  But we also had Shrimps.  This would not have been kosher with the Jews.  But we are Gentiles.  So it's okay.


Monday, April 02, 2018

Test shot on the X100F

My Fuji X100F.  Another test shot using the macro light in combination with the 100mm Carl Zeiss Macro-Planar mounted on the Canon 5D mk ii. Hand held.  I'm impressed.  The room was lit with an incandescent bulb but somehow the macro light made the image on the bluish side.  I actually liked the blue tone so I enhanced the blues and added some greens in post production.  This was shot at f/5 and yet I was able to get  some blurs.

Hope your day is going well.