Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Places: Signature Art Prize 2014



No time to browse all the contemporary artworks by artists from the Asia-Pacific region? No worry.
The Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize 2014 will treat you to the artworks by 15 selected finalists chosen from a total of 105 nominated artworks. The exhibition of the 15 selected artworks is now being held at the Singapore Art Museum. Grab your chance to see some of the most outstanding contemporary artwork from the Asia-Pacific region that were created in the last three years.
What will your favourite artwork from this exhibition be?
If you are curious what are my favourite picks from the exhibition, please visit: Places: Signature Art Prize 2014.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Places: Recommended: Leonardo da Vinci's Earlier Mona Lisa...



There is an exhibition that is now being held in Singapore that only exhibits one piece of art. Yet, the piece of art is one that sets me marvelling for more. Read more about my visit to this exhibition here: Places: Recommended: Leonardo da Vinci's Earlier Mona Lisa, the exhibition. Leonardo da Vinci's Earlier Mona Lisa 16 Dec 2014 - 11 Feb 2015 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. The Art House at the Old Parliament 1 Old Parliament Lane Singapore 179429

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Places: A visit to ArtScience Museum: Da Vinci: Shaping the Future

The legacies of Leonardo da Vinci have always fascinated me. Therefore, when I heard that there is an exhibition at the ArtScience Museum that focuses on da Vinci's largest notebook, Codex Atlanticus, I simply have to find time out to make a visit. Here goes my report on my first visit to this exhibition:
Places: A visit to ArtScience Museum: Da Vinci: Shaping the Future.

Da Vinci's designs for flying machines.

In this section, visitors can see Da Vinci's design for a parachute.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Places: Roasting Tour at Papa Palheta



Last weekend, I attended a roasting tour at Papa Palheta, an independent coffee boutique. This tour made me even more appreciative of each cup of specialty coffee that I drink. Find out more about my experience at the tour here: Places: Roasting Tour at Papa Palheta.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Read: Harlene Anderson's Conversation, language and possibilities



Title: Conversation, Language and Possibilities
Author: Harlene Anderson
Publisher: Basic Books (1997)


In this book, Harlene Anderson invites her readers to think about how a therapist can create the kind of relationship and conversation with a client that allows both parties to access their creativity and develop possibilities.

She calls for a philosophy of therapy and a way of being in client relationships that invite collaboration. For readers who are interested in the postmodern theory and collaborative clinical practice, this is the book to read.

In one of the chapters in this book, she expands on the concept of 'not-knowing' which is the key feature that distinguishes the collaborative approach from other therapies. "'Not-knowing' refers to a therapist's position - an attitude and belief - that a therapist can never fully understand another person, always needs to be in a state of being informed by the other, and always need to learn more about what has been said or may not have been said."

If I understood correctly, 'not-knowing' encompasses being willing to doubt, and to be uncertain. This meant being able to have an open mind and be open to the unexpected. It means being willing to risk, and let clients lead with their stories. Not-knowing as an attitude and belief means that the therapist must learn and attempt to understand what the client is telling. It means being humble. It demands the therapist learn the significance of what a client is saying, and how that makes sense to a client.

This may not be a straight-forward book to read, yet the honest writing makes it fairly accessible. I recommend this book to readers who are interested to learn about the collaborative clinical practice and postmodern theory. I think such a philosophy of therapy returns the power to the client and builds an experienced sense of trust between therapist and the client.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Places: Remembrance Sunday Service at Kranji War Cemetery ...

Some of my readers and friends are interested to find out about the upcoming Remembrance Sunday service to be held at the Kranji War Cemetery this year. Thanks to the event listing posted on AngloINFO Singapore, I have found out the details on this event.


Remembrance Sunday

Venue: Kranji War Cemetery, 9 Woodlands Road, Singapore.

Date: 9 Nov 2014 (Sun)

Time: 7.30 a.m. (Please arrive by 7.00 a.m.)

Admission: Free. All are welcome.



For directions to Kranji War Cemetery, you may refer to this post.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gourmet Pizza To Go



Recently, I came across a take-away pizza outlet, Gourmet Pizza To Go, when I was at Ang Mo Kio MRT station. Coming across this pizza outlet reignited my desire to find delicious pizza in Singapore.

I greatly appreciate that at Gourmet Pizza To Go, I can simply order one slice of pizza to satisfy my occasional craving for delicious pizza. During such occasions of craving, it did not seem economical or efficient to gather a group of friends spontaneously to visit a pizza restaurant and share a family-size pizza together. It is also often not cost-effective and time-effective for me to make a pizza from the scratch to satisfy a momentary craving for pizza.

I have tried several take-away pizza outlets in Singapore. The challenge for most of these take-away pizza outlets is in my opinion serving take-away pizzas that are fast to serve and to eat, while ensuring that the texture of the pizza crust is satisfaction.

At Gourmet Pizza To Go, the pizza crust is well-fired and has a chewy and crispy texture. Even though the outlet at Ang Mo Kio MRT station serves take-away pizzas, care is taken to use effective processes and innovatively designed ovens to rebake the pizzas upon order so that they are fast to serve and good to eat. It is easy to tell from the taste of the pizza crust that quality dough base has been used.



In addition, I appreciate that Gourmet Pizza To Go uses quality pizza sauces. I particularly like the pesto that is used as the pizza sauce for the Pesto Primavera pizza. It is considered quite a novelty to find pesto being used as pizza sauces for take-away pizzas in Singapore. The traditional tomato pizza sauce used by Gourmet Pizza To Go taste wholesome too. What kept me going back for more pizzas from Gourmet Pizza To Go is the fact that the toppings are generous. Furthermore more, quality ingredients are used for the toppings.

Please do not ask me which choice of flavour is the best. I am very biased in my choice of flavour. I will usually order from the Vege Special selections since I prefer not to take too much meat.

Currently, an Ala-carte Slice-to-go costs $6.50. I think this is a value-for-money price for a slice of delicious Italian-style pizza. In fact, I would prefer to enjoy a take-away pizza from Gourmet Pizza To Go than to go to one of the pizza restaurant chain to get a regular pan-pizza. For the price of $6.50, I get a more delicious and palate-satisfying pizza. I hope Gourmet Pizza To Go will continue to engage qualified team members to serve quality fresh bake Italian-style pizza.

Admittedly, at $6.50 per slice of pizza, I will not eat Gourmet Pizza To Go's pizza on a daily basis. Yet, it is a delicious treat on those occasions when I need a value-for-money solution to attend to my pizza cravings.

Maybe Gourmet Pizza To Go can consider a special monthly subscription card for their loyal customers so that for a fixed one-month subscription fee, the customer can get up a selected number of free Ala-carte Slice-to-go for a month and an attractive discount for all other purchases at Gourmet Pizza To Go?

9" pizza-to-go are also available from Gourmet Pizza To Go. This is a good size of pizza for a nuclear family to share.

Gourmet Pizza To Go also serves a special Al Taglio Pizza with up to five choices of flavours at $65 each. Each Al Taglio Pizza measures 40 cm by 60 cm. This will be a great option for parties.


Gourmet Pizza To Go
Delivery Hotline: 6-222-1666
http://www.gourmetpizzatogo.com.sg

Outlets: 
- Ang Mo Kio MRT Station #01-02,
- UE Biz Hub, 6 Changi Business Park Ave 1, #01-23, Singapore 486018,
- Blk 537 Bedok North Street 3, #01-559, Singapore 460537
- Kallang Wave, #01-43
Operation hours: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily

Friday, October 10, 2014

Read: Chris Guillebeau's the $100 Startup

Title: The $100 Startup: Reinvent the way you make a living, do what you love, and create a new future.
Author: Chris Guillebeau
Publisher: Crown Business

This is an inspiring book that distills into one book how to make a living, do what one loves, and create value for the new future. Chris, the author, illustrated a blueprint on practical steps to take to build a $100 startup that generates value.

One of the concepts discussed was that to start a business, three things are needed: a product or service, a group of people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid. Everything else is optional!

In this book, Chris defines 'value'as 'helping people'. For businesses to become successful, entrepreneurs found the key to doing so to be providing value.

Chris even created a step-by-step guide to creating an offer that no one can refuse. The templates that he offers in this book provide useful guides related to marketing for one's products and services.

What I like about this book is how it ends with its last chapter titled "But what if I fail?". Perhaps the learning point is that we can learn through failure. More so, failure is often overrated.

This is a book that I will add to my library as a reference if I decided to act and build my own startup.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Read: Switch

Title: Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard
Author: Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Publisher: Broadway Books, New York, 2010.

In this book, the authors shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. In essence, for things to change, somebody somewhere has to start acting differently.

I like the analogy that each of us has an emotional Elephant side and a rational Rider side. The authors explained how in order to make a switch, it is essentially to reach both sides. It is also needed to shape the path.

So in a nutshell, I learnt that in order to make a switch, the three things to do are:
1) Direct the Rider:
- Follow the bright spots
- Script the critical moves
- Point to the destination

2) Motivate the Elephant
- Find the feeling
- Shrink the change
- Grow your people

3) Shape the Path
- Tweak the environment
- Build habits (e.g. using action triggers or using checklists)
- Rally the herd

This book is generally easy to read. This book offers useful ideas on the topic of facilitating changes.

The book's website also offer more resources:http://heathbrothers.com/resources/

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Read: Brand Mastery

Title: Brand Mastery: How you can build a winning brand and be #1 in your niche!
Authors: Ken Chee and Adam Wong
Published by Intellectural Marketing Pte Ltd (2011)

To learn a new topic, I read this book. This book is suitable especially for anyone who is interested to start a one-man-operation or run a small business. The book illustrates with clear examples and concepts how to use effective branding strategies to build a winning brand.

The section on discovering the soul of one's business is deep yet powerful.

Overall, this is a practical and insightful book to read.

For more information on Brand Mastery, you could refer to this URL:
http://instituteofbusinessmastery.com/business-programmes/brand-mastery/

Friday, August 22, 2014

Places: Singapore Night Festival 2014: Bold and Beautiful



This year's Singapore Night Festival is set to impress! Please find a write-up of my personal picks for the Singapore Night Festival here: Places: Singapore Night Festival 2014: Bold and Beautiful.



Singapore Night Festival 2014
22 and 23 Aug 2014
29 and 30 Aug 2014
8 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Free admission
www.sgnightfest.sg

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Read: Pink's Drive

Title: Drive
Author: Daniel H. Pink
Publisher: Riverhead Books (New York, 2009)

I went to the library to borrow this book because this title was a recommended book to read.

Essentially, this book illustrates that when it comes to motivation, to harness the intrinsic motivation of people, it is necessary to look at three elements:
1) autonomy - the desire to direct our own lives
2) mastery - the urge to make progress and get better at something that matters
3) purpose - the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

The book includes what is called the 'Type I Toolkit' to guide readers to take the ideas in the book and put them into action. An interesting book to read. I took about a fortnight to read this book.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Read: Value Investing REITs

Title: Value Investing in REITs
Author: Attlee Hue
Publisher: Candid Creation Publishing (Reprinted in 2011)

This book was a recommended reading so I went to the library to borrow a copy to read. The author gives a clear introduction what makes REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) a way to invest in property without having to deal with down-payments, mortgage loans and expensive fees.

The terminologies related to investing in REITs are explained in a clear fashion. Perhaps I have yet to understand what has been shared between the lines, after my first reading, I am in the opinion that I have yet to fully understand how to go about doing a valuation of a REIT. Perhaps this is a sign to learn more about the subject matter?

This book is said to be the authoritative guide book in Singapore REITs. I suppose it was a blessing for me to have read this book as my first book on the subject of REITs.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Places: My Queenstown Heritage Trail: The charms of the Queenstown

Tanglin Halt.


On the last Sunday of the month of July, I took part in My Queenstown Heritage Trail to explore parts of Queenstown, Singapore's first satellite town. Looking at the various types of public housing found in Queenstown, I caught a glimpse of the evolution of public housing in Singapore.



Here's a blog I have written after attending the guided tour: Places: My Queenstown Heritage Trail: The charms of the Queenstown

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Places: An exclusive roof-top access during the Ramadan Trail 2014 at Sultan Mosque

This year, the Ramadan Trail at Sultan Mosque is one of the more meaningful tours I have participated in that has enhanced my appreciation of the significance of Ramadan. This year, the Ramadan Trail include an exclusive roof-top access. Find out more about my experiences of this year's Ramadan Trail here:

Places: An exclusive roof-top access during the Ramadan Trail 2014 at Sultan Mosque.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Places: Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall Open House Weekend

The refurbished Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. Jul 2014.
This weekend, on 19 and 20 July 2014, the general public can look forward to free performances and guided tours at the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. Here's an account of a visit to the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall during the Open House Weekend: Places: Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall Open House Weekend.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Read: Emotion-focused Therapy: Coaching Clients to Work Through Their Feelings

Title: Emotion-focused Therapy: Coaching Clients to Work Through Their Feelings
Author: Leslie S. Greenberg
Published: American Psychological Association, 2002

I had the honour to attend a seminar conducted by Greenberg several years ago and it took me a while to get my hands on a copy of one of his books from the local library. It took me more than two weeks to read this book.

This book illustrates Greenberg's ideas about the role of emotions in life and in therapy. Written in a systematic and clear fashion, the author drew references from his clinical experiences and insights to discuss how individuals, couples and parents can more effectively deal with difficult emotions in everyday life.

For parents who would like to learn to be effective emotion coaches for their children, there is a chapter in this book that discusses the topic of emotion coaching in parenting. It was stated that in Gottman's (1997) (The heart of parenting: How to raise an emotionally intelligent child.) study, emotion-focused mentoring of children's feelings was found  to have a soothing effect on children and led to a change in their parasympathetic nervous system responses.

A book to be added as a resource on the shelves of anyone interested to learn to deal more effectively with one's feelings.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Read: Nick Ortner's The Tapping Solution

Title: The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living
Author: Nick Ortner
Publisher: Hay House, 2013

Through various sources and through a friend of mine, I have heard about Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). When I came across Nick Orner's The Tapping Solution at the library, the instinct was to borrow it. This book by Nick Ortner provides an introduction to Emotional Freedom Techniques especially in dealing with negative emotional state such as stress, trauma, phobias and more.

As best as I have understood, tapping seems to deactivate the brain's arousal pathway. The act of tapping on the meridian endpoints sends a calming response to the body.

The book offers several examples of how one could practise the Emotional Freedom Techniques for a variety of situations such as to relieve anxiety, release physical pain and more. This book may be an alternative approach to healing that is worth learning about.

For more information, you may like to refer to http://www.thetappingsolution.com

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

12 Jul 2013: Exploring Munich



12 Jul 2013: It was free-and-easy time in the morning and early afternoon. With the guidance of a few friends, I was able to tag along to visit the city area of Munich yet again. We visited Bauer-Hieber which essentially is a place to find various sheet music. I wondered why we could find musically inspired rubber ducks there too?

Another destination was the Neue Pinakothek Museum in Munich. The museum has a post-modern architectural style. For a distance, the museum blended very well into the surrounding picturesque landscape.

Neue Pinakothek Museum. Photo courtesy of Terence Low.

In this museum, visitors would have the privilege to view Van Gogh's Sunflowers (1888) and Claude Monet's Water Lilies (1915). Van Gogh's Plain near Auvers (1890) is also a part of the museum's collection. These were the paintings that I had used to study in art-history class when I was a teenager. Somehow, I felt comforted to see the original works face-to-face. The flowers in Van Gogh's Sunflowers looked alive!

Van Gogh's Sunflowers (1888).

I was attracted to a sculpture, The Fallen (1915/16), by Wilhelm Lehmbruck. It seemed to connect with me at some level. It was also an interesting piece of art compared to a museum that was dominated by paintings.

The group of us had lunch nearby the museum. Our meeting place was at the train station at Marienplatz. On my way to the train station, I met a local who had generously showed the way about Marienplatz and the nearby areas. That was an unexpected surprise.

Then time seemed to pass so fast and soon we would on the train that took us from Marienplatz to Haar, where the hotel was located. We were on the roads again to get to Munich airport. We were on our way back to Singapore. In the meantime, a number of the orchestra members chose to extend the trip.

Bye Europe.
A memorable journey.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

11 Jul 2013: An evening at Munich

Munich. Hofbrauhas. Photo courtesy of Terence Low.

11 Jul 2013: After some travelling on the coach, we reached Hotel Acom Munich-Haar. Dinner was held at Hofbrauhas. The guests at Hofbrauhas were treated to a series of performances while having our meals.

At Hofbrauhas. Munich. Photo courtesy of Terence Low.


I did not get any alcoholic drink even though Hofbrauhas was possibly best known for its beer. In fact, I learnt that Hofbrauhas is the must-visit beer hall in Munich.

After dinner, I could not resist the temptation to treat myself to ice-cream. The ice-cream is delicious and much more value-for-money than those I could get in Singapore.


There was some time to explore the streets of Munich before heading back to the hotel. One of the mesmerising sights was the new town hall at Marienplatz. This building of Gothic Revival architecture looked magnificent. By the time when I was in Munich, I was possibly having over-stimulation of new experiences and was no longer taking information on the names of the buildings in Munich very well. Nevertheless, that did not stop me from admiring the beautiful architectural styles found in Munich.

New Town Hall. Marienplatz. Photo courtesy of Terence Low.

I felt grateful to be exploring a different part of the world, learning about different cultures and different ways of life. A mesmerizing evening it was.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Laksania, for Hearty Food made with Love



I had a memorable birthday treat to a delicious meal at Laksania a day before my birthday thanks to one of my very kind and generous friends, Belinda. We had an enjoyable dinner at one of the Laksania outlets located at Bugis+ at 201 Victoria Street.

It was my very first time dining at Laksania. What makes Laksania special is that it serves an innovative menu of dishes that are based on the flavourful herb that is commonly known in Singapore as the laksa leaf. I took a quick glance at the menu. Other than serving variants of laksa from South East Asia, Laksania also serves fusion dishes like Laksa Lasagna and Laksa Burgers at Laksania.



My friend and I ordered a regular bowl of Kelantan Laksa, a regular plate of Laksa Goreng and a serving of Chicken Satay (3 pcs) to share.

Kelantan Laksa.

The Kelantan Laksa is served with thick rice noodles and generous amounts of mackerel fish meat. For $4.90 for a regular serving of it, I think it was pretty reasonable priced considering that it is being served in a restaurant setting. As I ate it, I could tell that the food was made with care and love. The Kelantan laksa is not spicy and has a taste that is mildly gingerly with the fragrance of laksa leaf. Home-made fresh chilli paste was served on the side to compliment the Kelantan Laksa. I later learnt that the spices and herbs used at Laksania are free from preservatives. I am willing to come back for more Kelantan Laksa at Laksania in the near future. It is an interesting and novel alternative to the more common Singapore Laksa that we can more easily find in our tropical home-town of Singapore. I thought the Kelantan Laksa was pretty yummy and could be upgraded as one of the "Must Try!" items in the menu. Check this out if you prefer a mild yet novel type of laksa.


Laksa Goreng is one of the innovative dishes is served at Laksania. A plate of regular Laksa Goreng costs $4.90 excluding GST. My friend commented that it reminded her of the taste of Char Kway Teow. Then again, I beg to differ. This dish has a flavourful and distinctive laksa-leaf taste. In fact, it tasted like Singapore Laksa that is fried and served dried!

The menu suggested that the Chicken Satay is one of the "Must-Try!" dishes. It was priced at $4.20 for a serving of three pieces of satay. I was happy with it. I could not figure out yet what makes it so tasty. Could anyone care to enlighten please? Perhaps it was the way that the chicken meat was marinated with herbs which include the laksa leaf? The non-spicy yet flavoursome laksa cream sauce that was served on the side with the chicken satay made this dish completely delicious.


For our beverages, I ordered the hot lemon-grass tea ($3.00 per glass) while my friend ordered the iced lemon-grass tea ($3.50 per glass). Each sip of hot lemon-grass tea tasted heavenly. I learnt that the lemon-grass tea was freshly prepared using hand-pounded lemon-grass and pandan leaves. The hot lemon-grass tea is a hearty and healing beverage to consider when dining at Laksania.

In summary, I have enjoyed the dinner at Laksania that evening. I was left with the experience that Laksania is one of the places in Singapore to enjoy delicious and quality laksa in a restaurant setting. The food there is considered value-for-money.

Service was generally prompt and friendly. Although there was an occasion when the waiter brought a bill which was meant for another table to our table, he discovered the mistake promptly with our promptings, and gladly sent the bill to the right table subsequently.



Laksania offers a range of interesting food that could cater to people with specific dietary requirements. It is a halal-certified food establishment serving quality laksa and other dishes. For the vegans, Laksania serves the Vegetarian Laksa that is suitable for vegans.

I have a lot of respect for the team at Laksania who takes pride in serving hearty food made with love and service from the heart. What impressed me more is that Laksania is a social enterprise that aims to create opportunities to provide employment for people with disabilities and for people from marginalised groups. Employment enables the people to earn a living using their own efforts. I think employment also gives these people the sense of achievement and belongingness to the community.

The next time you are nearby a Laksania outlet and crave for laksa-leaf inspired dishes, consider the option of walking yourself into the outlet to enjoy the food. Your patronage will not only reward you with hearty food that is made with love and served with pride, it will support Laksania in fulfilling its social mission to help persons with disabilities to earn a living using their own efforts so that they can become financially self-reliant eventually. A win-win situation for all.

***
Laksania
http://www.laksania.com

Bugis+
201 Victoria Street
#04-04
Singapore 188067

JEM
50 Jurong Gateway Road
#03-09
Singapore 608549

Note:
Laksania is a halal-certified restaurant.
Other than dine-in, take-away is available for most of the food except the Laksa Hotpot.

***
Updates: Also read Catherine Ling's Laksania serves hope and fabulous laksa

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Read: Brene Bown's Daring Greatly



Title: Daring Greatly
Author: Brene Brown
Publisher: Gotham Books (2012)

A TEDX video led me to learn about the work of Brene Brown a few years ago. I learnt that she has spent years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame.

Daring Greatly is one of her recent books that I have read. A quote that resonated with Brene Brown eventually contributed to the naming of this new book. Here goes the quote by Teddy Roosevelt,

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
In this book, Brown explains how "vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief and disappointment and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation and creativity".

The concepts and ideas in this books stem from Brene Brown's research. Brown has written the book in an accessible fashion.

Admittedly, while I have found the book comforting, the concepts are rather overwhelming to comprehend through one single reading of the book.

The chapter on "The Vulnerability Armory" provided practical insights on the common shields used to protect oneself from vulnerability and insights to experience joy even in difficult times of sorrow. Brown shared three key lessons that she has learnt from the people whom she has spoken with:

1) Joy comes to us in moments - ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.
2) Be grateful for what you have.
3) Don't squander joy. Every time we allow ourselves to lean into joy and give in to those moments, we build resilience and we cultivate hope.

This is probably a book that is worth reading more than once. The concept of daring greatly, as best as I could gather from Brown's writings, is essential for us to connect with others and to live whole-heartedly. I was pretty surprised to realize that many major book-stores carry numerous copies of this book. Then again, perhaps her video on TEDX have moved many?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

11 Jul 2013: Hohensalzburg Fortress

The view from the fortress.



11 Jul 2013: The day to visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress. I learnt that a few of the orchestra mates had woken up early that day to hike up the fortress and enjoy the sunrise. The easier way to reach the fortress is to travel by the funicular railway.


Visitors to the fortress could join one of the walking tours with audio guide. I highly recommend it. It will take visitors to the interior area of the fortress, as well as the observation tower. The view from the observation tower is mesmerizing. The Marionette Museum is rather interesting and introduces visitors to the Marionette entertainment culture of Salzburg. The State Rooms in the fortress appear medieval in design.

At the Marionette Museum. Photo courtesy of Terence Low.


One of the exhibits in the Marionette Museum.

The view from the observation tower.
Musical instruments from the past in one of the rooms.

After exploring the fortress, there was some time to explore the nearby streets. Reflecting, I wish I had taken myself less seriously where observing time is concerned. While I would still like to observe punctuality, I learnt that I could be a bit more relaxed on sticking to it. That would have made life much kinder for myself and my friends around me.

Anyway, to ease me to a more relaxed mode, I took out my sketch book and did one of the very few sketches that I had done during the trip. It was done in about five minutes nearby Mozart's Birthplace.


After reaching the hotel after a day of sightseeing, it was time to travel to Munich by coach. We would be taking a flight from Munich to Dubai and then to Singapore on the following day.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

At the Mercure Salzburg Hotel

10 Jul 2013:

Thanks to the organizing committee, dinner was arranged for the orchestra at Mercure Salzburg Hotel on our first evening in Salzburg. The rationale was that most of the affordable eating places would have been closed by the early evening.

The dinner at Mercure Salzburg Hotel was a three course dinner with soup, the main course and a dessert. A combination for dinner together with the lovely company of the orchestra mates.





The following day, when it was time for breakfast, I felt grateful for a simple yet pretty delicious breakfast. Generally, I would consider my stay at Mercure Salzburg Hotel to be a positive and pleasant one.


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

10 Jul 2013: Mozart's birthplace and more of the evening



10 Jul 2013: Salzburg is a beautiful place. I love the mountains and the skies. I heard that it generally has a relatively wet weather. Thankfully, on our first day at Salzburg, the weather was generally good.





After a leisure stroll along the streets of Salzburg, my friends and I reached Mozart's Birthplace. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in the house at No. 9 Getreidegasse, Salzburg, on 27 Jan 1756. He lived there until 1773. I personally prefer the exhibits in Mozart's Birthplace to those in Mozart's Residence. As photography is not allowed in the exhibition halls, it is best to check the Mozart's Birthplace yourself to see why it is an interesting place. Please allow at least 1.5 hours for the visit.

By the way, during our visit to Mozart's Birthplace, we learnt that the SPAR Supermarket that was just adjacent to the Mozart's Birthplace sells Mirabel Chocolates at a cheaper price than those found in the souvenir shops.



Salzburg has lovely streets. The horses on the streets reminded me of a time in the history when motorised vehicles were not even invented.

St Peter's Abbey.


As my friends and I approached the St Peter's Abbey in Salzburg, we heard a choir singing, and two trumpeters accompanying the choir. Near the back of the church was a cemetery. The St Peter's Abbey is considered one of the oldest monasteries in the German-speaking area. I felt a sense of peace at St Peter's Abbey.



On our way back to the hotel for dinner, we came across a bakery. What caught my eyes were the bread that were shaped to look like musical instruments. Fascinating, aren't they?

The bakery. Photo courtesy of Terence Low.