Friday 3 October 2014

Studenica Monastery, one of four UNESCO Heritage Sites in Serbia

It is staggering to see how many Orthodox monasteries there are in Serbia.  Except for one or two modern structures, these monasteries all originated from the Middle Ages, built roughly from 12th century to 16th century. 

It is said that Christianity was spread to Serbia around the 4th century.  The most important monastery standing now is the Studenica (pronounced as Stu-den-ni-tcha), some 200km south of Belgrade, the capital.  Only part of the route is covered by the highway network; most of it winds about small towns and villages, and mountain gorges.  My advice is to

Oyster farm in Morlaix, Brittany, Northwest France

Brittany is well-known for its seafood, particularly Creuse oysters.  Creuses from the northern coast is exported all over the world, and could fetch handsome prices in select supermarkets and restaurants.  Are they worth the price you pay? - or are you simply paying middlemen? 

The famous oyster farms are located in Cancale, about 70km north of Rennes, the capital of Brittany.  It is a great place not just for the regular Creuse - I will get to that in another post.  However, in recent years, it has become a bustling tourist town, so I head out in search for more hidden spots along the

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Bulnes, one of the remotest villages in Europe

Here's another suggestion for your next Spanish vacation: the province of Asturias.  After you've had enough seafood and beaches along the Mediterranean Sea or the Bay of Biscay, the breathtaking Asturian mountains will surely give you a whole new perspective of Spain. 

Almost parallel to the coastline of northern Spain is the mountain ranges of Naranjo de Bulnes (the Orange of Bulnes).  No idea why it alludes to orange as neither the colour nor the fruit is seen in the mountains, but Bulnes must be one of the most extraordinary destinations for tourists.

Several superlatives must be mentioned: Bulnes is one of the most remote villages in Europe, and it can now be reached by

Editorial Boileau - one of the greatest Spanish music publishers of all time

Editorial Boileau, or affectionately known simply as Boileau, has been and is still one of the most well-known and important music publishers in the world.  Based in Barcelona, it champions the publishing of Spanish music over the last 100 years. 

Pianists and musicians will not be foreign to its books with the signature light beige cover.  It is also one of the most easily readable and durable scores I have come across.  I have amassed a collection of its earlier publications as well as newer ones.  This past July, as an incentive to some