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Stranded in Narvik Because We Missed Our Bus

Sometimes, things don't go as we planned. And this happened during our journey from Sweden to Norway. 

Initially, we're planning to travel to Tromso, Norway by taking train from Abisko to Narvik and from there, continue by bus. Everything has been planned and booked prior to our trip. But what caused us to miss our bus? Not because we're late or overslept but because the train from Abisko to Narvik was delayed for hours. And the worst part, that's the one and only train runs per day. Therefore once we miss the train, directly we will miss the bus to Tromso too. 
Oh dear train! Where are you? 

Somehow, my friend and I were expecting this incident to occur cause it's pretty common, especially for those trains in outskirt area. After few hours of waiting, finally the train arrived but we felt pointless, cause by the time we reach Narvik, even the last bus has left and departed to Tromso. And that's mean we have no choice but to book a night stay in Narvik at the very last minute. Luckily for both of us, we do always standby with our debit/credit cards - you know in case of any unforeseen circumstances happened. 

Narvik, a city in northern Norway with a small population of about 14,000 

Overall, Narvik is proportionally small in size. There's nothing much for us to roaming around, except a shopping mall, Amfi Narvik which located right in the middle of the town. We're quite lucky that there are few accommodations available for booking on the spot cause Narvik is not well-known for tourism purposes. In case you have extra budget, you can consider staying at Scandic Narvik but my friend and I opt for the affordable one. 

Frankly speaking, this is not my first time of experiencing last minute booking an accommodation in certain city. That's why my friend was kinda surprised to see why I wasn't nervous at all and yet, I was pretty steady when we missed both the train and bus. For me, no point of feeling down and we need to immediately come out with a solution if anything happened. So once we missed our bus, instantly I browsed those booking apps like Agoda, Booking.com and Airbnb. Time waits for no one, you know. 

The one we booked in Narvik was fairly good, especially in terms of location where it's quite close to the bus station. The host was quite accommodate with our last minute booking but at the same time, she was shocked why we did so until we told her what happened to our unfortunate incidents. The property was spacious and consider big for just two of us. I think this place is perfectly fit up to 4 guests. The area I adore much is the kitchen as it's well-equipped with all sorts of appliances. Should grab this opportunity to do homecook but both of us were kinda exhausted. 

Queenstreet Apartment (Unfortunately they're permanently closed due to the pandemic)
Date Stayed: 14 September - 15 September 2016 (1 nights) 

The apartment was utterly cozy and homey while the weather at outside was gloomy and cold due to the rain poured down earlier making both of us lazy to go out. We spent most of our times staying inside the apartment - browsing Facebook and Instagram, transferring photos and planning what to do on the next day. 

Our lunch before departing to Tromso on the following day

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Northern Light Spotting in Abisko

What should I say?
"One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life."
"Another bucket list finally ticked off."

According to the most research I found, the best time to get catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights (or known as Aurora Borealis) is between December to March in the Artic Circle where the night time is longer than the daytime. Hence sighting this spectacle and bright dancing light of the aurora in the month of September, the chances are pretty low. On our first night in Abisko, the luck wasn't on our sight as we can't sight any of the Northern Light.  

Thankfully, we have decided to stay for another night and we met a Taiwanese who has been living in Abisko for few years. He works as a freelancer where he will bring a small group of tourists for Northern light sighting tour. The icing on the sugar, he only charge us €500 - that's like half of the price from what we expected to pay earlier. Too bad I didn't save his contact, or else I could share with you all here (sorry!).  

The tour began around 10pm and we are advised to wear more layers and layers. Besides us, there are few tourists who joined this mini tour; 3 ladies from Taiwan and a guy from Hong Kong. Our freelance tour guide drove us to somewhere out from the city, where it's pitch dark without any lights on the street. We're also given headlight each before reaching a point for us to set up the camera and wait for the northern light to appear. While waiting patiently, we're served with hot warm drinks and some light meals. 

The weather on that night it's freezing cold and all of us were shivering non-stop, until someone shouted that he/she spotted the Northern light. At that moment, all I can say is I was absolutely speechless, my jaw was dropping and I totally forgot how cold was I that night. Spectacular, amazing, mesmerising, beautiful, impressive, astonishing - gosh, countless of these words keep running in my head. I just can't believe that finally I got to witness them myself with my naked eye.   

Thanks Abisko for the unforgettable night, before packing our bags for the next destination on the following day.

Besides Abisko. there are few best places in the world are well-know for great northern light spotting such as Tromso (Norway), Reykjavik (Iceland), Rovaniemi (Finland), Ilulissat (Iceland) and more.  

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The Place I Check-In The Most

Kitchen, it's currently my favourite playground too.

Airplane meal prepared by yours truly. How I miss flying so much?

It's funny before the pandemic time, I don't really into cooking and the number of times I entered the kitchen, can be calculated using all my fingers. My dad used to ask me to go and learn from my mom in the kitchen but I refused to do so. So I guess, this pandemic has completely turned me to become a homecook which I have never expected to be. 

Most of the recipes I searched and learned, either from Google, Youtube, Facebook and even Instagram too. There are few I tried to figure it out on my own. Throughout the pandemic, I experimented all kind of different food, such as our local cuisines like nasi lemak, curry chicken, chicken rice and even other nation cuisines like Thai, Korean and Japanese cuisines. I even tried to bake cake and made desserts for the first time in my life.  

So, now let me show you my homecooked dishes: 

Local Cuisines 

Nasi Kuning and Ayam Masak Merah 

Nasi Lemak and Ayam Masak Merah 

Chicken Rice using my mom's recipe 

Claypot Chicken Rice but using rice cooker - Recipe by Rose from Rose's World

First time cooked curry chicken from scratch, not using instant curry paste and my dad said it's so good

Kolo Mee and Wonton Soup
The noodle bought from market and I mixed all the sauces myself and as for the wonton, I made the filling and wrapped myself.

Meehum Siam and Ayam Goreng Berempah 
Try to replicate the local eatery Nasi Lemak Bamboo

Steamed Cabbage Meat Roll - Recipe by Trendy Gourmet

Creamy Butter Prawn and Chicken
It's my husband's favourite

This is my signature dish - spring roll with curry potatoes as filling 

Japanese Cuisines 
This is my most favourite cuisine to cook with and I will cook like almost every week. Some are pretty simple like Katsu Curry and Oyakadon but there are some required lots of efforts to cook with. Majority of the ingredients I got them from Daiso and for some from Don Don Donki (Shopee)

Katsu Curry (Japanese Curry with Chicken Cutlet) and Tamagoyaki

Cooked for my family and my brothers love it

Teriyaki Chicken Don - using homemade teriyaki sauce

Curry Udon 

Oyakadon (Chicken and Egg Bowl)

Tamagoyaki - this need to practice more

Japanese Night with Gyoza and Edamame 

Ebi Furai (Panko Shrimp) 

Thai Cuisines
Besides Japanese food, I do love Thai food too. Hence, I tried to cook few of Thai cuisines such as Pandan Chicken, Tom Yam Gung and Pineapple Rice. Thai cuisines are indeed required lots of ingredients.  

Korean Cuisines

Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Korean Fried Chicken)
Prefer to use boneless chicken

Budae Jjigae 
Korean Army Stew with instant ramen noodle, kimchi, sliced sausages, canned ham, soft beancurd, chicken, cheese and Korean red chilli paste.   


Cheese Baked Chicken Rice 

Orange Chicken
Inspired from Panda Express, an American fast food restaurant chain 

Hawaii Garlic Shrimp
Inspired from our trip to Hawaii last year

Chicken Chop Mushroom Sauce with Homemade Potato Wedges

The only time I able to prepare and cook breakfast is on weekend and public holiday, cause that's the time where I don't have to go to work.

Hearty breakfast for just the two of us. Bread, egg and baked beans are must.

Bread Omelette - Stumbled upon this from Facebook 

Burrito with Mission Wraps
I came across these mission wraps last year MCO 1.0 and since ever then, I restock like almost every week. I even introduced to my mom and my brothers and they started to love it and we will have burritos for breakfast like once a week. 

Another dish using Mission wraps where I filled with cooked minced meat and cheese

Because I don't have an oven at my own place, therefore I hardly bake any cakes or bread. I tried to make simple desserts such as jelly, creamy mango pomelo desserts as the following: 

All about mangoes 

Mango Coconut Jelly Cube

Creamy mango, pomelo and dragonfruit dessert (left)
Creamy avocado dessert (right)

Creamy dragonfruit mixed with nuts and pomelo 

Banana cake - I baked this twice but I still not satisfied with it. Baked at my parent's place

Please forgive me for the lengthy post with overloaded photos. Actually I have more to share with you all but I think that should be sufficient now. Of course I don't cook like every single day - it's pretty exhausted you know, from preparing to cooking and even cleaning all the dishes. Sometimes I do take a break by ordering takeaway food. 

So anyone of you here enjoy cooking at home like I do? Do you have any homecook recipes to share with me? I really love to learn more of new recipes. 
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