My Top 5 European Food Adventures

Pesto Pasta in Venice
This pasta blew my actual mind. We like to think our American-style Italian food is pretty spot-on, but not one Italian that I met on my travels knew what “Alfredo” pasta was.  So I tried an authentic Italian dish, cooked with the absolute minimum ingredients; just oils, pesto and spices. Simple and delicious. Tip: Even better with an italian Bellini, a drink based with Prosecco sparkling wine and peach nectar, which originated in Venice as well!

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Magnum Ice Cream Bar in Holland
Magnum Ice Cream is available at any convenience store in Canada, with a big price tag. The price tag isn’t any smaller in Holland, but the options are infinite! You pick your ice cream, you pick your coating, you pick your toppings! Whole strawberries, fudge drizzle, peanut butter. Anything!  It’s the magnum version of make-your-own fro yo. An amazing treat that you will definitely regret passing up.

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A Florentine Museum

My neck was sore from walking around, gawking at the ceiling art. And my eyes were tired from squinting and adjusting to the tiny intricate details and then huge murals stretching from floor to ceiling. Everywhere that you look, the art, history and beauty fills your head. I only wish I could have stayed in Italy for a while longer to let it all sink in.Ren-museum-florence-2

Snapshots from Prague, Czech Republic

Prague took me by surprise, it was stunning and old and filled with lovely architecture and statues and churches. I did enjoy my evening in Prague, and it may have been one of my favourite nights! We stopped in first at this stunning church (cathedral? basillica? I’m not sure.) But I do know that it was gorgeous. The stain glass windows alone were taller than my church at home. They stretched in themed colors from the floor to the ceiling. During our visit, the sun cut perfectly through a pink and purple window on the right of the church, casting these amazing little light shows on the right wall of the building. It was breathtaking.Germany-Czech-19

Then we had a little walking tour down around towards ‘old town’ and stopped at the John Lennon wall, I made sure to draw a little heart and peace sign on the way by. In old town, I got a tattoo (eep!) and that’s probably about when I fell in love with the city. On my way home from the tattoo parlour, I stopped with a traditional Czech crepe and watched a talented street performing group called the “streetles” play for a few hours on the cobblestone square. It was like a dream.

The rest of the time in Prague was really nice and relaxing. I met many people from all over the world here, and definitely took advantage of the cheap spending here. I definitely suggest you stop by if you’re on your way through Europe. Prague is a magical place!

Snapshots from Germany

I’m taking my time with the real photography, but I’ll start posting the good stuff soon. 
Berlin was a beautiful clash between new and old, since the city was basically flattened at one point, many things were rebuilt to look old, and some things were rebuilt to look modern and funky. The constant contrast was actually really nice, save the fact that there is still  so much construction that you can’t get a photo without a crane or construction worker in the frame.

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Snapshots from Holland (Edam & Amsterdam)

When we first arrived in Amsterdam, we jumped on a coach and headed for Edam, and adorable little town dotted with cheese shops and bakeries. The views were stunning, flat landscapes, blue skies and green meadows galore. The air even tasted fresher here : ) As a group, we all took a bike ride around the town, stopped to photograph a windmill and then headed back towards Amsterdam. On our way back, we stopped at clog-making shop and watched a demonstration. I had no idea a clog could be made in less than 10 minutes, but it can! Then we tasted some cheese (accompanied by some sips of wine) before heading back to the city.

In the city, we visited the “I amsterdam” sign, which was literally crawling with tourists. I ate the best waffle of my entire life just beyond the sign, it’s on my top-five European foods list. Me and a fellow Canadian traveler, Stella, went for a stroll through the streets of the Red Light District and then settled in to a cafe for some beers and “treats” for the evening. Amsterdam is a beautiful city and I’ll definitely be back!

10 countries later and I’m feeling blessed

I was pretty silly to think I’d be finding time to edit photos and post on my blog while traveling. I lost my camera adapter on the first day, and have barely had enough wifi to send a few emails, let alone update on WordPress. But here I am, sitting on a bus to Cashel, Ireland, with a quick update.

It’s been 22 days on the road now. I’ve hit 10 countries throughout Europe and I’m feeling truly blessed to have taken in all of these experiences, sights and history along the way. It feels as though I’ve shot through most of my bucket list, without having time to take a breath.

I indulged in the lovely Amsterdam cafes, walked above the bunker where Hitler died, touched the remains of the Berlin Wall, I sat on the streets of old town Prague listening to street performers while eating a proper Czech crepe. I got a tattoo across the world, I drank a stein at a four-hundred-year-old beer garden at Haufbrauhaus in Munich. I ate a mouthwatering pesto pasta in Venice while watching the gondolas float through the canals. I walked through the coliseum, the pantheon and visited a stunning Renaissance gallery in the old Medici house in Rome. Felt small beneath the Sistine chapel. Saw the pieta and the David. Walked the churches and gawked at art in the Vatican City. I ate proper Italian pizza on the streets of Florence, whilst being serenaded by talented Italian musicians. I took my shirt off at the top of one of the tallest mountains in the Swiss alps. Drank a beer under a waterfall above our Swiss chalet. Drank a bottle of (illegal) champaign under the Eiffel Tower light show in Paris. Kissed an Aussie. Visited the louvre. Conversed with locals in real authentic French. Drank a (few) Guinness in Dublin. Saw the great giants causeway, walked the carrek-a-rede rope bridge, and took in the beauty of Dunluce castle of Northern Ireland. Made new friends in each city. Got lost in each city. Found my way again. I cried at the beauty of it all, and laughed at my own misfortune. I found out more about myself, the world, and others, than I knew was possible.

And it’s not done yet : )