Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Have So Much to Tell You


I don't even know where to start. I am back from Europe, but I'm not in Canada. I was, but only for a few days, to attend my Guelph convocation. Then I drove over the border to the U.S., where I currently am...

I guess I should start with Europe. I'll try not to bore you with details, but I'd feel strange neglecting to mention anything about it. I'll try and make it food relevant. Here goes…

Michelle and I flew out of Montreal on May 1st, arriving in Amsterdam on May 2nd. We spent about 2 weeks in and around Amsterdam, visiting Maastricht and Castricuum for a couple of days. Although Amsterdam's night life didn't really appeal to me, it's strawberries and outdoor food markets did.

If anyone knows what kind of strawberries are most common in the Netherlands in the month of May, please tell me, because they are the best strawberries I've ever had. Their colour and size are different from the ones I am used to - they were orangey-red, shiny, and small - which prevented Michelle and I from trying them earlier in the trip. A chance meeting occurred when we were being cheap and they were on sale…I ate some everyday until we left.

We headed to Barcelona next, spending two weeks there. The pickpockets and beer men didn't really impress me...

but the architecture, numerous food markets and endless supply of the most delicious fruit did. I got to try fresh Medjool dates, something I had been wanting to try some for a while, but thought my only option was going to be ordering some online. Maybe it's just because it's what I'm used to, but I like the dried dates better. I also ate tons of raw almonds and red peppers, but I'm afraid we never did bring ourselves to try Paella or Tapas…

I could probably devote an entire blog post just to Gaudi, but not only is he not really relevant to baking, but my pictures are pretty useless at capturing his work. I was demoted back to my Fujifilm point and shoot for this trip, and probably for all of my upcoming blog posts, but Google image him and his work-it's amazing. The entire trip I was longing for a nice camera to capture it all.

Our last country was France. We took a 15 hours bus ride to Nice and spent 6 nights there. I love everything about Nice—being able to understand the language, the fruit, vegetable and flower market, the antique market, the buildings, the colours, the people, and especially the beaches and 1 euro trips to places like Cannes, Cap D'Ail and Monaco.

Nice was beautiful and wonderful and the perfect place to end our trip…the only problem was, we didn't finish our trip there. Our cheap Ryanair flight was out of Marseille, so we decided we might as well spend some time there too.

Unfortunately, as we were traveling and talking to people, we learned Marseille is best known as a dodgy and dangerous city…especially for girls. On our first day there, a man approached us and offered his home to us for the duration of our trip. Instead we stayed here...

Despite the bad first impression, Marseille really grew on me. The hostel pictured above ended up being one of my favourites. The huge outdoor market we would visit to get our daily rations also made me love Marseille-a man even gave us free bananas once.

We spent a lot of time not actually in the city, and one visit to Les Calanques made all the dirty, old men's comments worth it. The beach was probably the most beautiful place I have ever been.

We flew back to the Netherlands on June 11th, and I trained to Amsterdam to catch my flight home the next day. James and my family met me at the airport, and shortly after I was driving to Guelph for convocation. To celebrate my graduation, we were supposed to have dinner at WOW…upon arrival, I discovered it was temporarily closed…though temporary seems to be subjective. Broken hearted, I attended my ceremonies and drove to a small town in New York with James...but I think I'll leave that for another post...coming soon, I swear.


  1. They are probably wild strawberries! The big strawberries you normally buy in the store are not naturally occurring in nature. They are a cross between south american strawberries which are big and north american which are sweeter and have a nicer taste. You probably had the latter. We used to grow them in our garden!

  2. Haha oops… "naturally occurring in nature"… I JUST WOKE UP

  3. What amazing adventures you have had! That beach looks the best!


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