Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Vegan MoFo is a month (this year, October!) dedicated to blogging about vegan food. Bloggers are asked to post at least 5 times a week but some post more, some post less. The point of the the whole event is to bombard the internets with delicious vegan food and just how much variety this lifestyle holds.
This will be my third year of participating in Vegan Mofo! I will definitely post at least 5 days a week but I am determined to post every. single. day. My theme? Each week will be dedicated to a different country that we've visited and its cuisine. I will veganize and/or make already established vegan recipes from each nationality. I figure since I can't fly away last minute, spending a lot of time in the kitchen will be more practical.
The countries I've chosen are France, Italy, Germany, Scotland and Ireland. If you have any suggestions, please send them my way! I'm currently constructing an outline of my plan of attack.
Are you participating?
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
The next day, we made our way to Frankfurt. If Salzburg was Portland’s sister in weirdness, Frankfurt was Portland’s twin in looks.
Not only was Frankfurt hot, it was incredibly humid. Like I’ve mentioned, we don’t have a whole lot of humidity in the NW, so I was a little (a LOT) uncomfortable. I tried not to let it ruin our time there, but I will say I broke down and bought a 7 euro dress and shitty flip flops in desperation. The couple we met in Munich told us that Frankfurt was mostly good for shopping, and they weren’t lying! The malls (!) were huge. At one point we spotted a Columbia Sportswear store, PDX represent!
Our hostel was very close to the train station, but you had to walk through the Red Light district to get to it. The district is not nearly as safe as the one in Amsterdam. There were a lot of shady, angry men stalking around, keeping an eye on their “employees” and a severe lack of police. To get into our hostel, we had to be buzzed inside and then show our ID to the front desk, who would then buzz us into the stairwell. We felt very safe inside the hostel, but you kinda wonder what happened to put those security measures into place.
After dropping our stuff off, it was time to explore! Ok, and find food. We happened upon a Japanese place, where I filled up on the biggest, most delicious bowl of veggies, tofu and noodles. Believe it or not, you can get sick of pizza. But apparently, we don’t get sick of beer.
After our lunch we set out to explore. Frankfurt was a last minute addition to our trip, so we didn’t have an itinerary whatsoever. It turns out that the Women’s World Cup was taking place all over Germany and Frankfurt had an awesome viewing party going on at the waterfront.
We did manage to find the touristy historic quarter, where we were overcharged for beer and privy to the most awesome graffiti I have ever seen.
The rest of our time in Frankfurt was spent wandering through the various pub quarters, checking out a cute street of food carts, eating fantastic treats from a natural foods store and grimacing at the incredibly loud Americans staying at our hostel.
Our last day in Frankfurt was really our last day in Europe. We hopped the trains to Brussels, making a stop in windy Cologne along the way. We gawked at the ENORMOUS cathedral and drank some of the most delicious nectar I’ve ever had, Gaffel Kolsch. I asked our server where I could buy one of these delicate Kolsch glasses and he replied, “Oh, I see nothing,” and walked away. I managed to get it home without breaking it, but it barely lasted a month before I managed to knock it to the ground.
My next post will be a follow up on eating vegan in these beautiful cities and more of my thoughts on travel. I’ve had so much fun reliving our adventures and I hope that I’ve inspired somebody to get out there and explore our world!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I'm not the one to hype up the USA in any way or form, especially after how the country responded (war) but this video broke my heart. I feel it's a video that could only be made here. Despite the shit going on in the Middle East, we DO have heroes here at home, heroes that rushed in to those burning towers to save lives and for the most part lost their own. Heroes that didn't even think twice.
For that, I am eternally grateful.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Rothenberg is a gorgeous town that we likened to an adult Disneyland. The houses (actually, all the buildings) were built in the beautiful Bavarian style and the streets were small and cobbled. The wall that surrounds the city was bombed in World War II and has since been rebuilt and honors those that donated with plaques inscribed with their name and hometown.
We spent two nights in Rothenberg and, for the most part, it was peaceful. If you were to visit, be prepared to either shop or be bored out of your mind. The walking tours suggested take up only a small part of the day and there really isn’t a whole lot to do outside of that. There were a lot of student groups (which we found out why later) and older couples strolling through the streets. I’m pretty sure we were the youngest ones there that were NOT part of a group.
The morning after we arrived, we were lunching on pizza (surprise?) and heard what sounded like cannons going off. And then marching type music. We finished our lunch and went to investigate. There was a parade! We had no idea at the time, but Rothenberg was hosting music ambassadors from the US. We watched for a bit and then followed the parade route to find out there was a Volksfest happening outside the town wall.
Wandering through the Volkfest, we marveled at how similar it was to American fairs. Until we came to the beer garden.
Oh yes. A giant beer tent was set up, complete with German size steins and traditional music. We picked the most awesome of weekends to come to Rothenberg. We ended up visiting the beer garden twice that day as there really wasn’t much else to do in Rothenberg besides the Night Watchman tour, which we missed. We ended up wandering the walls the rest of the day and part of that night and took some pretty photos. I think I’m making it sound as if we were bored out of our minds, but I feel Rothenberg was the perfect town to stop and take a breath.