I like to be a food tourist, which usually means looking for foods that are traditional to the place I’m visiting.

After three days in Ghent, I decided on Plan B. (That’s B for Belgium.)

Yesterday was Italian food, and it was maybe the best lasagna I ever had. Today I went Kosher. I went to Spotted by Locals and the first listing was for Hoffy’s Yiddish Restaurant down in the Diamond District, about a 15-minute walk. Well suffice it to say, Hoffy’s did not disappoint.
Continue reading “Keeping Kosher”

Today was good.

It might actually have nothing to do with getting a full six hours of sleep last night,  but that certainly didn’t hurt.  (And six hours sleep is close to normal for me. Even so,  I had a nice nap this evening before going out for dinner.)

It was overcast and drizzly and not as warm today,  so that might have helped.  Today was the first day so far I didn’t need a shower after a day of sightseeing.

But today was good mostly because the stuff I did today was good.
Continue reading “Everything’s better after a good night’s sleep”

I made a day trip to Bruges today. It was very nice. But I liked the movie better.

There was nothing wrong with Bruges.  It’s exactly what it’s supposed to be: postcard pretty,  cobblestoned,  with charming bridges crossing charming canals, and with all kinds of shops that are expert at appealing to the throngs of tourists.
Continue reading “The movie was better”

… but getting where you’re going is nice.

Consider this: Yesterday, noon, I walked to the bus stop, got on the bus, rode to the light rail station, took the light rail to the airport, walked to the terminal, went through security, walked to the shuttle train to take me to the south satellite, got on the plane, sat there for 7-odd hours while we flew, got off the plane, walked a lot more, went through passport control, walked a lot more after that, waited a while longer, got on another plane, sat there for almost 4 hours while we flew, got off the plane, walked a lot more, got on another train, rode for a bit, got off the train, walked some more, tried about half a dozen lockers before I found one that worked, stowed my luggage, and walked a lot more. Then went back to the train station, got my luggage out of the locker, got on another train, rode for an hour, got off the train, walked some more, got on a tram, rode a while, got off the tram, walked some more, finally arrived at the place where I’m staying the next three nights. And in between all the walking and riding and sitting there were stairs and escalators and more stairs and more escalators.

Let’s just say traveling sucks.
Continue reading “Traveling is not so fun…”

Yes, Beltherway (for BELgium, neTHERlands, norWAY). Thanks to Troy Aker for the brilliant portmanteau.

This past weekend I went up to Rick Steves’ Travel Center in Edmonds for a trip consult with Lisa, and with her help I was able to firm up my itinerary, and I’ve finished booking all my accommodations, mostly through Airbnb.
Continue reading “My Beltherway Itinerary”

I don’t know what to call this trip. My last three trips to Europe were easier: Italy, my Nordic Adventure, and the Balkans. But what do I call this trip?

I was thinking “Northern Europe,” but that doesn’t feel nearly specific enough. Do I just call it “Belgium, Netherlands, and Norway”? It doesn’t exactly come trippingly off the tongue.

I need help coming up with a good, succinct name for this trip that describes where I’m going.
Continue reading “Name the Trip”

I’ve been back from my last trip just about three months, and I’m itching to start planning the next trip.

Since my last trip was mostly by car and covered a lot of different destinations, I am leaning toward something different: a handful of cities that are easily accessible by train and where I can spend plenty of time getting acclimated and feeling like a temporary resident.

So here are the three options I’m most strongly considering:

  1. The Netherlands, Belgium, and eastern France
  2. Eastern Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland
  3. Spain and Portugal

These are all places I’ve never been and am eager to see. I’m leaning toward the first one, because I think it most fits the goal. #2 and #3 both cover more distance and both have more things in between the primary destinations.
Continue reading “Next #1: The Netherlands, Belgium, and eastern France”