Monday, August 30, 2010

Europe how I love thee

We are in Germany for 12 days. Patrick's parents are living in Germany right now so we thought we better take a trip and visit them. We got here on Friday after flying forever and sleeping very little, London slept only 3 hours and I slept only about an hour. We stayed up and just relaxed until 6:30 and then crashed our first night. We then drove to the Netherlands where we visited Amsterdam, Voldendam and Edam. Such an adorable area. I loved all the houses, the manicured gardens, flowers and the countryside. We got to eat some gouda cheese and see how wooden clog shoes are made. I ate some really yummy soup but forgot to take a picture of it. I am going to try to re-create it when I get home. It had leeks, kale, noodles and carrots in it. Very tasty and very warm seeing that it was raining, windy and cold that day.

A few great things I've loved seeing while here have been the cows. Lots of cows grazing in the grass. I love this, seeing cows in their environment. Eating fresh green grass, and I really mean green. The grass is so green it is vibrant.

Germany has been trying to reduce their energy costs and go a little greener and so all through the countryside you see windmills. Sometimes 10 in an area. They look neat against the country backdrop. They are huge and almost always moving.

Amsterdam is known for their bike riding. It is said that there are more bikes than people in the Netherlands. There are bike paths all over the place and bike parking garages. How cool is that?! Everywhere you looked there were people riding bikes I even saw kids in the little seats on the bikes. I wanted to rent bikes but there wasn't enough time. Next time I hope.

The last thing is something I've only seen once and it was so cool. A solar farm. I have heard of these but not seen them. It is a farm field, like a field that would grow corn, but instead in neat rows are solar panels. It was amazing, and sadly I did not get a picture. :( We were driving north and I was just seeing it when I realized I should take a picture and then it was gone. What an amazing aspect to this country. They are trying so hard to meet the energy need of their country by using solar and wind energy, something I think the United States should definitely try harder at.

Today we took a little trip to Strasbourg France.

I love France. I have to say it is one of my favorite places. The architecture, language and of course the pastries. Oh the pastries. We went to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame, not the Notre Dame in Paris, a smaller one but very beautiful. It is Gothic and impressive. When we got there we were hungry and needed to use the bathroom. We looked for a cafe, mind you it was raining and cold and windy again, and we found a little ice cream shop, a glacier, that had some panini's for a good price. We sat down and ate. Mine was a mozerella, tomato and pesto panini that was very good.

I got to practice my french, merci, and use the restroom. :) We then crossed the street and what was staring me in the face? A raspberry tart. I don't mean any raspberry tart but a beautiful, shiny, yummy, made in France raspberry tart. I had to have it. We went in and bought some treats and it was orgasmic. This tart put all others that I have had in a long time to shame. (We are going to Paris in a couple days so I might have another that will be better but until then this is the best.) It not only had the custard but a layer of chocolate, which I didn't know was there until I bit into it. Oh my goodness. The raspberries were tender and juicy and sweet. The crust perfect. Even though I was walking in the rain, wind and cold I was in heaven. (I never thought that could happen all at once seeing that I am a sun, light breeze and warm kind of girl but it did.)

I hope you are tasting vicariously through my blog today because if you are, you are smiling.


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