Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Rest of Our Euro Trip

I thought I would be writing a few more posts about the food during our Europe trip. We dined in quite a bit more after London, Amsterdam and Scandinavia to save money, and I ran out of steam a bit to take photos...or sometimes forgot to. I still can't believe all that travelling is over. I realized today that I have more places I want to visit than before we left. I wouldn't have imagined that I would be adding so many more places to the bucket list. I guess that's why I have always heard travelers talk about how addicting it can be. 

A very sad banana in Nîmes, France. My husband says "French bananas are so dramatic". 

We packed a small lunch and snacks and headed to the amazing Pont Du Gard in Nîmes. We jumped in the freezing cold water after walking around in the heat for an hour or so. It took my husband a long time to convince me to jump in, and rightfully so! I didn't expect the water to be so cold. Very refreshing...

We didn't get to see much of Nice, France since we came down with colds.We rested up and headed to Monaco for our last day, a 20 minute train ride from Nice. It was amazing to be in the richest country in the world and only spend 4 (on bread and the toilet). 

A quick stop in Geneva, the street and building art is beautiful! 

Ahh, my beloved Insalata Mista! I ordered this many times while we were in Italy. The tomatoes were of course amazing, and the salad was moderately filling thanks to the corn. This one we enjoyed at Napule é in Lake Como near the place we were staying. 

On a hike in the Cinque Terre, Italy we spotted tomatoes ready for the sun in someones back yard. I would have loved to taste these after they were done drying. I have had store bought sun-dried tomatoes, but I don't think that is quite the same. My mom used to make homemade canned pickles when I was a kid, so much better than any store bought jar. 

We had veggie pizza at Gusto Leo in Florence thanks to the recommendation by Vegan Backpacker. Apparently a lot of bread and pizza dough in the north of Italy contains strutto which is Italian for pig fat. So we had to do our research before hand and make sure to ask senza strutto (without pig fat). This pizza was delicious and we went back the next day to order take out. They made it in front of us in a massive stone oven and it bubbled away under the hot flames, still bubbling as they slid it in to it's take out box. That's fresh pizza! 

Some more sun-dried tomatoes, this time in a market in Venice. I am still not sure why I didn't buy any to snack on...

Our last city we visited was Vienna and we found two Vegan buffets. One was Yamm! (not pictured) and the other was Harvest The Vegetarian Bistrot. Harvest really stuck out in our minds, the food was fresh, flavorful, filling and the prices were very reasonable. 

The atmosphere was great and the servers were very informative and friendly. 

There were so many desserts to choose from. I went with a chocolate walnut cake, delicious. A great way to cap off our last day in Vienna. If you are ever visiting Vienna, we highly recommend Harvest The Vegetarian Bistrot.  

We flew home from London to Vancouver again with Virgin Atlantic Airlines and had the vegan meal for a second time. It consisted of salad, rice with mixed vegetables and a fruit cup. They also brought us two vegan snacks, one was a hot sandwich, the other was a cold sandwich. We were so impressed with the service and options with Virgin Atlantic and would definitely choose them for an international flight again. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

London, Amsterdam & Scandinavia

We started off our Euro trip with a short stay in England, staying with family in Stoke Poges near Heathrow Airport. Then we moved on to Amsterdam, Oslo, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Copenhagen. Since we visited so many places, I will break them up in to a few blog posts. 

We flew to London on Virgin Airlines, our first time ;) We were really impressed with the service, amenities and options for special diets. When booking the flight we were able to choose a Vegan meal. The main was a chickpea curry, it came with salad, a bread roll and fruit. They also brought us a vegan breakfast roll in the AM.  

Best cup of tea I have ever had, Earl Grey at Stokes Park in Stoke Poges. Our relatives took us for Cream Tea, it was such a beautiful setting and the weather was gorgeous. 

There is a golf course, exercise club, spa, gardens and a cemetery.  

We stumbled upon a restaurant called Le Pain Quotidien in Covent Garden in London. And we were blown away! The food was delicious and they labeled their Vegan options. My husband had an open faced bean, avocado and hummus sandwich. I had gazpacho and a big salad with lots of bread. The waiter was so kind and brought us more bread when we ran out. Definitely recommend! We didn't realize it was a chain until we got to Amsterdam. We would have gone again but we wanted to save some cash.. 

To spend on Sorbet! Above is raspberry and mango sorbet, enjoying it by a canal in Amsterdam. 

Another mango sorbet. Yum! 

We dined in a lot in Amsterdam to save money, plus there was also a great grocery store called Marqt with tons of options around the corner. It was by far the best grocery store we found in Europe. 

Oslo was probably the hardest place for us to find food and REALLY expensive! I bought a 6inch Veggie Patty sub and a water from Subway and it worked out to about $15 CDN, ouch. The grocery stores also didn't have much for our regular staples, we would have loved to find some canned beans to make sandwiches... So we got creative and used potatoes instead. 

And reused the expensive subway wrapper ;) 

After a long day exploring Oslo, including Vigeland Park, the Ski museum and the Opera House, we decided to treat ourselves to a vegetarian buffet. I was so glad we found Vega Food Fair so we didn't have to cook. There were a few vegan desserts. I got a slice of chocolate cake - wicked good! And then I took a  slice of carrot cake to go, also good...but the chocolate cake won by far. 

In Stockholm we went to another vegetarian buffet called Hermitage. The food was so fresh and comforting on a dreary day. 

Everything on the menu was vegan except for the lasagna. The mixed vegetables were my favorite, the spices were perfect. Highly recommend if you are in Stockholm! 

There weren't many options for lunch and dinner in Gothenburg, but the grocery store was well equipped. We decided to make pasta and went with this one because of the name. You don't have to be mature to make pasta :) 

I didn't take any food photos in Copenhagen since we ate pretty plain. But I'd rather pack a lunch and be able to enjoy a view like this one.