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The Most Romantic Place in Budapest: Vajdahunyad Castle

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Blog, Budapest, Hungary, Wizard Movies | 6 comments

The Most Romantic Place in Budapest: Vajdahunyad Castle

People associate Europe with romance. The beauty of walking ancient, narrow streets, driving twisty roads surrounded by spectacular cliffs and sailing rivers dotted with colorful towns fill our hearts with a unique kind of warmth.  We get compelled to share those mesmerizing places with our soul mates. And, since we are talking about romance, I have to mention the most romantic features in Europe: castles! Even though many of these structures were built for defensive purposes, people associate them with love stories between knights and ladies, princesses and servants or masters and slaves. While in Budapest, I got confirmation about the castles and romance relationship.  As part of our bike tour around the city, we stopped by Vajdahunyad Castle. There were about six parties taking wedding pictures.  It was difficult to walk around without photo bombing their carefully arranged poses. Grooms and brides aside, we became captivated by this place.  We were not expecting such a grandiose structure to pop in an urban area.  There were turrets, gates, moss covered walls and lots of flowers.  There was a combination of several elements that work well towards creating certain aesthetic that your eye wants to keep watching. Vajdahunyad Castle was built in Budapest’s City Park as part of the millennial exhibition which celebrated the 1,000 years of Hungary since the conquest of the Carpathian basin in 895. The castle was designed to feature copies of several landmark buildings from different parts the Kingdom of Hungary, especially the Hunyad Castle in Transylvania (the country lost the area after World War 1). As the castle contains parts of buildings from various time periods, it displays different architectural styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque. Originally, it was made from cardboard and wood, but it became so popular that it was rebuilt from stone and brick between 1904 and 1908. Today, it houses the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture, the biggest agricultural museum in Europe. The same day we took the bike tour, we returned to the castle when the sun was setting. The change in light made the entire place even more loving. This was not a product of my imagination. Many couples were holding hands while walking the forested grounds. We succumbed to the peer pressure and shared a kiss or two while walking around.  I am telling you, these places are an invitation to romance in all the sense of the word! Details To get to the Vajdahunyad Castle, take the Millennium metro line from the city center. Get down at Heroes Square and walk right when you find yourself in front of the big monuments (there are signs pointing the right way) A visit to the castle can be combined with other attractions located in the City Park. Make sure to stop by the Szechenyi Bath (you can take a peek inside even if you are not getting in). Have you visited the Vajdahunyad Castle?  What is the most romantic place you have been? Pin it for later? ___ This post is part of Monday Escapes at Extraordinary Chaos,  Our World Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday at Image-in-ing, City Tripping at Mummy Travels, Wanderful Wednesday at What a Wonderful World, Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox ,  Faraway Files at Oregon Girl Around the World, Photo Friday at Pierced Wonderings,  Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond  and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and a Southerner. Pay a...

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Photo Essay: Latin Food Fest Santa Monica

Posted by on Mar 25, 2017 in Blog, California, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, USA, Wizard Movies | 0 comments

Photo Essay: Latin Food Fest Santa Monica

Another weekend, another great opportunity to try great dishes! The Latin Food Fest season kicked off this weekend with a celebration adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier.  Attendants had the opportunity to eat, drink, watch demos and mingle with acclaimed chefs while meters away from the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. This is my fifth year attending one of the festivals (how that happened?).  In particular, I stopped by The Gran Tasting, an all-you-can-eat, one-price journey thru Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Spain. More than 50 local restaurants offered delicious, small-sized dishes to attendants. The 2017 Latin Food Fest, Los Angeles (Santa Monica) included other events such as “Chefs Night Out,”, “Mercado,” and “Latin Supperclub.” Enough talking! It is time to take a look at the glorious food we had the opportunity to taste. Grilled meat and chicken served with farofa – Fogo da Chao Taquitos con mole negro – El Nopal Oaxacan Restaurant Gringa – El Nopal Oaxacan Restaurant Taquito with fiery salsa Sonora dog – Pocho’s Tacos Carnitas torta – Pocho’s Tacos Poke infused with Latin flavors – The Poke Shack Ensalada (means salad in Spanish but it is a Salvadoran beverage consisting of pineapple or passion fruit juice and pieces of fruit and herbs) – Los Molcajes Pupusa revuelta (mixed pupusa), yuca con chicharron (cassava with pork rinds) y empanada (mashed sweet plantains filled with vanilla custard) – Los Molcajes Carnitas taco – Northgate Market Marlin taco – Coni’s Seafood Ceviche tostada – Coni’s Seafood Horchata cupcake – Viva los Cupcakes Squash taco – Mas Malo Smoked Gouda and mozzarella empanada with pepper jelly – Soca Chef Scallop aguachile Tres leches, coconut kiss and sweet empanada Barbacoa tacos – Aqui es Texcoco Ropa vieja (stewed shredded beef), coconut rice and fried sweet plantain Jamon Iberico Pata Negra – Master Carver Pedro Liebana Lucuma (Peruvian fruit) ice cream – Pops Organic apple sauce – North Coast Bush’s Beans Naked Juice Coconut Water – Obrigado Assortment of chips – Rise Buddy Basmati rice with pineapple and raisins – Mahatma Tacos al pastor – Big Green Egg Other photos Group Mestizo was in charge of the live music (tropical rhythms, of course) And, what better way to finish the day by strolling along the Santa Monica Pier (only a few steps from the festival location) Details Find more information about the event: http://latinfoodfest.com/ I suggest signing for the event’s newsletter. In that way, you can keep up with the latest news, discounts and last minute additions to the lineups. Upcoming Events San Diego – August 18-19, 2017 Orange County – November 10-11, 2017 Have you attended the Latin Food Fest? What would you like to...

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Meet the Celebrity Edge

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Blog, Wizard Movies | 10 comments

Meet the Celebrity Edge

Every year (maybe every month), the cruise industry introduces new features. We hear news about bigger ships, menus created by legendary chefs and Broadway shows presented on board.  You can even zip line while in the middle of the ocean! And talking about innovation on the industry, this week Celebrity Cruises revealed their new ship, Celebrity Edge. Now, since the company wants to stay true to its Modern Luxury style, it put together a design and architectural dream team (Kelly Hoppen, Tom Wright, Nate Berkus) in order to create something that is going to transform and disrupt the industry. I was invited to the ship’s reveal and was able to tour the space thanks to 3-D technology.  Here are some of the breakthrough features of the ship. Magic Carpet This was everybody’s favorite! Think about a tennis court size pod attached to one side of the ship. Now, imagine that pod moving through the 16 decks during the day and night.  That sounds incredible! During the day, the magic carpet will serve as an expansion to the pool area or as an embarkation station.  During the evenings, it will be converted to a specialty restaurant. Larger Rooms with Infinite Verandas We hear about bigger staterooms all the time but Celebrity came with an innovative idea to create a closer connection to the ocean. Once inside your room (regardless of level), you would feel like you are next to the water.  Plus, everything in the space is controlled with the touch of a button (shades, lighting, temperature, service, etc.) Villas with Private Pool These 951 sq. ft villas will feature outward facing views, private plunge pools and access to a reserved area for villa guests. The Retreat This sundeck with lounge area, pool and bar brings the high-end resort concept to sea.  Guests can relax in hanging chairs and cabanas while enjoying 240-degree panoramic views. In addition, The Retreat will count with a restaurant called Luminae.  This place will be crafted by Michellin-starred Chef Cornelius Gallagher. The Resort Deck This includes a lap pool, martini glass-shapes hot tubs (suspended in the air) and an elevated jogging track. The Rooftop Garden is located in this area too (a real garden tended daily by horticulturists). Details The Celebrity Edge will make its inaugural trip on December 2018.  Bookings are now open at www.celebritycruises.com/edge The ship will be doing 7-night itineraries (Eastern and Western Caribbean). Would you like to experience this ship? Many thanks to Celebrity Cruises for inviting me to Celebrity Edge’s reveal on West Hollywood. All photos are property of Celebrity...

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Where to Find the Best Street Art in Manhattan

Posted by on Mar 12, 2017 in Blog, New York, USA, Wizard Movies | 108 comments

Where to Find the Best Street Art in Manhattan

Terms such as “wall wanderings,” “wall crawls,” and “mural hunting” have invaded our vocabulary. Since creative types started to use street art as a revitalization tool for once derelict neighborhoods, an interest to capture these colorful expressions have sweep the nation (maybe the world). Hundreds of Instagram accounts have been dedicated to wall and murals.  The news about the latest finds are spread with hashtags such as #walltraveled, #wallcharades and #ihaveathingforwalls. If we use the number of followers of these accounts as an indicator, we can say these artistic expressions are received with great enthusiasm. I am one of those who have been swept by this trend. Over the past year, I have found myself more interested in finding spots with great street art.  Hey, I am not the most athletic or fit person in the world. Therefore, doing a walking tour, with the purpose of finding murals, kills two birds with the same stone. For a long time, I have known New York City is a paradise for those who are into walls.  Even with two weeks in the city, I didn’t find the time to book a tour.  But, I was determined to return home with some nice pictures. One afternoon, after finishing a food tour of the East Village, I decided to go for an impromptu wall crawl since I had a bit more than an hour of sunlight. Here are my simple instructions to find the best street art in Manhattan. East Village This is one of the hippest and coolest neighborhoods of Manhattan.  Get prepared to find eateries serving delicious and multi-ethnical food. I found great art along 1st Avenue and East Houston Street. In the area, I found lot of works by an artist called Hek Tad, a native of The Bronx.  He is well known by a series of works denominated Love Drunk. His use of color gets my whole attention! Another famous artist represented in the area is James Goldcrown.  His colorful hearts can be seen all over New York and Los Angeles and other places like Chicago and Austin.  Not sure if there is a pattern somewhere but the use of hearts is prominent in Manhattan. Along Houston Street, there is a place called First Street Green Cultural Park.  Since 2008, a derelict building lot at 33 East 1st Street has been converted into an open art space serving the community.  Today, First Street Green provides ongoing cultural activity in First Park by engaging with emerging artists, architects, community and cultural groups through a series of programs that activate this public space. The art in here has a lot of substance.  By looking at the murals, you start to think about causes such as human rights, political corruption and poverty. SOHO and NOLITA It is not simple to determine where one neighborhood in Manhattan starts and where another one ends.  For example, some consider NOLITA (North of Little Italy) part of SOHO (South of Houston) but other considers it a different entity. Even if you are confused by all this terminology, pay a visit to SOHO.  It has some of the most beautiful and unique (Cast Iron) architecture in the borough.  Plus, of course, it has some of the best street art in Manhattan (by the way, Manhattan is an...

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Red Rock Canyon: Unique Park in California

Posted by on Mar 5, 2017 in Blog, California, Eastern Sierra, USA, Wizard Movies | 95 comments

Red Rock Canyon: Unique Park in California

The American West, or to be more specific, the Colorado Plateau, is renowned worldwide because of its reddish landscapes and mind bending formations. The best representation of the area’s aesthetic is located in Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.  Many dream of visiting places like Zion, Bryce, Arches, Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde. But, what about California?  Is that state associated with red rocks?  To be honest, it is not.  But, since I love to add a magic twist to everything, I would say it is not associated with red rocks but we do have areas with red rocks. In a remote area of the Mojave Desert, where the Sierra Nevada converges with the El Paso Mountains, cliffs, buttes and rock formations rise from the arid floor.  A lot of the rocks in the area have red tones due to a high concentration of iron.  That is why 27,000 acres of terrain have been designated as the Red Rock Canyon State Park. This place is located about 120 miles from Los Angeles and 80 miles from Bakersfield (it is closer to the cities in the Antelope Valley area).  As you can see, a considerable amount of time will be involved in reaching the place from a big city.  In addition, the paved areas can be toured by car in about an hour.  So, it is not necessarily day trip material. However, if you are driving from Los Angeles to cities located along the US-395 (Mammoth Mountain, for example), a stop in this park is worth your time.  The same goes for people who like camping and riding off-road vehicles. As a matter of fact, that is what happened to us.  We were driving home back from Bishop and we decided to stop. The red, pink and green rocks of Red Rock Canyon can be seen from the freeway.  Once you enter, red and white cliffs will welcome you.  There is no fee to walk along the paved road or the Hagen Canyon Trail.  In my opinion, this is the most scenic part of the park. It is easy to see why.  Just look how those rocks! The most famous formation in the park is called Turban Rock.  Can you see it? Maybe a little bit of imagination is needed (but it is pretty obvious to me). Once you get back on the road, you can continue to the Ricardo Campground.  Now, a fee is charge to enter this day use area (or you can pay to camp).  The road in here was built to connect the campgrounds but you can drive it to see the formations. My advice is not to pay the fee since the free area is way more scenic than this part.  Now, paying the fee will make sense if you are some kind of travel junkie that wants to see everything (that would be me), a geology lover or a person that is willing to hike around.  In that case, head to the ranger station located inside the campground and ask for hiking recommendations. On the other side of the road, across the park’s main entrance, there is another series of formation called Red Cliffs.  You can stop for free in here. As you may have noticed, I was able to see only a small...

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Champagne: 9 Reasons to Visit this Region in France

Posted by on Feb 26, 2017 in Blog, Wizard Movies | 120 comments

Champagne: 9 Reasons to Visit this Region in France

This week, I had the unique opportunity to attend the Nuit de Champagne which took place at the Residence of France in Beverly Hills. Events like these, which are held in several cities around the United States, are organized to spread a simple but powerful message.  French Champagne is the only authentic Champagne.  In addition, this drink, produced with ancient methods, is associated with luxury, exclusivity and beauty. These events are celebrated in key cities of the United States in order to promote France’s excellence and the friendship between the two countries. Attendees participated of a presentation highlighting the best of the Champagne-Ardenne region, a reception where champagne, hot appetizers and desserts were served and an electrifying demonstration by the Order of the Golden Saber. The event I was able to attend was delightful from beginning to end.  I ended learning quite a lot about an area of France that is sometimes overlooked by more popular destinations in the country.  I figured you would be interested in taking a glimpse into this place.  After all, I can’t think about a travel and food lover who would not be interested in learning more about Champagne. Here, in my own words, are 9 reasons why you should consider visiting the Champagne-Ardenne region. The Champagne region is located close to Paris Reims (the gateway of Champagne) is located 45 minutes from Paris and 30 minutes from Charles de Gaulle Airport by high speed train (TGV).  Because of that, the area is an easy day trip from Paris (but more time in the area is advised). A visit to the region is even possible if you are visiting Paris by ship.  Cruise companies like Celebrity stay in port two nights to allow guests maximize their time in the French capital and surrounding areas. Champagne is a UNESCO World Heritage Site In 2015, the hillsides, houses and cellars of Champagne were awarded the World Heritage distinction for its outstanding universal value. UNESCO recognizes the intricate details needed to achieve an excellent product and the structured system used to take an artisan crop to a mass production sold around the world (without losing its essence).   In summary, nothing is ordinary in Champagne. Reims is a UNESCO World Heritage Site One UNESCO Heritage site is not enough.  Not in a region like Champagne.  Several buildings in Reims, the largest city by population, were declared World Heritage Sites in 1991. The Notre-Dame Cathedral was the coronation site of the kings of France for more than 800 years.  The Abbey of Saint-Remi and the Palace of Tau are considered architectural gems too. Moreover, Reims has Roman ruins and has been declared a City of Arts and History by the French government. Incredible Gastronomy in Reims I think I do not have to emphasize this point but, just in case, let me remind you some of the most famous Champagne houses are located within city limits.  While in town, make plans to visit Taittinger, MUMM, Lanson, Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot, G.H. Martel and many more. The most exciting thing is that visitors are allowed to tour the cellars, some of which are located in Roman stone quarries, and others which were excavated in the 13th century by Benedictine monks. Isn’t that amazing? Food takes a central place in the region too.  Place...

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Danube Bend: Day Trip from Budapest

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017 in Blog, Budapest, Hungary, Szentendre, Wizard Movies | 104 comments

Danube Bend: Day Trip from Budapest

I feel the best when I am surrounded by bodies of water.  Lakes, rivers and beaches make me happy. This has to do a lot with me being raised in Puerto Rico.  Most of our outings were related to water.  Think tropical rainforests full of waterfalls, fishing excursions to thunderous rivers and lazy days in front of turquoise colored waters. In order to continue my water related adventures, I decided to book an excursion around the Danube Bend when I visited Budapest. The Danube has its origins in Germany’s Black Forest.  For hundreds of miles, it moves from west to east.  Close to the border of Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, the river takes a sharp turn and starts to flow north to south.  The area‘s towns and resorts constitute a beloved recreational destination for Hungarians. Here are some of the towns and sights that can be discovered on a daytrip from Budapest. Esztergom Esztergom is a place that occupies a special place in the heart of Hungarians.  In 960, the ruling Hungarian prince, Geza, choose the area to build his residence.  From there, he started to send peace messages to the Holy Roman Emperor.  Later, his son Vajk, converted to Christianism, baptized and asked the Pope to crown him King of Hungary. The crowning ceremony took place in Esztergom and Vajk became Stephen of Hungary (later St. Stephen), the first king of the newly recognized nation (in political terms). The crown jewel of the city is the Basilica, the largest church in Hungary and seat of the Roman Catholic Church in the country. Our guides started by driving us to the town of Sturovo in Slovakia in order to appreciate the Basilica from the other side of the Danube. By crossing the Marie Valerie Bridge, we were back in Hungary and ready to take a closer look at the Basilica. Once in front of the building, you realize how humongous it is.  It is 118 m (387 ft) long and 49 m (160 ft wide and has an inner are of 5,600 m2.  The dome height is 71.5 m (234 ft).  I felt like an ant when looking at the columns in the front. We were not able to linger inside since mass was taking place.  I stood for a few moments observing the ceremony. In the panorama room, we had time to enjoy a cup of coffee while contemplating gorgeous views of the Danube.  Next to this room, there is an exhibition with details of how the Basilica was built.  There is a model showing the original plans for the construction (most of them never became a reality). Then, it was time to take a look of our surroundings from the terrace.  Once again, I fell in love with the river, its bridges and red roof towns.  Just take a look at these views! And, of course, there is a statue commemoration the pivotal moment in Hungarian history, the coronation of St. Stephen. We were given some time to walk around a medieval fair that was taking place in the Basilica grounds.  We were able to observe “fights” between Hungarians and Turks, kids riding horses and artisans selling regional products. Visegrad The small town of Visegrad is another popular stop in the Danube Bend area.  Lunch was the main reason...

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8 Reasons to Visit Bisbee, Arizona

Posted by on Feb 12, 2017 in Arizona, Blog, USA, Wizard Movies | 98 comments

8 Reasons to Visit Bisbee, Arizona

Sometimes, you have a unique experience in the place you are least expecting it. For example, my husband experienced his first snowfall in Arizona.  Yes, you read that correctly.  He saw snow falling from the sky in a place associated with extreme heat and deserted environment. We were in a small, hard to reach town in Southern Arizona at a 5, 538 ft elevation (1,688 m).  This place has a population of about 5,000 and it is located in the heart of the Mule Mountains. Now, you will ask what we were doing in such a remote place.  That is not difficult to answer.  In a way, we were following the lead of those who got established in the area, in search of riches, more than a hundred years ago. The complex mining infrastructure and huge pits left by them are big draws to modern visitors.  However, it is not only that.  The town has developed a distinct character, like no other place in the United States. Here are 8 reasons why you should consider visiting Bisbee. One of the Most Famous Mining Towns in the West Bisbee was founded as a copper, gold and silver mining town in 1880. Even though thousand of sites like this exist in the world, Bisbee proved to be one of the riches producing nearly three million ounces of gold and more than eight billion pounds of copper (silver, lead and zinc were extracted from the soil too). Because of that, the town is known as the “Queen of the Copper Camps.” The town’s rowdiness put it in the map too.  The notorious Brewery Gulch had about 50 saloons and brothels.  This bad reputation exalted it to Arizona’s hall of fame. With its two sisters, Jerome (the wickedest town in the West) and Tombstone (The town too tough to die), it completes the trilogy of dishonorable mining towns (that everybody wanted and wants to visit). Bisbee fame continues to grow.  In 2016, it won the title of Best Historic Small Town in both Sunset magazine and a USA Today online reader poll. Beautiful and Colorful Old Town The old part of the city surprised me.  I love to visit small towns and this one is like no other I have seen. The area is notable by Victorian houses and art deco buildings painted in bright and cheerful colors. The streets are walkable and the center can be explored in several hours.   What is more, small businesses offering all sorts of good can be visited.  This feels like a breath of fresh air in a time when everything is so commercialized.  Plus, do not forget about the food!  I am licking my fingers thinking about the delicious dishes and strong coffee I had in the area. The Fly Contest When I was walking around the center, I noticed several buildings were decorated with big flies.  That didn’t look normal, so, I said to myself: “Something is going on in here.” Finally, I found a sign explaining the reason.   In 1912, after years of battling with typhoid fever problems, the Commercial Club of Bisbee created a contest to get rid of flies.  Contestants had to kill the flies and save them in order to show proof of how many they have killed.  Supposedly, the winner killed within 5,000 to...

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Great Market Hall in Budapest

Posted by on Feb 5, 2017 in Blog, Budapest, Hungary, Wizard Movies | 129 comments

Great Market Hall in Budapest

The day before leaving Europe, after moving around the continent for 15 days, we went back to the beginning, we went back to Budapest. It felt exhilarating to be back in the city we learned to love a couple of weeks before.  I knew I had to be back before going home because I still had a stop to make. I couldn’t leave before paying a visit to the Great Market Hall, the oldest and largest indoor market in Budapest. I am sure this is not a surprise since I have professed my love to markets in Vienna, Valencia, Madrid and Oaxaca. That is how a Saturday morning we ended up passing thru the doors of this gastronomic temple in Budapest. To be accurate, the Great Market Hall is located on the Pest side of the city, at the end of the famous pedestrian street known as Vaci utca. The market is located directly across the Liberty Bridge. The original building was constructed in 1897 with Neogothic touches. The roof contains colorful tiles from the town of Pecs and the inside consists of a steel structure (very intricate steel structure I should say). During the World Wars, the structure was completely damaged and then closed for some years. Throughout the 1990s, restoration works brought back the market to its ancient splendor. The building even won an excellence prize in 1999. Once you enter the market, you are going to notice the total dominance of the most prominent spice in Hungary, the paprika.  Stall after stall sells the precious pepper in its many forms. I loved to see the dry peppers hanging from the many stalls.  I think I will be happy in a paprika only market. In addition, the spice is sold as a powder. You can find the spicy, sweet and smoked versions.  Some bags of paprika come with recipes of what can be prepared with the product.  So, do not worry what you are going to cook with it.  Make sure you get some and the inspiration will come later. Also, Paprika is sold in jars or in tubes (as a paste). They even sell you the paprika spoons in a very unique way (see below). Are you ready for a fun fact? Maybe you know this but the peppers used to make paprika come from the New World (like tomatoes and chocolate).  The Spaniards introduced the peppers to Western Europe and the Ottomans to Central Europe and the Balkans. After getting an overdose of paprika, you are going to notice a second obsession of Hungarians.  More than 20 stalls in the market are dedicated to sausages and cold cuts.  To be honest, they looked delicious.  I couldn’t stop looking at how one type was different from another. In the Great Market Hall, you can find sausages made from liver, pork, rice and blood (black sausage).  They have a wide array of salamis and bacon.  In addition, you can find sausages typical from towns like Szeged, Gyula and Debrecener. And get this, are you ready?  They have Lokolbasz or horse sausage. Yup, you read that right. It is very difficult to walk around so many sausages without salivating or wanting to try some.  I have good news.  You can buy slices by the half or quarter kilo...

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A Foodie’s Guide to Visiting Europe: Delicious Ideas

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 in Blog, Wizard Movies | 6 comments

A Foodie’s Guide to Visiting Europe: Delicious Ideas

Europe is a prime destination for foodies. With so many countries accessible by bus, train, and plane, you’ve got access to lots of cultures, cuisines, and famous restaurants. Every kind of foodie, from the professional restaurant reviewer to the food truck lover, will find oodles of food to enjoy in Europe. How do you choose where to go? Regions, specific restaurants, or types of cuisine are good places to start. Here are a few spots you shouldn’t miss. Visit Sicily for Surprising Flavor Combinations In Palermo, you’ll find Italian food with African and Arabic influences. It’s an unusual combination you won’t find at many other places in the world. Try Bye Bye Blues if you want a nice sit-down meal. Foodies who like street food and casual dining will love the opportunities Palermo presents. Where else can you get authentic pani ca meusa? Copenhagen Has the World’s Best Restaurant Noma in Copenhagen is famous for being one of the world’s best restaurants. (Depending who you ask, it’s the best restaurant.) It has two Michelin stars, and group dinner can easily set you back $1,000. If you have the cash to spend, this is a meal you’ll remember for a lifetime. The cuisine is haute Nordic with local ingredients and genius presentation. Head to Lyon for All Things Gastronomic No foodie’s guide to Europe is complete without discussing France. Of course, you know that Paris has some divine restaurants, but Lyon is the place to go if you want gastronomic innovation. France’s most famous chef, Paul Bocuse, lives in Lyon. He runs Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, a gastronomic competition and world championship that happens every year in January. Don’t Discount England People like to laugh about how bad British food is. London is actually full of good restaurants. The city has 65 restaurants with Michelin stars. Because of the diverse population, London is a great place to go when you want to taste food from around the world. Of course, since you are stopping in England, you’ve got to try some classics, too. Fish and chips, Yorkshire putting, and Scotch eggs are worth posting to Instagram. Don’t forget to go to Fortnum and Mason for afternoon tea. Recommendations Make Reservations in Advance Don’t count on tables being available if you just show up; make reservations first. Since you’ll be in Europe, plan to visit several countries. Book your transportation and dinner reservations in advance so you can build an itinerary. Once you arrive, you can focus on your palate because your travel plans are in place. Also take a look at online resources detailing how to organize the best Europe trip itinerary suiting your travels. Keep a Food Diary While you’re traveling Europe, keep a food diary. Photograph your food and write down your impressions so you can remember every meal. Keeping your receipts is a good way to recall everything you ate. The food diary makes a great blog or a fun keepsake. If you don’t visit every city or restaurant you want to try, remember that you can always return! To you, what are Europe’s hottest foodie spots? Ready to pin? Let’s do this! Photo Credits Second Image via Flickr by tomislavmedak Fourth Image via Flickr...

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