Stunning Chamonix

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (or just Chamonix, or “Cham” according to the cool kids) is a stunning town nestled in the French Alps, very close to the Swiss border. It’s the launch pad for some of the most exciting skiing in the region, and a fun town to spend a serene, cosy weekend – which is exactly what I did two weekends ago.

It’s also one of the most picturesque places I have ever been to, so I cursed myself for nothing taking my camera with me. Trusted iPhone saved the day and here are some of my favourite shots from the beautiful Chamonix. Enjoy!

 

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My Five Favourite Cities in Europe

I have been mentally working on this blog post for almost four years. Having been to more than 20 major tourist cities in Europe, I still don’t feel fully equipped to pass judgement on this topic. But, it’s about time I put my thoughts on paper. Well… on the Internet (And thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I can always edit this list if I change my mind a year from now).

A  lot of people often ask me, “What’s your favourite city in Europe?” and I am always stumped for an instant response. Copenhagen has the best cafes, Berlin has the best street art, Rome has the best food, and Paris has the best shopping. Ranking them in any particular order is definitely a tough job, but it’s a challenge that I am up for.

So, after years of deliberation, here are my five favourite cities in Europe:

5. Venice

I’ve probably already lost credibility for those people who think that Venezia stinks of dirty water and tourist traps. Regardless of the colour of the water and whether I can swim in it, I am an aqua aficionado. I am also huge admirer of urban planning. This entire city is built on 117 small islands in a marshy lagoon! How cool is that? There is something charming about the fact that people in Venice give you directions that sound something like: “Walk this way until you pass three bridges and then make a left under the fourth bridge and then right at the next small bridge.”

VENICE

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Culinary adventures in Kraków

Eating out in Denmark can get really expensive. And let’s admit it: a little too healthy! So, when my roommates and I went to Kraków for a weekend in late October, we made it a point to take advantage of all the cheap, delicious and fatty comfort foods. We were fully aware that eating out in Kraków was cheap, but we didn’t realize how good it was until we experienced it for ourselves.

If you are heading to Kraków, here are some of the restaurants that we loved and recommend:

Manzana

Why we decided to have Mexican food on our first night in Poland, we don’t know, but I am glad we did. Manzana is a classy Mexican restaurant located in the Kazimierz district (Jewish quarter). Having travelled to many places in Latin America, I’d say I am bit of a connoisseur when it comes to Latin food and I am happy to report that most of their gourmet dishes that are actually pretty authentic. If you can’t handle the Latino spice, they’ll tone it down for you. And as a vegetarian, I have to give them 20 bonus points for having a whole vegetarian section.

PS: The drinks are stellar and if you aren’t in mood for a cocktail, just admire their good-looking bar! Continue reading

Vegetarian in Europe

Oh boy! Post-graduation is hard.

Essays and presentations every week are part of the reason I haven’t been able to post anything this month. While I do intend on blogging more religiously in the coming weeks, here is something else I’d like to share in the meantime.

I started a new blog called Vegetarian In Europe, because I am a a vegetarian in Europe! So check that out, bookmark it if you like and stay tuned for more European updates, food and travel.

Contiki-ing/Camping in Europe

It was a last minute decision.

I decided on a Monday that on that Friday I was going to jump on a plane and fly to London, England for a three week adventure before I settled into my first post-university full-time 9-to-5er. Usually, trip planning is my second favourite part of the travelling (photographing being number one), but for this trip, I just didn’t have enough time to research, read blogs, compare prices and pick my hostels, hotels, trains and flights. So I decided to jump on an organized camping tour with Contiki.

Now… let me just get this out of the way: Everyone should do a Contiki! If you haven’t done one already, you should. If you have done one already, you should do another one. If you never planned on doing one but you are in the 18-35 age range, DO IT, because Contiki is awesome.

Moving forth… this was my second Contiki. My first one was sailing in a luxury cruise across Greece and Turkey, so camping was very different from that experience.

I like to travel simple and feel close to nature. Beautiful architecture and exciting urban planning replaces natural scenery in many parts of Europe so sleeping on the Earth is not a bad way to feel close to mother nature. Not to mention, pitching a tent (or getting the Aussie boys to do it for you), helping out with chores, looking for the one lonely hammer and sharing it between 14 tents builds a sense of community between a group of strangers that you just met. In fact, in 11 short days, this group became my family and it was hard to say good-bye.  I edited together a video memoir from the trip highlights. Take a look! Continue reading