National Dishes From My Travels: Thoughts, Feelings and Reactions

Title Card - National Dishes From My Travels: Thoughts, Feelings and Reactions []

As they do with birds, animals and flowers, most countries have a national dish, which in most cases, is a food that’s been prepared for generations; it’s a food that shares history, legends and traditions with each and every forkful. Experiencing a country through food is one of my favourite ways to get to know a new place; it’s really quite astonishing how much you can learn simply by sitting down, digging in and sampling its national fares.

Throughout our travels, I was lucky enough to try the national dish in nine of the 15 countries we’ve visited. As with anything, there were hits and misses. Most of the time my curiosity was rewarded with amazing and surprising flavours, but there were a few odd times where my curiosity got the better of me and I was left with a meal I probably wouldn’t order again.

For the purpose of this post, I’ve only decided to feature national dishes that I ate in that country, for example, I enjoyed a ham hock in Vienna, and although it was delicious and it’s a food the city is famous for, it’s not a national dish. It is, however, a national dish of Germany, but I was too focused on Christmas market beverages to get into the ham hock during our visit to Hamburg, so unfortunately, ham hocks just don’t make the list. I also omitted a couple of foods like Bratwurst (Germany) and Pasta (Italy) because really, what can I say about those delicious meals that hasn’t already been said. And, chances are you’ve probably sampled them somewhere along the way yourself!

So, let’s take a look at my thoughts, feelings and impressions of the national dishes I sampled in 2016: Continue reading

Top Ten Reasons to Take a Canal Tour in Bruges & Ghent

Top Ten Reasons to Take a Canal Tours in Bruges & Ghent []

I’m a pretty nerdy traveller. I love taking tours. I love making lists. I love doing all those things you’re supposed to do in the places you’re supposed to do them in, and have amassed a pretty great collection of selfies doing all those things. So, it should come to no surprise to anyone who knows me that not only did I sign-up for canal tours in both Bruges and Ghent, but I LOVED them.

I loved them so much. I could wax poetically about the tours, the sights, the charm and magic of each city for hours. But, no one wants that. So, I will save you an eternity of eye-rolling (and deleting me from your blog roll) and instead, here are the top ten reasons I think everyone visiting Bruges and Ghent should take a canal tour: Continue reading

Petite Adventures’ Guide to Ghent

Guide to Ghent, Belgium []

Ghent is located in the Flanders region of Belgium. A beautiful city, Ghent was first established in the mid-600s, and thanks to its location (at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Leie) it rose to through the ranks to become one of Europe’s most popular and richest cities by the late-Middle Ages.

Although it is currently the second largest municipality in Europe, Ghent is often passed over by travellers in favour of it’s more famous neighbour Bruges. While the two cities have many things in common, including intricate canal systems and homes sporting the famous crow-stepped gable, the two towns are also very distinct.

Ghent is a “city with an interesting crossover between open cosmopolitanism and the quiet atmosphere of a provincial town.” (source) Ghent has struck the perfect balance of old world charm and modern convenience and is a must-see for anyone travelling through Belgium. Continue reading

Surviving the Rain and Exploring Ghent

Ghent was the second stop of our recent whirlwind tour of Belgium and the Netherlands. If you’d like to get caught up on Part 1: In Bruges, click here.

Ghent Title Card []

We awoke the next morning in Bruges to a wall of humidity; the aforementioned forecasted rain would be a welcome reprieve from the thick, hot, moist air that greeted us that morning.

After a quick breakfast that was accompanied by everyone favourite thing, a screaming toddler, we went back to our room, repacked our backpacks and made our way to the Bruges train station, slowly saying goodbye to the city with each step.

Trains between Bruges and Ghent are frequent, so we weren’t worried about too much of a wait. We arrived with just enough time to head to the platform and spent the next five minutes being pelted with the wind and rain, which had started somewhere between our entering the station and walking up the stairs. Suddenly, we weren’t so sad to be leaving the city. Continue reading

Petite Adventures’ Guide to Bruges

Petite Adventures' Guide to Bruges []

When planning our recent trip through Belgium and the Netherlands one of the towns we knew we couldn’t miss was Bruges. Located in the north-west of Belgium, in the province of West Flanders, Bruges is a charming and historic town that gained significant fame in the late-2000s thanks to the Colin Farrell film, In Bruges.

Although small (the historic centre covers approx.430 hectares), this charming Belgian town is quite cosmopolitan and bourgeois. As per Wikitravel: “it is one of the best preserved pre-motorised cities in Europe and offers the kind of charms rarely available elsewhere.”

Thanks to its famous canals, wooden houses and green surroundings, Bruges really is a perfect postcard, a fairy tale of a town. Continue reading