Tuesday, July 9, 2013


We are back from Europe, and I am happy to say that it was the best trip ever. I got to experience so many new things, see a new part of the world, and enjoyed some quality time with my mother through it all. In ten days we went to Basel, Switzerland; Freiburg, Germany; Strasbourg, France; and Amsterdam. I had so much fun visiting museums, taking tours, trying regional specialties, and just walking around the cities.


Europe has an amazing train system that we utilized to get around. We even rode on the night train one night. (It was quite an experience.) This is us before our first train ride. They are so convenient. You can just hop on and go just about anywhere you want.

Our first stop was Basel where we got to go to an amazing dollhouse museum, make paper, see gargoyles and other statues from their cathedral, attend a church service at the cathedral, see Roman ruins, and much more. It was such a quaint and peaceful city, and was probably our favorite out of the four of them. (Although I did fall in love with Strasbourg as well.)
Here is a temple in Augusta Raurica, a city that has a history dating back from before Jesus.


Freiburg, Germany was next on our list with its bachle that ran through the cities. They used to be used as fire extinguishers and to water livestock. There is a rumor that if you fall in one, you will marry a Freiburger. It seems like I have my fate set ahead of me...
Freiburg also had a huge market outside of its cathedral, offering fresh produce, Middle Eastern food, crafts, flowers, meats, cheeses, and bratwursts. They weren't our favorites (especially after the cook blew his nose and then picked up the next bun), but it was an experience.


We thought that Basel and Freiburg had massive cathedrals until we toured the Notre Dame in Strasbourg. It was HUGE. We climbed up the 1400 meter tall tower, and were rewarded with a beautiful view of the city. It was crazy to see how different Freiburg, Basel, and Strasbourg were from each other in architecture, culture, food, and language especially considering they are all about a 30 minute train ride away from each other.

Petit France, the old quarter of the town. It was peaceful and beautiful with lovely buildings full of history.


Our trip came to an end way too soon with Amsterdam. We did not really like the city as much as the other three, but we enjoyed a bike tour through the countryside to an old cheese and clog making farm, the windmills, and the Anne Frank Museum.
Everyone says that you have to try the Indonesian food in Amsterdam, and they are right. My mom and I were a little leary of ordering the  rijsttafel, especially since we had never even had Indonesian food before. We were even more scared when they brought out six plates of funky looking food. We were very surprised to find that it was not only edible, but delicious. We practically licked all the platters clean.



Since Freiburg is in the Black Forest region of Germany, we had a try of some black forest cake. We also had French crepes and Dutch pancakes. This all fits in well with the pancake parade that I am still continuing. (I have not quite run out of ideas yet.)
black forest cake pancakes (5)
Black Forest Cake Pancakes
serves 1-2
¼ cup applesauce
1 egg
½ cup milk
1/3 cup flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1 cup frozen cherries, slightly thawed
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
cherries, to top

Mix the salt, baking powder, sugar, flour, and cocoa powder together. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and stir in the oil, milk, and applesauce. Whisk together the wet and dry ingredients until there are no more lumps. Preheat a nonstick pancake pan to medium low heat. Scoop out a few tbsp of the batter onto the pan and cook until the top starts to bubble and the bottom is dry. Flip and cook the other side until lightly browned. Meanwhile, blend the cherries together. Spread each pancake with about a tablespoon of yogurt and 1-2 tablespoons of the cherries. Stack the pancakes on top of each other and garnish with additional cherries.
black forest cake pancakes

I promise that there will be more pictures and stories from Europe in the posts to come. I hope to recreate some of the recipes and share them with you.


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