Belgium Food

June 5, 2009

3. Brussels (10)

Nasty pork jello-y thing next to Jen's salami sandwich

Nasty pork jello-y thing next to Jen's salami on the widest bread ever!

Belgian food doesn’t seem to be much to write home about.  Yet here I am,

My one egg omelette with chives.

My one egg omelette with chives.

writing about it!  As far as main dishes, Jen and I tried some pork thingy that looked and tasted really bad.  We just tried because the waiter said it was traditional for Brussels.  Jen had a salami sandwich which was just four slices of salami on one slice of bread while I went back to my vegetarian omelette which was so thin I’m convinced it was made with only one egg.  3. Brussels (4)One thing I would go back to Belgium for or just make a pit stop for are the waffles. 3. Brussels I’m not even a pancake/waffle type person.  Not for breakfast anyway.  But Belgians see their waffles more as snacks for anytime of the day.  It was the best waffle I’ve ever had in my life!  It was sweet, tender, with a bite to it and a little syrupy.  We went to another place for waffles 3. Brussels (6)where they were delicate, airy, and expensive and they weren’t as good as the discs of doughy goodness we got from a to-go stall in 3. Bruges Belgium (21)Brussels.  Can’t say enough good things about that waffle.  While in Belgium of course we bought some truffles to sample, and some boxes of chocolate to bring home as a souvenir.  The chocolate and truffles were delicious but 6. Fries & Chocolate! (4)I’m not much of a chocoholic.  I’m satisfied with a Nestle bar from the grocery store.  But still, the chocolate and candy stores sure do display their goods well!

Finally, we had to try some french fries which are supposedly invented in Belgium.

Tartar Fries

Tartar Fries

In Bruges, they’re popular with curry ketchup (ketchup

Mayo Fries

Mayo Fries

with curry powder added in).  I like curry.  I like ketchup.  I like french fries.  I thought they were great.  Jen on the other hand hates curry.  She got hers with tartar sauce.  Jagdeep went with mayonnaise.  They all tasted good but the tartar and mayo soon became too rich and the girls threw half of their size small fries away.  My medium size stood no chance.  However I was unlucky enough to get bottom bunk which in our hostel room, was closest to the garbage can.  I had to smell Jen’s tartar sauce fries all night.

My dad with curry ketchup fries. Oh wait that's me. At least I know my momma didn't have no affair.

My dad with curry ketchup fries. Oh wait that's me! At least I know my momma didn't have no affair.

Brussels and Bruges in Belgium

June 4, 2009
Bruges; our home base.

Bruges; our home base.

Bruges Belltower (in the movie "In Bruges" according to Jagdeep.)

Bruges Belltower (in the movie "In Bruges" according to Jagdeep.)

I’m travel fatiguing!  I can’t remember which city I’m in or which city I just came from.

Brussels

Brussels; Capital of the European Union

And I’m losing enthusiasm for museums and sites.  Brussels and Bruges were both beautiful cities with loads of gothic architecture.  But there didn’t seem to be a whole lot to SEE at either place.  Some things we did were visit a brewery, see the famous Manneken Pis statue in Brussels.  It’s a very small fountain of a little boy peeing.  That took about 45 seconds to look at.  Jen and I also checked out the comic book museum.  I was hoping for more western comics but it focused mostly on Anime (hence the Japanese

Schtroumpfs - la LA la la la LA

Schtroumpfs

pictures) and European comics.  Did you know the Smurfs were originally Belgian?  They were originally called Schtroumpfs (pronounced shtroompfs).  We watched a few cartoons of them and from what I could 2. Comic Book Museum (53)gather, they replaced words with “schtroumpf” a lot just like our smurfs.  While the comic book museum wasn’t schtroumpf-tastic, it was still fun to see.  On our way back to the Brussels train station to go back to Bruges, Jen and I stopped in a Belgian casino just out of curiosity.  We thought we2. Comic Book Museum C (31) could just walk in but they needed passports, occupation, digital

Manneken Pis - Dressed up for an upcoming soccer match.

Manneken Pis - Dressed up for an upcoming soccer match.

pictures of us, and address for free membership.  So of course we did it!  We looked at their slots, I used their toilet, then we left.  The guard at the door must have thought we were idiots since we spent more time signing up than we did in the casino but he didn’t show any sign of it at all.  If you’re looking for really good customer service in Europe, head to a Casino!

Bruges

Bruges

A new continent I don’t want to explore.

June 4, 2009

This kind of isn’t related to Europe, but I guess Europe is part of our world and we have to take care of our world.  Oh well I can’t relate it very well but you have to check out this video from Oprah if you haven’t seen it already.  Then let me know if you’d like to join me on a beach cleanup when I get back.  It’s only 80 seconds long so watch the whole thing!  There’s a mass of garbage twice the size of Texas and 90 feet deep in the Pacific Ocean.  Most of it comes from land garbage being thrown or blown into the sea and it’s not only deadly to animals, it’s getting into our sushi.  (I must be coming home soon because I’m starting to feel all preachy again.  Hooray for all of you!)

Click here to get to the article/video and click on the black box in the middle of the article to watch.

Chris

More Disneyland Views

June 4, 2009

Cars Scrambler

Cars Scrambler

Flying Carpets Dumbo Style

Flying Carpets Dumbo Style

Pirate Cove

Pirate Cove

Alice in Wonderland Labyrinth

Alice in Wonderland Labyrinth

Wonderland Labyrinth

Wonderland Labyrinth...

... low budget.

... low budget.

1. Disneyland Paris Resort (70)

I get lost even in Dland.

I get lost even in Dland.

Disneyland would be better without all the kids.

Disneyland would be better without all the kids.

1. Disneyland Paris Resort (67)

Euro Disney

June 4, 2009

1. Disneyland Paris Resort (79)

Phantom Manor

Phantom Manor

Hooray!  I’ve made it to Euro Disneyland!  I’ve now been to 4 out of 5 Disneyland parks

Their Phantom Manor is scarier with bodies and skeletons.

Their Phantom Manor is scarier with bodies and skeletons.

around the world!  Well in Japan there are 2 parks and I only went to one so I’ll have to go back there.  And I may as well just go to Hong Kong Disney too if I’m going all the way to Japan.  And it’s been a while since I’ve been to the Florida park…  Anyway, I’m distracting myself.  I’ve been excited for Disneyland Paris from the onset of this trip!  Jen loves Disney too so we were both excited.  I think we were TOO excited because I went in with a little too much expectation and even though I’m really glad I went, I was a little disappointed.  Euro Disneyland

Indiana Jones is a mine car ride outside.

Indiana Jones is a mine car ride outside.

has had problems turning a profit in the past and parts of the park felt a little

"High School" Musical except they're like 6'5" tall and 30 y/o.

"High School" Musical except they're like 6'5" tall and 30 y/o.

low budget.  The Peter Pan ride squeaked and the lights were so dim that you couldn’t see in some rooms.  The dances and shows were kind of corny and mediocre.  Not to mention that the “High School Musical parade” “kids” looked like they were about 32 years old.  They also save money on wages by opening the rides in shifts.  So the park opened at 10am but the

How Snow White ride was supposed to end.

How Snow White ride was supposed to end.

Phantom Manor (Haunted Mansion) didn’t open until 11am.  Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril didn’t open until 12pm!  I love the subtle differences in the names and

Conservative French president Sarkozy finds it necessary to have heavily armed guards all around France.

Conservative French president Sarkozy finds it necessary to have heavily armed guards all around France.

rides too.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is “Blanche Neige et les sept nains”.  The Snow White ride here has an actual ending to it.  Ours in California ends with the witch dying because when they built it, they ran out of room.  Why I know things like that I don’t know.

Bad Mexican food. Tortilla chips for guac are Doritos.

Bad Mexican food. Tortilla chips for guac are stale Doritos.

Walt Disney would be turning over in his grave if he compared the customer service in Euro Disneyland to California Disneyland.  Of course, it was probably better than most of the customer service I’ve gotten in continental Europe, but still.  We were waiting for ice cream in the ridiculous heat and humidity, my forhead a literal waterfall of sweat, and the two employees at the ice cream cart are just chatting while the line waits patiently.  And I waited in line for more than 30 minutes before I could order some really bad Mexican “food”.

Space Mountain

Space Mountain

But I don’t want to make it sound all bad.  Their Space Mountain was

Crush's Coaster

Crush's Coaster

awesome!  A long train of cars rushing past planets and asteroids in the dark doing loops and corkscrews.  I almost threw up after and was dizzy but I’m glad I went on once.  Stitch Live was a really funny interactive show similar to California Disney’s “Talk with Crush”.  And I loved Crush’s Coaster where you’re swishing

Stitch Live!

Stitch Live!

and spinning on a roller coaster track in a turtle shell.  That was the best ride in either of the parks!  We ended our Disney day on the Studio Tour.  It was the same as the one at MGM Florida.  We rushed to

Broken...

Broken...

a tram car in the back so we could sit in the front row and see the TV monitor in case everything was in French with English subtitles.  Fortunately there was English commentary with the video.  Unfortunately, low budget Euro Disney doesn’t mark or warn its guests when their TV monitors are broken so we had a front seat in the only tram car with a broken TV.  Lame.

Paris food

June 4, 2009
Farmer's Market Meal

Farmer's Market Meal

Cheese Sandwich and cheese board with wine.

Cheese Sandwich and cheese board with wine.

We didn’t eat out too much in Paris.  We DID buy plenty of picnic food, breads,

Duck and potatoes.

Duck and potatoes.

fruits, vegetables, olives, cheeses, and everyday we’d buy 1.5 liters of refrigerated Diet Coke from a market near our hotel.  The guy who ran the place recognized us and said “Hi” whenever we just passed.  He probably is wondering what happened to us and all our Euros by now.

Rice bowls. At first I was offended... then I wanted to buy them!

Rice bowls. At first I was offended... then I wanted to buy them!

More Paris Views

June 4, 2009

2. Notre Dame (9)

Inside Notre Dame

Inside Notre Dame

I met up again with Pierre whom I met in Copenhagen and stayed with overnight on my

One of Jen & Jag's new pet peeves. Several Euro women with nothing covering bras.

One of Jen & Jag's new pet peeves. Several Euro women with nothing covering bras.

way to Spain.  He and his friend Lea were nice enough to treat us to dinner despite my best efforts.  The weather in Paris was cold and rainy one day and then it got hot and muggy the following few days before a crack of thunder literally ripped the sky and rain fell in sheets and waves which thankfully brought the humidity down to bearable levels.  These pictures however were taken while it was still humid hence my shiny appearance.

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge

Inside Versailles

Inside Versailles

I look happy but I'm really mentally stressing "I hope my back isn't too sweaty!"

I look happy but I'm really mentally stressing "I hope my back isn't too sweaty!"

Paris Part Deux

June 4, 2009

6. Eiffel Tower (29)

Inside the Louvre

Inside the Louvre

I’m so behind on the blog it’s not even funny.  I returned to Paris where I met

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa

my sister at the airport.  She’s going to join me from Paris to Amsterdam!  The first day we walked around a LOT of Paris including the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.  We saw the Mona Lisa which everybody says is darker and smaller than they imagined but I found it to be adequate in brightness and size.  I guess after hearing “it’s too small” so much I expected it to be the size of a

postage stamp.  We also saw the Venus de Milo.  I’m a little bit

Venus de Milo - Pretty but she got no arms.

Venus de Milo - Pretty but she got no arms.

museum’d out to tell you the truth.  All it was going to take for me to be satisfied in Paris was  cheese, fresh bread, the Eiffel Tower, and Disneyland

The Louvre

The Louvre

Paris in any order.  But we still managed to visit (my second) Picasso museum (paintings still look like kaleidoscope images to me but instead of Spanish, these had French names).  On another day we made it out to the Palace of Versaille where Marie Antoinette once lived and the treaty ending World War I was

Versailles

Versailles

signed.  We climbed up the Arc

Part of the Arc

Part of the Arc

de Triomphe at night to get a view of the Eiffel Tower lit up and Paris at twilight.  And finally, we also toured Notre Dame and walked past the infamous Moulin Rouge (THAT was smaller than expected).

View from the Arc de Triomphe

View from the Arc de Triomphe

More Swiss Views

May 30, 2009

IMG_3757IMG_3762IMG_3829IMG_3952IMG_3970IMG_4016IMG_4003IMG_3760IMG_3801

Gimmelwald and Murren

May 29, 2009

IMG_3832IMG_3996On your way up to the Alps the cable cars unload you and you transfer to different IMG_3989cable cars in the towns of Gimmelwald and Murren.  Murren is bigger and mostly owned by landlords who don’t live there and rented out to people that cater to the tourists.  Gimmelwald bribed the government to designate the town as an “avalanche zone” so that developers couldn’t build there like they did in Murren.  It’s a IMG_3957village of only about one street and 130 people, most of whom have one of three last names.  All I did in these towns was walk around, take pictures, and buy an ice cream but I couldn’t stop shaking my head at fantastic views.  Everywhere I turned there was another chalet overlooking an alp, or green hilly fields covered in dandelions.  IMG_3992


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