Travel Tips on Food

Kerala, land of coconuts and curry!

Kerala is located in the West Coast of Southern India. The climate is excellent for growing spices such as cardamon, cloves, cinnamon and peppers.

Cochin (Kochi)
The beautiful beaches of Cochin (Kerala), with graceful coconut trees must have been a welcome sight to weary European sailors. Cochin became a very important trading post settled by the Portuguese. Cochin’s history goes further back. Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Jews and Chinese have all traded in Cochin and along the Malabar Coast. Its natural harbor and trade made Cochin to become the Queen of the Arabian Sea.

Take a houseboat cruise through the calm backwaters of Kerala. The lush greenery is breathtaking.

Or visit Cherai Beach with beautiful coconut groves in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala.

Kerala Food
Seafood is abundant here and many dishes include coconut. Freshly grated coconut has a delicious taste. It is not the same as what we get here in the US in the frozen section. Fresh coconut makes delicious chutneys and coconut oil is used to cook pretty much everything in Kerala.

Try some Kerala Karimeen (local fish) and huge Kerala prawns (shrimp) cooked with local curry leaves and spices. This region of India is a paradise for food lovers. You can find tasty vegetarian and also a variety of delicious meat dishes in Kerala.

Getting here
Now you can fly in style into the green solar powered Cochin International Airport (COK). Cochin International Airport has grown quickly to become the 4th busiest airport in India.

Third party resources used to create this article. You may click the hyperlinks in the article for more information.
Advertisements

Christmas in Lalibela Ethiopia

Christmas is celebrated in January in Ethiopia. An exceptional place to celebrate Christmas is in the ancient rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia. This place is also known as the “New Jerusalem”. There are eleven ancient churches clustered together. Pilgrims clad in white come from all over to celebrate Christmas. Eat some wat (thick spicy stew) on a Ethiopian sourdough bread (injeera) which looks similar to Indian dosas.

Getting to Lalibela, Ethiopia
Addis Ababa International Airport (ADD) is the international gateway to Ethiopia. Addis Ababa means “new flower”. Ethiopian Airlines flies into the local airport in Lalibela. Lalibela is situated in the Northern part of Ethiopia in the region of Amhara, South of neighboring Eritrea.

Attractions
If you have time visit ancient Aksum, Gondar (Camelot of Africa), Lake Tana and the breathtaking Simien Mountains National Park.

Third party resources used to create this article. You may click the hyperlinks in the article for more information.

Georgia, The Hidden Gem of the Caucasus!

The country Georgia is located in the Caucasus. Caucasus is the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Georgia has a rich Christian history. Both Armenia and Georgia are the only Christian countries in this part of the world. You will find some ancient Christian monasteries in both neighboring Armenia and Georgia. A branch of the Silk Road went through Georgia. Georgia has the most diverse grape varieties in the world. Some consider Georgia and the Caucasus, the birthplace of wine.

Tbilisi International Airport (TBS) is the gateway to mountainous Georgia. Tbilisi is a modern city with a lot to offer. From Tbilisi you can launch your trip to rest of the country. You can explore everything from cave cities to ancient churches while enjoying some lovely Georgian cuisine, hospitality and their wine culture. You should try the Georgian Supra (feast). Supra is a multi course meal with multiple wine toasts.

Georgia is truly a hidden gem in the Caucasus and has so much to offer! The people are warm and friendly. Georgian hospitality is hard to beat!

Third party resources used to create this article. You may click the hyperlinks in the article for more information.

The New Old Silk Road

The Old Silk Road is being revived with modern infrastructure and technology. The New Old Silk Road is being built and extended from places like Shenzhen, China (Silicon Valley of China) to Duisburg, Germany (strategic river harbor with access to the Atlantic). Now you can travel on paved roads and high speed trains instead of the camels of old on China’s New Belt and Road. Marco Polo would be impressed!

Uzbekistan
However it is still the ancient charm of places like Bukhara, Khiva, Tashkent, Samarkand, Uzbekistan that draws tourists to retrace the steps of ancient travelers on the Silk Road. Ideas, food, goods and culture were exchanged between the Far East and the West on the old Silk Road. You could say this was the “interstate” or the “internet” of the old. Things sure moved more slowly then. Timur or Tamerlane of the Mongol Empire invested in building up Samarkand which is now in Uzbekistan. Amazing cities on the old Silk Road!

Nowruz (new day) marking the beginning of Spring is a good time to visit to soak in the Uzbek culture and warm hospitality. Enjoy some Uzbek Plov (Lamb Pilaf) and Samarkand bread.

Fly Uzbekistan Airways to Tashkent International Airport (TAS) which is the largest airport in Kazakhstan. You can get to Samarkand via train from Tashkent.

Kazakhstan
Almaty, Kazakhstan is another one of those cities that has grown and thrived! Imagine what the travelers on the Old Silk Road would have felt when they saw those beautiful mountains! In modern Almaty, Kazakhstan, you can find both the Russian Orthodox Ascension Cathedral and the Muslim Central Mosque. You can also try some great Central Asian cuisine influenced by the Great Steppe and nomadic life. You can try some Kazakh Cuisine such as Beshbarmak and Sirne.

You can fly into the Almaty International Airport (ALA) to begin your journey.

Third party resources used to create this article. You may click the hyperlinks in the article for more information.



Summer Beach Christmas in Australia’s Queensland

Australia is sure blessed with some of the best beaches in the world! Coming from the Northern Hemisphere, we usually think of December as winter. But it is just the opposite in Australia. Well it is Summer in Down Under!

Getting There
Fly into Brisbane International Airport (BNE), Queensland Australia for a beach Christmas. There are plenty of things to do right in Brisbane for Christmas. Brisbane is a modern bustling city. A good base to launch your exploration of Australia. You should check out either the Sunshine Coast or the Gold Coast Beaches. Head north from Brisbane to explore the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Or head south to the Gold Coast area of Australia.

Food
Christmas food is influenced both by the Summer weather and culture. Enjoy some yummy seafood. You can enjoy great BBQ and prawns. Not to mention English Christmas goodies like English Christmas Pudding and Mince Pie. You got to try the Aussie Pavlova Meringue dessert.

Third party resources used to create this article. You may click the hyperlinks in the article for more information.

Romanian Cuisine

The great thing about travelling is you get to savor all types of tasty food on the road. Romania with its various cultural influences has some really tasty food. If you are paying in US Dollars, you can eat like a king.

Cultural Influences
Germans (Saxons) settled the Transylvania region when it was under Hungarian rule. You can visit many of the Saxon castles and even fortified churches that protected against invasions. The Turks, Austrians, Greeks and Romans have also left their influence on the food of Romania. Each region in Romania borders different countries such as Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine. Some of the Romanian Cuisine is closely related to food eaten in the Balkans.

Popular Romanian Food
Try some tasty sausages Mici or Mititei which is like a blend between a kebab and a regular sausage. Grilled lamb is quite popular here. Various stewed meat dishes with a fusion of locally grown spices create an exotic flavor. Sarmale or stuffed cabbage rolls with meat is a very popular dish eaten in this part of the world. You can also try some very unique cheeses including sheep cheese. Sibiu, Transylvania is a great foodie destination to visit.

Rural Romania
The pastoral lands in Romania offer some really good organic grown food. Even Prince Charles sources organic Transylvanian honey (for his Highgrove Royal Gardens) from Saschiz, Romania! If you have time, take a trip to rural Romania. You can get to experience Eastern Europe at a slower pace and go back in time. Wild flowers still grow in the Romanian meadows like it used to around the rest of Europe.

Getting to Romania
If you are flying from the USA, Delta, KLM, Air France and Alitalia can connect your flight to Bucharest Henri Coandă (OTP) International Airport. The Sky Team Airline partners may connect the flights via their local airline hubs in their respective countries. From Bucharest (Bucuresti), Romania you can take a train to Brasov, Transylvania to explore the castles and the fortified churches.

Third party resources used to create this article. You may click the hyperlinks in the article for more information.

Christmas in Little Sweden USA

Lindsborg Kansas USA (also known as Little Sweden) is a cute little town to visit anytime of the year. You can find all things Swedish here from liggonberry jams to beautifully painted wooden Dala horses.

In Spring, you should get tickets for Handel’s Messiah Easter Performance at Bethany College. It is worth it.

If you come visit in the Summer, enjoy the MidSummer’s Festival. You will see real folks dressed in real Swedish national costumes performing beautiful dances.

The town offers several stores to purchase good gifts and souvenirs. Enjoy some good Swedish food at the Swedish Crown and pasteries while you are in Lindsborg. I love the Swedish Meatballs (Svensk Köttbullar) with the dill potatoes. Finish it off with some Swedish Almond Cake or some Ostkaka (creamy custard).

Christmas in Lindsborg is fun as you get to celebrate the European Swedish heritage right in Kansas. The traditions are kept alive in fun ways. You will see young girls dressed up in white carrying candles for the St. Lucia Festival. The are plenty of fun activities all day for the St. Lucia Festival.
I think Christmas time is extra special in Lindsborg as many festive events lead up to Christmas.

Click to watch Swedish Dances.

St Lucia Christmas Bethany Lutheran Lindsborg USA
St Lucia Christmas Bethany Lutheran Lindsborg USA


Everything from Christmas (Jultide) Concerts to traditional Christmas Services (Julotta Christmas Morning Service and Annandag Jul Day After Christmas Service) at the Bethany Lutheran Church. Enjoy a little bit of Sweden right here in the USA!

Bethany Lutheran Church Lindsborg Kansas USA
Bethany Lutheran Church Lindsborg Kansas USA

Third party resources used to create this article. You may click the hyperlinks in the article for more information.

European Christmas Markets

The European cities come alive in Winter for Christmas. The Christmas Markets spring up everywhere especially around the Old Town centers or squares. There is even a Christmas market at the Munich International Airport.

GERMANY
The backdrop of beautiful Gothic churches like in Cologne (Germany) and Christkindlesmarkt Nuremberg (Germany) will take you back in time. German towns become festive with Christmas markets. With Christmas delicacies and lovely Christmas Music, you will become a child again for Christmas. You got to try some Nuremberg Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread) and Feuerzangenbowle (red wine and rum punch).

Czech Republic
The Christmas markets in Staroměstské náměstí Prague (Old Town Square) and Wenceslas Square (5 minute walking distance from each market) in Czechia (Czech Republic) are a real treat. Stroll along the beautiful wooden huts with all sorts of Christmas ornaments and gifts. Eat some trdelník (grilled rolled dough cake) while you shop.

Hungary
If you wish to try all sorts of delicious food, you should check out the Budapest Christmas Markets at the St. Stephen’s Basilica ( St Istvan Bazilika) and the Christmas Market at the Vorosmarty Square in Budapest, Hungary. You won’t be in hungry in Hungary, as this market offers you tasty regional food and not just Christmas cookies. Try the Kürtőskalács (Chimney cake) and Goulash Soup (Gulyásleves).

Austria
How do you beat the beauty of the Christkindlmarkt at the Rathausplatz (Town Hall Square) in Vienna, Austria? Ice skate around the “tree of hearts” in the nearby park and enjoy some Viennese Gluhwein (mulled wine).

France
Strasbourg Christmas market (Capital of Christmas) is a fusion of both the German and French cultures in the Alsace Region of France. Christkindlsmärik first took place in 1570. Try the Christmas bredele (small cakes) made in this Alsace region. It comes in different flavors. Strasbourg Christmas Market is one of the oldest and the most beautiful Christmas market that blends both the French and German cultures into a wonderful Christmas experience.

Third party resources used to create this article. You may click the hyperlinks in the article for more information.

Georges French Bistro Wichita Kansas USA

You can get some of the tastiest French food right here in the heartland.

Georges French Cuisine Wichita Kansas USA
Georges French Cuisine Wichita Kansas USA

The ambience of the restaurant can bring back memories of your trip to Paris, France without leaving home.

Georges French Cuisine Wichita Kansas USA
Georges French Cuisine Wichita Kansas USA

You cannot leave the restaurant without trying out their fabulous desserts.

Georges French Bistro Wichita Kansas
Georges French Bistro Wichita Kansas
Georges French Bistro Wichita Kansas
Georges French Bistro Wichita Kansas

Edelweiss German Cuisine Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Authentic German Food in a beautiful setting with live music on the weekends. We asked the musicians to play the Edelweiss song from the Sound of Music. They did and one of the musicians sang the song while he played his German Accordion.

 

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

You can sit outside during nice weather and and enjoy a German Beer Garden (Biergarten) experience.

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

The restaurant has beautiful German decor and you can even buy souvenirs.

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

Edelweiss German Restaurant Colorado Springs USA

The menu has real authentic German and European Cuisine. Don’t forget the desserts. Recommend the Apple Strudel for sure. You cannot go wrong on your choice. You may have to loosen your belt as you are not going away hungry!