Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Scooter Ride in the Mountains of Lesvos and a Lunch Stopover in Vafeios

When Dutchman and I are not doing this, this, this, this, this, and this (this one is unforgettable) during our holiday last summer in Lesvos, Greece, we were out and about exploring the island with our rental scooter.

One of the afternoons we took the scooter for a mountain ride nearby. We were not planning on driving far, we’re just going for a ride, enjoy the views and the fresh sea air and then have late lunch at a taverna in Vafeios that I read about—Taverna Vafios.

In Mithymna, they are offering donkey rides to Vafeios where participants rest for lunch at Taverna Vafios and back. Indeed, Dutchman and I saw the donkey tour group as we went up the mountain. The poor donkeys were so cute, I don’t think I could ever let one of these animals carry me.

On other matters, I have become an expert in taking pictures behind the Dutchman on a moving scooter.

More pictures below... actually, LOTS of pictures =)

A very typical afternoon scene in the mountain villages of Lesvos.

An interesting way of piling up tables and chairs. It almost looked like art installation.

Here were are at Taverna Vafios having a light lunch of Greek salad and yoghurt with honey and crushed walnuts.

I prefer Greek yoghurt with crushed walnuts than with whole walnuts.

It was rather late for lunch, we almost had the taverna to ourselves except for a table in the corner with English holidaymakers.

These are stuffed zucchini flowers. They are stuffed with cheese.

Curb stops to enjoy the views... that is Turkey from the distance.

I really, really, really miss summer now.

I think I need to get out of this country for a long weekend. But where? It is still cold everywhere....

Travel Period: June-July 2012
Destination: Vafeios, Mithymna (Lesvos – North Aegean), Greece

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Another relaxing beach afternoon in Petra with some pizza and Greek yoghurt

Last summer (June-July 2012) Dutchman and I holidayed in Lesvos, Greece. The island is Greece’s 3rd largest and is located just a few kilometres from the border to Turkey. From the beach of Petra we could visibly see the country linking Europe to Asia. There were day trips to bazaars in Turkey but Dutchman and I never considered this because it takes an hour to get to the port and another hour and a half for the boat ride. We would be losing lots of hours travelling and we have to wake up very early as well. This is a relaxing summer holiday, Dutchman reminded me, not some culture-adventure trip.

So what we did was days like this...

Having late lunch on the beach, reading books and magazines, staring out to the sea and watching people go by (we saw a group of girls being chased by their little dog, lol, and I was able to capture it on camera, scroll down below for the picture) and sleeping on the beach until the sun goes down from the horizon and we would have to go back to our apartment resort to freshen up and change into evening wear for yet another meal.

I have been eating a lot of grilled octopus and local food in this holiday so for the first time I tried something else, non-Greek—pizza. Dutchman was more than happy to oblige as he loves pizzas.

We threw in some Greek yoghurt with honey and walnuts into the order to help quench the summer heat as well. If you are in Greece, do not ever miss this!

I really miss summer holidays.

Travel Period: June-July 2012
Destination: Petra (Lesvos Island – North Aegean), Greece

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Typically Belgian Cuisine: Mussels with fries and Flemish Beef Stew

So where to eat in Brugge?

For our late lunch-early dinner in Brugge (Bruges), Bru and I found this super cute and charming restaurant near the Dijver canal—‘Bistro Restaurant ‘t Lammetje’

I’ve been hankering for something typically Belgian, and in particular typically Flemish while Bru was ready to settle for something more mainstream which she did. It was actually her who found this cute restaurant. While I was busy taking pictures of the Dijver canal, she inspected the nearby inner square and came back to me enthusiastically announcing that she has found a restaurant where I can order Flemish stew.

My order: ‘Vlaamse Stoofkarbonaden’ (Flemish Beef Stew) + Leffe brown beer:

Her order: ‘Mosselen met friets’ in wine (Mussels with fries):

This was a really tasty and gorgeous late lunch-early dinner. 4.2 stars out of 5.

The beef stew was delightful and the meat almost melted on my tongue when I chewed on it. I do not mind eating meat when it is this good! While the mussels have huge meat in them and the spices and flavour were exactly how we wanted it to be. We shared our lunch together but I think I ended up eating more for my share of mussels. So greedy but I was quite hungry from the cold and for only having eaten a single hollow croissant the whole day. It was almost 5PM when we had this!

Trivia: Did you know that when you eat mussels in France and Belgium there is a very high probability that the mussels came from the Netherlands? Precisely in Zeeland, the heart of mussel farming in the country.

And it looks like the kitchen is upstairs, perhaps in the attic, because we saw this traditional pulley lift system that brings the food down and the used dishes up.

The restaurant has two food servers, one spoke Dutch who’d rather speak with me and the other who spoke French who’d rather speak with Bru. Bru has always something with waiters, they always seem to flirt with her especially when she starts speaking French, haha. Like when we were having lunch at the Royal Turenne Bistro in Le Marais, Paris last year.

Nevertheless, I think it’s about time that Bru works on her Dutch, however, living and working in Amsterdam is not helping at all.

FACT: Many expats-foreigners can survive without having to learn Dutch in Amsterdam for years, and even for the rest of their lives if they elect to stay here forever. I know individuals who’s been living in the city for 10-15 years and they only have these in their vocabulary: ‘ja-nee-goede morgen/middag/avond-dank je wel- alsjeblieft-gezellig!’

This changes though if you decide to live outside Amsterdam, because the pressure to speak the local language will get to you in time.

Travel Period: February 2013
Destination: Brugge (West Flanders), Belgium

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