9 Reasons to Pack Your Bags and Go to Europe
It’s hard to believe its been almost a year since our 3 week trek through Europe. At the time, I was ready to leave. We were tired of pinching pennies, limiting ourselves to 1 coffee a day to save money (so difficult!), and we knew we were heading home for the first time in almost a year so our excitement to see our friends and family was the only thing on our mind. Not to mention, we spent 3 weeks stuffing our carb-starved bodies with too many breads, desserts and beer and our clothes were getting tighter and tighter with each passing day. Had we stayed any longer, we’d be looking for a new wardrobe and who could afford that in Europe?!
But lately I’ve been finding myself daydreaming of Europe again. It could be because I know the euro isn’t doing so well which means our dollar could go a lot further there than it did last year. But the truth is, I’ve mostly been daydreaming of all the mouth-watering foods we indulged in. It’s not that I’m completely deprived of Western delights here in Chiang Mai, but its definitely not the same as sinking your teeth into a chocolate croissant in Paris or grabbing an authentic German bratwurst off the streets in Berlin. If you are considering of making the leap and heading to Europe this summer, these 9 reasons might just convince you to book those flights!
1. German Pretzels
Let’s start with the pretzels in Germany. Yes – they are really THIS BIG! You can make an entire meal out of one of these pretzels and I’m sure we did that more than a few times and not just to save money. Germany was our first stop on our Euro-trip and this is where the carb loading all began.
2. Crispy Fries/Frites Dipped in EVERYTHING
Sorry America but the Europeans know how to eat their fries – thick and crispy and loaded with all kinds of yummy sauces. Ketchup just seems so…boring now. I need choices!! If you’re ever in Amsterdam, scoop up a cone of fries at the Manneken Pis, where you’ll find a long line of tourists taking absolutely forever to decide which of the 20 sauces they want on their fries. It’s worth the wait!
3. Flemish Beef Stew
Ok so this picture doesn’t do this dish justice, but OMG…this was one of the most delicious meals we ate in Europe! Flemish Beef Stew was a popular dish in Belgium and we finally stopped in a little eatery while in Bruges to indulge. Minutes later we were found licking the plate clean and ordering another round. So hearty and good, especially on a cold day.
We were immediately hooked on currywurst the first time we tried it in Munich and it became a big part of our diet going forward. This German fast food specialty is a bratwurst (usually sliced) over french fries and drenched in curry sauce – which is essentially just ketchup with a curry powder and spices. There are many options when it comes to ordering (red or white brats, the amount of spice you want) and we found there were different variations throughout the country yet we were never disappointed.
5. Belgian Waffle
So yeah…you know those Belgian waffles we talk about in America? Not really “same same”. These are soooo much better! You can literally smell them everywhere in Bruges and it is sensational. But also dangerous. You can get them hot off the press with practically any topping, but the powdered sugar is enough sugary sweetness for me. You really cannot leave Belgium without having a freshly made waffle – add it to your Belgium bucket list and just follow the scent.
6. Mussels from Brussels
Ok I’m lying. These mussels were from Bruges, but mussels from Brussels sounds better. Regardless, mussels are another delicacy in Belgium that we were told we must eat while we were there. So we did. And yes…they were freaking delicious soaked in a garlic and wine sauce. They were also our most expensive meal in Europe – a little splurge I guess you could say. But it just didn’t seem right not to try them.
7. German Spaetzle
AKA. Macaroni and cheese AKA. Heaven in my mouth. I was deprived of cheesy goodness for a year in SE Asia…I couldn’t get enough of this stuff! Enough said.
8. Belgian Chocolate
If you can’t tell, we spent a good amount of time in Belgium simply sampling all of their delectable edibles, but can you blame us? Belgian chocolate was another must-have treat, partly because its so delicious and mostly because you can’t escape it. It’s literally in your face everywhere you go. Who has the willpower to decline? The thing with Belgian chocolate is it also comes in many fun shapes and forms, such as handbags, high heels…and penises of course.
So you know how they say beer is cheaper than water in Germany? We found that is actually true most of the time. And the same goes for Coca-cola as well. So what did we do? We drank a lot of beer. It didn’t seem right to order a coke for the same price. In fact, Charlie wasn’t allowing it. Besides, you can’t go to Europe and not sample all the local beers. You just can’t.
And that was pretty much our diet in Europe. This is also the reason I’ve spent the past year in the gym trying to work the extra pounds off my ass from those short 3 weeks, but I can’t say it wasn’t worth. every. bite.
Do you count calories while traveling or do you let the diet go and indulge? What are some of your favorite foods you’ve had while traveling Europe?