Celebrating Swiss National Day

lake LucerneSummer is always a good time to experience a range of Swiss cultural traditions. Musicians, flag- and stone- throwers, wrestlers and yodelers all have their days in the sun. On Switzerland’s National Day, it’s also time for speechifying on the historic Rütli meadow and watching bonfires on hillsides and mountaintops. Basel gets a jump on the day, throwing a party in the Old Town the evening before. Either way, this holiday is a late-bloomer for an old country. Celebrated since 1891, it was formally established as an official holiday just 21 years ago! Continue reading

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Eating light in Porto, Portugal

rio douro portoThe food of northern Portugal is famously hearty–and very often, meat-centric. In Porto, as elsewhere in Portugal, portions at traditional restaurants can be generous to a fault. Happily, the contemporary food scene is inventive in the city where the Douro meets the sea. Continue reading

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Travel Photo Roulette #107: Food markets!

food marketWelcome to Travel Photo Roulette, a weekly contest for bloggers to show off their photography, and compete for the chance to host the next edition. Last week’s contest, “Wrinkles”, was judged by Dyanne of Traveln Lass. As winner of the “Wrinkles” contest, I’m inviting submissions for edition #107, to be posted here on Anita’s Feast. The theme I’ve chosen is “Food markets”.

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Summer outing to Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany

Rüdesheim am Rhein

The Rhine makes a sharp, scenic curve at Rüdesheim am Rhein, which is also a delightful place to stop on any trip through Germany’s Rheingau winegrowing region. When we visited last summer, Tom and I were surprised at the diversity of attractions on offer in this crook of the Rhine. From next weekend’s Rhine in Flames celebration until harvest festivals and beyond, there is always something happening on the tourism calendar in Rüdesheim. Continue reading

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The best tascas and tabernas in Porto, Portugal?

tiled rooftops of PortoDo you seek out good food when you travel? Appreciate local traditions? The tiled rooftops of Porto conceal extraordinary food experiences in the many tascas and tabernas scattered along the steeply-pitched alleyways below. Tom and I are always on a quest for local flavors and good eats–and we found both in family-style meals with locals in Porto. Continue reading

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Old Timer Cars in Baden-Baden

Baden-BadenSeveral times in my years in Europe, I have seen road rallies featuring old cars, beautifully restored and maintained. I enjoy seeing sturdy piston engines tucked inside sleek, or at least colorful, bodies built for another era. And of course, it’s always a pleasure to see American cars in the lineup dating back to my own youth and beyond. On a recent stay in Baden-Baden, I had another chance for just this sort of thing. It was an unexpected American Nostalgia trip. Continue reading

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Frankfurt, Germany: a #NoFilter glimpse

Frankfurt’s Holbeinsteg pedestrian bridgeFrankfurt, Germany, mostly destroyed in World War II, has been rebuilt with vigor and imagination, and is now a thriving center of commerce and creativity. While a number of historic buildings were rebuilt in their original style, postmodern architecture has played a central role in creating the Frankfurt we see today. I especially like the simplicity of style of the Hobeinsteg pedestrian bridge, with its clean and uncluttered appearance. Continue reading

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Nepal still needs your help

Bodnath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal

Late one afternoon last December, on a break from a photography assignment in Kathmandu, Nepal, I returned to my guesthouse for a rest. After changing lenses and charging camera batteries, I lay down to relax in my fourth-floor room. Lying there with my eyes closed, I felt the bed begin to sway from side to side. “What’s going on? I thought. “Is this an Earthquake?” Continue reading

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Lessons from a Catalan kitchen

cooking in Barcelona

“We are chefs, not magicians!” Chef Alvaro told as we toured Barcelona’s Santa Caterina market, collecting ingredients for our cooking lesson. Basque-born and -trained, Catalonian by marriage, Alvaro Brun is a food enthusiast to the core. He is also an ambassador for the fundamentals of good cooking. Before we even tied on our aprons, we were reminded to choose fresh ingredients, choose the proper ingredients for the dish at hand, and above all choose ingredients sure to deliver authentic flavors. Continue reading

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Flying with Àngel: ballooning over Catalonia

Flying high with GlobusKonTikiAs our flight topped out at about 2150 meters (7055 feet), Àngel pointed toward the southeast and said “You can almost see the coastline.” It was hazy in the distance but nearer, within a 10-mile radius, the landscape was studded with villages. Roads wound through fields of terraced farm land, bright green on a May morning. I have always wanted to float on air currents like an eagle, and in Catalonia I had the chance to do just that. Continue reading

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