Tag Archives: interlaken

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Treat Yo Self: Exploring National Food Identities

While they may not be consistently nutritious, and more notably low in calories, the food that characterizes many European countries is consistently delicious. So many of the places I visited had a sort of “food identity.” I’m here to tell you what each of those identities is as well as remind you to treat yourself to them if you have the chance because you’ll miss it more than you know when you’re home. Eat whatever you want. Do not count calories. Just treat yourself.

Good old Italia. Also the country in which I studied and which also happens to be a country known for its cuisine. Italy is so big and every region’s food is so different, making it easy to come by good food. Studying in Florence, there’s all the places everyone knows and goes to like Zaza’s, Gusta Pizza, All’Antico Vinaio, Pino’s, Gatto, etc, plus SO MUCH MORE/way too many to name. My favorite panini in Florence was definitely All’Antico Vinaio, could’ve eaten it every single day.

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I also loved the panini at a little wine bar called ‘ino over by the Uffizi. Their bread is amazing, and all of the panini have three ingredients, and all of them are delicious.

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Rome has similar food, but they’re definitely known for carbonara so make sure to treat yourself to some if you’re there. Truffle ravioli are an essential part of any Italian experience; so make sure to order those as well because they aren’t hard to come by.

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The truffle ravioli at Tony’s in Rome.
Venetian seafood.
Venetian seafood.

Olives, cheese, meat(s), and wine are essentials in Italy, so treat yourself to as much of those as you can because those truly aren’t the same in the US.

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From left to right all the way down: Milan’s Salsamenteria di Parma served their wine in bowls instead of glasses; Cantinetta dei Verrazzano in Florence has some of the best cheese and meat to go along with their family’s famous wine; treats from La Fierucola, the organic market held on the third Sunday of every month in Florence’s Santo Spirito; gorgonzola, pecorino, honey, meats and wine from a market/event in Piazza Santa Maria Novella; olives and cheese from the same market; cool presentation of cheese and meat at La Vivanda in Florence.
From left to right all the way down: Milan’s Salsamenteria di Parma served their wine in bowls instead of glasses; Cantinetta dei Verrazzano in Florence has some of the best cheese and meat to go along with their family’s famous wine; treats from La Fierucola, the organic market held on the third Sunday of every month in Florence’s Santo Spirito; gorgonzola, pecorino, honey, meats and wine from a market/event in Piazza Santa Maria Novella; olives and cheese from the same market; presentation of cheese and meat at La Vivanda in Florence.

Barcelona, aka many people’s heaven on Earth, has anything you’d ever want and more. Treat yourself to brunch at Milk or Brunch & Cake and then later chow down on some patatas bravas at Tapas 24 or tomate. When you wake up on Saturday, maybe stop by Bo de B for a tasty sandwich filled with all fresh ingredients. From what I could tell, tapas are pretty big here so that’s the thing to try if nothing else, besides maybe the eggs Benny on a waffle at Brunch & Cake/the best treat ever.

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GREECE. Greek food is unreal. If you don’t eat moussaka if/when in Greece, you’re missing out. It’s similar to lasagna in that it’s layered, but this bad boy’s got eggplant or potatoes, followed by some meat, followed by a ‘savory custard’ (tastes like cheese). It’s out of this world.

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Prague: the city of treats. If you’re feeling really wild n crazy and want to gain 5 pounds in a weekend (not really but probably) eat how I ate while I was in Prague. Czech people are into meat and beer. Most dishes are served with potatoes of some sort and all the meat is cooked to perfection. I went during a weekend before Easter, so Old Town Square was filled with tents selling food and beer. They had homemade chips literally right out of the fryer, “grilled” cheese, grilled chicken and veggie skewers and so much SAUSAGE. Treats on treats on treats on treats. This was one of my favorite weekends food-wise, plus beer is the equivalent of water in Prague. While calories did play a very large factor here, I still decided to treat myself, and look how happy I was:

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Amsterdam was hands down my favorite city. If Boston and Venice had a baby it would be Amsterdam. Being here made me miss the US while simultaneously wishing I were European. Food-wise, not much to say except for cheese museum and pancakes. Other than that all the food was what you’d find anywhere. If you don’t eat a pancake or treat yourself at the cheese museum while in Amsterdam don’t worry about it, you probably just aren’t as into cheese as you should be. It’s a museum full of free cheese samples, so I don’t know what more you could ask for. The Heineken Experience is also a must.

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In Germany the majority of what I treated myself to consisted of beer, but Springfest has lots of tasty treats. Some Bratwurst, some roasted chicken, pretzels, more meat, some potatoes. Good stuff, but nothing too exciting.

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Cheese and chocolate are Switzerland’s staples…treats all around. I’m pretty indifferent towards chocolate, but I make up for those feelings with my feelings for cheese.

Treating myself to some candlelit fondue at Gasthof Hirschen in Interlaken. I insist that you do this too.
Treating myself to some candlelit fondue at Gasthof Hirschen in Interlaken. I insist that you do this too.

In addition to their cheese, Switzerland dabbles in landscapes, mountain ranges and overall aesthetic appeal.

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I hope that wherever you study and wherever you may travel, you always remember to treat yourself. So much of my experience abroad involved food and I don’t regret it, nor do I regret anything that I ate, because I thoroughly enjoyed it all. If you ever need encouragement or inspiration, just read this post again.

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“Why We Ride” blog competition

Bus2alps is holding another awesome contest for all those who love travel. All you have to do is write a blog post explaining why you ride with Bus2alps! You don’t have to be a professional writer but creativity, as always, is encouraged.

Blog submissions will be accepted from March 31 until Tuesday, April 8 at midnight CET.

After that, Bus2alps will pick five favorites and open the polls to the public for voting. Voting on the Final 3 blog posts will take place from Wednesday, April 9 to Friday, April 11 at midnight CET. Winners are announced and notified April 12.

Here are the rules:

  • Blog entries must be 1000 words or less

  • Your entry must be posted on your personal blog and submitted with blog link to wiseman@bus2alps.com

  • All entries must have a direct link to the Bus2alps website

  • All blog entries must be tagged with the following: Bus2alps, Student Travel, Student Travel <city you are studying in>, <the destination>, Study Abroad, Bus2alps review

  • The contestant must state the following in their entry:

    • The Bus2alps destination they were/are in

    • Why you ride with Bus2alps

    • Why the Bus2alps trip enhanced your experience

    • And of course any other funny stories or experience you had

  • Entries do not need to be professionally written and must include at least one photo from the trip

Prizes:
3rd place- 50% off French Riviera trip
2nd place- 100% off Interlaken and Lake Como trip AND free Bus2alps t-shirt
1st place- 100% off Bus2alps weekend trip of choice AND free Bus2alps t-shirt and tote

advetnure blog header

Europe’s top 10 adventure experiences

By Emily Rosenbloom and Sara Wiseman

10. Hiking in Cinque Terre
hiking
Lace up your sneakers and get ready to climb. Trails in Cinque Terre offer a stair-filled workout for your buns. The trails also offer incredible views of the towns and coast.

9. Scuba-diving in the French Riviera
scuba
After winning big at the Monte Carlo and living the high life, take a load off and explore Nice’s underwater world.

8. Whitewater Rafting in Croatia
rafting
While this activity gets the adrenaline pumping, visitors should also consider rafting in Croatia for the stunning views.

7. Caving in Budapest
caving
Also known as spelunking, caving is a unique activity that allows you to explore wild cave systems. Why do you want to do this? It’s a unique and beautiful experience in an equally beautiful city!

6. Visiting Morocco
morocco
New continent, new world! Morocco is one of a kind and an experience within its self! If you’re looking for an adventure, Morocco is calling your name.

5. Cliff jumping in Positano
cliff jumping
One word: Awesome!

4. ATV’ing in Greece
atv
Why walk when you can four wheel it around one of Europe’s most ancient cities? It’s the only way to explore Greece!

3. Canyon jumping in Interlaken
canyon jump
One of three places in the world that offers canyon jumping. You’ll take that jump and free fall through the canyon. It’s an adrenaline junkie’s heaven!

2. Surfing in Portugal
surf
Wax up your board and rip the waves. Or, if you’re a newbie, take a lesson to get onto your feet and enjoy the beautiful beaches of Portugal on a different level.

1. Skydiving in Interlaken
skydiving
You’ll never want to leave Interlaken after free falling between the snowy mountains and the two lakes.

reflections

Photo blog: European reflections

All photos credited to Courtney Gallant.