Category Picnics

A Roman amphitheatre, Byzantine mosaics, and an emergency picnic with bragging rights in Durrës

Our rushed day in Durrës went like this; rain, walk, rain, walk, rain, where the hell is the amphitheatre, rain, walk, oh there’s the amphitheatre, oh there’s the archeological museum, oh man am I ever hungry, torrential rain, thunderstorm, emergency picnic, walk, rain, salad, mosquitoes, vagina lamp. I have the impression that Durrës, due to […]

Eating stuffed cabbage in a forest in Transylvania and a washing machine adventure in Sibiu

Before I visited Romania I had the vague impression that the country was run amok with wild drivers, packs of rabid dogs and Dracula kitsch.  Here’s what I’ve found so far: a proud folk heritage, ravishing countryside, friendly and astute people, lots of smoking and yummy (if meat-laden) food.  For a taste of Transylvania’s enchanting […]

You’ll all be relieved to know my right boob did not set off the metal detector at airport security and we are now walking around the Pyrénées chasing St. James

We made it to Toulouse drama free, well, drama free except for my usual fear of flying and a new-found concern that my boob would set off security alarms.  I recently had two titanium chips implanted in my breast during a biopsy of a suspicious lump….and I’m happy to report that not only was the […]

The next time you’re in Vézelay tell the people with the elephant ears I said hi

We were all alone in Vézelay’s Sainte-Marie-Madeleine Abbey, the light was fading, darker, darker…and then we climbed down into the crypt.  No, not actually a horror story ending, but in fact the ending to a perfect day, a day we spent from sunup to sundown in and around one of the world’s greatest Romanesque churches. Vézelay […]

Flatulent cheese and green sauce: what we ate in Frankfurt

HOB and I have been together 18 years, sharing a of love of art in situ and adventurous eating, and finally, in Frankfurt, I’ve found something I’ll eat that he won’t.  Handkäse mit Musik “hand cheese with music” is a sour milk cheese aged and marinated in oil and vinegar and a specialty of Frankfurt, […]

Why you don’t need to be rich to be a cultural tourist, and why it’s probably better not to be (really!)

I remember the exact moment: after a morning of winding our way uphill through the medieval Albayzín neighborhood of Granada in Southern Spain, we reached the San Nicholas Viewpoint. We picnicked while taking in the enchanting view of the Alhambra and surrounding mountains and I mentioned to HOB that, according to our guide book, this […]

Picnic at the Greek theatre of Syracuse

It’s not every day I can chow down on a can of tuna fish sitting in a theatre built in the 5th century BC, though as someone who has worked in and around theatres most of my adult life, I was thinking of mostly practical matters.  For example: if this theatre sat 15,000 or more people, […]

Panini picnic at the Duomo of Syracuse

The entire gorgeous city of Syracusa is a UNESCO World Heritage sight, and if it were up to me, I would extent UNESCO status to it’s panini.  Specifically, Caseificio Borderi Elefteria located at Via Emanuele de Benedictis, 6, Siracusa, Italy. We walked through Ortygia island neighborhood of Syracusa,  towards the Ionian Sea, avoiding the rements of […]

Magnificent Monreale Cathedral, an amazing cloister followed by a beef spleen sandwich

The Cathedral of Monreale in Monreale, Sicily, exceeded my high expectations.  Until I have a chance to write more, I’ll tease you with a few photos of the mosaics and cloister.  Dating from around 1200, the cathedral and it’s art are pristinely preserved. After a day in Monreale, we returned to Palermo and furthered our […]

Picnic at the cathedral: how to picnic in Europe

If you’ve traveled across the ocean to see a great work of architecture, a wonderful way to enhance your visit is to picnic in front of it.  Beautiful view?  Check.  Chance to observe and interact with locals?  Check.  Cheap? Check, check check. While picnicking is fun for it’s own sake, it’s also practical.  You have […]