North America, Europe · 14 Days · 24 Moments · September 2017

Jared's journi to Europe

1 October 2017

30 September 2017

I did a lot of walking my first day in London on Saturday. I visited Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, St. Paul's Cathedral, and a few other places. I had a walking pub tour after lunch but I gave up after the first 2 stops. Everyone on the tour was a couple of generations older than me and I wasn't feeling well. I didn't think that drinking warm beer would help me feel better. I had Indian food for the first time for dinner that night. It was different but still good. I ordered onion bhajia as an appetizer. It was a fried patty with onions, herbs, and spices. My main course was chicken tikka, naan (bread), and a bunch of other stuff that I don't know the name of.

29 September 2017

I visited Notre Dame on Friday morning before leaving for London. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. My train to London arrived 3 hours later than scheduled. Someone snuck onto the train in Paris so the police were called and we were unable to leave on time. Then the train was stopped for 2.5 hours because we couldn't go through the tunnel under the English Channel because of signaling issues. I'm not exactly sure what that means.

28 September 2017

Thursday was another long day. My first stop was at an art museum called Musee d'Orsay. I'm not exactly sure what all of the paintings were about but they looked cool. I only got lost in the museum once so I consider that trip a success. I took a pastry cooking class that afternoon. We made choquettes, chocolate eclairs, and pistachio eclairs and they were surprisingly easy to make. I have a feeling that I'll be requested to make these not long after I get back. We'll see how well I payed attention in class. That night I went back to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up at night. It was full of tourists and couples so I didn't stay long.

27 September 2017

I spent Wednesday afternoon with my new friend Sylvie. Her son is friends with my coworker and she was kind enough to show me around. It was not easy keeping up with her but I made it. We started off at Montmartre to see the Sacre Coeur. It's a basilica on the top of a hill in Paris. After that we had dinner at one of her favorite Parisian restaurants were I was surprised to see Tabasco sauce brought out to the table on side of us. When we were finished eating she brought me to Musee de Louvre.
On Wednesday I went on a walking food tour of the Le Marais district. We stopped at many small shops so it was difficult to take photos of the food that we had. Our stops included salmon, pork, ice cream, chocolate, falafel, a Corsican restaurant, the oldest outdoor market in Paris plus a couple more spots. Once again, everything was delicious.

26 September 2017

Tuesday morning I visited the Eiffel Tower. I've seen a vomit inducing amount of pictures of it but it truly is one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen in my life. I was a little nervous to go to the top when I first saw it but that quickly faded. I don't usually like taking selfies but I had a special request to take one at the top. I consider myself to be good in math but I'm still trying to figure out how the people selling Eiffel Tower replicas manage to turn a profit selling them at 5 for 1€. Something tells me that they're stealing them. After that I went to Musee de L'Armee (the Army Museum). Who knew that looking at weapons and armor beginning in the 1500s could be so interesting. I was looking forward to the World War 2 exhibits the most but I was starting to get hungry so I didn't spend as much time as I would have liked in there.
This is the view from my balcony. The first picture is Hotel de Ville, the second is Notre Dame, and the third is the Eiffel Tower.

24 September 2017

Last night I had dinner with two ladies from the bike tour at Le Nord. It is one of Paul Bocuse's restaurants. Bocuse is considered to be one of the most influential chefs ever in Lyon, the food capital of France. I started with a house made cranberry aperitif followed by a salad with a pork sausage in the middle of brioche bread. I got the veal with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables as my main course. Sorry mom but those were the best mashed potatoes that I've ever had. Sticking with French tradition, we drank wine with our main course.
Yesterday I took a 4 hour bike tour of the city. At first I thought that 4 hours would be way too long but at the end I was wishing that it would have been longer. I should have taken this tour my first day in the city.

23 September 2017

I took a cooking class Saturday that lasted all day long. We started the day by going to the farmer's market where there were over 100 vendors. We bought fresh ingredients for the food that we would be cooking. After that we walked to a bread shop then a cheese shop. It took us about 6 hours to prepare all of the food but it was worth it. The only food that I left on my plate through all of the courses was some of the veloute. I'm not sure that my body knew what to do with the fact that I was eating a squash and mushroom soup. I think that my body was a little more accustomed to the main course, an herb crusted pork filet. I laughed to myself when I was eating cheese and drinking wine. I just couldn't wrap my head around me being in France eating cheese with wine. That's not exactly part of the culture in Louisiana.

22 September 2017

Sorry for the lack of posts the past couple of days. I've been too busy having fun. When I arrived in Lyon on Friday I had lunch outside and met a local that lives in the neighborhood. He helped me with my French, I helped him with his English, and then he gave me a quick tour of the area around my hotel. I had dinner in my hotel Friday night and had plenty of good food that I don't remember the name of. My last two dishes were duck foie gras (a fatty duck liver) and roasted pigeon.

21 September 2017

I took a cooking class this afternoon and we made a tomato and strawberry soup/smoothie, more tomato bread, Spanish omelette, seafood paella, and creme brulee. The paella had something similar to octopus, clams, and shrimp in it. The only thing that I really liked was the omelette and creme brulee.
Park Guell which was designed by Antonio Gaudi, the same person that designed La Sagrada Familia.

20 September 2017

We had dessert and champagne at the last stop. Coffee ice cream with tiramasu, Catalan creme broule with almond ice cream, strawberry cheesecake, and a chocolate truffle with mint ice cream.
We drank wine made in Barcelona at the second stop with cecina ham and tomato bread, raw mackerel with grilled vegetables, fried potatoes covered in red and white sauce and jalapeños, and ox tail with celery puree. The ox tail was my favorite. The mackerel wasn't bad but I probably wouldn't eat it again.
I had a walking food tour to three different restaurants tonight. I tried everything and liked all of it. I don't know who I am anymore. At the first stop of the tour we drank vermouth and ate artichokes, salmon tartar (raw salmon) on bread, chorizo (sausage) and roasted peppers stuffed with pork sausage. My favorite at this stop was the salmon.
I ate at a steak restaurant called Lomo Alto for lunch today. I will be surprised if I have a better meal than this on the rest of my trip. I had a 120 day aged steak with tomato bread, French fries, and roasted peppers followed by a gin and tonic sorbet and an espresso. I did not leave a single bite of food on any of my plates.

19 September 2017

Last night I had dinner with the lady that sat on side of me on the plane ride and two others from her tour group. We had lobster paella (similar to jambalaya), fried potatoes, grilled asparagus and mushrooms, fried calamari (squid), and beef tenderloin. Yes I tried all of it and yes everything was good. Even the squid. One of the ladies from the tour group asked if I would take her to the soccer game with me because her grandkids loved the Barcelona team and it would be a dream come true. She is from Guatemala. I couldn't tell her no and I'm glad that I didn't. She taught me a few things about soccer and I tried to teach her how to take a selfie.
Yesterday I visited La Sagrada Familia, a church that has been under construction since 1882. It is scheduled to be finished in 2026. The pictures do not do it justice. After the tour I had lunch at a small ham shop a couple of blocks away. I guess that I looked like a local because some ladies asked me how to get to McDonald's. I convinced them to sit down and have lunch with me instead.
Got lost in the hills and missed my guided tour of the park. From what I could tell there are lots of beautiful women on these tours so I'll be back on Thursday.

18 September 2017

Tonight's dinner. Iberian ham with pà amb tomàquet (bread with a tomato rub) and pizza margherita.
Enjoying this beautiful weather with an outdoor breakfast.

17 September 2017

It's go time.