Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Greek food

Before going to Greece, my favorite Greek food was hummus and baba ghanoush. The first thing we did when we got to Greece was try to find some hummus. It took us 5 days of searching and we finally just asked a restaurant why no one served hummus and it turns out neither hummus nor baba ghanoush are greek dishes. The waiter was actually offended when we asked him... he said lots of American's come asking for hummus, but it is a middle eastern dish. 

Those were the only two food items I knew I liked, so without those the trip turned out to be a culinary adventure. 

One of the great surprises of the trip was finding out I liked the dolmadakia's (seen below on the left plate). These are stuffed grape leaves and I have tried them before in the states and hated them. But in greece, they were wonderful!  Also pictured below are the greek meatballs in tomato sauce (very back plate). These are known as Soutzoukakia and they were Luke's favorite dish. The meatball mixture is also what they use to make their hamburgers which Jack enjoyed very much. 

From left: dolmadakia's, greek salad, can't remember what the
dish on the right was, in the back are the greek meatballs
Although we didn't find baba ghanoush, we did find eggplant salad "Melizanosalata" which is pretty similar. That along with tzatziki and some fresh bread was a daily appetizer for us
Eggplant salad and tzatziki
Fried vegetables of all kinds were also very popular
In the island of Santorini we tried the local specialty of fried tomato patties (top left).
Top left: fried tomato patties, bottom left: tzatziki,
bottom right: skewered meatballs, top right: feta eggrolls
More tasty Greek food that I can't remember what it was
Octopus vinaigrette was also very popular. Luke was the only one brave enough to try it, but he could only eat one bite
Top left: the octopus piece Luke is trying to feed Jack
Even though it's not a greek dish, I found one restaurant that served hummus so I got some
By far our favorite discovery were the greek donuts "loukoumades." These tasty treats are small fried donuts covered in honey cinnamon sauce.

I wouldn't say I loved greek food. It was okay, but I'd be fine if I didn't eat it again. The funny thing is my favorite meal on our Greece trip was the food I ate during our 1 day in Turkey. Makes me want to plan a vacation to Turkey just to get some more Lahmacun.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Weekend in the Alps

For my birthday we drove up to Lauterbrunnen for a weekend in the mountains

Our guide
 Lauterbrunnen is known for it's many waterfalls, on our first hike of the day we counted 11.

We hiked from Lauterbrunnen city to Trummelbach falls. It was a nice and easy hike that Jack could do... when he wanted
 The hike was beautiful and waterfalls surrounded us on all sides

One of many hang gliders who jump from the steep cliffs above

Jack wanted everyone to wear flowers so Luke told him to
put on a "tough" face with the flowers in his hair. 

 The Trummelbach were amazing! They are a series of 10 glacier waterfalls that blast through a small canyon and you can go deep inside the mountain to see them
I was actually a little scared getting so close to this powerful waterfall. I have never seen anything like it. We had to put Jack in the backpack because 1 slip could be fatal.
 A view of Lauterbrunnen from one of the lookout places at Trummelbach falls

 After our hike through the waterfalls, we took a train up to the car-free city of Wengen and took a short rest at our hotel
 Our hotel on a cloudy Saturday
 Sunday morning the clouds parted and and we were ready for our "big" hike

 Looking from the town of Wengen up to the top of the mountain where we would start our hike
 Playground in Wengen
 The Männlichen cable car taking people up to the top

 View of our ride to the top of the mountain
 Starting our hike at the top of the mountain

 A view of the peaks: Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau

 This is a very popular summer hike and the trail was filled with lots of families

 A rock garden
 The town of Grindelwald in the valley
Finally we can see our destination in the distance! Even though it was a fairly "easy" hike, I barely made it. Seems my energy is fading day by day...
Our destination was the Kleine Scheidegg restaurant, the one and only place who serves Rostizza (a mix between rosti and pizza)
 Probably my favorite meal in Switzerland
 We also got a dessert that was pretty much shredded apples with an unsweetened cream sauce. I don't think it was sweet enough for Jack
We had planned on walking from the kleine scheidegg back down to Wengen, but I was thoroughly exhausted so instead we caught the train back down.

It was a great weekend! I can't wait to go back.