Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Did I Learn on My Trip? Or Travel is an Education!

In the hostel in Ljubljana I had 3 roommates from Belgium the first night and then 3 different Belgians the second night. From them I learned that the various ethnic groups in their country don't like each other and it is predicted that Brussels will become a city state and that the country will split into 2 (or was it 3) separate countries.

Also, the groups do not speak the same language. Does this sound familiar to my fellow Canadians?

It turned out that the two groups in my hostel were from opposing ethnic groups, but I witnessed that they met and there appeared to be no hostilities.

I had no idea this was going on in Belgium. The country rarely makes the news.

Next was my meeting of two Swiss cyclists. One from the German-speaking part of the country and the other from the French-speaking part. Guess which language they communicated in? ENGLISH! Otherwise they couldn't understand each other.

In Zadar, Croatia, I had dinner with a young man from Japan. He spoke no English and I spoke no Japanese. Thank heavens for digital cameras! We showed each other our pictures. We had been at the same place earlier in the day (Lake Plitvice). What I found so fascinating was that we took pictures of such different scenes. He took many pictures of the lakes whereas I found the lakes so insignificant that I didn't take any pics. They were small and surrounding the lakes were low hills. To someone from the land of lakes and mountains (Canada) they were very ho-hum. However I did take a gazillion pics of waterfalls, but it seems that they did not interest him. You would think we had been in different places, but I remember him getting on the bus when I did.

Lastly I learned that one does not need to use full pressure when running the shower. Partial pressure is more than adequate! We North Americans are so incredibly wasteful, though Europeans have far surpassed us when it comes to over-packaging their produce in grocery stores.

Ah yes, and I met some Americans who liked Sarah Palin, or at least thought she got a bad deal from the media during the Presidential race.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Saturday Market in Apt France - Part 3

Pentanque accessories

The booth with the best colour!

These boys hammed it up while my son took a pic of them, and then
did the same while I took one. I heard other tourists talking about
them hoping to find them and so they could take a pic.

My son noted that everyone came to the market with bags.

 What would a French market be without baguettes!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Saturday Market in Apt France - Part 2

Lots of olives

There were free samples to be had here, cept I don't like olives

Biggest loaves of bread that I have ever seen! I seem to
remember them being about 30" long!

French fast food. I hope they never change to
the garbage that North America puts out.

There was a huge variety of cured meats at this booth.

I couldn't figure out how to capture this booth in way that show how much was available, yet showed how interesting the food looked.

 Of course there was olive oil

Should one get hungry, there was a restaurant to dine at.
Love the use of a bike to hang the sign on.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday Market in Apt France - Part 1

I am about to leave on another trip, so I guess I should finish posting the pics from the last one, which happened a year ago!

The market in Apt, which is in the south of France, due north of Aix-en-Provence and east of Avignon, is famous in France. I can see why. It was full of vendors selling a fascinating array of goods. Locals say that in the summer it is very crowded. We were there in early October, and it was perfect.

There's a couple of baguettes in that bag. You see people carrying them all the time.

Free samples

The sign says it all

Monster rounds of Gruyere and Edam cheese. Too bad I didn't
have something there for scale.

This pleasant man was highly entertaining. Characters like this are
an important part of a market!

It was mushroom season when we were in Provence. We bought
some and cooked them up. Though no truffles for us!