Guess who’s back?
Actually, I’m writing this as I make the last leg of my trip, and I’m heading home! After all, after weeks of traveling, home is where the heart is. Home is where I hang my hat.
This is a chocolate waffle concoction, served with gelato, from a little shop in Barcelona.
And, as it turns out, I’m a Euro Traveller! At least, that’s what British Airways called me as I traveled within the European continent. By that, I assumed they meant that I carried lots of Euros with me. Which, technically, I did not!
Though, I did start out with plenty of euros at the beginning of my journey, but all those pretty postcards, and bookmarks did add up and I just had to have that adorable little mosaic-sculpted owl from Barcelona (so reminiscent of Gaudi, after all). That owl is sure to look perfect in my ever-growing owl collection.
A slice of Sacher Torte from the Sacher Hotel in Vienna, where the dessert was invented.
Then, there were the pair of Italian shoes, a genuine leather purse for my daughter, a couple of tote bags with the names of the cities we were visiting emblazoned on them, a picture book of the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona–the most visually stunning architectural achievement ever created, if you ask me. Not to mention all the meals–croissants, meats, seafood, bottles of “still” water, Sacher tortes—along with public transportation fees, water closet fees, and one delightfully bouncing wooden bumble bee on a spring coil, which I couldn’t resist, and refuse to discuss further.
And, of course there were the chocolates. Ah, chocolate!
As English comedienne Jo Brand once said, “Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.”
And, she should know. She’s from the continent that specializes in all things chocolate. If you ask me, if there’s one thing Europeans know how to make, it’s chocolate. In America, we eat chocolate that can’t hold a candle to its European counterpart. Much of ours seems to be a blander version of their chocolate, and, frankly, I wonder if you can legally call what the big candy companies in the states sell here, chocolate, particularly when it has so many other ingredients, such as emulsifiers, artificial flavors and the like.
Even the European version of the popular American candy, Kit Kat, tastes better. Tres chocolatey, if you ask me. Those Europeans take their chocolate seriously and accept no substitutions in their ingredients.
Which is why our suitcases were stocked with chocolate to last us the coming year. Chocolate bars,
From a chocolate shop in Salzburg.
biscuits, fudge, truffles, cookies, bark, wafers, you name it. Dark, bitter, semisweet, milk, fondant, and even my least favorite, white. All the colors of the chocolate rainbow. And when it comes to chocolate with nuts, the nut of choice, hands down, is hazelnut.
Plus, chocolate makes great gifts for all my chocoholic friends. (There’s one with your name on it, Trisha!)
We procured so many chocolates while in Prague that it earned us two free passes to the Chocolate Museum, which was headed by a snappy Czech, looking rather Willy Wonkish in his big chef hat and white apron, and red ascot.
Which is why I don’t have any euros left, or, for that matter, korunas (which is the currency used in the Czech Republic), except for a few coins. I still have my American money, but, turns out, they’re useless in these parts, and not worth as much as the euro. I also have one pound, a leftover of my trip to London seven years ago, which I brought with me because I knew I’d have a stopover in London and perhaps have time to get a Summer Olympic souvenir.
In Prague, this Belgian waffle on a stick is served with either dark, milk or white chocolate.
So, British Airways may call me a Euro Traveller, but, as it turns out, all they really mean is that I’m traveling within the European continent, which I did twice. First, when I boarded a plane from London to Barcelona, and then another from Prague to London. Soon I’ll be boarding my flight back to the states. And, according to British Airways, that makes me a “World Traveller!”
I can’t wait to be officially back and regale you with stories of my adventures abroad, including my bizarro, Fawlty Towers experience, and my never-ending search for ice.
But let me unpack, and gather my bearings. Let’s hope jet lag doesn’t overtake me. Think of me as one of those astronauts who’s been away from the planet for an extended period and now must remain in a holding pattern before resuming life as I once knew it: Blogging away!
And while I’m busy, ahem, with these other matters, and sorting through the over 1,200 photos I took, I will resume reading your blogs and playing catch up wherever possible, and hoping you’ll forgive me if I miss a few.
All I need now is someone to pass me a shovel so I can unload all the chocolate from the suitcases. And, while I’m doing this, please take a moment to let me know what you’ve been up to, and please leave a link to any of your favorite posts that I may have missed while I was away.