adventure, memories, Travel

48 hours in Prague

One February weekend, I spent amazing 48 hours with one of my oldest friends in her new base – the gorgeous Prague. It was a whirlwind and exploration mostly by night, but looking back, there are a few things that stuck with me as the make or break factors for enjoying the travels.

Start with the unexpected

IMG_6287Imagine re-starting your day at 9pm with nothing on your agenda. What would you do?

I wanted to go out. I wanted to be carefree and happy. I wanted to observe others who felt the same way, and see the reactions they had to each other, the funny dances and how unaware everyone is when they feel free.

Find the right people and never let them go

Do you know a perfect shitty bar, where you can venture to at any point, no matter what day it is, and where, with the right group of people, you can have the best of times? The perfect shitty bar, where if you hated anything unexpected, noisy places, weirdos in suits and drunken tourists it would be a pretty painful experience. Blazinec is one of those places. It’s perfect neighbourhood’s shitty bar, where you can have fun with your regular crowd, and where you can live up the night with your awesome crowd (either crowd is not provided in the bar). I was lucky to have my awesome crowd of 3 with me.

The next day – go explore

fullsizeoutput_19deYou may have visited a place a thousand times. But there are still things you haven’t seen! Few years back, one of the poorer neighbourhoods was flooded. Not much was left in good shape. Fast forward to 2017 and Vrsovice is full of restaurants, cafes, random concerts, markets and hipsters.

We strolled down towards Muj Salek Kavy – a quaint little cafe with good coffee and healthy-ish desserts! You’ll pass St Vaclav Church and can make your way up to the national monument on top of Vitkov.

Don’t worry, be fashionably late and let yourself be your best

0-02-05-e5d72738fc2015c8c123d176452cfa7b3db5ed02bd092863f8b88570818fa3db_full.jpgDid I mention there was a ‘real’ reason why I went to Prague? My bestie and I got concert tickets to see Thievery Corporation. As super experienced concert goers we were convinced that such a versatile group of party makers would not start earlier than 9pm – i mean pluh-ease! Well, Google knows best, and my calendar alert does too, so at 6:30 pm we were told the concert starts at 7pm. We were 30min drive from the apartment, needed to change and freshen up after the whole active Saturday thing and we are two ladies who do tend to take time looking their best!

We were late. Not much, but a little. It did not matter though – we felt fabulous. The music was great, the crowd was amazing with older couples, parents with kids, and us, the ladies just getting into 30s, with hippie wannabes and hip-hop fans. The best concert in a while.

Go the extra mile and be rewarded

Our night did not stop there. The night Prague was inviting and we needed a cool walk after the hot, sweaty, pumping crowd at Roxy.

IMG_6302Steps led us directly to Absintherie, the best absinth bar I’ve ever seen. Not much to compare it to, but when you know, you just know. The all female crew was super skilled both with drinks and tourist crowds attempting to flood the bar. The bar was full of kind, interesting people curious to learn more about the art of absinth. We all had to pay attention, as one minute you admire the woodwork around the bar and the next you are watching the bartender pour fire – real, burning hot, flaming fire. Sipping on the liquid, you could almost taste it. Flavour wise, we bet on original – it was very dry, bitter and we did drink loads of water with it.

But that was not enough. Tour de bars led us to an amazing cocktail bar – le Valmont – for this place, you better dress up. Amazing staff including a valet/doorman, signature cocktails and cozy, intimate atmosphere. Perfect.

Now, along the lines of a typical CzechoSlovak fashion, people tend to reminisce positively about the musical heydays of 80s and early 90s. We ended up hitting the 80s bar, the most touristy place we’ve been to the whole weekend, but overall it was a good mix of locals and tourists. Some ladies appeared in long gowns, no doubt finishing up the Carnival season. I had more fun filming the changing technicolour lights on my friend’s face. It was an epic moment and made me love that place (and my friend) forever.

The next day, we took it slow, walked around the river and grabbed some local food and drinks at Naplavka. 48 hours completed.praha 1

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Food, Things to do in Belgium, Travel

Berry Nice

I can’t even remember the last time I went berry picking. Oh wait! Two years ago, my family and I went to The Berry Barn while we were on vacation in Canada, only to find there were no berries! Sadly, we had just missed the season. Super disappointing as we were looking forward to their famous Blueberries! #noblueberriesforme

But everything changed this summer when Hubby, Babe and I managed to get ourselves over to Plukhof farm in Heist-op-den-Berg (around 30 mins away from Antwerp) to do a little berry picking.

Plukhof was smack bang in the middle of its Raspberry, Blackberry and Red Currant season. They also have lots of organic fresh veggies including green beans, cucumbers, courgette, carrots, onions, etc.

We arrived around noon and the sun was shining, it wasn’t muddy (WIN) considering Belgian’s notorious lovely weather (A.K.A heavy rain) the night before and (the added bonus) there weren’t many people picking berries 🙂 #allberriesaremine. The owners of the farm are a super friendly couple who showed us around and gave us a quick run-down on what is and isn’t allowed #ignoredthispart!!!

Tasting IS allowed, eating ISN’T! Must remember this, must remember this, must – nom nom nom nom!

Hubby and I had heaps of fun picking the juiciest, ripest berries on the farm. Our toddler, on the other hand, had a terrible time #veryberrymonster! She whinged and whined, squashed berries, rolled around the ground having screaming fits and was generally miserable the whole time we were there. It’s safe to say that it isn’t something that we would like to experience with her again anytime soon #noberriesforher! You never know until you try – right?

The prices are super affordable considering you are getting fresh organic fruit. We paid 13 euros for 1.5 kilos of Blackberries, 4 euros for a ½ kilo of Raspberries and 6 euros for 1 kilo of Red Currants. We also picked up a couple of veggies, which were super cheap. Their Pumpkins are €1.80 a piece, onions €2/KG and courgettes are €1 a piece. #goodvalue #farmtotable #lovefood #realfood #farmfresh

As soon as we got home, I decided to make jams out of the berries that we were not going to eat and soup with the veggies. I also made Blackberry crumble and Raspberry Compote. #jamheaven

We’ve been enjoying our spoils over the last few weeks, but sadly it’s all nearly gone. Looks like we will have to take another trip out there soon – sans bebe!

For now, I’ll leave you with my Blackberry Chia jam recipe. Hope you enjoy as much as we have!! #nomnomnom

Blackberry Chia Jam

500g fresh blackberries

Splash of fresh orange/lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons organic pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons freshly ground chia seeds (use coffee grinder)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)

  1. Add blackberries and lemon juice to a medium-sized pot and bring to the boil, stirring frequently (approx. 5 mins). Reduce heat to low and simmer until the berries soften and then lightly mash berries with a fork until desired consistency.
  2. Stir in the maple syrup and ground chia seeds. Cook the jam on low until it thickens. Make sure you stir the jam so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan (approx. 5 mins).
  3. Remove the jam from heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste and cinnamon. Let the jam cool to room temperature and then pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge. The jam will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

P.S. Plukhof is now closed for the season, but you guys should seriously put it on your list of things to do next year.

Plukhof

Heerweg tussen 50 & 52
2222 Wiekevorst
014 26 06 04
0495 88 53 38
info@plukhof.be

P.P.S They only take cash, so be sure to take enough with you.

UPDATE: Since this blogpost has taken me forever to finish, we went back a second time – avec bebe – and she love, love, looooooooooooooooooooooved it J Phew #veryberrymonsters

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adventure, memories, Travel

Weirdlights in Milan

I recently stumbled across this quote which I got super excited about : ‘Spend your life doing strange things with weird people’. It just screams out for anything attitude and adventure-driven (with a twist)!

My friend Elisa and I met up in Milan, Italy few weeks ago. It was beautiful, and sunny and warm, and fun. But also a little off at times. To compensate for all the beautiful things and people, here are 7 weirdlights (highlights but with weird twists – hence weirdlights) you should absolutely attempt to live through when you want your weekend to be a little sideways, a little backwards, totally strange, entertaining and above all memorable.

  1. Pick a person on a plane. Someone who really, really cares whether your suitcase fits under the seat and make the flight attendant justify the company policy for carry-ons. Or perhaps they are just curious and need to know. Look embarrassed and angry the whole flight as you sit next to them. #carestoomuch
  1. You arrive at your destination! But wait, you forgot to lose your luggage. Either leave it to the airline or do it yourself, but do it immediately. Go shopping for underwear the next day only to get that #travellinglight feeling.
  1. Hope you booked your hotel. To get that adventurous rush, get the one where the reception closes at 8pm. Nothing compares to a Liam Neeson-like-run to get there on time. For added danger, find a receptionist that would threaten to leave you without a bed. #betterbeontimeinitaly
  1. Most of the time, however, the receptionists #wontleaveyouhanging. Instead they will give you puppy-eyed glances (or glares) to make you feel guilty for coming late. Refer to number 3.
  1. It’s time to start sightseeing. Wait there is nowhere to buy public transport tickets. Just wing it! You (usually) always buy it, but it’s only few stops. Getting caught and surrounded by arrogant Italian ticket inspectors, paying a fine and being told you should ask someone for information if not sure about buying a ticket and then being refused to be given this information from the said ticket inspectors – all in Italian of course – drives you to three solid conclusions #ristakerspayfinesinItaly #touristsaretheworst #couldhavebeenarrested
  1. OK, all awake now? Adrenalin must have rushed in at number 5, but to be sure, go get a shot of coffee (standing up of course) before the next mission of finding a grocery store around the centre of Milan. Google it. Find ‘Peck’ in results. Find the store. Realise it is a posh brunch place. #lookatthemenushakeyourheadinpretenddisgust #gofindanormalgrocerystore #googlesearchfail
  1. And in case you need that added value of randomness to top off the weirdlights – meet a friend for lunch or afternoon of sightseeing only to find out the friend only has 10 mins to look around as their flight leaves in an hour.

#weirdlights #strangecanbefun #firstblogpost #quirky #funny

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