The Freiburg Münsterplatz farmer’s market is a great place to buy some tasty veggies, yummy sausages, flowers, or lots of other stuff. It’s open from Monday through Saturday, 7:30am to 1:30pm. On Monday it starts out small and then it gets a little bigger every day and by Saturday the Münsterplatz is completely packed with stand and shoppers. On the north side of the market you can find local produce from the region, and on the south side there are merchants selling all kinds of things. For lunch a grilled wurst from one of the many wurst stands is a must. The Freiburger Lange Rote is a special long red sausage from the region, and there are also many other kinds to choose from. Vegetarians have no excuse for missing out on the fun because there is even a tofu wurst stand!
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Have you tried out an e-bike yet? They are kind of like regular bikes except they have a battery and a motor which makes them heavy and very expensive. More importantly, some e-bikes can go really fast, like the Raleigh that I rented last weekend. My top speed was about 45 kph, which is just about 28 mph. I found it funny that I had to check the speedometer while driving through towns where the speed limit is 30 kph or lower. The electric motor also comes in handy for hill climbing and traveling long distances. In one day we e-pedaled from Freiburg over the Schönberg to Staufen and then back again. The roughly 40 kilometer trip would have been a pretty intense workout on a normal bike, but on an e-bike it was a relaxing, easy ride through the woods and vineyards. I definitely recommend renting an e-bike (a fast one) for a day if you ever have the opportunity because it is great fun!
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I thoroughly enjoyed Herbstfest in Schliengen last weekend. There were so many different kinds of homemade jams, jellies, spreads, cheese, breads, meats, and apple juice to try. There was also “new wine” which is newly fresh pressed wine not available in supermarkets, and of course gutedel (aka chasselas blanc), a popular wine in Markgräflerland. The fest was held at the Erste Markgräfler Winzergenossenschaft, which is the first and the oldest wine collective in Markgräflerland. It was founded in 1908 by local pastor Leonhard Müller together with 36 growers from the region.
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According to some internet research, the local foods to try in Ghent are Gentse waterzooi (chicken stew) and stoverij (beef cooked in dark beer). After walking around the city for an hour checking out the menus at every single restaurant we decided on Restaurant de Graslei in the sun by the canal. I got the stoverij and it paired very nicely with a dark Gulden Draak ale. The portion was generous with salad and fries included and everything was delicious. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try the waterzooi but there’s always next time!
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I toured the Istrian Peninsula with some friends last week. We went city hopping down the coast from Umag to Novigrad to Porec to Rovinj to Pula. I loved the coastal cities with their stone walls, buildings, and streets. The people were friendly and the seafood was tasty. The best place for souvenir shopping that I found was the city market in Pula. Touristy stuff like olive oil and honey were much cheaper there than in tourist shops or the Rovinj market. The Pula market also had fruits and goat cheese for good prices.
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Today I am enjoying a cool rainy day in Germany. The last few days just about hit 40 degrees Celsius, which is quit hot when combined with a little humidity. Other than the heat my first week here has been fun. I enjoyed some flea market shopping, ate some ice cream, and visited a few good cafes. Next week will be a visit to the Bodensee and then off to Croatia. Bis später!
Fancy a visit to Loch Lomond? There’s no need to go all the way to Scotland because we have our very own Loch Lomond right here in California. Less than an hour away from San Jose near the small town of Lompico, the Loch is actually a reservoir open to boating, fishing, picnicking, and hiking (but no swimming). My friends and I arrived there Monday after work and the sun on the water and trees was perfect for photos. We walked a little around the lake and did a bit of fishing with two bites but no catches. There are a lot of really nice picnic areas with bbq grills and tables so I will have to go back someday for a picnic with more friends and more food. It was pretty deserted on Monday but I imagine the weekends could be a bit more busy.
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I went out to do some biking with a friend at Grant County Park and when we arrived there was some kind of event happening and the trail we had planned to take was closed. We had to take a different route than what we were planning but we still got to go up some crazy hills.
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About a year ago I was looking for a good watch that I could wear backpacking or traveling and I ended up with the Seiko 5 SNK803 automatic. The 4.4 out of 5 rating on Amazon.com is solid evidence that this a capable watch. It isn’t the most accurate or rugged watch in the world but it might be the best at its price point. I’ve also seen the Seiko 5 on sale at various etailers like Jomashop so if you keep an eye out you may be able to find one new for under fifty dollars. Read on for my review of the Seiko 5.
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My sister lives in Felton so I took her disc golfing at the Felton Black Mouse course. The course is behind the San Lorenzo Valley Middle School at the end of Hacienda Way. It is not open during school hours so you can only play afternoons or weekends. To get to tee one you climb the stairs to the field and go to the gate on the south side of the field which is on your left at the top of the stairs. At first I was disappointed with the first two or three tees because of the heavy foliage but after that the course clears out a bit and you end up in an awesome redwood forest. The tees are mostly short so it could be good for beginners if you skip the first two or three tees.
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