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5 Things to do in Vaals, Netherlands

30 Aug

No trip to Europe is complete (for me) without a visit to my friend, P in Vaals (pronounced as Faals). Vaals is a really small European town and not on the typical touristy trail (at least not for Indians) but I visit it on every trip to meet with my friends P and J and now most importantly the adorable little M. But apart from spending time with them, Vaals also has some  interesting things to see and do. So here’s a quick guide on 5 things to do in Vaals if you ever find yourself in this beautiful small town in Netherlands.

Flowers at a roundabout, Vaals, Netherlands

Flowers at a roundabout, Vaals, Netherlands

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May Tree Celebration or Maibaum Tradition from Germany

9 Aug

One of my favorite things about traveling is learning newer and unique customs / things of the places that I visit. One such unique custom / festival that we learnt about during our Europe trip was the traditional festival of a Maibaum or the May Tree celebration. We came across this festival in Vaals when we were staying with our friends P and J and couldn’t understand what these colorful hanging trees were. It’s then that P and J explained about this festival to us.

A Maibaum that we saw in Fussen

A Maibaum that we saw in Fussen

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Foreshadow

3 Aug

This week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge is Foreshadow which means “a warning or an indication”.

And on seeing this topic, I just couldn’t help but be reminded of one of the worst storms that we have ever encountered during our travels.  Though it inconvenienced us on the trip then, still it also left us with some interesting memories and travel tales to share.

Clouds Chasing us across the journey

Clouds Chasing us across the journey

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How we planned our Europe Trip

8 May

Planning that first trip to any new continent is quite challenging. But planning that very first trip to Europe is nothing short of an overwhelming and even traumatic experience, as that first looks at the map of the continent and you are – “hmmm now from where should I start”. Even the lonely planet for this continent is super confusing with various editions like continental europe, central europe, western europe, eastern europe, Scandinavia etc etc. Phew…

Europe Map - courtesy

Europe Map – courtesy

This is clearly because there are about 50 countries to choose from and just too many things to see and explore – so much so that you are clearly spoilt for choices. And mind you everything is beautiful and worth an experience / visit. Here each country has its own unique history, culture, art, cuisine, landscape, architecture and in most cases even within each country there are numerous regions and small things to experience.

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In Netherlands, Belgium and Germany – At the same time :)

8 Mar

For the latter part of our Europe trip, my sister and I flew to Cologne and stayed with our friends and hosts –  Priya (P) and Jean (J). Meeting P in Europe was finally a long wished for dream come true, because I had been planning to visit her for the last 7 years, but for some reason or the other, plans just didn’t materialise.

P is now finally settled in Vaals (pronounced as Faals) which is a beautiful small town in Netherlands and on the border of Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. This was also a base for us to explore all the nearby towns and cities.

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Bollywood Corner

10 Feb

My fellow travellers, guess where did we see this shop????

Bollywood Corner…

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Taste of my visit to Europe – Waffles and Cream

3 Feb

Whenever you think of waffles, the first image that comes to mind is a version of a typical Belgian Waffle (flat in a round or square shape) dusted with powdered sugar / cinnamon and served with fresh cream / ice – cream (optional). While we had our fill of those waffles in Brugge (we just couldn’t stop eating those either and later on realised that we were so busy eating that we did not take a single picture), we found another version of these waffles in Monschau.

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Taste of my visit to Europe – A mixed berries pastry

31 Jan

My monday morning blues seem to have extended to Tuesday too… Well, post a hectic weekend and an even more hectic and stressful Monday, it is not surprising that I am now sitting all glum in office and craving for a good sugar hit… And the thing that I really want to eat is – a mixed Berry Pastry.

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Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle

25 Jan

My yearning for visiting Europe (for the very first time) started with a simple postcard sent by my friend P of a beautiful medieval castle with high turrets and flags, surrounded by the high Alps, stunning waterfalls and a picturesque lake in the background. Yes, it was the Neuschwanstein Castle and when we finally ended up visiting Europe, this was one of the first few places we went to. Hence starting my first travel entry on the blog with this post.

First View of the Neuschwanstein Castle

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