Welcome to the Citadel of Dinant :)

13 04 2012

I love one day trips. You don’t get tired or bored and with enough research, you can have a lovely time outside the city. We went to Dinant last weekend and I have to say… it is a beautiful place to spend the day 🙂 And yes, I will go again as soon as it gets sunny and my friend(s) come(s) visiting… From Brussels there are trains every hour and a round trip is about 13 euros. You will be there in one hour and a half.

View from the citadel

View from the citadel

Don’t eat at the “Le Bariton”. It wasn’t really bad but it wasn’t good either and if you are a foodie, like me… you will feel like you wasted your money. Better stop at the chocolate place 2 doors before and enjoy a nice ice-cream, waffles and other goodies they have there. It was divine 🙂 We didn’t try the restaurants up at the citadel, we were all way to hungry to wait… but I will do it for sure next time.

To visit the citadel, the ticket is about 8 euros… You can climb the 408 steps or you can take the “elevator”… I admit, I took the elevator but I wanted to enjoy the view without struggling to catch my breath 😀 I did take the stairs down and I felt my knees cursing every 2 minutes… but the view is so amazing that it was worth it.

What else?

  • Adolphe Sax was born in Dinant in 1894.  He is the inventor of the saxophone and other musical instruments.
  • Because much of the town was burnt down by German soldiers in 1914, the local authorities have allowed a German flag to be flown amongst all the other European flags which decorate the bridge across the river Meuse only in the year 2000.

We also tried to visit “The Marvellous Grotto of Dinant” but we were there after 5:30 and it was too late to do it. I guess this is yet another reason to go again. I’ve read the grotto was discovered in 1904 and it is considered one of the most beautiful grottoes in Belgium. I haven’t been in a grotto since I was 5 but I still remember how it felt to look at stalactites and wonder how they got there. I wonder if it will feel the same 🙂

For more info, historical facts and pictures go here or here. You can find some of my pictures here, if the slide show decides to work at some point 🙂

A taste of Ghana in Belgium :)

11 08 2011

Yes, a month has passed and I am still happy 😀 Maybe I am in my honeymoon period with Belgium but I am not going to analyze it too much… I am enjoying myself and that is that…

But going back to the subject of my post… On Saturday I was very lucky to get a call from a friend asking me if I want to go to the market near Clemenceau metro station… Apparently it’s the biggest market in Brussels. Allured of the idea of Romanian sour cream and “pui cu smantana” and a touch of dill, I got super excited and trust me, I had every reason to be… I am a foodie and that market in my mind is now a big chunk of my Belgian paradise.

fried plantain 🙂

We got there, Bogdan started explaining the architecture of the market, and I found out there are 4 Romanian stores that have a wide variety of products, from Romanian “branza”(cream cheese) and “smantana”(cream) to even Romanian meat products and “pufuleti”. I was grinning happily, buying different things and then I saw IT… PLANTAIN!!!

While I am writing I have this big plate with fried plantain in front of me… Yummy 😀 I didn’t have red pepper or shrimp oil/sauce but I used butter and it’s as tasty as I recall. While cooking it I remembered all kind of things about Ghana and my friends there 🙂 I am not a big fan of Ghanaian food… Fufu, banku and the many types of spicy rice where never my thing but the fried plantain was the one dish I truly enjoyed there… ok, the fried rice with chicken from the Kaneshie market and the egg sandwiches from the side of the road are also a good memory but the plantain… mmm, the plantain 🙂 I used to eat roasted plantain with peanuts, fried plantain, plantain chips… My favorite was the fried soft one and here I am, after a year and 8 months cooking it for myself.

Ghana isn’t Heaven but for me it is so very special and in so many moments it felt as close to heaven as I could be. Looking back I didn’t appreciate so many things and spend lots of times bickering about them. I don’t regret those times, they are part of the experience, I only regret annoying my friends with my behavior 🙂

So here is to Ghana and experiences that shape us 🙂 and of course, to plantain 🙂

Me happy 🙂

PS: I wrote this yesterday evening while enjoying myself in my new kitchenete 😀

PPS: Image taken from Eating Made Easy

I like :)

30 07 2011

Under my umbrella :)

30 07 2011

There is no need to ask… me loves Brussels.

under my umbrella 🙂

I was reading an article today about how Brussels is like New York… and it had lots of comments on how dirty, ugly, small, smelly Brussels is… What I’ve learn in my life experience is that people see only what they want to see, and most of the times it depends on their mood. No place is perfect, no matter what we like to believe and I think the way we see everything is a very personal choice. Believe me, I was there. I am sure the friends I made in Ghana still remember my first weeks there and all the complaining I made… just as lots of posts about my life in India were angry and bitter. It’s not easy to adapt to new environments no matter how perfect they may be. Our perceptions are totally subjective and so very hard to control.

I like Brussels. I like the small streets with the cubical stone pavement. I like the cafes and the fact that there are so many types of beer to choose from. I like walking around and noticing so many different people. Different when it comes to their looks, their habits and believes… I like being anonymous, I like the parks and the people that ride bicycles. I like the sweets and the “boulangeries”, the pastry shop, The Grand Place and many many other things. It’s a place where you can melt in, observe and explore. I am not even tempted to be annoyed about the rain. Its just another part of Brussels 🙂

Tomorrow I am finally moving in my new place and I am excited to decorate it and transforming it into my home. I want to buy plants for my big window, I plan to cook every couple of days and write as often as possible in order to finish my big project as per my DL. I can just picture it, how it will smell and how it will become a part of me… Me obviously excited 😀

I like change. I’ve changed places so often in the last 3 or 4 years of my life that it has become a lifestyle. I would like on day to have the freedom to move around, 4 months here, 4 months there… and of course with one place that I can always return to…

Maybe Brussels will be the place where I can settle for a longer period of time. And explore Europe… I didn’t really focus on it so far. I already planned trips to Amsterdam, Lille, Paris and Switzerland… and that’s just till the beginning of October 😀

This FY is the year of the explorer…

Me happy 😀

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