All posts tagged: Drive Your Adventure

Italian way

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LE TORE RISOTTO  (gluten and lactose free) Ingredients: 1 onion (cipolla) 2 celery stalks (sedano) Le Tour tomato coulis (coulis al pomodoro “le Tore”) Le Tore olive oil (olio d’oliva “le Tore”) Recipe: Cut onion very fine into small cubes, pour into a skillet coated with olive oil. Remove celery leaves. Cut stalks lengthwise. When width is thin enough, cut stalks into very small cubes. Pour into skillet. Put skillet on high heat and sauté celery and onion for 5 minutes. Add the tomato coulis. Salt the mixture. Leave temperature on high for 5-10 minutes until moisture from tomatoes evaporates. Stir from time to time with a wooden spoon. Pour risotto rice into the sauce. Stir constantly. Let rice cook in coulis on high heat for 5 minutes, then lower heat. When rice begins to stick, add water. Repeat several times whenever necessary. The rice normally cooks in 20 minutes, but test it often to stop cooking at the desired tenderness. An extra touch: 2 garlic cloves, cut in half (aglio) Le Tore olive oil …

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TZATZIKI!

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In Greece, no restaurant is without tzatziki. It’s always there. Prices range from €2.50 to €4.50 and it’s normally served with the “mezze” (small appetisers to share or a snack before moving on to more serious fare). We ate tzatziki (almost) every day we spent in Greece. While it usually has the same basic ingredients: cucumber + yoghurt + garlic, its flavour changes based on the cooks and the region. Here’s a taste of 2 varieties gleaned during our wanderings: -TZATZIKI HALKIDIKI Ingredients: 1 cucumber: angouraki Full-fat Greek yoghurt (dessert-type yoghurt): giaouti tin elliniki 1 garlic clove: skordo olive oil: elaiolado dill: anitho Recipe: Peel the cucumber, remove seeds, and cut into cubes. Place in a sieve with some salt, let drain. Put yoghurt into a bowl. With a garlic press, crush the garlic clove in the yoghurt. Check on cucumbers in the sieve, make sure liquid has been removed. If necessary, press with your hands. When it’s well drained of its fluids, mix into garlic yoghurt. Stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve …

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Meteora stop-over

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The Meteora: These one-of-a-kind mountains rise from the middle of the Plain of Thessaly (in central Greece). They were formed by a northern river that slowly deposited sediment, sand, and rocks over a long period of time until the water receded to the sea, leaving these sandstone mountains behind. And the sight of these giant rocks is stunning. If you’re at the summit on a foggy day, you won’t be able to see the mountains’ base… they appear to float in the air, earning the name the monks gave them 500 years ago: Meteora. This site isn’t just a national park that’s been classified a World Heritage site by UNESCO. It’s also a place of worship for Orthodox Christians. Monks have taken refuge here since the 10th century. They first lived as hermits in caves they reached by climbing the rocks alone or using ropes and wood. Then they built their monasteries, stone upon stone. There are still around fifteen monasteries at the top of Meteora, but only six are still inhabited by monks or …

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A Greek summer

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Well, there we have it… it’s a postcard-perfect summer with beaches to bask on. Greece and its daily 30° temperatures are mercifully filled with wind that keeps us from suffocating. We’re a long way from July’s hats and anoraks in Norway. Here less clothing is required; we live in our swimsuits. Less clothing = fewer trips to the laundromat = less mess! The van feels like it’s bigger because we have an extra room: the outdoors. How nice it is to take out our table and chairs, to put up a line for drying towels. The world is our living room and we love it. — Travelling Perspective. During this road trip, we are obviously driving. A lot. In the first four months of this trip, so far 134 days, there have only been 4 days when we didn’t drive. Whether it’s a half-hour drive or a 6 hour one, we drive every day. We’re getting used to long distances. We drink in the landscape around us, carried along by our playlist. We chat, sing, …

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Romanian feelings

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In France, many small country towns are dying. How many do we know like this? Not long ago, you could find a baker, a butcher, a hairdresser, a corner store or other small local businesses along the main street. They closed one after another, leaving empty windows, some of which have become makeshift art galleries. We have these dying towns all across France. In Romania, we rediscovered what rural life could be. Even the tiniest village is alive: retirees sit in front of their homes and talk while watching the passing cars, kids ride their bikes, a woman leaves the bakery carrying two big loaves and waves to two men in hats, tractors drive by harnessed carts, the terrace at the only neighbourhood bar is packed with people… In short, there’s life. These towns have kept their souls, their energy. The farming culture is still here and you can sense pride in a heritage no one wants to lose. We would love for the rural French towns to fill with people again and spread peace …

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From Banpotoc (farm) with love

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In Banpotoc, John and Andrea introduced us to their neighbours Auntie Tuta and Uncle Costi. Costi brought out his precious bottles of tsuika and afinata. Tsuika is a brandy that’s most often made with fermented plums. Afinata is a berry liquor (in this case, blueberry). Tuta brought out non-alcoholic beverages and popcorn. So there we found ourselves, sitting at a table in their courtyard, trying to understand Romanian under the amused gaze of a mother duck and her 12 ducklings. Costi comes out her precious bottles of tuica and afinata. The tuica is a water of life the majority of time at base of fermented plum and the afinata is a liqueur of berries (in this specific case of the Blueberry). Tuta bring soft drinks and popcorn. We are seated in their backyard to try to understand the Romanian under the eye entertained a cane and her 12 ducklings. This is the only Latin language in the midst of all these Slavic countries, which helped us understand a few words and sometimes even the overall …

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Another Tour of Europe

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The “Globe Roaders”, Vanessa and Guillaume, are adventurers, travellers and good sports. They were one of the 3000 teams that took part in the Wevan competition. When the results were announced we saw their comment that read: “Wevan didn’t choose us, but it doesn’t matter, we’re going anyway!” Because, in fact, they had been organising their trip for the last 3 years. Between buying the van, completely kitting out the interior, organising leave, and other preparations, it took them 3 years until they were finally ready! They set off on 11 April and since then they have visited 12 countries and put 15,000km on the clock. Our paths crossed in Zdiar in Slovakia, 12km from the Polish border in the Tatra Mountains. There’s nothing like a hike in the mountains to get to know each other. When we returned we set out to look for a spot for the evening and to spend the night. After parking our vans side by side we examine and compare them. Patrick, brand-spanking new, and Drakkar, home-made. We fall …

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Wild peppermint tisane

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Recognising peppermint is easy: the leaves look just like the mint we’re used to, the only difference is at the tip with its little purplish-blue flower. It doesn’t grow alone – look for shrubs. Gather a big bouquet and tie the base together with some string or an elastic band. Hang it upside down and let it dry for 3-4 days. Check that the leaves inside the bouquet are dry too. When everything is properly dry, pick off each flower and each leaf and pop them in a clean, dry jar. Your after-dinner tisane is ready! Once your water is boiling add a dozen leaves and one or two flowers to your teapot and let it infuse for a good 10 minutes. Taste!

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Eastern feelings

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We feel as though we’ve escaped time. As if we’re suspended outside reality, outside our culture. For us, there are no depressing Mondays, no lunch breaks with colleagues, no drinks with friends on the terrace, no happy Fridays, no weekend plans, no work-eat-sleep-repeat, no holidays. We’re losing the notion of time and it’s a strange feeling. We feel like we’re on the fringes, avoiding any standard schedule. Without our normal routine, it feels as though time is a wave that sometimes expands or suddenly accelerates. Writing a daily journal entry helps keep track of the calendar. But days of the week and dates don’t really mean much. The weekend no longer exists without the weekdays and vice-versa. It’s up to us to define each day and give it meaning. We’re free to live life to the fullest day by day. — Sometimes, we have what we call “one of those days”. This happens most often because there’s something wrong with the destination for that day’s trip: closed today, doesn’t exist, wrong GPS coordinates, etc. When …

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Adopted for a weekend

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Randomly meeting people sometimes leads to amazing things. While lost in the Ojcow National Park west of Krakow, we happen upon a group of young French people drinking water from a source that supposedly grants eternal love. Marie, Matthieu, Marc, and Félix come to this tiny village every year to spend time with their Polish family. After exchanging a few words, we’re invited to eat at their grandmother’s house, sharing bread, cheese, charcuterie, and beer with parents, friends, uncles, and cousins. It’s a beautiful summer evening filled with discussions and laughter from everyone. We hear French, Polish, and English in a happy melting pot of smiles and warmth. Our adopted family spoils us the entire weekend. In between meals and snacks served by the Polish mum, we go jogging in the morning and play cards and badminton. We learn that saying “no” is not allowed when she offers us something to eat for the tenth time that day. But who could complain? Everything is delicious. As we’re leaving, a neighbouring grandmother hugs me while speaking …

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