For the Beer Lovers – Czech Republic Edition

14 Apr

Did you know the on average adult in the Czech Republic drinks 80 gallons of beer a year? This is among the highest consumption in all of the world. Czech’s are also the creators of the famous Pilsner-style beer and this recipe dates back to the 1840’s. In the little research I’ve done, I’m realizing just how much they love their beer. In the city of Prague, beer prices range from $0.90-$2.95 for just under a pint (yes, that’s USD). I can get used to having to pay those prices!

imagesbeerThere is a 6th annual Czech Beer Festival being hosted again this year in Prague, starting May 16th  to June 1st, and there’s a chance to try over 70 brands of Czech beers. This festival lasts for 17 days and the venue has the capacity to accommodate 10,000 people. There will also be chefs, butchers and bakers there offering food as well. When reading more detail on this festival, I learned that 200 boys and girls will be in Czech national costumes will be the servers. I bet it would be a lot of fun. You would just have to remember to drink a lot of water between tasting…that’s a lot of beer to try.

There’s a lot to learn about the history of beer in relation to the Czech Republic. If you’re interested in learning more about it, click here. If you’ve been to the Czech Republic or know of other great beer destinations/events, please leave a comment.

Thank you for reading!

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For the Beer Lovers – Germany Edition

12 Apr

As I’ve mentioned before, I love to try out new beers from all over the place, especially when it’s a beer I can’t try where I live. When we decided to travel to Germany, I got really excited at the thought of trying so many different flavorful beers. What better place to do that than a country known for their great beer! In fact, Germany has over 1,200 breweries and produces over 5,000 brands. So it’s safe to say there will be no shortage of breweries to visit when we arrive!

If you’re planning a trip to Germany and you’re a fan of beer, it’s probably best to divide up the breweries you’d like to see by each area since franziskaner-weissbier-naturtruebthere are so many and of course, limit yourself to the ones you really are eager to see. I found a great site that lists the Top 10 Breweries in Germany, which may be a good place to start. This site includes GPS coordinates too, so that will be nice to have the exact location. I also found a website that gives a detailed beer glossary to look over before you visit some of the breweries.

Of the German beers I have been able to try, Franziskaner is my personal favorite. And even though it is available to me where I live (I know Total Wine carries it), I would love to go and check out the place it’s brewed, in Munich. There’s something to be said about checking out the history and all the details of the brewing process that makes me appreciate the beer more.

If you have been to Germany or know of some must see places to visit, please share by commenting below. Thank you for reading!

 

 

What to do in Germany

8 Apr

Germany is one of the largest countries in Europe. It’s rich and natural beauty covers over 137,000 square miles. To think of where exactly to visit first has been quite the undertaking. I know there are quite a few places I’d absolutely love to see, including the Black Forest, some of the old castles, and wine country. Gewürztraminer is a wine I enjoy and would love the opportunity to see where exactly this tasty beverage originates.

Castle Neuschwanstein

Castle Neuschwanstein

In my research, I found a website that’s allows you to pick a theme to research about in Germany. Whether you’re traveling for leisure, for business, for scenic tours, or whatever; this site gives a great look into just about everything you’ll need to know for each category. If you are unsure what you’d like to see, this site can help you narrow down the things you may enjoy while visiting. I also recommend reading the top 100 travel attractions in Germany.

Any way I can save time by finding a site with “one stop shop” for information, I’m happy to share with anyone  looking for resourceful travel tools. If you or someone you know will be traveling to Germany, and needs help with planning where to go, check out this site brought to you by the German National Tourist Board. If you know of other helpful websites for traveling in Germany, please share by adding a comment below.

Thank you for reading!

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Recommendations for Building an Itinerary

7 Apr

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I’m planning a trip to Europe later this year. I’ve only ever seen Ireland, which made things easy to plan since the country is so small. We were fortunate to cover a lot of ground in the short ten days we were there. I was proud to have taken on my first international trip with success and felt as though my itinerary worked out according to plan.

Travel-writingWhen thinking about planning a big trip, I’ve always thought the most daunting part is actually buying the plane tickets. I know then, I am fully committing to the impending adventures ahead. I’m starting to rethink that assumption and beginning to believe it’s the building the itinerary piece that’s most daunting. I’ve been diligent in my research and I’ve tried to make sure I’m not missing any vital parts of planning.

In my hours of travel research, I came upon this blog for a fellow, but more experienced traveler named Nomadic Matt. His website provides a wealth of essential information on traveling internationally. It also provides insight into what you should bring on your trip, destination guides by country, and great tips and resources to use. He even offers his expertise as a service to interested travelers planning their next journey.

A lot of building an itinerary is knowing what form of transportation you’re planning on using. Rick Steves is also another great travel guru to check out. He has a website that offers articles on what kind of transportation is more cost effective, like renting a car or taking the train. He also has packing lists (specific to the ladies), travel safety tips, and just about anything and everything travel.

I encourage anyone planning an international vacation to utilize both Matt and Rick’s websites. It allows for a lot of saved time on researching travel and really helps put the itinerary into perspective and answers lots of questions. Maybe one of these days I will have a cool website like one of them! Until then, follow my blog for more tips and everything travel.

Thank you for reading!

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Beamish and Bulmers

6 Apr

One of the best things about traveling is trying things that are not available in the United States. I really enjoy trying new beers and found myself wondering why we don’t have the two drinks, Beamish and Bulmers, in the US.

First beer Beamish

First beer Beamish

The first drink I had in Ireland was the Irish Stout called Beamish, and it was delicious. It’s somewhat similar to Guinness in the sense that they are both dark, but, in my opinion, it was smoother and tasted a little better. The other drink I had almost every time we went out was a hard cider called Bulmers. The Beamish was more of a filling drink; therefore, I stuck with Bulmers so I wasn’t full before my food came!

Beamish has been around for more than 200 hundred years and is brewed in Cork. Bulmers, on the other hand, has only been around since the 1930s or so. I didn’t know this until researching the drink, but Bulmers has pear and berry flavored ciders too. Sounds really good! So why aren’t they available to us in the United States? I know they should be and I’m sure they would sell really well.

Have you ever tried Beamish or Bulmers before? If so, write a comment about it and tell me what you think. Should it be more widely available to more countries?

If you’d like to see more about international travel, please follow my blog. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Thank you for reading!

The Burren Perfumery

1 Apr

The Burren Perfumery is the oldest working perfumery in the country of Ireland. It was one of those places didn’t decide to visit prior to making our trip. In fact, it was one of those places we decided to go to because we were driving around and saw signs for it and thought it would be neat. It was off the beaten path, but worth the visit.

DSCN0604

Organic Herb Garden

This place was a little hidden gem with beautiful greenery, a tea room, organic herb garden, and had a cute store to buy things from. They will even ship their creams and balms to the US for free! It didn’t cost any money to tour around the perfumery grounds and they even had a free audiovisual presentation to watch. During the summer months, the Tea Room offers lunches and other snacks. This was one of those places I visited and was in awe of how green everything was. The herb garden was so pretty and serene.

I ended up buying some rose vanilla perfume, a couple different teas, and some soaps to take back to some friends. The staff was really helpful and answered any questions I had. I really liked the soaps and enjoyed the different scents they offered. If you are interested in buying something unique for someone, you may want to consider buying something from the Burren Perfumery. Even though it’s a little place it’s nice to see they value the importance of free shipping with some of their products.

For more on my different traveling adventures and tips and tricks to traveling, please follow my blog.

Thank you for reading!

The Jameson Distillery Experience in Cork

28 Mar

Known as one of the top attractions in Cork, Ireland, the Jameson Distillery was another entertaining place we visited in our Irish adventures. We did a midday tour on a beautiful clear and sunny afternoon, which was nice since the tour took us both inside and outside. The buildings date back to 1795 and sits on 15 acres. The tour had great displays of the old machinery, such as old kilns, and other essential pieces of equipment required in making the famous Irish whiskey.

At the end of the tour, there’s the opportunity to partake in a complimentary glass of whiskey.  My husband got the chance to do a blind whiskey tasting to compare other popular whiskies. Jameson definitely has a smoother taste. I was surprised I liked it since I’m not a fan of very many types of liquor. Shortly after the tasting and exploration of the grounds, we found ourselves in the gift shop. I always have a hard time buying things in those shops because they are always pricey, but have to continually remind myself that I won’t get the chance to buy the those things anywhere else. Refer to my Claddagh Ring blog for some good advice on what not to do when shopping for memorabilia.

photoAfter long consideration at the gift shop, we decided to buy a 12 year reserve bottle of Jameson and had our last name personalized on the bottle. This type of bottle you can only get at the distillery, so I felt like it was pretty exclusive (and decided spending as much as we did was justified). I was pretty happy we decided to buy it and we ended up waiting to open it until after we got married. It was pretty delicious. We still have a little left to sip on for special occasions.

If you find yourself in County Cork, Ireland, I recommend stopping by and touring the Jameson Distillery. If you are from another country, other than the United States, the distillery offers tours in many different languages to accommodate most visitors. For more interesting travel tips and more about the places I’ve explored, please follow my blog or find me on Twitter @LindseyAgrellas.

Thank you for reading!

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