It has been a busy autumn, and not just because of all the animals, but because I have been traveling some. In October me and my friends booked a weekend in Budapest, Hungary, a while after booking I found out I got to join a study-trip with my old school to Parma, Italy. So I left for Budapest a Thursday, on Sunday we returned to Sweden. My friends went home and I spend the night at a hotel and the next day flew to Parma. I travel rarely and was a bit overwhelmed of all the impressions. In November me and Mathias left for Finland and Vaasa, to visit his family but also because we had been invited to participate in a finnish-swedish tv-program called Strömsö.
But first things first, Budapest.
What a city and what architecture, so many beautiful buildings and bridges to see and a never ending pulse. We managed to find good food everyday but one and it wasn’t that expensive, good wines too. We lived at a place we booked with Airbnb, nice apartment and we bought our own breakfast that we ate in the small kitchen.
We visited one of the thermal baths, Szécsény, and it was an exciting experience. We didn’t really understand how we should do, the signs where in the native language and we didn’t find anyone to explain, so we walked around and choose pools here and there to climb into. They had different temperatures ranging from plus 18 to plus 40 degrees Celsius and Im sure they had different compositions in minerals and stuff also.
We also visited a big and lovely food hall, so much people that walked around meat, vegetables, pepperpowder, gooseliver and knick knacks. Several different floors, the bottom for meat and veggies and the top floor with food stalls, a restaurant and stalls with tourist stuff to buy. We ate at the restaurant and the food were very good, goulash and sausage and so on, when eating a little house band played quick balkan music.
A lot of shopping too of course but as you can guess I brought home a bag full of salami.
What was not so good with the city was all the homeless people, Im sure it is like that in every big city, only that I live in a place we rarely see it. We lived a little bit outside of centrum and we had a lot of them sleeping in the streets around that area. It´s so terrible hard to imagen their situation and how lucky we are to have a home. At the same time we visited they approved a new law that makes it forbidden to sleep in the streets and in the parks, its illegal to be homeless. The law has gotten a lot of critic from, among others, EU, that consider it breaking the values about Human rights.
Over all, it was a lovely trip with lovely friends.
We were a group of 7 people that went to Parma, we were participating in a project, Erasmus, that contributed with half of the trip and the other half we payed from our own pocket. We went to the region called dell´emilia, they have several “protected products” like Parmegiano Reggiano cheese, they can only call it that if the cheese originate from this place. There is one other region that makes the “Gran Padano parmesan” but according to the people of dell´ emilia it isn’t as good and don’t have the same demands on animal welfare and food. Here the cows have to eat from the hay produced in this area for months before giving milk to the parmesan cheese.
The first day after landing in Parma we went directly to a vineyard, to see their making process and of course to try some wines. A small farm called Lamoretti. Emilia Romagna region are famous for their Lambrusco wine, a sparkling red wine. So good! I´m regretting that I didn’t bought more bottles of that to take home with me.
We stayed at a nice and small B&B, cancabaia, outside of Parma, super nice hosts and a very good breakfast.
After that first day of wine tasting we visited a lot of places, three different Parmegiano Reggiano cheese makers and three different charcuterie places, some smaller and one really big one. The best thing was the tastings, every place set a table with charcuteries, cheese and of course wine, wine wine wine at every place, I don’t complain, it isn’t every day you can have delicious wine to lunch and dinner (but it was sure nice to come home and stop that habit too J)
One of the days we spend at a big cooking school, ALMA. We joined some chefs and cooked local dishes for our lunch, steak tartare horse and tortellini, delicious.
We also did a tour around the city Parma, beautiful place with its buildings and architecture. It was an experience but it was so nice to go home again, with 3 kilo parmesan, charcuteries and a couple bottle of wine in my bag.
Last but not least, me and Mathias travelled to Vaasa in November, earlier this fall we got an invitation to be in the tv-program Strömsö. We left a little bit earlier so we also could see Mathias family. All the animals stayed at home where my family took care of them, we are so lucky to have them so we sometimes can go away for a bit. A lovely trip to meet family and friends. We also went to Helsinki over the weekend with Mathias mother and brother, it was so fun to finally see the city, some sightseeing, the food hall of course and we had a lot of good stuff to eat.
In the end of our stay we went to Strömsö, so nervous and a totally new situation. Everyone were so nice and we stayed all day. There were a lot of breaks, for moving stuff around, apply more makeup, and other stuff. We sat in a sofa and small talked with Lee and Elin, the hosts, and we had some woodcarving and naelbinding with us. It was very nice. A big fault with the day was that I had some major menstruation pains, typical the first in a very long time. I got a water bottle with warm water to have in my lap that we hid with a gorgeous shawl, that I could have brought home with me, wool and a nice yellow colour.
They also made a photo article about us with pictures from our archives.
Afterwards I was very nervous that we said or did something stupid, but if we did, they cut it away, the result wasn’t that embarrassing after all!
All the best /Tova