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eG Foodblog: Rehovot - Prague: City of a Thousand Forks


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Butchers' shops here have a love affair with the written word. Some shops use chalkboards; some write everything out on paper and tape it up; and some have permanent signs.

Maybe this isn't unique to Prague, but, coming from North America, it threw me, the first time: meats and things at the deli counter are ordered in decagrams, not grams. :smile: Somehow, I always end up buying more, this way, since 10 deca just seems (sounds) smaller than 100 grams...


Some things offered at this shop (above): frozen items, poultry, smoked meat, smoked fish, a selection of fish, dairy items, chicken meat, turkey meat, ...trout ( :blink: Wow, how did I miss that?!), carp, duck, shrimp, mussels. Gee, evidently I never took the time to actually read this, before... :rolleyes:


Bone-in ham (or ham from the bone) and ham fat...among other things.


Cabajky sausages...fiery hot and an angry-looking red color. :wub: These might be Hungarian, but I'm not entirely sure.


Bohemian ham in a tin that looks like the jacket for a historical novel.... :smile:


Everything good, in one place...

Edited by Rehovot (log)
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I worked from home until 2:30 this afternoon and then had to run into town, so there was no big lunch effort. Once I got to town, I went into a branch of Rembrandt Donuts (nice marketing; I never feel guilty, coming out of there... :biggrin: ) and had a mozzarella, basil, and tomato pastry which was disappointing because there was no mozzarella to be found. I can vouch for their sweet pastries, though. :wink:

Coming back through Wenceslas Square, I stopped in the Rokoko passageway, which leads to the Lucerna passageway and was built around 1912 (on top of 17th-century foundations). It's still got the Art Deco flavor and shine...



Coffee Heaven is the Central European version of Starbucks (although there are now four Starbucks outposts in town). I had a Wild Berry Extreme, which involves yogurt, frozen berries, and milk. It's not sweet at all and (for a smoothie) is pretty good...



If I stared down at a branch of a coffee shop all day, I'd get that glazed look, too...

A colleague gave me some great homemade paprika, which I thought I'd use in Chicken Paprikash, so I stopped at the store and picked up chicken and sour cream for that.

In the meantime, we're snacking on staroceske sunkovy salam (traditional Czech salami-style ham), rolls, and cheese. And, I promise you, salad. :biggrin:

The long skinny rolls are beer rolls, topped with salt (and sometimes caraway seed); the other rolls are Kaiser rolls. More bread photos tomorrow... (I forgot to photograph the crumb before we started to devour the bread.)



Ok, I'm off to do something with this glowing red paprika and the chicken. :smile: Dobrou chut'! Bon appetit.

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Everything is so beautiful. I was excited to see you blogging, because I have wanted to visit Prague for awhile. Now it's a real craving!

The architecture, signs, food, passageways! Yet another city that I have fallen in love with long distance and probably won't ever see. Thanks so much for the glimpse!!

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Incidentally, there's a shop in Letna called "POPCORN."  :cool:


Nice working in of the tram shot!

I understand that the Czech Republic-based manufacturer ČKD Tatra is the only company now making streetcars using the legendary (Electric Railway) Presidents' Conference Committee design and technology developed in the 1930s (those rounded, streamlined trolleycars you see on Market Street in San Francisco are "PCCs"); the car in that photo looks like it has the PCC DNA in it. (A quick Wikipedia search confirms this: the tram in this picture is a Tatra T3, apparently still the most common tram on Prague streets, in modernized form.)

Now: does Popcorn sell popcorn?

Oh--about passageways: Prague is full of them, and they're great for shortcutting your way around downtown. The best part is, there are excellent quiet cafes and small pubs hiding in them. In the Lucerna pasaz, for example, where I was yesterday, there are at least two restaurants, three cafes, and one of my favorite pubs (named after Gregor Samsa  :wink: ), which is also a bookstore.

Does that bar have a problem with cockroaches? :wink:

Late in the afternoon, the stained-glass window at the end of the Svetozor pasaz looks pretty amazing...and as colorful as the Ovocny Svetozor shop.


A small but vocal group of American physicists are waging an ongoing campaign to restore Nikola Tesla to his proper place in the history of electricity. In the US, he is a relative unknown compared to names like Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, yet arguably none of what those two did would have been possible without Tesla. I'll bet this stained glass window also dates to the 1930s; am I right? (There seems to be a lot of Art Deco and early Modernist design surviving in excellent condition in Prague; that alone is worth a trip to see -- the food is a nice bonus.) Is the radio company (still|back) in business?

Everything about this blog makes me want to visit Prauge!  The food is making me swoon and the setting is stunning.  One thing I don't like about where I live is that there isn't a lot of pedestrian traffic.  I live in an apartment and there is no place nearby to go sit outside and relax and just watch the world go by.  I envy that about a lot of Eurpoean cities that seem to have that cafe culture.

You might want to consider relocating to Philadelphia until such time as you can afford to move to Prague. Over the past decade or so, a fairly robust sidewalk cafe/dining scene has emerged along this city's famously narrow streets and sidewalks. There's a coffee shop right across from my building's front door that's a popular outdoor hangout in good weather.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Apologies for offering a correction on the beer, though- but I'd wager any amount that those percentages don't refer to the amount of alcohol. The Balling (or Brix) scale uses degrees as well, each of which realtes to a percentage point of sugar dissolved within a liquid-in other words a beer brewed at 13 degrees balling would start out with a solution of 13% sugar. For a rough estimate of how much alcohol is in there just multiply by .4, or 5.2% AbV in that case. 13% is just crazy-high for a beer (but not impossible), and that just doesn't seem like what is in the glass (I told you I could smell it  :wink: )

Not to get too much further off-track, but the degree symbol is also used to indicate proof. That would also put the alcohol figures 'in the ballpark' for these beverages. That said, Rick Steves' Best of Eastern Europe 2007 indicates that Czech beers use the degree symbol for brix. I'm curious about what other countries' standards are... but, on with the wonderful blogging!

David aka "DCP"

Amateur protein denaturer, Maillard reaction experimenter, & gourmand-at-large

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After that, I have a few days off so I'm planning to roam around Prague and show you some hidden good stuff beyond roast pork, dumplings, and cabbage.

Buuuut maybe you have some recipes for that trinity to share? I just got back from Prague (4/12-4/20) and I'm going to miss the 'ol Vepřo-knedlo-zelo; particularly the potato knedlíky :wub:

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Cafe Louvre (haunt of Einstein and other greats)

My favorite of the cafes I went to! Excellent french onion soup. And if you have not had it you must get the hot chocolate with egg liqueur. One of the most delicious things I've ever had

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Buuuut maybe you have some recipes for that trinity to share? I just got back from Prague (4/12-4/20) and I'm going to miss the 'ol Vepřo-knedlo-zelo; particularly the potato knedlíky :wub:
I'll look through the recipes I have, although this is something we usually go out to have... And based on my one experiment with one ballooning Knedliky That Ate My Kitchen, I usually just pick up pre-made knedliky. If I pick them up at all... (In my defense, I don't know many Czechs under 70 who make their own dumplings.) :wink: The dumplings stuffed with fruit are great, but I don't have much love for the sliced ones served with Vepro-knedlo-zelo and svickova... (They just seem spongy, to me; that's ok, it leaves more for the dumpling lovers of the world.) :laugh:
My favorite of the cafes I went to! Excellent french onion soup. And if you have not had it you must get the hot chocolate with egg liqueur. One of the most delicious things I've ever had
Cafe Louvre is usually where we go on the weekends. Their hot chocolate is out of this world. (I think it makes an appearance in Megan's blog from Prague.) It's so thick, you can stand your spoon in it. :cool:
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Last night, I made Chicken Paprikas, using some amazing homemade paprika that a friend from work gave me.

I like it better on the second day, to be honest...so maybe we'll have it tonight or for lunch, tomorrow. (Or maybe for lunch, today, since work has eaten my vacation. :sad: )




The sour cream went in after that second row of photos.

My plan for this morning is to bake...finally! :smile:

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A toasted kaiser roll with cream cheese and honey. Dried pears and chai on the side. This flower-blossom honey from Brno is very good. :wub: Something involving dates + mascarpone + this honey + bacon would be great. I'll have to think of how to do that.



Edited by Rehovot (log)
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I was just wondering what to do with a small whole chicken tonight. In your photos, I see a couple onions chopped, 60g or so of paprika, then are you parboiling your chicken pieces? Combine with onion/paprika and bake with a little oil, maybe? Add sour cream after a half-hour? I don't need amount breakdown or deep detail, just a suggestion and I'll make it work!

It's surprising how much cultural baggage you can fit on a placemat.

This... this is wonderful. If I had room in my sig line I'd tuck it in, pronto.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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I was just wondering what to do with a small whole chicken tonight.  In your photos, I see a couple onions chopped, 60g or so of paprika, then are you parboiling your chicken pieces?  Combine with onion/paprika and bake with a little oil, maybe?  Add sour cream after a half-hour?  I don't need amount breakdown or deep detail, just a suggestion and I'll make it work!
Definitely... That's all there is to it, although I think I should have sliced the onions more thinly. I just place the chicken pieces (in two batches) on the onions (after they've sauteed with the paprika) and let them cook for a few minutes, skin side down... Then everything gets covered and it cooks on low for about 45-50 minutes. The chicken comes out and the skin comes off; a bit of flour goes into the sauce. (Stir it around for a minute or two.) Then you add about a cup of sour cream and stir it in. The chicken goes back in to get coated one last time in the sauce. :smile:

I should make this more often; it's very easy and takes minimal prep. Hope yours turns out well! :smile:

By the way, someone asked if Mr. R. cooks... The answer is: only in dire emergencies. But he does do very nice omelets. And, more importantly, the dishes. :raz:

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Well, if the Czech board of tourism is not already paying you for your services, they should start :biggrin: If I didn't already want to go to Prague, I would certainly want to go now!

Thank you again for such an enticing blog!

By the way, the chicken paprikash I have always eaten (albeit prepared by a Serbian grandma) has always included dumplings...I see that this isn't typical of the Czech version, however...

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I discovered that I didn't have the yogurt I needed to make the Spanish raisin and almond cake, so I had to run across the square, around noon, to our local market...and then I found some other things to bring home, too, for the weekend.

Those are strawberry-filled dumplings on the far right. Traditional cakes with tvaroch (cream cheese) and jam are on the left, and there are hazelnut oplatky (spa wafers), under those. These are very good, incredibly thin wafers with a nearly transparent cream filling. They produce a shower of crumbs when you bite into them. :biggrin:

Bacon alert, lower left... Tyrolean ham, destined for tomorrow morning's breakfast (with waffles).



Then I started to work on a cake from last month's Apetit. A friend at work helped me with the translation; the recipe does use weights for flour, almonds, etc., but also teaspoons and tablespoons (lzicky and lyzicky, respectively...I think :blink: ).

I forgot to grind the almonds... :rolleyes:


So... Raisin and Almond Cake with Sherry:





The magazine notes that this is a typically Spanish recipe, with its use of yogurt, raisins, and almonds. You're supposed to let it sit for three days while it soaks in sherry. I give it 24 hours, max, before it winds up on a plate for an afternoon snack. :wink:

It's supposed to be dusted with powdered sugar, before serving.

I'm now addicted to this magazine, although I still can't get over how many cooking magazines there are on the Czech market.


Baking makes me hungry... :rolleyes: And then I realized I hadn't had any coffee, yet. :blink:



The last piece of green chocolate from Wednesday's visit to the organic shop.

I'm off to town for a historical-cafe exhibit and dinner. (That is, later... It's only 3:00 pm, but I worked and baked through lunch, which explains why I'm now focused on dinner.) :rolleyes:

Edited by Rehovot (log)
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Thank you again for such an enticing blog!

By the way, the chicken paprikash I have always eaten (albeit prepared by a Serbian grandma) has always included dumplings...I see that this isn't typical of the Czech version, however...

Thanks, Alisuchi. Glad you like the blog. :smile:

I wouldn't say that the Chicken Paprikas recipe I was working with was Czech... :biggrin: I think I originally saw it a couple of years ago in the San Francisco Gate's cooking section of the paper. What's the Serbian version of this dish like?

Perhaps I had better come clean about the dumplings served with savory dishes, here... Unless I have to eat them (on holidays and at big family gatherings :biggrin: ), I don't.

The sweet versions, like the fruit-stuffed ones I bought today, are the kind I like. :smile:

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Are those "Kolonada" wafers meant to be filled or spread with something, or just eaten plain?

Except for the embossings, they look to me like oversized communion wafers. I assume, though, that they have far more flavor than those, and that they are on the sweet side.

Now pardon me while I clean the drool off my keyboard. Everything looks lovely, and since I have sour cream, paprika and onions on hand, I guess I'll have to buy a chicken (and a new Crock-Pot; the hinged lid on my current one's broken) over the weekend.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I love the GLOW of this place, with the reds and golds and the gilded lady with the Louis Treize wig. Being able to turn a simple grocery-shopping trip into a cavalcade of the centuries by merely strolling a side-way, a street, an avenue frozen in time--that would be something wonderful to wake up to every day.

And I'd stroll all the way there for a crunch of that wispy-wafered pastry with its inscriptions as important as any coin---every drifting crumb would be delicious.

Edited by racheld (log)
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Sorry I didn't get to post pictures, last night; we returned home kind of late (and tipsy). :rolleyes:

I met my husband and father-in-law at the Muzeum Hlavniho Mesta Prahy, for the exhibit on the world of Prague cafes. The exhibit was great--rooms full of photos of old cafes, old coffee tins, urns and silver snack bowls (with card faces engraved on them) :cool: , and all sorts of other cafe paraphernalia. The first room had an enormous map of Prague with lights for the hundreds of cafes in existence during the early 1930s; you picked a cafe, dialed its number on an old-fashioned phone, and were told about its history. One wall of the exhibit was papered in reproductions of phone-book pages listing cafes from 1901, 1930, 1936, and 1939... Cafes used to be categorized as large, medium-sized, and small. By 1939, cafes hosting intellectual gatherings began to be shuttered.


The photo on the right shows old menus from Cafe Nuselska; I'm not sure if it still exists. There were so many cafes during this era, but I only recognized about six names still operating (or operating again). :blink: The Louvre, Slavia, and Hotel Pariz are definitely thriving...but Kavarna Union, Cafe Corso, and Kavarna Akademicka are long since gone.

At the end of the exhibit (past the wall documenting waiters' races), there was a real cafe (run by Cafe Louvre) true to 1930s style, with #14 Thonet chairs, Meinl coffee, and jazz music... :cool:

We went around the corner from the exhibit to the Pivovarsky Klub, but since they're now mentioned in every article about Prague and beer, they were full :angry: and it was only 6:00 pm... So we went to an old haunt of my husband's, U Sani ("at the sign of the bobsled" :laugh: ) and had dinner.



Mr. R. had chicken in tarragon sauce (which I forgot to photograph) and potatoes (which I did photograph, 'cause they're pretty :raz: ); my father-in-law had already eaten; and I had tycinky (fried bread) with Niva cheese dip. (Niva is the local blue cheese, from caves near Cesky Krumlov.) (I once took a bunch of college students here and I thought the owner was going to kill us, because no one ordered food...just soft drinks and beer.) :wink:


The interior of U Sani; it's your average dark and smoky Prague pub.


Afterward, I had wanted to stop by Bokovka (which means "sideways" in Czech :wink: ), a wine bar near Charles Square...but it was closed. So we walked across the river to Cafe Savoy, one of my favorite places.


We spotted this sign near Zofin Island; Zofin is an old Prague institution and a beautiful palace (with a restaurant)... They're having their 2008 Asparagus Festival on May 15th. (The castle and St. Vitus Cathedral are on the right.) :wink:



Kavarna (Cafe) Slavia and its coveted river-view windows...



Cafe Savoy gives places like the Louvre and Slavia a run for their money... I love all three places, but Savoy has excellent service, and, of course, very good apple strudel. You can also peer into their pastry kitchen. :smile:


I was looking at the wine list; my husband settled on tea and a slice of orechova babovka (cake with nuts).


Savoy's case of chlebicky (little sandwiches), and one with filled doughnuts and other pastries. (It's already Saturday and I forgot to mention chlebicky, the little snack sandwiches that you can find at any deli... Will try to remedy that, today.)


I had a glass of rosé. :smile:


A shot of Cafe Savoy, with their buzzing drinks and espresso station, during the day...

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Breakfast was waffles with yogurt, jam (rhubarb and ginger, and homemade blueberry), and bananas, with bacon on the side.

(A few years ago, I guess I might have find the combination of waffles, yogurt, and jam to be pretty bizarre...but it's quite good, and makes a nice change from syrup. :biggrin: Not to mention that maple syrup here is about $20 for about 5 ounces... :wacko: )


I'm off to track down the Alchymist bakery in Letna. :smile:

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Are those "Kolonada" wafers meant to be filled or spread with something, or just eaten plain?
Hi, Sandy... The wafers are filled; the ones I bought have a hazelnut filling, but there are also three-layered ones with vanilla filling--and that's just by this brand; I've seen other kinds. The filling is fairly sweet, but very thin... They're deceptively light-looking. :laugh:
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My husband loves and adores oplatky, but we've never seen them here in france. I need to come to Prague to stock up!

I've been eating waffles with yogurt and jam for I won't say how many years, but I never knew it was a Czech thing. I always thought of it as sort of hippie granola food.

Edited by Abra (log)
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I had some work to do, this morning, so I went back to Letna (on the north side of Prague) and found the Alchymista bakery.

On the way, I found a Korean foods shop (off of Charles Square), which is on one of my routes home! :smile:


(There's another good Korean, Thai, and Japanese store--the best in town--in Vinohrady.)


Next to the tram stop where I caught a tram for Letna is this very small rychle obcerstveni (fast food) place (attached to the Masarykovo train station). It seems to have emerged, completely intact, from circa 1982...much worse for the wear. Most foods are under the equivalent of $1; beer and wine--as the menus posted outside show--are less.

It makes a sharp contrast with the Cukrarna Alchymista...


This bakery and cafe is about 100 yards or less from a large soccer stadium. It was named as the best bakery in the country by a Czech culinary magazine, last month. All the staff were practically beaming with pride...and deservedly so. It's a great find. :wub: The sign outside advertises a new dortik (little cake): Whiskey Cream, but I ordered a slice of (great) carrot cake, and espresso.


I came home and told my husband that we have to move to Letna. :biggrin:


The ceiling of the cafe... It was very quiet when I was there, but it began to fill up around 2:00 pm.


A building around the corner from the bakery...

We're sorting out schedules for the evening and trying to see where dinner comes in; meanwhile, I'm snacking on some sauteed spinach...and recharging camera batteries. :laugh:


In the umpteenth change of plans, this week, tomorrow's lunch is here and not in my father-in-law's kitchen... (He's coming to help us with some apartment fix-it projects.) We'll do Wienerschnitzel (aka vidensky rizek, aka pork schnitzel), sauerkraut, and those strawberry dumplings. And maybe vegetables to start, because I freak out if there's nothing green and crunchy. :laugh:

So that's my birthday lunch, tomorrow. :wink: I also have to buy some chocolates to take to work on Monday, as it's traditional here to bring cake or sweets to give to your colleagues on your birthday and name day. :smile:

And I hope there'll be time to visit one last cafe (Louvre or Slavia) before finishing; unfortunately, I didn't get to do some of the things I intended to, this week. :wacko: The big Vietnamese market, the trip to Karlovy Vary, and chlebicky are still on my list.... :rolleyes:

Edited by Rehovot (log)
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Are the cups at Cukrarna Alchymista custom-made for the shop? They match the ceiling! If I were there, I'd try to buy a set. I love them!

Now I feel the need to go back to Prague. You're showing me so many things I missed when I visited--especially the food things!

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      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
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      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.

      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.

      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.

      On a nearby table is this

      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.

      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.

      Let the eating, finally, begin.
      In no particular order:

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato

      Bamboo Shoots


      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery

      Stir fried pork and beans

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)

      Pig Ears

      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.

      Stir fried Greens
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
      Roll on dinner time.
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
    • By shain
      It's been more than a year in which international travel was challenging to impossible, but gladly this is changing, as more countries are able to vaccinate their population.
      Greece had managed to return to a state of near normality, and opted to allow vaccinated individuals to enter. And so I decided to go on a slightly spontaneous vacation (only slightly, we still had almost a month for planning). To the trip I was joined by my father, to whom I owed some good one-on-one time and was able to travel on a short-ish notice.
      Many people are yet unable to travel, and many countries are suffering quite badly from the virus, and therefore I considered if I should wait some time with this post. However, I hope that it will instead be seen with an optimistic view, showing that back-to-normal is growing ever closer.
      We returned just a few days ago, and it will take me some time to organize my photos, so this is a teaser until then.
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