Notes from a Food and Peace Travel Diary, Part I

      I’ve been back in Europe for a week or so and so far it’s just as tasty and chic as I remembered. I’ve visited two culturally-rich (to say the least) cities so far: Munich and Paris. It’s been a great time filled with work (of course, this isn’t all about traveling), visiting old friends, some great dining and eye-candyish site seeing. Europe, I love you and it’s great to be back.

     My adventure began in Paris, where I stayed in a cute Parissienne apartment on the outskirts of the city that I found through Airbnb. The truly memorable food thing about Paris in my opinion is hands down the pastries and sweets. Think macaroons everywhere, patisseries and cakes of every shape and colour imaginable and layers and layers of cream upon cream. One day I met up with a friend and we promenaded around the Notre Dame area before stopping at one of the oh-so-many cafes for a coffee. I decided to try a chocolate brioche – and to my surprise it was a lot lighter than any brioche I’ve ever had or made at home.

mary-wales-paris-bakery-brioche-food-and-peace copy.jpg

mary-wales-paris-bakery.jpg

     After about three days in dessert heaven, I boarded a bus and headed to Munich to visit two other friends. Munich surprised me. The last time I was here was 12 years ago when a friend and I met to go to Oktoberfest. This trip was totally different. The Bavarian capital is bursting with history, knodel (Bavarian dumplings) and more fine desserts. I know I maybe shouldn’t say this, but I do think that southern German cuisine stands out above the rest. From the bier steins to the prezels, many food traditions are to be found here. By the way – have you ever noticed how prezels kind of resemble a peace sign?

prezel-germany-food-and-peace.jpg

     On a Saturday afternoon, I took a break from my writing and decided to visit the “Munich Residenz”, the former living quarters of the Bavarian Monarchs. I was astonished by the paintings and utter elaborateness of the once-upon-a-time palace. Holding a digital tour guide to my right ear, I learned about the Wittelsbach family and caught a glimpse of how they lived hundreds of years ago. I also saw lots of statues of men with armor and swords. I instantly thought about how times have changed and it became clear to me how opulence and riches  were achieved through separateness and violence.

munich-residenz-mary-wales (2) copy.jpg

      In one of the rooms, there were beautiful paintings of ‘commoners’ harvesting food, like this painting of a woman chopping wheat with a sickle. I stood stunned by the sheer simplicity of the paintings.

munich-residenz-mary-wales.JPG

     After I left the Residenz, I took a short walk to Munich’s Angel of Peace, a gorgeous statue and fountain built in memory of the 25 years of peace after the 1870/1871 Franco German war. Looking up at the golden female heralding in the grey sky, I thought about how it would simply be wonderful if there was more peace in the world, and if people didn’t resort to violence and military means to solve problems. The statue for peace is simply living proof that throughout history many others have wanted the same.

angel-of-peace-munich-mary-wales.jpg

Angel of Peace, Munich, Germany

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Notes from a Food and Peace Travel Diary, Part I

  1. Hi Mary: Glad you are enjoying Europe, and particularly Germany wch I’ve never visited, but wd like to one day perhaps. It’s ironic that there is a peace symbol for the Franco-Prussian War in Munich wch if I recall rightly was started by the Germans under Bismark, and was the first of three wars of aggression on Germany’s part over the next 3/4 of a century. Sometimes Peace and Victory are synonymous in peoples’ minds. How great it wd be to live in a world with only minor conflicts and no actual wars. But we are a long way from that still, I’m sorry to say, though of course we shd work toward it, always. As for the sweets, sounds to me like there’s a bit of the gourmand hiding in the shadow of the gourmet! Enjoy!

    Like

    • Hi Bob,
      You bring up a good point!! Yes, sometimes peace and victory are viewed as synonymous, yet I was not trying to portray that here. I do now know the exact history of the Franco-German War (apart from yes, it was sparked by Prussia) or of the Peace Angel, I was just happy to find a monument that is symbolic of peace today. I agree we should work towards a world filled with peace.
      I do like the art of baking and pastry-making, it’s been an interest of mine for a long time, so I combined that interest with writing about peace. Thanks for reading!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s