In honor of not cooking this Thanksgiving, here are some of my all-time favorite food and drink pictures from all over Europe over the last three years. Guten Appetit & Happy Thanksgiving!
Table set for lunch
Pumpkin Flammkuchen (thin flatbread with soft cheese and toppings)
Coleslaw in Colmar
German Christmas Market treats
Cheese shop in Amsterdam
Sausage sandwiches with cheese sauce and chili sauce
Lunch in Alsace
One of many Belgian chocolate/candy shops
Indian food in London
Fish & chips with mushy peas
Polish vodka & beer
Pierogies in Gdansk
Seafood at the market in Barcelona
Langos in Budapest
A fresh crêpe
Easter punch in Trier
Berliner in Berlin
Green tortellini with white asparagus and shaved Parmesan: Piccolo Mondo in Wiesbaden
East vs. West Berlin Currywurst
Sweets stand in Mainz
Quiche with white asparagus: Schlimmerwoche (similar to Restaurant Week) in Lorch
Seafood in Bergen fish market
Tapas near Barcelona
Market in Barcelona
Samloi galuska in Budapest
Glühwein in Mainz
Pumpkin soup from Mosch Mosch
Gulash in Budapest
Traditional green sauce with eggs and potatoes
Charcuterie in Belgium
Strawberry punch & beer
Coffee & cake in Cochem
Giant cream puff swan
Sushi in Olso
New Year’s marzipan in Mainz bakery
Shillingsbolle in Bergen, Norway
Note: I wasn’t too big on taking food pictures until recently. A few not pictured favorites include mussels in Belgium, Indonesian food in the Netherlands, Sacher torte (a kind of chocolate cake) in Austria, stuffed peppers in Romania, Scotch and shortbread in Scotland; Guinness in Ireland, fondue and Raclette in Switzerland, pasta-sauerkraut-cheese stir fry in the Czech Republic, smoked salmon in Sweden and Norway, and gelato, coffee, pizza, etc., etc. in Italy.
Scars of communism have been a recurring theme on our visits to Eastern Europe (see Bucharest: A City in Transition and A Venture into Former East Germany). But while the fall of communism in Romania was characterized by chaos and violence, Poland led the way in the Eastern Bloc with an organized labor movement known as Solidarity (Solidarność in Polish).
A series of strikes in the Gdańsk shipyards led by Lech Wałęsa, who later won a Nobel Peace Prize and became Poland’s first post-communist era president, eventually resulted in an agreement in 1980 that granted workers the 21 rights they demanded. Throughout the 80s, the people continued to struggle for their freedom as prices rose, goods were ever in short supply, and martial law was enacted to censor the media and prevent organized opposition. Further peaceful protests included simple actions such as taking walks when the censored evening news came on TV and spontaneous politically-themed chanting during concerts and sporting events. Solidarity prevailed in June 1989, sending waves of revolution through East Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
In honor of the workers’ 21 demands, here are 21 images I find capture the oppression of communism, the rise of Solidarity, and the transformation of Gdańsk.
If you’re interested in learning more about this inspiring period of Polish history, visit the European Solidarity Center website (the About ECS: History tab in particular has more detailed information). Located at the Gdańsk Shipyard, this education/research center and interactive museum is well worth a visit if you’re ever in Gdańsk (formerly the German city of Danzig). In addition, the Solidarity Tour takes visitors on a free guided walking tour through the city with an overview of historical events and sites, ending next to the European Solidarity Center.