Well my New Years resolution to write a post every week hit a bit of a snag. I was doing so well too. Aside from a one week lapse in early April, I’d held true to my promise for about 6 months. I honestly had every intention of continuing to write over the summer break, but with all the travelling we did, days quickly turned into weeks and now here we are, almost 2 months since my last entry.
Anyways, I guess it’s time to get back on the horse. From here on out, I plan to post something here every week, at least as long as our travelling doesn’t get too much in the way :-).
Now that that’s out of the way, you might be curious what I’ve been up to? Well, it’s been a lot!
At the end of June my wife and I headed to Europe for 3 weeks. We started in Brussels, then headed to Paris for a few days. After that we went east to the city of Strasbourg, where we embarked on a week-long, self-guided cycling tour of the Alsace region. We ended our tour in Mullhouse, France near the Swiss and German borders and then took a train over to Freiburg, Germany in the Black Forest. From there we went north again, with stops in Heidelberg and Cologne before returning to Brussels so we could fly back to Cairo.
I’ll never get tired of travelling in Europe. Aside from it being a little pricey, it really is a fantastic region to visit. There is so much to do & see and it’s really easy to get around, which after living in Egypt for 2 years is a nice feature.
A few of the big highlights of the trip were:
- The Eiffel Tower – There’s a reason why this is one of the most visited monuments in the world. The views from it are amazing. I’d totally recommend saving a few bucks and the lines by climbing the stairs to the 2nd level viewing platforms instead of taking the elevators up.
- Palace at Versailles – French opulence at its grandest. If the monarchs were living like this while people were starving, it’s easy to understand the motivation for the French Revolution. I couldn’t get over the size of it. An amazing surprise was the Queen’s cottages near the Petite Trianon palace. They’re something right out of a fairy tale.
- Days 3-4 of our Alsace cycling tour – The entire trip was awesome, but these two days were exactly what I pictured when we decided to cycle through vineyards and medieval villages in France. The town of Riquewhir was among the best of the dozens of towns we passed through.
- Triberg, Germany – We only decided to head here for a day trip from Freiburg last minute and we’re really glad we did. Triberg is in the Black Forest and is home to the original Black Forest Cake recipe (which we tasted!), Germany’s highest waterfalls and the world’s largest cuckoo clock. The day we were there they also happened to have a parade and town fair, complete with bratwursts and beer gardens – it doesn’t get much more German than that!
- Heidelberg Schloss – Bar none, this is one of the coolest castles we’ve ever toured. The location is so picturesque. It’s surrounded by lush green forests, perched on the hillside overlooking Heidelberg’s old town and the Neckar river. It also has the worlds largest wine cask in it’s cellar and a surprisingly interesting museum of pharmacy.
- Cologne – Cologne felt like it would be a really cool city to live in. It was a place that was heavily bombed during WWII, so it definitely has more of a modern feel than most of the places we visited on this trip. The Kolner Dom was one of the most impressive cathedrals we visited on this trip.
So after departing Brussels, we transferred planes in Amsterdam and made our way back to Cairo for a short 24 hour stopover before heading to Canada. It was an exhausting 48 hours to be sure!
For our 3 week visit back home this year we decided to stay in Ontario, rather than including a trip out to Alberta to check-in on our condo. This helped make our itinerary a little more manageable, but it was still quite busy. Thank god, our parents now live pretty close to one another – only about 1 hour apart – because in the past we couldn’t see both sets on the same trip.
We spent most of our time in the Haliburton/Peterborough area, but were also able to get out to Toronto, Richmond Hill, Waterloo and Ottawa for some visits. We really enjoyed being able to catch up with some old friends that we hadn’t seen in a couple of years. Haliburton is a really pretty area. I don’t think I could live there myself, but it’s a great place to spend a couple of weeks in the summer. We even managed an awesome day kayaking around the Thousand Islands near Gananoque.
Back in Cairo
And now we’re back in Cairo. We arrived 10 days ago, in the middle of a ridiculous heat wave – 40C+ not including the humidity. Things seem to have cooled down to more manageable temperatures (mid- to high-30’s), but it’s still difficult to be entirely comfortable.
I was back to work at CSA the day after arriving and put in a full week this past week. If you’ll recall, I’ll be starting my nutrition counselling services out of the CSA’s Fitness Center September 1st, so in addition to my regular responsibilities, I’m trying to get things all ready for that. We’ve been promoting my services for the last couple of months in Oasis magazine so we’re already getting some calls, which is nice. I had a meeting with the Fitness Center manager to iron out all the details a couple days ago, so everything is finally starting to feel real. It’s been a long time coming but I’m pretty excited. I also updated my logo. What do you think? I’m really happy with how it turned out.
Also for anyone interested, I created a Facebook page for Dietitian Abroad. I’m using it to promote the blog and share other interesting nutrition-related content. Please feel free to head over there and check it out.
Until next week (I promise) 🙂