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Europe

“Why does everyone think we eat pierogi all the time? We eat them maybe twice a year”, states my driver with a slightly annoyed tone. We’re talking about Warsaw, Poland, and food, and I've asked him what Polish dish he thinks every visitor should try during their time in Poland. As you can probably guess, pierogi seems the be the number one choice for many travellers, and who can blame them?! Pierogi are delightful. Mashed potato mixed with cheese, bacon, or onion, wrapped in a dumpling like dough, boiled or fried, and served with sour cream, fried bacon and onion. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! And while we can buy pierogi in the frozen food section of the grocery store, or buy fresh ones from a Polish or Ukrainian (There is a debate as to who invented the pierogi, Poland or Ukraine) shop, there is a part of us that want to eat pierogi in the country that made them famous.

Architecture and history is my version of travel porn. I could walk around staring at buildings all day and never get bored - which is probably why I am loving Europe so much. This continent is full of incredible - and sometimes salacious - history, not to mention head-turning architecture.  So, when I had a chance to hook up with Urban Adventures for their Prague Explorer Tour, which focuses on the city's architecture and history, I was in!

I know, you're shocked. Dijon, France is more than just a mustard town?! Hell yeah, it is!! I didn't know a lot about Dijon, but I did know that it was only a 90 min train ride from Paris. J'adore Paris. I really do, but the stairs were causing big problems with my right knee, and I needed a wee break - flat ground - for a day. So, I opened my Eurail train schedule, looked at trains leaving Paris, and decided to go to Dijon - and yes, I did plan to buy mustard!

Stairs are not the only things I did in Paris - I know, I had you thinking I was totally obsessed with the stairs, and my lack of agility - but I can totally understand why you would think that way. Paris sparks a passion within my soul and gets me aroused about travel, discovery, and exploration. When I walk around Paris, my mind takes a journey through the past and revisits things I enjoyed when I was younger. I recall lessons in art history class about specific works of art, or architectural styles. I remember lessons from history class, or from books I've read. For me, walking through Paris (and most of Europe) is like walking through history, and it makes my skin tingle with delight.

Will my love affair with Paris - or France for that matter - ever wain? As I travel, I find myself looking for places to stop. Places where I can go beyond being a tourist. I look for areas that are quiet, full of character, and off the tourist track. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be social, and party from time to time, but I want more. I want a connection to where I am.