Today the Nordic region’s most interesting food is not coming from Gothenburg of Copenhagen, but just across the Oresund Bridge in the southern Swedish region of Skien. Malmo, the capital of the region, is home to more than a handful of classic restaurants. But step outside the city into the quintessentially Nordic countryside to find a real taste of the region.
Some think of it as having a mythological Swedish character, rural Skien has been attracting those Swedes who really believe in organic farming, living off the gird, and cultivating fabulous natural tastes. Unheralded farm to table and fresh food restaurants pepper the countryside in the summer months.
You can’t get any closer to the “real” Cuba than this. Since the restoration of ties between Cuba and the United States in 2015 American travelers now have access to all of Cuba’s deep charms. But that means there’s so much more to see than the hot spot of Havana. Under a three hour drive from the bustling and storied capital city is Viñales. This lush valley of amazing deep-red earth, tobacco fields, and stunning limestone outcrops are the things of Cuban legend that have stood the test of time.
The valley is a world heritage site know across the globe for its spectacular beauty. In the village in Viñales is seems like every other pastel house is a bed-and-breakfast. Skip the tourist traps and take rent a bike to explore the city, don’t forget to cycle your way to a local tobacco farm and see what it takes to make the world’s best cigars. At farms in the area you can get a tatse of how the embargo has inspired new innovations in low-tech and organic farming, then hed into town to taste the results. Now that the US has restored commercial flights, you can’t afford to miss the timeless charms of our southern neighbor.
For your next European trip, skip the big names and tourist destinations and head for the heart of Bavaria – München, Geramany. Spared from the havoc of World War II and the cold war, München truly captures the felling of old-world Germany. From the a cultural square on parallel with the offerings of Berlin and Vienna, you can see classic German art, opera, and one of the largest city parks in Germany is a short walk away. Full of authentic beer gardens and the famed laugengeback lye bread of Bavaria, this German gem will bring you back to the old-world of a 19th century Germany.
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