Melanie Fontaine

a travel lifestyle blog

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Inspired by Thailand: My Take on Massaman Curry

I don’t know what’s going on with me lately, but at the moment I honestly feel like I could sleep for twenty hours a day! I blame it on the weird weather we’ve been having in Heidelberg – terribly stiffling heat that makes you want to hide away from the world – but now that looking out of the window finally shows grey skies again – this is no sarcasm, guys! – I can hopefully finally be productive again and share one of my recent favorite recipes with you!

My boyfriend and me absolutely love the taste of Thai cuisine because Thai food never ever tastes bland or boring and always strikes the perfect balance of spicy, sweet, sour and salty flavors which quite literally explode in your mouth. I had a lot of great dishes when I visited Thailand last summer and I also love going to Thai restaurants here in Europe, but since my boyfriend is a vegetarian and pretty much every Thai dish traditionally contains fish sauce, I also cook a lot of Thai food at home.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Meeting China's National Symbol at the Bifengxia Panda Base

If there was only one thing that I wanted to do while I was in Sichuan Province in China last summer, it was to see a Panda. In my mind, there was nothing that embodied China quite as much as the mighty Panda and while knocking things off bucket lists wasn’t usually something I paid a lot of attention to while traveling, I knew that setting sight on the most beloved Chinese symbol was one of those things I just had to do.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Few Happy Things: Foodie Edition!

For the last couple of months, I have used my Goals for... posts to keep you all updated on what I am actually doing (or, rather, trying to do!) in my everyday life, but I have grown a little bit bored of them lately and so I have decided to shake things up a little! Today, I am going to share a couple of things with you that have made me happy recently and while this is hardy an original type of post, I always love reading the happy lists that pop up in my Bloglovin feed and I am sure that my mind could really benefit from stopping to appreciate the little things every once in a while.

While writing, I realized that all the things in this post are actually in some way, shape or form related to food, but as a self-professed foodie that didn't exactly surprise me a bit - sometimes I think I might just love food more than travel!

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Countryside Weekend

I hope you all had a great July so far! I know that June has been a bit slow and not all that exciting on the blog, but I promise that things will pick up again this month - if I manage to not pass out because of the heat, that is! Remember how I complained about not liking high temperatures in this post? Well, I probably shouldn't have said anything because Germany is currently experiencing a much crazier heatwave - we're talking temperatures around 39 °C (that's 102 °F!) here - and it really just makes me want to hide in the basement until the weather becomes more reasonable again. Oh, and did I mention that AC isn't really a thing in Germany?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Closer to the Gods at Emei Shan, China

It’s been over a year since I first set off for my seven-week Asia trip, but aside from the odd round up post here and there, I have barely written about the experience so far. How on earth did that happen?! I wish I could tell you it was because the experience was too sacred to be shared, too intimate to be written about, but the unglamorous truth is that I simply just haven't managed to get around to it yet.

But I’m determined to finally start filling you in on the summer of 2014 and maybe inspire you to head out for your own Asian adventure one day soon, but to be honest, I also just really want to relive this trip: This summer is setting out to be super busy, but unfortunately not with travel, but an important assignment for university and so I'm going to have to live vicariously through last year's adventures!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Impressions of Florence

I spent the first few days after returning from Florence in a haze. Florence had been so magical and so beautiful that I just wasn’t ready to face my regular world with its petty problems again and when I did finally return to the everyday, it felt like Italy was a lifetime away already. We did and saw so much over the four nights that we stayed in the capitol of Tuscany that I almost don’t know how to start writing about the experience and yet we barely only managed to scratch the surface of this endearing town.

Florence is a small city, but its incredible wealth and plethora of culturally and historically relevant places could easily fool you into believing the opposite and while we gave exploring Florence our all, we knew that there was still so much more to discover. When we left, my boyfriend and me both agreed that we easily could have spent the whole summer in Florence without getting bored and I am already looking forward to the day that I can visit Italy again.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Delft Blue: The Centre of Dutch Porcelain

On our way back to Germany from Amsterdam we stopped in the small town of Delft for a few hours to see the town's world-famous porcelain manufacture. I’m not sure I ever would have visited had it not been for my mother’s suggestion, but I’m definitely glad we made the detour: Since Delft is less than an hour away from Amsterdam and even closer to Den Haag and therefore makes for a great day-trip option for those who want to see a little bit more of the Netherlands than just the big cities and I loved learning more about the town's hottest commodity, Delft Blue porcelain.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Of River Islands & Dragon Stones

On the long weekend over Corpus Christi, my part of Germany was hit by a little bit of a heatwave and so I let my To-Do-List be and headed out into the sun instead. I'm not good at handling heat: High temperatures make me feel sluggish and lethargic and so there's always a certain temptation to just hide away at home until temperatures drop in the evening. But since that kind of behavior isn't exactly conductive to living an interesting life, I'm usually trying to ignore my natural inclinations and last weekend that meant heading out into the scorching sun for some outdoor activities.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hiking in the Black Forest, Germany: The Wutach Gorge

A few weeks ago, I spent a couple of days down in the far south of Germany and finally visited the Black Forest which left me wholeheartedly convinced that this is one of my new favorite places in Germany. The Black Forest is exactly the type of mythical forest that you would imagine while reading Grimms’ Fairytales and while it may be a bit out of the way from the standard Germany tourist routes, it is still absolutely worth a visit if you want to catch a glimpse of an area that is not only really beautiful, but also almost stereotypically German-looking.

I had been to Freiburg – a lovely university town on the fringes of the Black Forest – multiple times before, but when it came to venturing to the Black Forest, I wasn't quite sure where to start. The Black Forest isn’t just any good old forest, but also the largest mountain range in Germany and covers a good part of the state of Baden-W├╝rttemberg and as such there is no shortage of things to do and places to see. Should I check out the Feldberg, the region's highest mountain? Chill out by the shores of Titisee? The choices really seemed endless.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Goals for June

pictures via my Instagram page - find me @melaniefontaineblog!

How on earth can it be June already? Summer is around the corner already, my birthday is only another month away and it altogether just feels like time is running! Everything seems to have exploded in bloom in May and I have been loving seeing the hills around Heidelberg grow greener each passing day. Local strawberries are getting cheaper and sweeter each week, a vast array of different produce grows on the fields and the days are finally long again. I love every season for its own reasons, but I am always convinced that the season I'm currently in is the best one and so I cannot imagine how it could get any better than this spring.
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