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Morning photo: Markets

Yummy food, people watching … what more could you want?

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Sorting apples at the market in Brignoles, France.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO —Some people seek out museums and statues when they travel, and that’s fine. I’ve been known to visit a museum or three. But if it ever came down to a choice between a museum or wandering through a farmers market, the market would always win out. It’s not just because I love food. Markets are just great places to pick up the vibe of a town and to watch locals go about their business. It’s fun to see who’s going home with asparagus stalks hanging out their handbag, and to watch people sniff stinky cheese, or poke melons to find the ripe one. It’s also good to connect with the people who grow the food you eat. Finally, there’s no better place to stock up with a few good snacks for the next leg of your trip. Today’s photo set is themed for the popular #FriFotos Twitter chat, so upload your own market pics, tag them and join in the fun. I’m looking forward to seeing some pictures of markets that I’ll maybe visit on one of my next trips. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Fountain festival in Munich

Serendipity in the Viktualienmarkt

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Playing with the big boys!

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Finding a bustling market packed with fresh fruit and veggies is always a treat, and when it’s located in the heart of a major urban area, it’s a real score. Such is the case with the Viktualienmarkt in Munich, Germany, where city residents mingle with tourists for shopping and even sit-down meals amidst the many vendor stalls.

Offerings at the market include mushrooms from near and far, wild forest strawberries from the Balkans, Greek cheeses and locally made sausages. Some locals bring their own white and blue-checked table cloths to decorate the tables under the shade of old chestnut trees. Sausages and pretzels are close at hand and big-handled liter steins of beer are ubiquitous.

Our visit this summer coincided with a festival held to celebrate the heritage of the many fountains in the market, erected to honor some of Munich’s cultural heros — poets, musicians and storytellers. At the peak of the summer harvest season, each fountain is lovingly decorated with bright flowers, and local singers and bands perform traditional songs nearby. It’s not really marketed as s big-time tourist event. We found out about the festival by reading the local newspaper, and for many market visitors, the event simply added a nice backdrop to their daily shopping or lunch routine. Continue reading

Colorado’s outdoor industry reppin’ at Euro trade show

Tourism, trade offices team up to create ‘Colorado Pavilion’ at ISPO in Munich, Germany

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Europe seen as important market for Colorado tourism and outdoor companies.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with several companies that won state grants to display their products at a huge international sports and outdoor trade show in Munich, Germany, state tourism officials will also present information about Colorado to an international audience at ISPO this week.

Working with gear-makers like Icelantic Skis and Boo Bicycles, trade representatives will work with European-based representatives to staff a Colorado-themed booth at show, showcasing the state and its wares at a Colorado Pavilion.

Most of the companies are homegrown Colorado enterprises, and several of them produce their entire line right here in the state, said Stephanie Dybsky, with the Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

“No other state does something like this,” Dybsky said, explaining that the mission is part of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s efforts to grow Colorado exports to Europe. The outdoor industry was identified in a recent study as one of the sectors having huge potential in growing worldwide industry that isn’t as susceptible to economic ups and downs as some other types of businesses.

Currently, Colorado exports about $1.5 billion in commodities (not services) to Europe. That total dipped as low as $1 billion right after the 2008 recession after peaking at about $1.7 billion in 2008.

ISPO is primarily a business-to-business show, and the goal is to connect Colorado companies with new leads and potential distributors for their products.

Several of the companies included in the joint pavilion have already had success in the export market, including Icelantic Skis, which sells gear all over Europe, according to COO Annelise Loevlie.

Icelantic has also previously attended ISPO, helping to broaden European distribution through Switzerland, Austria and even Russia, Loevlie said.

ISPO Munich offers the latest products, trends and innovations from the entire outdoor sports industry. The show features more than 2,300 exhibitors to 80,000 visitors from over 100 countries. Featured sports include alpine skiing, camping, climbing, fishing, mountain biking, running and snowboarding.

The following companies will be represented in the Colorado Pavilion at ISPO Munich 2013:

•    Aluboo & Boo Bicycles, Fort Collins
•    Big Shot Bikes, Fort Collins
•    CandyGrind, Denver
•    Icelantic Skis, Denver
•    Kinderlift of Colorado, Denver
•    Mountain Shades, Wheat Ridge
•    Newton Running, Boulder
•    Obermeyer, Aspen
•    Phunkshun Wear, Denver
•    Sport Bumper, Denver
•    Tailwind Nutrition, Durango
•    Venture Snowboards, Silverton

You can follow the happening from the Colorado Pavilion in Munich on Twitter: @ColoradoITO.

Morning photo: Old stuff

Relics …

The stones of this abbey courtyard in Austria tell their own story.

FRISCO — In a change of pace from the recent series of Summit County scenics. we’re digging back in the archives and looking for some old stuff — not just old photos, but photos of old things, like the centuries old courtyard of an Austrian abbey founded several centuries before Columbus set sail to the New World. Traveling in Europe and visiting some of the ancient monuments always gives me a fresh perspective on history, helping me understand the transient nature of what appear to be even the most urgent current events. As much as we may haggle and shout over the topic du jour, it’s always worth considering the bigger picture. Continue reading

Euro travel: Frisbee, fussball and self-cleaning toilets

A post-modern European Grand Tour

Adriatic sunset in Piran, Slovenia.

“Planning a trip is half the fun,” I mutter, typing yet another set of dates into the CheapTickets.com search box. I repeat the mantra to myself, trying to stay calm while booking tickets for our summer trip.

Who ever coined that phrase never had to arrange three different itineraries starting in Denver, with connecting flights in Frankfurt, Zurich, Istanbul and Amman, then returning from Munich and London on different days. On top of that, we need to find someone to look after Comet the Golden for three weeks — and he’s pretty picky. I feel like Clark Griswold, trying to set up National Lampoon’s Ultimate Family Vacation.

Luckily, I have the world’s mellowest girlfriend. She also has plenty of experience planning and implementing complex travel arrangements, so I thought I might get off easy on this one.

“You’ll have to do it this time, babe,” Leigh says, closing her laptop and heading to work.

“Not good,” I say to myself, eyebrows starting to twitch stressfully. I’m the ideas guy. I can envision a Grand Tour: Belgian waffles, fairytale castles, strudel in Salzburg, gondola rides in Venice and Sacher Torte in Vienna. Details are not my strength. Heck, I can barely remember my own phone number and I only glance at my bank statements about once every three months. Continue reading

Morning photo: Feast!

Classic breakfast … in Slovakia

If you're reading this before breakfast, it should whet your appetite for a classic fried egg feast. This one was served aboard a floating 'Boatel' in the Danube River in Bratislava, Slovakia. Click on the image to read more.

SUMMIT COUNTY — This edition of the morning photoblog is meant to make you hungry and inspire you to travel. That’s not saying that food doesn’t taste good wherever you are, but there’s something about trying a new meal in a new place that really makes it all click. Check out the rest by clicking the “read more” button. Continue reading

Oktoberfest, a global touchstone, comes to Frisco

Ein Bayerischer Bierhimmel …

A blue and white Bavarian beer sky greeted revelers Saturday at the Frisco Oktoberfest.

SUMMIT COUNTY — The blue sky and puffy white clouds over Frisco matched the checkered tablecloths at the Frisco Oktoberfest perfectly. It’s so classic, there’s even a German saying for it: Der Bayerische Bierhimmel, loosely translated as the Bavarian beer sky.

And with a spired beer tent mirroring the shapes of the nearby Tenmile Range, and guests sprawled on the green grass nearby, day one of this year’s local edition of the seasonal beer bash also captured some of the feel of the traditional Bavarian beer gardens, where the scene is somewhat less hectic than at the full-blown version in Munich each year. There was music, leg-wrestling, face-painting, along with plenty of schnitzel, roast pork, sauerkraut, apple strudel. Of course, the beer flowed freely, which is a good thing for the Summit Concert Band, which will benefit from the proceeds.

The fun continues Sunday (Sept. 5) at the Frisco Nordic Center, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Prost!

SEE MORE AFTER THE BREAK … Continue reading

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