16 Sep Iceland: Volcanoes, Hot Springs, and Hot Dogs

Yes, hot dogs. When you go to Iceland, be sure to put “Eat a hot dog” at the top of your to-do list. Everyone in Iceland loves hot dogs. Everyone. And you will too, unless of course you’re a vegetarian. Unlike hotdogs here in America, where they’re often considered low-end fast food or they are outrageously expensive, (think sporting events- the average price of a hot dog at an NFL game is $5.38!) in Iceland they are a point of national pride, and they are also cheap- good news for travelers on a budget! For what is almost guaranteed to be the best hot dog of your life, you’ll shell out about 380 Icelandic Krona or about three bucks. [caption id="attachment_1095" align="alignnone" width="300"] Now that's a hot dog!  standhttp://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2010/01/hot-dogs-the-pride-of-iceland/33976/[/caption] So what makes these hot dogs so delicious? The Icelandic hot dog is a perfectly savory blend of beef, pork, and lamb. The traditional and the best way to order one (or five) is “with the works” and here’s what you’ll get: A dollop of Ketchup, lightly spiced mustard, remoulade-a fancied up tartar sauce, fried onions, and raw onions. Basically Heaven on a bun. [caption id="attachment_1094" align="alignnone" width="300"] Ain't no Ball Park Frank!  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_yoM80tpGtKs/St4w29xcLvI/AAAAAAAABAo/XV70P3Iprw0/s400/DSC01647.JPG[/caption] Panroamers, YOU are in luck because the home of the best Icelandic hot dog is in Reykjavik. The name of the place even says so: Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, or in English, The Best Hot Dog in Town. Would we send you to any...

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08 Sep Passport Peril

It’s time. That chance which only presents itself once a decade. Two seconds which can make or break you. It’s time to retake your passport photo. Deep breaths! Yes, the last photo was…not great, but surely you’ve learned from that, right? This time your picture will correctly resemble a savvy world traveler and not the angry, frazzled, maniacal snapshot, which caused so many immigration officials to do a double take. You’ve practiced taking plenty of non-smiling, face front, strictly beige background photos in the past few years, correct? No? And you’re aware they don’t accept instagram selfies? Uh oh… Before this gets out of hand, let Panrimo give you 5 quick tips on how to take a decent passport photo without the help of a professional photographer or makeup artist. Just remember to: Pick Your Time Are you the early bird who gets the worm, or the owl who stays up all night? Taking a good photo is much easier when you’re energized. Being wide-awake cuts down on droopy eyes, disgruntled expressions, and dark circles under your eyes. So choose your best time of day, it will make the whole experience more pleasant. Groom Appropriately Ladies: Keep the makeup natural, there’s no need for a full face of warrior paint. A little lip-gloss, concealer, and mascara will be perfect for a fresh, attractive id photo. Gentlemen: Shave. For those with permanent facial hair, be sure you trim up the ‘stache and even the eyebrows, it will look much better...

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03 Sep Parlez-Vous Céfran?

Say what? I started studying French in high school.  Then, I majored in it at the University of Michigan.  Then, I studied abroad in Grenoble.  Then, I taught English in Normandy for eight months.  Then, I taught French for a few years. Then, I moved to Lorraine for a while.  You could say that I spoke French fairly well at this point, and I did, but I kept hearing words pop up in conversation that I had never heard of before, like, ever. [caption id="attachment_1075" align="alignnone" width="272"] But seriously, what?[/caption] http://www.imostateblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/huh1.gif So, finally I asked someone what this word (meuf) was that I kept hearing over and over and over, and then it all made sense: Verlan. Verlan is a form of the French language common among the youth, the word “verlan” being an example itself of how the language functions. It basically works like this: take the syllables of a word and switch them. Easy enough, right? The French word “l’envers” (meaning inverse) is pronounced “lan-ver.” Switch the order of these two syllables, thus pronouncing the word inversely and voilà, you have the word “Verlan.” Clever, oui? Here’s a list of commonplace “verlanised” words that you’re sure to hear at some point in conversation with a young French person. Words that are only one syllable work a little differently, but you get the idea: Verlan                  Original word              Meaning meuf                                 femme      ...

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01 Sep Have You Had Your Fruit Today?

‘Tis the season…of the mirabelle in France- Lorraine, France (home of the quiche) to be exact! Lorraine is a region located in northeastern France, still referred to by many as Alsace-Lorraine, though the two regions are actually separate now. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~morgan/alsace/aindex.html At this time of year, especially in the capital of Metz (pronounced “mess”) and many surrounding villages, the Lorrains are celebrating La Fête de la Mirabelle, a celebration complete with a parade, concerts, art exhibits, fireworks, and even a queen! [caption id="attachment_1070" align="alignnone" width="300"] Meet your 2014 Queen de la Mirabelle and the runner-ups![/caption] http://www.mylorraine.fr/article/valentine-elue-reine-de-la-mirabelle-2014/28588 So, wait.  What is a mirabelle, and why are they celebrating it? Glad you asked! The Mirabelle is a small, sweet, golden plum. It has become an emblem of the region and a staple of la cuisine Lorraine, used to make jams, tarts, soufflés, and eau de vie (but of course!)  So, what’s not to celebrate? This year marks the 64th annual Mirabelle Festival that lasts until September 7th. [caption id="attachment_1071" align="alignnone" width="300"] Mirabelle pickin'[/caption] http://www.mylorraine.fr/article/recolte-2014-de-la-mirabelle-de-lorraine/28555    Tarte aux mirabelles, anyone?  Bon appétit! http://doriannn.blogspot.com/2013/09/quand-les-mirabelles-sont-belles.html  Mirabelle plum pie with a kind of crunchy marzipan Ingredients: 750g mirabelle plums - 60g melted butter - 90g sugar - 90g powdered almonds - 2 eggs - 1 Tbsp orgeat syrup ) 30g sliced almonds - 1 shortcrust pastry Rinse and stone the plums but make sure you do NOT halve them. If you just cut them halfway you can take the stone out but leave the fruit as it is. In a bowl,...

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28 Aug Animals on Ice

Iceland is portrayed as the country of ice and volcanoes. A cold, barren, sparsely populated region of the world that is great for Vikings and geologists, but not so great for anything else, right? None of this could be further from the truth, and Panrimo’s going to set the record straight the best way we know how: pictures of adorable, fluffy animals! So sit back, relax and prepare to be in “awwwwwww”, as we count down our Top 7 Icelandic Animals. 7) Wood Mouse Wood mice are not native to Iceland’s harsh climate, but proved up for the challenge by stowing away in Viking longboats, which brought the first settlers to the northern shores. Often found living in the cozy foundations of churches, farmhouses, and the neighboring bushes wood mice have survived, but not easily. An award winning documentary film “Wood Mouse – Life on the Run” provides surprising drama as it follows two mice and their battle to survive the winter. 6) Grey Seals If there is any animal that has truly flourished in the North Atlantic, it’s the grey seal. Though archaeological digs have turned up seal remains dating back to 800AD, the earliest written records of their presence in and around Iceland date back to the 1700s. Unfortunately, early inhabitants of the region were not as taken with the seals’ appearance as modern day tourists and promptly dubbed them ‘hook-nosed sea pigs’. Today the seals are particularly populous in the Myrar...

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26 Aug Capture the Castle

While most people think of castles as residences for the royal, wealthy, or privileged, the Scots placed emphasis on much more than just edifice: defense was the primary purpose (though of course, the wealthy did enjoy living in them). During the Dark and Middle Ages, the British Isles were littered with skirmishes among invading vandals, neighboring cities, and even within the same extended families! But as times changed, along did Scotland’s castles, with adaptations to suit the new tools of warfare. Check out Panrimo’s favorite castles in Scotland and note the variety of castle styles, as well as the sheer magnificence! 7.) Culzean Castle Although this castle may look less formidable than the rest on this list, note the turrets and battlements that were incorporated into the design, making this pretty, aristocratic looking castle a much deadlier force than it seems. The perfect place to walk and enjoy beautiful outdoor gardens, aside from the incredible interior, Culzean Castle is owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland. 5.) Dunvegan Castle Located on the Isle of Skye off the western coast of Scotland, Denvegan Castle overlooks Denvegan Loch and the Minch, a narrow straight separating the Inner Hebrides (inner Scottish isles, closest to the Western shore), from the more distant Outer Hebrides, providing fantastic views across the waters. Dunvegan Castle is the oldest continuously habited castle in Scotland and is still the seat of the MacLeod Clan, an historically famous Scottish clan from the...

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25 Aug Bailamos!

Close your eyes and picture a Spanish dance. What do you imagine? Probably dark moody lighting, twirling skirts, and lots of flair, right? Though all of these components can be labeled as stereotypes, they all arise (not incorrectly) from the cultural force that is Spanish dance. Below is Panrimo’s alphabetical guide to our 7 favorite Spanish Dances. Olé! Alegrías https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuYPv16BCBA A very specific variation of flamenco native to the Cádiz region, Alegrías is most notable for it’s difficulty. Danced to a 12 beat structure, it is compiled of 6 sections that all feature differing tempo, emphasis, and phrasing. Though strict, when performed well it’s a stunning, intricate performance that will please even the sternest audience. Bolero https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVKClliJWh8 The Bolero is a slow dance best performed by a couple. Popular since it’s conception in the 18th century, the dance is a unique combination of the grace of classical ballet and the flourish of traditional village dances. The accompanying music often features some sort of string instrument (primarily guitar) and castanets, which work well with the triple time beat. Corrido https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cimnyVwZ56I A favorite couple dance in Castilla and Leon, the Corrido is a group participation event. Popular since the 19th century, the music’s irregular rhythm drives the dancers around in circles, speeding and slowing in time with the beat. Still used in many local festivals, this dance always tells a story. Themes range from romance to revolution, so the audience must pay close attention; the ending isn’t always happy! El Vito https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdYCxamQG5U Similar to the Bolero,...

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20 Aug The Musical Isle

Irish music is one of the few indigenous music styles to have attained both international popularity and commercial success. Though traditional music styles do not often translate well when played for audiences outside of their native country, Irish folk ballads, drinking songs, and rock music have all connected with listeners around the globe. This is particularly true for American audiences with a hankering for a sense of the ‘old country’. Below you’ll find Panrimo’s picks for the Top 7 Most Beloved Irish Songs. 7) I’ll Tell Me Ma https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBKdcn7whOs Though the video above is a performance by the all-male troupe Na Fianna, I’ll Tell Me Ma is a song traditionally sung by young girls. A well-known children’s song bemoaning the hijinks that result from adolescent flirtations, it is lively, fun, and easy to dance to. In fact, it used to be associated with a game! Similar to ‘Ring around the Rosie’, a group would hold hands to form a circle around a boy (or girl) in the middle. At the appropriate moment, the center child would call out the initials of their crush, who would then join them in the middle. Ah, young love. 6) Siúl A Rún https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rHLxnuYUYU Siúl A Rún (Walk, My Love) is a lament for lost love was written during a particularly war-torn period of Ireland’s history, though no one is quite sure which. Best guesses place it sometime around the Glorious Revolution, when English occupying forces gave young Irishmen the difficult...

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19 Aug Oodles of Noodles

Not all pastas are created equal. Variations in size, shape, serving methods, and cooking time all combine to create the intricacies that define this hallmark ingredient of Italian cuisine. Among other identifying characteristics, some are infinitely more adorable than others. (Spaghetti? Please, too basic.) Though we definitely can’t claim to have mastered all of them, below you’ll find our guide to Panrimo’s Top 7 Cutest Italian Pastas. 7) Barbina A long, thin noodle similar to angel’s hair pasta, Barbina is cute mostly for it’s name, which translates to ‘little beards’. Often twisted into a shape resembling a bird’s nest or a ‘little beard’, this pasta is great for a charming, pre-portioned appetizer. 6) Orecchiette A pasta traditionally made in the southern part of Italy, orecchiette or ‘little ear’, is a small thumb-sized noodle made in an oval shape that looks just like it’s namesake (cute!). Though the signature orecchiette dish is made with the rapine leaf, this pasta can be cooked with a variety of vegetable based sauces and is often paired well with broccoli or ricotta cheese. 5) Fusilli Bucati These tightly spiraled pieces of pasta add cuteness to any dish! Translated as ‘holed rifles’, they are surprisingly long (about 2 inches) and uniquely suited for consumption with any kind of chunky sauce (the pieces of vegetables or meat get caught in the twirls). Most cooks recommend serving this pasta with an artichoke heart cream sauce. 4) Radiatore Designed in the 1960s by an industrial engineer who...

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18 Aug Gotta Get A Getaway

While Paris is one of the world’s greatest cities and an absolute must-see, France’s charm lies in its quaint towns and villages. Whether it’s throughout the French Alps or along the Northern coasts, you’ll always find beautiful buildings and friendly people throughout. And the journey to and from them is half the fun! Take a look at Panrimo’s top 7 French getaways. 7.) Marseille France’s second largest city, Marseille has been designated one of Europe’s cultural capitals. The city is quite different from the rest of France, and is actually proud of this distinction. Marseille is known for its opera houses, several museums and art galleries, and numerous cinemas, bars, clubs, and restaurants, making this unique destination a fantastic weekend getaway. 6.) Besançon Nestled along a bend in the River Doubs, Besançon is an ancient village that’s managed to remain well-preserved over the years. In pre-Roman times, the city was already the capital of the surrounding area. When Julius Caesar conquered France, he declared Besançon “the jewel in my crown.” Now, Besançon is a thriving city, with a large university, two major museums, and the Citadel, a UNESCO Heritage Site consisting of a massive 17th century military structure stretching across a massive outcropping of rock above the River Doubs. 5.) Les Baux One of the most beautiful sights in France, the village of Les Baux de Provence sits atop a huge outcropping of rocks overlooking the expansive plains below. While the village relies on tourist visitors...

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