Shopping and Picnicking Overseas

Picnic on the Rhine

We picnic a lot when we travel abroad, especially if the weather's cooperative. Not only does picnicking save on the food budget, but also, how can you beat finding a nice spot outside to spread out and enjoy some sunshine in a natural setting?

Picnic along the Ebro River, Spain
Stopping at a Lupa in Spain is a regular occurrence

In Spain, our grocery list typically looks something like this:
  • plates, cups, napkins, and plastic utensils (purchased on the first grocery run, hopefully, and lasting for a 2-3 week trip)
  • local cheese
  • Jamón (preferably Iberico, but Serrano will do)
  • chips, or chipperones (Pringles Sabor Jamón are surprisingly good)
  • nuts
  • olives or pickles
  • yogurt, if we have a fridge
  • natillas or rice pudding (again, if there's a fridge or if we are on our way to picnic)
  • a pastry, like Palmeras
  • baguette
  • small mixed salad
  • fresh figs, oranges, or other fruit
  • a six-pack of water (six one-liter bottles)
Grocery Shopping in Spain

Torta de Aranda, regional bread in Spain

In France, substitute the Jamon with a sausage of some sort, add in a sharp knife to cut it with (and the local cheese).  There will still be a baguette, some fruit, and flan or a delicious pastry.

Sometimes, the weather is not cooperative, of course.  It was so cold and rainy for so much of our trip to France.  This affected us several times, like just having just sat down at a little municipal park in Burgundy when the rain started down in buckets.  On more than one occasion, we had to eat in the room instead of outside.  When you don't have ideal picnic weather, you just make do (for instance, by using the board from the car's hatchback as a dinner table and picnicking right in the car!)

Picnic in Reims, France

Trying to decide on a cheese in France is no easy task

The most convenient picnic spot on our last trip to Spain was right off of our room in Tui.  A beautiful, private, walled garden with a table and two chairs.  Marvelous!

And my favorite picnic spot of the trip: under the bright sunshine at the base of the Picos de Europa, at Fuente Dé.  Sitting at the back of the hatchback, with some pickles, queso y jamón, and arroz con leche...  perfection!

Picnic spot at Picos de Europa
How awesome it would be to have a caravan here!
Do you picnic on the road?  What do your shopping lists and picnic spots look like?