Trakai was previously the capital of Lithuania, and the Grand Duke used the heavily fortified castle as his base of operations. After the capital moved to Vilnius, the castle fell to ruins and was renovated, though not unobviously.
Using the recipe at The Spruce Eats I made Finnish Karjalanpaisti, a traditional meat stew. Listening to the comments, I added much more seasoning, which helped, but the stew was a fairly thin mix of watery sauce and meats, rather than the thicker red shown in the illustrations.
Its been quite some time since I did any astrophotography, but my new 100-400 lens has been waiting for the nights to get dark enough to start trying to catch the moon again. The ongoing issue of the weight of the lens, extender and body on my travel tripod makes maintaining sharp focus a challenge, and next time I'll be plugging my laptop instead of using the rear viewer for focusing and getting the shot centred. I may also borrow the heavy duty tripod from the office for a weekend.
The sixth meal in my international tour was Romania's Mititei. A Sausage like dish, made with minced lamb, chicken and beef and flavoured with cumin, coriander and thyme, it's a perfect BBQ dish. It needs preparing the evening before but requires little in the way of unusual ingredients.
Stockholm is a city on the water, looking into the Baltic, passed its many islands, the city itself forms a crosshatch pattern of islands connected by bridges over the inlets and rivers. In the winter many of these rivers freeze, and its common to see the locals skating across them.
Kiev has a strange below ground collection of shops. Certain subways are populated by a variety of shops and cafes, never seeing the light of day. There is a strong presence of sex tourism in Kiev, more than I have seen anywhere else. Strip clubs are common and Tinder was extremely active. It doesn’t feel sleazy so much as that there is a deep power imbalance between the Ukraine and the outside world.
Reykjavik is a surprisingly busy city on the west coast of Iceland. Surrounded by black volcanic stone and yellow grass the city is striking. Arctic winds blow in from the coast, and Iceland is the third windiest place in the world. Houses are generally low with sloped roofs to avoid the ever present wind.
Belgrade, as it is not served by any low cost airlines, is spared the stag dos and hen dos that fill other eastern European cities. As such, it's tourism is lower volume and less crass. The city is served by a good network of Trams, which are surprisingly thiner than the average tram in other cities.
A two week driving tour of the Alps, touring different cities, towns and villages. The trip started in Nice and ended in Munich. Whilst we had a drink in Monaco, we figured out our next stop, we wanted to be in Turin the following evening and didn’t want a long drive that afternoon.
A two week driving tour of the Alps, touring different cities, towns and villages. The trip started in Nice and ended in Munich.. Monaco is only 9 kilometres from Nice but they are a windy, slow kind of kilometre. They run along the coast road and give some great views of the incredibly wealthy,.
Tiny winding streets with old buildings, hugely driven by city break tourism rather than the more sedate options are part of the character of Split. The small tight streets in the old town have lead to the adoption of motorised cards, like you may see in a warehouse for moving goods around.
Days are identified by Roman numerals. The city has a strong resonance with Rom, the history of repeated attempts to align with the Hapsbergs and the Pope have given Vilnius an affinity from Italy as well as this there is a stronger Russian influence than I have seen in the other Baltic states, they have a soviet influence, but less of the historic Russian.
Architecture is varied, but there is not much of the extremely modern glass around. Brickwork dominates and it feels that even new buildings are trying to fit in. The main exception is the area around the Rhine Towner, a needle standing tall and alone on the riverside and the various modernist buildings nearby.
Gaudi’s influence can be felt throughout the city, even though there are in truth only a small number of his buildings in a large sprawling city the influence of colour and shape make Barcelona an interesting city. Whilst it has many of the dull square buildings that infest major cities, it also has old churches in immaculate repair and colourful shapes and sculptures scattered through the city.
The Mdina is known as the Silent City. It is an ancient walled town, still inhabited. I wandered through the streets for a while before finding Ciapette for some lunch. The history was palpable at this family run restaurant, where inside and outside were merged, plants, open walls and dark woods transported you back to an earlier time.