Monteriggioni – Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Moteriggioni Siena Tuscany Italy

Monteriggioni is a medieval walled town, located on a natural hill. In the Middle Ages, the city was strategically placed as a defensive fortification. The roughly circular walls, totaling a length of about 570 meters incorporate 14 towers on square bases set at equidistance and two portals or gates. The main piazza, the Piazza Roma, is dominated by a church with a simple, plain facade.

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Two weeks in Mexico from ancient ruins to paradise beach

map of mexico trip

Our two week tour of Mexico was full of sun and attractions. We started from Mexico City, busy metropolis, and then through ancient ruins we arrived on a sunny beach for surfers in Puerto Escondido. We mainly travelled by bus and then from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido by minibus which is a road not to be forgotten. If you like adrenaline and roller coasters you might love it. Just kidding! No one could love this ride as it’s 7 hours journey while every second your vestibular system is put to hard work and when you can’t establish even one still point to concentrate on. Anyway, more about it later.

I pre-booked first two nights in hostel in Mexico City. Hostel Mexioc CityIt was a flat in an apartment house in a walking distance to Zocalo. Very nice staff and bright, cozy living area. Then small kitchen, curious showers and a hole in the ceiling in our room. We spent there little time and mainly drinking tequila.

Tenochtitlan - Mexico CityMexico City is located in a valley what adds to its picturesqueness. More and more houses are being built on the slopes of the valley as the city expands. The city was originally built on an island of lake Texcoco by the Aztecs as Tenochtitlan, which was almost completely destroyed in the 1521 and rebuilt in accordance with the Spanish standards. According to the legend the god indicated the site where Aztecs were to build their home with a sign – an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its beak. Scholars estimate that between 200,000 and 250,000 people lived in Tenochtitlan in 1500, more than four times the population of London at that time. During and after the Spanish conquest Cortés rased the city and rebuilt it to bury the memory of Aztec empire. Spanish built Catholic churches over the old Aztec temples and claimed the imperial palaces for themselves. So now almost every monument you visit had a double history. The city developed and now you can’t see any traces of the lake anymore.Mexico underground

Now some of the things I found interesting not to repeat all the information you can easily find elsewhere. The underground is very useful but I found the wheels of the train quite astonishing have a look on the right.

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary of Mexico City

Next to Zocalo The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary of Mexico City is located. It is the largest cathedral in Americas. I found there a couple of curious things. First a board with a lot of small golden praying figures attached to it. Another – large XVIII century organs with some pipes sticking out at a 90 degree angle. As I found out it’s called En Chamade. It’s a term describing pipes placed horizontally instead of vertically, and often projecting from the front of the organ case. This method is generally used for powerful reeds,Organs in The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary of Mexico City like Trompette en Chamade, whose tone becomes more intense and penetrating through such placement. (Chamade: a military signal intended to be heard in the enemy camp).

Pendulum – for years the cathedral has been sinking into the soft soil of what was once a lake. Extensive underground engineering efforts have largely stabilized the building. Pendulum Mexico City The CathedralThe pendulum suspended from the ceiling tracks the tilt, marking a record on the floor.

A bronze statue of Pope John Paul II with keys melted at its sides. This is because hundreds of Mexicans contributed to the material for making the statue by donating keys. It was unveiled by the Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera on All Saints Day in 2006. John Paul II bronze statue Mexico CityIt is said that our Pope loved Mexico.

The Torre Latino Americana naturally. It has 45 stories (183m). There is a legend that on the day of the 1957 earthquake, Dr. Leonardo Zeevaert was inspecting something or other on the roof of the tower, and that he got to see and feel how his tower withstood the quake while the surrounding buildings collapsed. The truth is that during the September, 1985 earthquake, Latinoamericana tower Mexico Citywhich took place at 7:19, Adolfo Zeevaert was already inside his office on the 25th floor. From that vantage point he was able to witness the destruction taking place while several buildings collapsed and the dust cloud that followed, all the while feeling the movement inside the tower. It could arguably be said that it was the first time that a builder and designer of a tall building witnessed first hand its behaviour during a massive earthquake.

I guess this is enough for one post, there is more about Mexico City I would like to write about and so instead one there will be two posts.

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Xmas work out – Polish bigos – 5 to 7 days cooking pleasure

So, let me tell you how you make one of the traditional Polish dishes called bigos. The longer you cook it the better it is. The more types of meat you put inside the better. Believe me it’s so worth the effort!

Ok, so first of all you need to cook the sour cabbage with black pepper (grains), allspice, bay leafs. Well to be honest if it’s too sour you need to rinse it first but it rarely happens. It looks like this:

So it is cooked and let me tell you the more the better cos there is never enough of bigos. At this point I add mushrooms. if you read my post about mashrooming you know what mushrooms I’m talking about. At th beginning they are dry so you need to leave them in warm water to soak for a while. chop them and put them in. So now you fry different types of meat.  beef, pork, wild fowl, sausage… This year I didn’t get a nice portion of beef, everything looked too fat or not the right quality. So I took: shoulder, veal, pork roast, beacon and rural sausage.

So first onion with beacon:

And then the meat:

shoulder

 

Veal
Pork roast

I put salt and pepper (ground) to all of them. My tip is to put it into pot and then pour some hot water on the pan to get all the remains out and pour it to bigos, it brings in more flavor, and the water evaporates. And let’s not forget the sausages:

 And after cooking you add some more ground pepper, salt, sweet red pepper, charlock, coriander, cumin, jniper, tomato puree and wine or plums. Everything to taste.

And this was only the first day.

No you cool it down or freeze it at least once a day for 5 days.

And then it’s ready and gone in minutes! Enjoy!

Bigos

 

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Welcome

Welcome to my blog. I will try to make as interesting for you as possible although to find it this way you will need to appreciate things that I do. Enjoy and speak to you soon. By the way I hope this will be more of a conversation than a monologue.

 

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