During the December holidays, everyone has their preferences. Some people love freshly baked cookies, other hot chocolate, punch or sit down to enjoy a Christmas cake. But the great popularity of the Peppermint Bark, which for many are their favorite for these days, is indisputable.

As winter begins, mint becomes a key ingredient for many recipes. It is used in smoothies, tarts and as a compliment for ice cream, but its most popular use is with chocolate and baked goods. My personal hypothesis is that these candies and bars of mint chocolate are relevant, specifically during Christmas, because of their red and white color, two of the main colors that represent these holidays.

No one knows for sure how and who first produced the mint candies. However, its origin goes back more than 350 years ago. Europeans began decorating Christmas trees with sugar candies stuck as decoration as well as cookies. The curved shape represented a shepherd's staff.

Peppermint Bark images

The Peppermint Bark is a sweet made of chocolate and crushed mint candies. It is a great gift that can be added to the dessert menu or it can be easily used as a simple gift for someone else. There are different ways to make the Peppermint Bark and there are very simple recipes to make them. Each bar is made by hand with a mixture made with chocolates, which is impregnated with natural peppermint oil and then a layer of creamy white chocolate cover with pieces of crunchy mint candy.

Now if you insist on making your own mint chocolate bars or Peppermint Bark, the recipe is very simple. What you will need to do is melt semi-bitter chocolate of the brand you prefer in a heat-resistant vessel. Spread the chocolate in a tray of at least a half centimeter, and let cool until it is very hard. Melt white chocolate and now spread over the bitter chocolate sheet with the same thickness of dark chocolate and before it hardens sprinkle with the mint candies on the white chocolate. Refrigerate until it is hard and ready.

I had a dream to spend the Advent somewhere in Central Europe, with its markets, gingerbread cookies and its Christmas atmosphere. The white Christmas was a fascination for me. It is then when the people gather to take glogg, hot spiced wine seasoned with almonds and raisins, served with cinnamon buns. Christmas stars and Advent candles decorate the windows of houses and offices giving cities a magical light.

The flight was overbooked and the people who wanted to check in directly at the airport had to stay on the ground waiting for another plane. They even offered us an economic reward for leaving our seat and waiting for the next flight. We rejected it because we had to take a train when we arrived in Frankfurt.

After a good flight (breakfast included) with Lufthansa, we arrived at Frankfurt airport around 11 in the morning. We pick up our bags and go directly to the train that takes us to the central station, the Hauptbahnhof. Our first hotel had an ideal location and the hotel was literally across the street.

We liked the place very much. The rooms are nothing to write home about but they are well sized and very clean. What we liked the most was the free Wi-Fi in the room, the free minibar (which had water, juices, beers and a small table next to the reception with coffee, milk and cake.

We put on our winter clothes before going to the station to take the train to Heidelberg that we had at 1:30 pm. What most struck me about the train platforms were the smoking areas that were delimited by lines painted on the floor. There were no walls or anything, only the lines of yellow paint. In spite of how ridiculous the measure seems, people followed it to the spirit.

The 50 minutes that the trip to Heidelberg lasts is pretty fast. Upon arrival we passed by the tourist office that is on leaving the station, where they gave us a map. They explained how to get to the center of town by bus and they confirmed that from 5 pm there was a Christmas show in the castle.

We arrived at the center after sharing the bus with about thirty little blond children who would go on a field trip. We started to explore the squares of the center. Although it was still day and there was no snow, we already lived the Christmas atmosphere in the small markets.

Here Christmas is not only visual, but also, and above all, olfactory. In the markets we can smell the many delights that can be found and it is impossible not to be hungry and want to try everything! After touring a couple of places, we find the famous Christmas shop that claims to be the largest in the world.

To get in there is to get into a magical Christmas world and that was also around Christmas. I imagine the shock that has to be entering that store in the middle of summer. Here are things and more ornaments, trees and literally thousands of objects spread over two floors. Almost everything went out of my budget.

We walk through the store trying not to throw anything. We already know that the one who breaks, pays. Then we continue on our way and we take the funicular to go up to the castle. The views of Heidelberg from above are very good. For us it had a special addition with Christmas at the Castle. It is a flea market that is placed next to the walls of the castle and opens only a few days before Advent.

We were lucky and while they were putting the posts we went to do the visit to the castle itself. The truth is that there is not much to see, but since the visit is included with the funicular it is good to take a walk inside. We see the huge Christmas tree placed in the courtyard, visit the pharmacy museum and then enjoy the views of the town from the top of its walls and battlements.

When leaving, the market was already open and in all its splendor. The curious thing about this market is that they are all white little stores that put an illumination with different colors that make it magical. After a purchase of artisan cookies we go back down in the funicular.

What we need is to see the atmosphere of the markets once and with lights and everything. So we do a similar route to when we arrived to see everything at night. We discovered some other place with an ice rink and more food stalls that smelled great.

At the end we got into a beautiful little store of handmade products where they sold everything from sauces to cookies. We bought some gingerbread cookies dipped in chocolate that were delicious! The first European gingerbread recipe was made by mixing almonds, stale breadcrumbs, rose water, molasses and ginger.

The resulting paste was cooked in wooden molds that, in general, represented everyday events and situations, famous people and religious figures of the time. Later the breadcrumbs would be substituted for the flour and the molasses for the sugar and the eggs would be incorporated, making a final product even more appetizing.

Legend has it that Queen Elizabeth I of England was the creator of the well-known gingerbread cookies in the shape of little men or gingerbread people who liked to entertain their guests at large receptions. Be that as it may, popular fairs adopted the recipe and popularized it. We conclude our visit to Heidelberg and go in search of the bus that will take us to the train to Frankfurt.

Gingerbread Cookies images

Around The World With The Tadka Girls is without a doubt one of the most complete cookbooks on Indian cuisine that can be found. Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujam takes us on a journey through a world of smells, colors, flavors and contrasts. This recipe book is a wonderful opportunity to get to know and experience one of the oldest kitchens in the world.

Indian cuisine is not only made up of curries and rice dishes. On the contrary, each region is distinguished by its own culinary characteristics. The dishes of the south of the country are in general much more spicy than those of the north, with a milder flavor but also more aromatic.

The use of spices has reached a degree of perfection unmatched in Indian cuisine, both in quantity and imagination used. In this book you will find detailed recipes of the specialties that best illustrate the variety and at the same time exquisiteness of Indian cuisine.

The taste for good food is a characteristic common to all regions of India and an essential element in their family and cultural life. This cookbook shares s delicious experience through the best traditional and contemporary recipes. There are quick and easy to prepare dishes, detailed step by step and accompanied by tips. You can immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Indian cuisine and become a master of the use of spices.

In addition, the work also includes a broad description of spices and aromatic herbs used in Indian cuisine. There is also explanation of some techniques of this extraordinary cuisine and an introduction to the traditions and peculiarities of Indian cuisine. The proposed recipes are quick and easy to prepare, and cover all kinds of dishes.

It contains special sections on the pantry and spices, ideas for menus and an index of ingredients. The photographs and illustrations are simply irresistible. I loved this book, not only because of its wonderful photographs but because the recipes are simple and all seem delicious.

The book has a lovely cover. It contains varied recipes organized by theme like Breakfast & Brunch, Bites n Brews, Soups and Salads, Bread Basket, Pasta 'n Rice, Signature Tadka, Sweet Treats, Fiesta Fare and Funnibbles. I think it's a very interesting book, which will appeal to lovers of home cooking.

I do not like those collections that seem exclusively oriented to women. What I do want me to tell you is that it has healthy recipes for girls in a hurry. And yes, I succumbed. But I do not regret it at all, because Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujam have written a fun book that will be useful for me.

I have never looked at what I eat nor have I worried about whether I got fat or not, but I am aware that we have to eat well, above all, for health. And as I turn years, I'm getting more and more important. But I do not have time (neither desire nor deep knowledge, why deny it) of getting into the kitchen for hours.

I do not want to imagine those who work outside. So I hoped that Around The World With The Tadka Girls was a simple and direct book that gave me a few ideas to innovate from time to time. And, luckily, I found that and much more.

To begin with, Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujam become theoretical, but with all the grace of the world. I had never heard of them and have been a discovery, because they are very important in our day to day and in those cravings that give us without coming to mind.

After the basic explanations, the authors give us tricks of the most varied. They also review the nutritional pyramid, which currently takes into account many more aspects than the amounts of food we consume. Although they are habits that we all know more or less, it never hurts to have them targeted and in sight to not forget them.

In the next part of the book, Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujam suggest a few healthy recipes, simple to make and quick! There are others more original but also very fast!

Finally, they give us guidelines so that we avoid throwing away food and optimize the cold of the fridge. What Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujam tell us is all that our mothers and friends could advise us, or what we could search in Google. But sometimes it saves time to have all that information at hand, gathered in a single book.

And those of us who are always going against the clock know how important that is. So pay attention to me and keep an eye on Around The World With The Tadka Girls. It does not matter if you are men or women, surely you will all learn something new and you will laugh.

Around The World With The Tadka Girls

This year we have decided to spend our family holidays in Austria. Following our custom of wanting to see as much as possible, we visit Innsbruck, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Graz, and Vienna. The trip to Austria was organized by me through the internet. So now that there is already a hotel, flight, Lonely Planet guide to Vienna, we head to Austria and its Christmas markets.

Day 1 - Innsbruck

We arrived in Innsbruck from London at about 12 noon. As we traveled with a backpack, on arrival we went directly to the car. We leave for our first stop at Innsbruck to our hotel for the first night. It takes 10 minutes by car from the airport and 15 minutes walking from the center of Innsbruck.

We take a double room with shared bathroom and breakfast included. As we arrived with some hunger we eat in the restaurant of the hotel that looks very good. We decided to try the dumplings of sausage and cheese very typical of Austria and a dish of Italian pasta just in case we do not like. They were delicious.

Now, with the batteries charged we go to Innsbruck to enjoy its old town. Our idea is to visit the city for 2 or 3 hours and watch the sunset from the Nordkette, a gondola lift that climbs to the top of the mountains. From here one can enjoy an incredible view of the city. There is a lot of snow and it is also very cold. We are at -7 degrees but we do not care as we enjoy the snow.

We walk through all its streets and squares and visit the most popular places. Practically we do not care as all the streets are beautiful and with this blanket of snow even more. We stop for a moment to have a coffee and get warm. Since we have run out of views from the Nordkette we decided to climb the Stadtturm tower of the city from which we also have a beautiful view.

Well, it's already getting dark and we're pretty tired since we left London at 3 in the morning and we have not slept yet. We go back to the hotel and go through a very nice market for traditional Austrian products, right next to the viewpoint of the river.

Now it's time to rest and regain strength. Tomorrow we have to get up early to take advantage of the hours of light and pray that it doesn't snow much as we are a little scared to drive with so much snow.

Vienna images wallpaper

Day 2 - Uttendorf

We got up early and had breakfast at the hotel, coffee and some sandwiches of sausage or ham. It was quite good for the price of the hotel. Finally, we go out to the street. We start the car and it marks -10 degrees. We are not used to that cold.

Our first destination is Alpbach. According to the Austria travel guide, it is one of the most beautiful villages. It is located in the middle of the mountain and from which there are plenty of ski slopes. We hope to enjoy its beauty and its surroundings. A few kilometers before arriving at the town we began to enter by mountain roads. With so much snow the thing begins to complicate. But it is necessary to say that in general, the roads are good in spite of as much snow as it has fallen a couple of days. In the end, we managed to get to Alpbach and parked the car in a parking lot just below the village.

Alpbach is beautiful and the day seems to accompany us despite the cold. We got to be at -15 degrees, and we enjoyed a beautiful blue sky. We had a coffee in the hotel which is very nice inside and enjoy a very good view of the valley.

We take the car again and we go to Kufstein, our next destination. The city is located near the German border at the foot of the Eno River. The most famous site of the city is the 12th-century fortress that dominates the whole city. We also want to visit its old town, especially the Romerhofgasse street.

We enjoyed a nice walk along the river with a splendid day and wonderful views of the fort. It's time to eat and we do it in the restaurant with typical Tyrolean food without a doubt the best lunch on the whole trip. We ordered Tiroler Grostl, a kind of scrambled dish with meat, peppers, potatoes, and bacon. We also have a Strindberg with a mustard sauce with beans and mashed potatoes.

After the satisfying meal, we now touch the last stretch by car to reach our next accommodation. It is a house of an Austrian family in which we have rented a room and our destination is Uttendorf.

When we get to the town we go to the tourist office to have a little more information about the area. They give us very good advice, besides the lady speaks English perfectly, a thing that we are not finding everywhere.

Vienna images wallpaper

Day 3 - Hallstatt

When we get up to see the sunrise from the balcony of our apartment in the typical Austrian cabin we enjoy amazing views. I would like to emphasize that staying in this cabin has been a success and also the owners kept it very well decorated. It seemed that we were in the house of Heidi.

We take the car to reach Zell am See which is 15 minutes only from Uttendorf. Upon arrival, we have a coffee and walk through its picturesque streets and its famous lake. We walk by the lake and visit the most beautiful buildings. Practically all the buildings deserve a photo.

Here there are also cable cars for skiing and in which one can observe the lake from the mountains. This time we decided to enjoy the town and move around the lake with our car to take pictures. I am a nature photographer and go crazy with the dreamy landscapes. The houses that surround the lake are beautiful and every 5 minutes we stop to see the lake that is almost frozen at this time.

We head towards Bad Gastein, to get on the gondola to its ski station. After an hour on the road through some beautiful valleys, we reached our destination. We parked in the parking lot that is right next to the gondola station and we go up to the mountains. We enjoyed a very exciting climb and when we reached the top we were astonished by the views.

We walk about 100 meters to the 360 degrees Glocknerblick viewpoint and we go crazy taking pictures. We head towards the hanging bridge of 140 meters. The bridge sways a bit with the steps of the people, which makes us feel a nerve by the stomach that gives a point to the visit.

We continue to walk for a while on the heights and eat in the restaurant at the ski resort. It is nothing special in terms of food a hamburger and the typical Austrian schnitzel (breaded steak). From the restaurant, the views are wonderful.

We have our food and went down to the Felsentherme Thermal Baths. As we get off the gondola we cross a platform and we are in the hot springs. The spa is not the best we have been in but the views are worth it. It is relaxing in the 40-degree pool with the snowy mountains in front.

Before arriving in Hallstatt we have a planned stop. We try to get to Gosau as early as possible to see that majestic lake with the mountains in the background. We were amazed by the beauty of the roads and the Gosau valley which is beautiful with lots of snow.

When we reach the lake we realize that the clouds prevent us from seeing those magnificent mountains but we decided to wait as the weather forecast give hope. After several minutes waiting with crossed fingers, we got lucky and a window opened in the clouds.

Now we are only 25 min away from Hallstatt and wish to tread its streets, perhaps the most beautiful town in Austria. We bought some postcards for the family. We go through all its streets which is beautiful and we arrive at its famous viewpoint from where everybody takes a picture. The houses were decorated with Christmas decorations. The whole town was beautiful with the snow seemed like a story.

I think that being winter there are many fewer tourists than in summer because we are practically alone through the town. It makes it even more beautiful to visit the places without a lot of people. After a few hours, we decided that we need to get on a boat. From Hallstatt, there are cruises around the lake. Although for being winter now they only go towards the train station. The walk does not last more than 15 minutes but we were excited.

We have a coffee in one of the cafeterias that overlook the lake with very nice views with some icicles that are scary. It is a fact to be taken into account when walking the streets at this time. We have to continue our journey with great regret to leave Hallstatt behind.

Because the end of our journey is getting closer we continue towards Salzburg. We arrived around 5:30 and we stayed at the hotel. To our surprise, the receptionist treated us wonderfully. We explained that what we want is to go around the center and have some typical food. The hotel is very clean and the bed is perfect.

The bus that stops right at the door of the hotel leaves us in the center in only 10 minutes and we bought a 24-hour ticket. We set out to tour the birthplace of Mozart. Salzburg is charming and although it is at night it is very beautiful. We realized that each square had its own Christmas market. We go through some of the main streets and its galleries and hidden squares.

After seeing several squares all with their Christmas trees and their calendars marking the advent, we were surprised. Suddenly the main street began to fill. In Austria, there is a great tradition where children and adults dress up as devils with clothes of animals and masks with big horns. They are called Krampus and in their hands, they carry a kind of feather duster.

We went to dinner at the restaurant and it was great. We had a pork steak with a very rich mushroom sauce and a homemade cordon bleu with spectacular chips.

Vienna autumn images wallpaper

Day 4 - Salzburg

We have breakfast in a restaurant that is next to the hotel that has a cafeteria. We caught the bus and we got off at Mirabellplatz next to the Mirabell Castle through which we walk through its gardens. In summer it should be beautiful but now in winter, it is all under the snow. In the courtyard of the castle, they put a large Christmas tree. Many stalls sell delicacies from the area and especially its famous mulled wine.

From here we cross the gardens and go to the Mullner Steg bridge from which there is a beautiful view of the Fortress. We cross the bridge and go to the old town of Salzburg (world heritage site) and there we visit the most emblematic places. But on the way, we are surprised by a market of typical products. Since we had breakfast in that way it was a tribute and we ate a piece of sandwich.

We visit the cathedral for free and an endless number of streets that are more beautiful with pastel houses, the city is surprising us. Now it's time to gather strength to climb the Monchsberg, the park that is next to the Fortress from which we have the best views of the city.

Without a doubt for us, the best of Salzburg were these views from the viewpoints. When we went down from the park we did it at the other end with the intention of visiting the Agustinerbräu brewery, as we have read it is quite an experience. For our misfortune it was closed as they open from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm and it was only 2:00 pm and we were starving.

For lunch, we went to the restaurant and this time we ate some Austrian vegetarian ravioli (different from the Italian pasta). We also order a filet of pork and another of chicken and chips. To go down after such a binge, we climb towards another of the mountains that surround the city to the Kapuzinerberg.

We had read that in Salzburg there was a wide tradition of coffee that came from the Turkish times. We wanted to drink coffee in one of the oldest coffee shops in the city. At first, we decided on the oldest cafe in the city but upon entering it did not give us a very good impression. There were many tourists inside and a bit of disorder.

When we asked the waiter what cakes or sweets they have, they indicated that they had finished. We left the premises and went to the cafe right in front and also the oldest. In addition to this cafeteria, the Mozartkugel was created, a typical truffle with marzipan from Salzburg and which is very rich.

A couple of hours later we continue visiting streets and places of Salzburg. We decide to return to the hotel since we are tiring. Well, our flight back departs early in the morning. Undoubtedly this has been one of the best trips we have made in Austria. We have loved everything, its landscapes, its mountains, its rivers, its towns, its cities, its gastronomy and its people. It is clear that one day we will return to these lands.

Day 5 - Vienna

We had breakfast in a chain that we only saw in Innsbruck and whose name I can not remember. What I will remember for a long time is the Apfelstrudel that we ate. It is the best I've tasted! It had been a clear day and the city looked like another, so we decided to take a walk before we left.

Now we could see the mountains that surround the city, all snowed. One thing that caught my attention was that people took the urban transport with skis to get to the slopes. We ended up going to Vienna after 11.

We left for Vienna, as we had almost 3 hours of travel. We ate on the way. At about 2 we arrived at the hostel. We had a room with bathroom. The hotel had parking, but it was for a fee, and there was a lot of space in the surroundings. So we parked it on the street.

As in Innsbruck, as soon as we left things we went to see Vienna. The hotel was a bit far from the center, but very well connected by tram (we were about 8 stops from the center). That afternoon we had time to see the whole area of the town hall, the opera, the museums (it must be said that we see everything on the outside, we do not enter any), Hofburg and in general all the Innere Stadt.

When we passed by the secession building we saw that there was a market next door, and we decided to go in to buy bread. We were inside for more than an hour. It was huge and had a lot of bars with terraces to eat, and many stalls of all kinds of food. We liked it a lot.

From there we went to see the Belvedere (to me it is the palace that I like the most). The trees had not yet flowered and were not at its peak. We will have to return in May! Despite this, the day was perfect and totally clear. So the photos were great.

At first, this was all I had planned to see, but since it was still 4 in the afternoon, we decided to go up to Hundertwasser. It is a rather peculiar house, built by the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (hence the name). We took the tram, went down to the center, took the metro at the Opera, and from there to Schombrum. There was a lot of people with a group of elderly people singing Christmas carols.

We took photos, we walked, but there were more and more people and it was quite oppressive. So we went back to the subway, and this time towards the Prater amusement park. We danced for a while, as the Viennese did! We took a walk through the amusement park and then we went back to the center. We have a small stop on the way to take a drink in one of the thousands of food stalls in Vienna selling hotdogs, pizzas, and kebabs.

At the end of so much wandering we got back at 9 o'clock, without having dinner, and a bit far from where we took the tram. We decided to dine in any place that we could find on the way. After much searching, we found one by chance.

We went to have a beer in the center, and then to have dinner at an Austrian restaurant, where both Viennese and tourists go. There is always a queue to enter, but the restaurant is so large that it does not take more than 10 minutes to find a place. The truth is that we were surprised that it was quite good. It was a cellar with typical food.

We dined well. At the end of dinner, we see that there was an ice cream parlor nearby, and we went in and ordered a two-flavored ice cream. When we left, it was close to 11 at night. We tried to find some flea market, but they were all closed. We took a couple of photos of the cathedral, and the Christmas shops we saw, and we went back to the hotel, frozen! The cold was getting into your bones. We return and went to sleep.

Vienna night images wallpaper

Day 6 - Graz

We had little time to see Vienna, so we decided to get up early to take advantage of the day. The hotel breakfast was normal like most hostels. There was a bit of cheese, sausage, juices, coffee or tea, some sweet and a bit of fruit. The truth is that we like to have a strong breakfast, so we make good use of it. After breakfast, we went to the center. We saw everything we had left to see in the center.

We visit Schonbrunn because that way we went with the car and went straight to Graz. We had no problem parking next door. In an hour or so we saw the palace on the outside, and the gardens, which as I said before had not yet bloomed and we headed to Graz.

It took us 2 hours to get to Graz. We had taken the hotel near the train station (15 minutes from downtown). It has parking at the back of the hotel, but there is also a lot of street space in front of the hotel. We parked there, right in front of our room. The hotel is fine and the corridors have a very special decoration with paintings of all kinds and the walls are painted dark blue.

The room is spacious, with bathroom recently renovated. We decided to eat the sandwiches at the hotel, and then go out to discover the city. The first thing we saw was the Murinsel, which caught our attention because of how well used it is. It is a shell in the middle of the river that serves as a footbridge from one side to the other.

It also has a bar with a playground for children and an outdoor amphitheater. From there we realized that we had passed the modern art center without even realizing it. If you do not pass just ahead and raise your head you do not realize that it is there. If you cross the river by the Murinsel you arrive at the Schlossberg Platz, from where you climb some stairs (enough stairs) to the castle of the city.

Now it is used for concerts, and various acts, especially in summer. The truth is that it does not have much either. We went down the other side of the castle, and we ended up in the old part of the city. I immediately felt a positive energy, certainly due to his student life.

As the weather deteriorated, I decided to climb as soon as I arrived in Schlossberg just to have a view over the red roofs of the city while the sky is still blue. The atmosphere is spring with all these pretty flowers everywhere. From above, we can distinguish the different architectural styles, notably the Middle Ages and the more modern ones.

The tourist office in Graz provided me with the guide. Everything begins on Herrengasse, the nerve center of the city. It is here that we see the most beautiful palaces and the most beautiful facades.

The courtyard of Landhaushof is quite remarkable with its cobblestones and arcades. We see the Swarovski shop. In the other peculiarities that I liked, there is the wooden facade of the imperial bakery in Sporgasse where apparently you are invited to taste pastries of the imperial era like the Sissibuserl, kiss of Sissi or the Kaiserzwieback, the rusk of the emperor.

It was closed so I could not taste. I cross the river MurInsel, the island on the wall, a contemporary footbridge by the New York artist Vito Acconci. There is also the Museum of Contemporary Art by London architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier. After visiting the whole town, we decided to find a place to eat, more than anything else so that it would not happen to us like in Vienna.

The issue is that it was 6 in the afternoon, and all the restaurants were closed! After searching a lot, and not finding any, we decided to ask at the tourist office, and they told us that since it was Resurrection Sunday. All the businesses were closed and told us that they were usually open on Sundays in general.

With this panorama we decided to return to the hotel, and look for a place nearby, so we do not have to go back. In the end we found one of hamburgers, sandwiches, salads and those things. Nothing great, but that served to at least eat hot. Anyway in the center there seemed to be two zones with bars, by the Franziskanerplatz, and in the surroundings of the carillon square.

I had always wanted to visit Prague, but it was one of those trips that for one reason or another I always ended up postponing. When this year I considered where to go on vacation, it seemed to me, after touring the capitals of Western Europe, to travel to Eastern Europe. However, years ago this destination was sold a lot as a package encompassing Prague, Budapest and Vienna.

The chosen date was the month of October to spend an autumn in Prague. The fundamental thing is that the tourist marabunta has already passed. Prague is full of tourists all year round, but at least in October we can walk, for example by the Charles Bridge and enjoy the fall colours.

For this reason, it seems normal to write about my vacation in that wonderful city, hoping that my blog can help you if Prague becomes the destination of your future vacations, something you will not regret. Being clear that I only wanted to visit Prague, I went to the travel agency to book the flight and the hotel.

When I arrived at the airport it was about noon. I arrived at the Airline counters and after waiting in line to check the bag I was able to eat something and rest until my flight left at 2:10 pm. We landed around 4:40 after a flight without problems. After picking up my suitcase I went to the exit where my driver was waiting for me with a placard with my surname.

The route was about 30 minutes. While I was alone with the driver I exchanged a few words in English, deriving the conversation in matters of climatology and football. A couple of times the phone interrupted the conversation. I ended up commenting that it was forbidden to talk on the cell phone while driving.

Finally, it was a little after 5:00 pm when he left me at the hotel where, after completing the check in, the receptionist gave me the key to the room. The single room that they gave me on the first floor was nice with everything that corresponds. My room retained the original wooden beams ceiling, decorated with paintings.

There is a wardrobe for clothes, table and chair, mini-bar, television with international channels and a bathroom with a shower instead of a bathtub. Inside the closet there was a very small security box where I could only leave documents, jewelry and money. It was opened with a key, not with a code, having to ask for the key at the reception.

From what I read the building was already used as an inn in the Middle Ages for travelers there who arrived in Prague when the gates of the city were closed. After unpacking the luggage and resting for a while, I left the hotel to change for Czech Crowns first, since I had not done it in the airport. The temperature was mild.

On the way I can admire the Powder Tower, the old gateway to the city and the municipal house that is located right next to the tower. I followed the Celetna street until it ended at the square of the old city full of traveling artists and above all tourists. I was impressed by the amount of people that there were, all wandering between the astronomical Clock Tower, the statue to Jan Hus and the Tyn Church and St Nicholas Church.

After recovering the blow I left the square to approach the exchange office located on Kaprova Street, right next to the square. I went with a coupon, which I had printed on their website and I showed it to one of the employees along with the money I wanted to change. With the feeling of being rich I followed the Kaprova street to the river where I came across the Rudolfinum which is a concert hall.

From here there is a nice view of the castle as well as the Charles Bridge. From the Rudolfinum, I continued north and then turned right into the neighborhood of Josefov. Here I wandered without really knowing where I was going until I reached Revolucni street. I continued south until I found the municipal house again and the Powder Tower.

I go back to hotel to leave part of the money changed in the safe and with the right amount I went to find a restaurant to dine. I order the typical goulash and a small beer. Finally I return to the hotel to sleep as the day had been long.

Autumn Trip to Prague in Czech Republic

Day 2

Today's program included a couple of visits to get to know the history of the city better because I sincerely admit that little I knew about the country was about the contemporary era. After breakfast at 7:30 I headed for the City of Prague Museum, which was located about 10 minutes from the hotel. Another advantage is that at this time the streets are practically deserted with neither tourists nor natives.

The museum is in a Renaissance style building and inside it was forbidden to take pictures. One of its rooms is dedicated to the prehistoric era where I can see why the first settlements were formed. Another couple of rooms are dedicated to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance with the presence of many objects.

I can notice the role that the city had at the economic and commercial level to be an important crossroad. Many pieces also reflect daily life as well as religion. Finally I ended up in the last room. The truth the samples of the objects present are interesting and helps to understand the development of the city. The explanations are in Czech and in English.

I see a 3D film in a room in the basement of the museum that lasts about 5 minutes and they provide the glasses. It is a different way of seeing the city since it starts by the square of the old city, crossing the Charles Bridge and ending in the castle. The camera alternates from the sky to walks through the streets. Perhaps only for that reason it is worth paying the 100 crowns for the show.

At around 11:00 hours the visit was over. I made the decision to go to visit the Museum of Communism that I had planned for another day. It was not very big. I walked the opposite way, returning to the hotel and from there take Na Prikope street until I reach the museum. The museum is located in a building that shares the first floor with a casino.

The place looked like a renovated apartment. However, I must admit that the visit seemed interesting to me. Each room is dedicated to a specific theme from education, agriculture, factories, border guard, secret police, Prague Spring and the fall of the communist regime. The information panels are in Czech, English, German, French, Italian and Spanish, which is appreciated and makes the visit more pleasant.

It is the only thing I see in Prague from the communist era and taking it easy I went through it in 45 minutes, reading almost all the information. After that I went to eat and I went to the hotel to take a break and rest knowing that in the afternoon I would be walking a lot.

At 2:00 I was at the corner between the Old Town Square and Parizka Street (there is a Cartier store and a Tourist Office), where the organizers and guides were already present. They are easily recognizable by their red T-shirts carrying even a huge red umbrella.

What I see is that next door there were a couple of people wearing yellow t-shirts that also promoted visits. I suppose that the competition at a tourist level is quite strong in Prague. After speaking to them we were separated by two groups. After briefly introducing us, the guide took us to the center of the square where he began his explanation of the city.

He starts with the parents of Charles IV to continue with his son and the golden age of the city since Charles IV became Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. He made Prague the capital of the empire. Taking advantage of the statue dedicated to Jan Hus and the church of Tyn we are told about the Hussite movement that was important in these lands with the first defenestration.

Then we went to the Clock Tower, where he explained the reason for the different figures located around the instrument. 15 minutes before the peak time, the place is full of people looking at the clock. After a little more than an hour standing in the square we go down Zelezna Street until we reach the Karolinum, a building created as a university by Charles IV.

Only one tower is left of the original facade that faces the theater of the states, with a statue at its doors. At this stop, the guide told us about the stay of Mozart in Prague where Don Giovanni wrote, as well as a brief exhibition about Karolinum.

For the profane, I will say that it is not a Nazgul of the Lord of the Rings or a dementor of Harry Potter or Darth Sidious of Star Wars. It is the Commendatore of the Don Giovanni opera, a work that was being performed, those days, in the theater of the states.

From there we continue to Wenceslas Square with another stop and the corresponding explanation of the place. The fact that it was an old market clarified the impressive measures of the square. It was a place of meeting of the population both during the Prague Spring and the fall of the communist regime.

We continue the tour through Na Prikope street, today a very commercial street until we reach the Powder Tower and the municipal house. Here we made another stop with an explanation of both places. After that we walked to Masna street where we made a stop. There, the guide took the opportunity to explain the other tours offered, since in that street, inside a bar cum restaurant they have a counter.

After half an hour of rest to recover our strength we went to the old Jewish quarter, called Josefov in honor of King Jose. There we stopped in front of the statue dedicated to Franz Kafka, near the Spanish Synagogue. The guide explained the origin of the statue as well as the synagogue.

We continue to the Old New Synagogue going on to learn the legend of the golem of Rabbi Loew and we approach the Jewish cemetery. Both the entrance to the different synagogues and the cemetery are for a fee, so we stayed at the doors. The cemetery is in fact behind a wall and almost not seen. The guide recommended that it was an interesting place to visit.

Finally we finished the tour, after walking and standing almost all afternoon, in the Rudolfinum, a Renaissance building that houses a concert hall but during the World War II. It was the seat of Reinhard Heydrich, member of the Nazi SS. From here he ruled on the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, name given by the third Reich to the Czech part of the country.

It was around 6:30 or so when we finished. At that time I still wanted to see something being close to the Vltava. I happened to go to the Kampa island in the Czech countryside. I cross the Manesuv bridge to enter the neighborhood of Mala Strana and following the river bank I reach the place.

I enter in the courtyard of the museum dedicated to Franz Kafka to take some photos of the monument located there. I pass in front of the wall dedicated to John Lennon, a street animated by the performance of a street artist. I reach the Legii bridge, and take the vitezna street until I reach the foot of the Petrin hill.

I had considered the possibility of climbing it to take pictures of the city and see the replica of the Eiffel Tower. I discard at that time by tiredness. I take some pictures of the sculptures that are there and that represents, as they told me, the dehumanization of the person as he climbs the rungs of power.

From there I went to the Jiraskuv bridge with the intention of seeing and taking pictures of the Dancing House, or Fred and Ginger, a contemporary building architecturally speaking. Finally I went back to the hotel, which from there had a long road and in fact in the long half hour that evening it was night. On the way I buy a pizza and a little bottle of Becherovka, the typical liqueur of the country.

If you want to try an authentic kebab I'm sure that you'll love Kati rolls. It is a common street food in Kolkata, with a number of variants under the generic name Kati Roll. It is Indian flatbread or paratha rolled with lamb and vegetables inside. It is also common to find Kati rolls with chicken. It is taken together with a refreshing sauce, lemon or lime or chaat masala, a spice mixture. The price of a Kati roll goes from Rs. 20 to 50.

And suddenly I wake up and thirty years have passed. I see with profound clarity those moments when I thought that I was invincible. When despite the fears and insecurities I felt powerful. The world was at my feet and I knew I had a lifetime ahead. I dreamed of being older and do what I want to do. I wanted to be free, come home late, and choose my destiny. I sipped tea in an old park that is a witness of our laughter and tears and my place of encounters.

Sometimes the past is back with implacable surprise when you stir the innards. I'm happy and sad. It makes you come back with a perhaps too hard jolt. The relentless speed can only give the memories of the beautiful moments. And so these days. I'm happy being nostalgic while recalling a past that never left my heart, but I slept in the depths of my being, without waiting to be awakened.

Kati Roll Recipe images

Nothing has to do with my childhood memories. Or maybe yes! At that time it was when I began to travel and to discover that the world reached far beyond our small territory. If you walked a little farther, there were people like us with very different customs, of customs, which in our eyes were exotic and curious and then I understood how beautiful is the world and the people who inhabit it.

I am convinced that many people would have some qualms about eating these little treats from the streets of Calcutta. Our eyes accustomed to the almost aseptic hygiene in which we live are not prepared for a lot of things that can be seen outside of our borders. But honestly, I not only do not mind and not that it was one of those things that come from my childhood trips.

Kati rolls are pure street food in Calcutta and elsewhere in India. In the street stalls roasted meats, previously marinated in spices are then wrapped in flatbread. Some people talk about kebabs of minced meat, others lamb kabobs, or chicken. There is no excuse to test flavors that come from afar.

Kathi Roll is preferable for dinner because until dusk the small places where they are sold do not begin to prepare them. Do not expect to eat a Kathi Roll in a restaurant. They are take away food, perfect for when you are in a hurry and even better for when they have closed the bars and you go hungry just before going home.