During our stay in Brasov, Romania we have discovered the great hiking trails that lead to the top of Mt. Tampa. The climb is steep and will take you 1300 vertical feet above the city which offers great views. Also on the top of Mt. Tampa is the giant Hollywood styled “BRASOV” sign and at the top of the gondola there is a nice little restaurant where you can grab food and a beverage. Wait, did I just say there was a gondola to the top? For those not wanting to spend an hour battling a steep incline and switchbacks, you can take a quick gondola ride to the top. But that’s cheating!
Archives for September 2013
In Lviv, Ukraine we got to see how they make hard candy. So, in this blog you will learn how to make hard candy.
Let us talk about how hard candy and candy canes are made.
Steps of Making Hard Candy
1. First you wipe down the counter with grease so the candy won’t stick.
2. Add the ingredients to a pot.
3. Put the pot on a stove and get it to 300° Fahrenheit. Stir constantly.
4. When it gets to that point of 300° Fahrenheit pour it on a counter.
5. Fold the candy over and over with a scraper until it cools.
6. Cut the candy into 2 parts.
7. Add some flavor and add some of the color to 1 of the parts of candy.
8. After you add flavor and color you will work the candy till it is all mixed.
9. After the candy is worked, you put part of the non-colored candy on a hook and stretch it over and over again until it turns white. The candy turns white because gets little air bubbles in it.
10. When you done working it, put all the pieces together and make a candy burrito.
11. After you are done making the burrito shape it.
Tada there you go. Now you have a candy cane. I got to taste 2 flavors of lollipops. They were pretty good. It was interesting watching them make the candy.
The Recipe to Make Candy
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon flavor
- food coloring
Other Supplies Needed
- Plastic gloves
- Candy thermometer
Now you know how to make hard candy.
A popular tourist destination in Lviv, Ukraine is High Castle, also known as Castle Hill. It sounds like it would be an exciting place with a castle, but there is no castle! A castle was actually built there in the 13th century, but in the 19th century it was dismantled and an artificial mound was constructed to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Union of Lublin, whatever that is. But let me digress, this story is not about the hill, the once-upon-a-time castle, nor the Union of Lublin. This story is about how I got the bird on the way to the top of High Castle. No, not that kind of bird…
We awoke to a nice, sunny day in Lviv. We admit that we have a weakness; we can’t travel anywhere without climbing something. So knowing that there was something to climb we grabbed our cameras and decided to head up to the famous tourist trap of High Castle and see what the fuss was all about. We followed our trusty free tourist map and had a nice leisurely stroll uphill and away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. We soon came to a set of stairs heading up a forested hill with a tour group fresh off the bus talking about something touristy. We quickly passed them and started up the first section of stairs. It’s always important to be in front of the tour groups as they have a tendency to stop at random places and talk about “interesting things” creating an impassable wall. In the lead we made our way up the hill and towards our goal of the summit.
Wherever there are tourists, there are tourist traps. Unfortunately, I fell right into the middle of one and could not escape! As we worked our way up to the summit we came to where two paths join. There was a small pickup truck parked on the side of the pedestrian path that sold overpriced beverages, which is typical. As I was wondering how they got the pickup up there, we came upon something we were not expecting. Just past the pickup and at the beginning of the pathway leading up to the summit we saw a giant eagle. As I was trying to point it out to my daughter I got Shanghaied. You see, this wasn’t a wild eagle, it was a gimmick! A guy that had been standing near the eagle motioned me to come forward to look at the eagle more closely. I didn’t understand anything he was saying and I asked if he spoke English. In response I had the giant eagle placed on my arm. Seeing the razor sharp beak just inches from my eyes I lowered my sunglasses imagining the hungry eagle plucking out my eyes. Carrion eaters love eyes! In response, the eagle grabbed my sunglasses and scraped my temple with its razor sharp beak. Yes, it wanted to eat my eyes! One of the eagle handlers carefully wrestled my sunglasses away from the eagle and placed them back on my face. Thinking this was neat and all, I asked if they could remove the bird. In response, I had a second eagle placed on my other arm. I was stuck! The talons gripped my arms tightly and the owners had no intention of getting them off just yet. They motioned for Kerri to take a photo and she took out her camera and snapped a couple of photos. They then took one of the birds and placed it on my daughters arm. I asked them again if they could remove the eagle, and they kept motioning for Kerri to take a photo of Sydney with the bird. They startled the birds to get their 2-meter wingspans to unfold and wanted Kerri to take more photos.
Eventually, they removed the birds and we were free, or so we thought! Even though I didn’t ask to have giant eagles placed on me I figured they would want a tip. I opened my wallet and gave them everything I had. Since we were only in Lviv for 5 nights we had been trying to make sure we did not have any leftover Ukrainian money when we left the country. Unfortunately for the eagle handlers, I only had 6 Hryvnias on me, which is less than 1 US dollar. I offered the eagle handler all my money, but he shook his head and punched into his cellphone the amount of 240 UAH, which is $30 USD. Shocked at this ludicrous amount and now knowing I was stuck in the middle of a tourist scam, I told him no way and started to walk off. He chased me down and screaming at me in Ukrainian, I returned the screaming with a few English expletives. And to further get my point across, I showed him my empty wallet and once again offered him the 6 UAH. Upon seeing my empty wallet he now understood that no matter what amount he demanded, he wasn’t going to get more than 6 UAH. He then turned to Kerri and shouted at her to delete the photos. In her haste she accidentally deleted all the photos and video she had taken the last couple of days.
We continued on to the top of High Castle and once reaching the summit we were rewarded with a view of the city. It wasn’t the nicest view we had ever seen and the events that had unfolded on the way up soured the moment.
On the way back down we saw a group of girls that were forking over cash to the eagle handlers for the eagle experience. We wondered if they had paid the full 240 UAH, or if that amount was only for Americans that spoke no Ukrainian.
Back at our apartment I downloaded a free photo recovery program and saved the deleted photos from Kerri’s memory card. Unfortunately, I could not recover the video that she had taken the day before.
If you plan on visiting the Lviv High Castle, beware of the eagle people! And if you do want to experience the death grip of eagle talons on your arm, be sure to negotiate the amount first!
Bream is one of the most commonly found fish across Europe. Whether you’re fishing off the English coast, in France or even parts of Asia, you’re likely to find bream.
As bream are shoalfish, if you catch one, you’ll probably be able to catch another five or ten, making this fish a favourite with anglers. Bream travel together and that means there’s normally plenty more to catch once one has taken the bait.
Bream is quite easy to identify. It tends to look very thin because of its compressed sides. Older fish will have a dark brown back with a light underneath, whereas younger ones will have a more silver colouring. Generally, the older the fish the darker it goes in colour with some looking almost black.
Despite naturally living in still water, perhaps most famously in the Irish lochs, bream can now be found in nearly all British waters – including canals.
However, it’s not just the UK that’s home to bream, so if you’re looking for a fishing trip with a difference, check out these top fishing destinations for autumn bream.
If you don’t want to travel too far just head over the English Channel to our French neighbours for a spot of fishing. Coarse fishing is really popular in France as the rivers and lakes are home to a number of fish, including bream.
Try fishing in the Seine, Lot, Marine and Saone if you want to catch the perfect autumn bream. There are some privately owned lakes you might like to try too but you’ll more than likely need to purchase a day ticket.
It might not be the first destination you think of when reviewing fishing locations, but Turkey is home to more than 200 lakes and has miles of coastline that make it perfect for the sport. There aren’t any fishing restrictions either, which makes life easier for an angler.
If you fancy flying over to Turkey to catch bream, it’s best to go between late summer and early winter as the saltwater fish approach the shores during this period. Later in the year they retreat to deep waters which makes them harder to catch.
Something of a paradise for fishermen, Spain is the perfect place to catch autumn bream. It’s important to do your research before jumping on one of many regular flights here though as you may need a licence and fishing isn’t allowed on a number of beaches.
When you do find the perfect spot there is an abundance of fish to be caught – including barbel, bogue, bream, carp, pike and trout in the freshwater or mackerel, cod, tuna and sea bream in the saltwater.
A short 30-minute walk from the town center of Lviv, Ukraine is the Folk Architectural Museum. This outdoor museum is a collection of really old wood folk houses and churches that have been taken from local villages in an effort to preserve them. As we wandered through the forest exploring the different buildings we came across a 200 year old wood church that had red windows. A lady motioned for us to go inside and once in we were shocked at what we saw. The red glass in the windows bathes the interior of the church in blood red light. We have seen a lot of churches, but never have we seen one like this!