Palio – Siena

Today is the first of two palios held in Siena, Italy. A palio is horse race held twice a year. July 2nd and August 16th. 10 horses with their riders riding them bareback in their local colors. 10 of 17 “districts” are represented at ill palio in a race tree times around the piazza del campo. This normally do not last more than 90 sec.

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Here seen with all their flags. Different flag for different part of the city

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Before the race there is a spectaculare pageant, the corteo storico which I got to experience. Which includes flag wavers and drummers in medevial costumes. They parade through the streets with the horse and following the crowds from each districs singing loud songs. Much like at a soccer game.

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Here are the houses of tortuga and panthera. You can really feel the dedicatons from each district. A serious matter.

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Tea time the Morocco way

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At our recently trip to Morocco, we were treated to quite the amount of mint tea. The moroccans make their tea with pride. As we were demonstrated in the lovely Riad Chorfa by our tour organizer.

Mint tea is a sign of hospitality, friendship and tradition. Served all day long and if you make your way in to the souk/medina for some shopping you may very well be treated to some mint tea during the bargaining. The tea is made the old fashion way with gunpowder green tea and is served very sweet often garnished with some mint leaves.

making that moroccan mint tea

making that moroccan mint tea

Here as shown in above picture you have the gunpowder green tea in a traditional moroccan teapot. Fill up one a small cup of boiled water and let sit for a little while. After about 1-2 minutes swirl the pot and pour one cup, discard this as this is dirty tea.

clean vs dirty tea

clean vs dirty tea

You can clearly see the difference between the dirty and clean tea – dark being the dirty. Then you add the fresh mint leaves and a ton of sugar.

To bad I did not get a picture of the massive sugar cubes he used, one stick probably equals 10-15 normal sugar cubes.

Add more water and put to a boiler. When the water has boiled you may start the pouring. And If you have  ever got served moroccan mint tea you know they pour one cup and put it back in the teapot, this they to 2-3 times and the only reason is to dissolve the sugar.

Ready, set and pour:

Put it all back

Put it back into the pot

 

Tea is served, enjoy!

Tea is served, enjoy!

Project: Prekestolen

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I give you: Prekestolen (Preacher´s pulpit), located just outside Stavanger on the north side of Lysefjorden. 604 meters above sea level and a good 3,8 kilometers walk.

I live a good hour drive from this beautiful place, yet still I have not visited this one up close. I am not counting the boat trip underneath 20 years ago.

Me and my hubby decided earlier this year, that THIS year is the year for the hike of prekestolen. Yesterday was the day..

and what a day. We started off in good mood. I am not that well trained so we started off slow. It is a good 3000 meters climb and a good 3,8 Km walk one way to the top. It includes steep climbs and beautiful sights. The cliff was formed approximately 10000 years ago in the early ice age.

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Prekestolen is one of the most visited natural tourist attraction in Norway. It is recommended to be visited within april to october and during this time the cliff is visited by 150 000 to 200 000 people yearly. Although we decided to take the hike in fall we still met a lot of people coming either up or down.

The sight coming up to the top is unbelievable beautiful and gives you the view of the 42 km long lysefjorden.

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Please remember to pack good clothes. It was very windy and quite cold on the top in spite of the good weather we had. Also remember to bring good hiking shoes. The path up to the top have recently (2012) been developed and made better, but you still climb an walk many a stone.

For my case, I can not quite make up my mind to which way was the hardest, the climb up or the walk down. It took us about 2 hours hiking both ways. Making it a total of 4 hours. We packed warm drinks and snacks to eat at the top. Unfortunately it was to cold so we decided to have a snack halfway downhill.

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My feet have never been so tired and the last half hour going down was no good. My knees were week and sore from climbing down and holding back and the absolute worst was hitting the plat parts with feet almost ready for collapse.

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Never the less. I would so do this trip again (but give me some time to recover first). The Hike is a pretty one with beautiful views of both Stavanger and the fjord. A wonderful landscape bathed in sunlight getting ready for fall. Can it get any better?. And I slept like a baby afterwards. Wonderful.