CITIES OF THE WORLD: BERLIN

I’m not sure about where I have to start speaking of Berlin. In February I leaved without many expectations to visit it for the first time, so I admit I’ve been taken by surprise from this city. What do you think first about Berlin? Probably the first things you remember are historical events: Second World War, the cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall…and so on.

What can I say is: you’ll find in Berlin all of these, but also much more. Strolling throught the streets of the several quarters, you’ll perceive the many souls of the city: there is a Renaissance Berlin; a contemporary one; a place where abstract and graffiti art have significance; a city which offers ideas in many fields, sometimes alternative and still a bit subversive.

Personally I was surprised by the capability of this city not to succumb to the shadows of its past: Berlin could have eclipse after the destruction and the senseless violence of the war: ever since the creation of a unified Germany in 1871, the nation’s tumultuous history has had a profound impact on the history of its capital Berlin.
Many historic neighborhoods and monuments were destroyed during the Second World War, but since the reunification after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, historic areas like Potsdamer Platz and Pariser Platz have been completely revamped. Nowadays, Berlin is once again one of Europe’s main cities: lively, dynamic and inviting.


With the following posts, I’ll retrace my steps and accompany you across some of the salient points of Berlin, starting right now from the Castle of Charlottenburg. We arrived in the afternoon, and we started right away our exploration from this western district, even if we couldn’t visit the inside of the residence.

This is the biggest historical palace left after the Second World War in Berlin, though burned to the ground during the Second World War but it has been completely reconstructed. The palace was built at the end of the 17th century and was greatly expanded during the 18th century. It includes much exotic internal decoration in baroque and rococo styles. A large garden surrounded by woodland was added behind the palace.
Originally commissioned by Sophie Charlotte, wife of Friedrich III, and built as a modest summer residence, the Schloss still nowadays show the grandeur of the Hohenzollern dynasty who for centuries ruled over Prussia.

The central and oldest part of the palace is the domed Altes Schloss (Old Palace) Here you can visit the apartments of Frederick I and Queen Sophie Charlotte. The rooms are decorated in a sumptuous Baroque style with plenty of stucco, wood paneling, gilded ornaments and frescoes. Other interesting rooms include the Oval Room, which looks out over the garden; the opulent Schlosskapelle, a chapel with an impressive royal box; and the Porcelain Chamber, laden with more than two thousand pieces of Chinese porcelain.

to be continued…

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THE FRIDAY NIGHT “SNACK”: POP CORN PISTACHIOS&PAPRIKA

Hello!I can’t believe how much time I spent away from the blog, but don’t worry, I’m alive! I went throughout a particularly sensitive time, an emotional rollercoaster with big joy and happiness, but also some unpleasant moments. So I choosed to keep some distance from the blog, give me time to be confortable again and now … I’m back with new ideas and travels! However, I’m still a bit in a hurry, so as you can see “The Friday Night Recipe” for this week becomes “The Friday Night Snack”… (hoping a snack’ll be enough to bring to Fiesta Friday)
Checking out sites like this gave me a nice (and yummy) idea: to personalize a pop-corn recipe. Let me say first that in Italy we don’t have such a large choice of flavoured pop-corn, if so I think I’ll try all of those! Personally, pop-corn reminds to my childhood afternoon snacks, or to the winter nights when my father made pop-corn before watching a movie. Here in Italy we do have sweet-flavoured pop-corn, but generally we eat the salted ones. I do love the salted version, so I thinked about a personal salty version.

When I’ve some time, I prefere to make them in a frypan with extra-virgin olive oil, not in the microwave. I just love to “shake” lightly the frypan and hear the familiar popping sound, while inspiring the sweet corn scent.
This time I was lucky because Maryam, a dear friend, brought me fabulous iranian pistachios, so I thought about a “mix” of ingredients!

FLAVORED POP-CORN PISTACHIOS&PAPRIKA

INGREDIENTS: (4 people)

– 3/4 fistful of corn grains;
– extra-virgin olive oil;
– 100 gr pistachios;
– some pinches of sweet paprika
– some pinches of salt

PREPARATION:

Just prepare pop-corn in a frypan: when the oil is warmed-up, put the corn grains in the frypan and cover it with a pot lid; shake the frypan from time to time and wait till the pop-corn are ready; then chop the pistachios in tiny pieces (I often use a meat mallet), and put them on the pop-corn.


Transfer the pop-corn and the chopped pistachios in a freezer bag, and then add some pinches of paprika. Shake several times the bag and then pop-corn are ready to be served!
This is my combo, but I would like to know what kind of pop-corn do you prefer, salted or not, and flavored with?

See You soon!Cris