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I didn't want to hijack @notamermaid's photo quiz thread, but I did want to share this guided tour of a Polish Salt Mine [work with me here, it's not Dostoyevskian or Solzhenitsyn-Gulag – it's actually an artistic triumph].  Check it out, and feel free to post your own quasi-river-cruising-related material.

 

Polish_Salt_Mine1.pdf

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Good morning, @Host Jazzbeau  

I am a few hours ahead of you in getting up in the US so I am first in the office I think. Actually, I would struggle if this wasn't virtual. They would look at me in distain if I turned up at 11am, looking as if I had got up at 10.45am and pretending nothing has happened. I am glad I do not have to do the water cooler thing in my office... To be honest, I even had to look up what the idea of water cooler meeting is.

 

Well, I think you have beaten me to the idea of a virtual meeting space. I was going to ask you if it is okay if I open a river cruise lounge to meet up in the festive spirit (no quiz rules or anything apart spreading happy thoughts). The office cooler it is, thanks for helping us from sinking into gloom over the long winter days.

 

As regards your file: I do not seem to be able to open it on my smartphone.

 

notamermaid

 

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Excellent! Another water cooler. Good idea, Jazz. We miss traveling so much that it will be a welcome escape to talk about it.

 

But yeah, please try sharing that file again once you drag yourself back into the office. As gnome12 points out, it's unavailable on the desktop version too. Maybe it can distract me from the salt mine where I work...

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Hello mj_holiday,

They say we have a word for everything, us Germans. We do have a word for "too" many road signs standing around: Schilderwald, literally forest of signs.

 

Thanks for the castle photo. When were you on the Rhine?

 

notamermaid

 

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We were headed to Poland in September, and Krakow was slated for 5 nights.  The salt mines are about 25 minutes out of town with Uber, or an hour riding the bus.  Was very much looking forward to this.

 

Thanks for posting the link Jazz, makes me want to go all that much more.  The more research I did into Poland, I just kept on finding more and more places I wanted to visited....Trail of the Eagle's Nests is one.

 

It is a line of castles that was built to protect Poland, most built in the 15th Century, high on craggy perches (like eagles nests).  We were springing for a private tour, it had the potential for awesomeness, and then along came covid...

 

https://blog.realpolandtours.com/the-trail-of-the-eagles-nests/

 

Edited by ural guy
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We spent a week in Krakow a few years ago & visited the Wieliczka Salt Mines - they are absolutely amazing. We participated in the Tourist Route tour (there are several tour/route choices). 

If you are interested, you can take a virtual tour of the mines here:

https://api.kopalnia.pl/panoramy/Wieliczka_EN/Wieliczka.html#pano1000/-20.0/9.3/90.0

Did you visit @Host Jazzbeau?

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The mines look utterly splendid, I am impressed. There are a couple of salt mines (one still active) that you can visit in Germany, but I do not think they are as grand as those in Wieliczka.

 

I went to Poland quite some years ago when it was still recovering from having been behind the iron curtain. Such a great experience to be there during that transition time. We went to the Northern part via Stettin (I can never spell the English name) and saw Gdansk and Malbork Castle. It was the second time in my life that I had been exposed to the splendour of the Northern Gothic brick building styles, the other time was Lübeck in Germany, it is amazing what you can do with red brick: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/847/

 

The river cruise route from Berlin to Stettin and Stralsund that is now also offered to the English-speaking market sounds really interesting. That only goes to Northern Poland, of course. I like it that Viking offers an excursion program into the other parts of Poland.

 

I have not been to Krakow, would love to go. The area from what I can judge must be quite different from Northern Poland. They are masters of early fake marble construction (i.e. stucco) in Poland, I have been told and the little art I was able to take in within five days made we want to see more. Such a fascinating country.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
clarification
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Poland is definitely moving up on our list too. Chris, with her fluency in the Western Ukrainian dialect, could probably understand enough of the spoken language for us to get by. Her grandmother spoke Polish and Ukrainian so it's a familiar sound to her. The written language throws her though; she describes it as an attempt to write Cyrillic sounds with weird (to her) Roman characters.

 

We have only been to Warsaw Airport for a plane change - so though we've been there, we haven't really visited. And even though a touchdown in the airport counts, by the rules of the century club, Chris will not count it as a country that we've visited. So, no star on Poland on our travel map yet. I've been told!

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I've also been intrigued by Poland. My cousin's family hosted an exchange student from Poland years ago, and my mom traveled with my cousin and stayed with the student's family for a few days. They really liked it there.

I also want to give a big shout out and thanks to my fellow healthcare providers on the list. Keep up the good work! (and, I've signed up to be a vaccine "administrator," will be interesting to see how that plays out)

Robin

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1 hour ago, jpalbny said:

 

 

We have only been to Warsaw Airport for a plane change - so though we've been there, we haven't really visited. And even though a touchdown in the airport counts, by the rules of the century club, Chris will not count it as a country that we've visited. So, no star on Poland on our travel map yet. I've been told!

 I'm with Chris, I have to overnight someplace for it to make the list.

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3 hours ago, notamermaid said:

The mines look utterly splendid, I am impressed. There are a couple of salt mines (one still active) that you can visit in Germany, but I do not think they are as grand as those in Wieliczka.

 

 

 

 

 We visited the one in Berchtesgaden years ago.  I remember wearing the coveralls and getting to go down the neat wooden slide.  We kept on smacking our lips, the salt in the air really dries you out.

 

https://www.salzbergwerk.de/en

 

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Yes, Happy Thanksgiving to all! Hope your preparations are coming along well. I took today and Friday off. Just Chris and me for TG this year so we're doing an old favorite duck recipe for dinner. Pan-seared duck breasts in a raspberry-honey sauce. It never fails to please!

 

Today I did the prep work. The whole duck had been thawing in the fridge since Monday. I trimmed the breasts and put them in the fridge uncovered, to dry the skin so it cooks up extra crispy. Froze the legs for later. Cooked up the tail, a few of the giblets, and the small tenderloin from under the breast for a pre-dinner snack. And cooked the liver in duck fat, with herbes de Provence, then processed it into a pate for later.

 

I also baked a cranberry tart for tomorrow. The filling is fresh cranberries cooked in a sugary sauce, then drained and placed into the tart shell. Then an almond custard is poured around them and baked. I hope it lasts until tomorrow!

 

20201125_171851_resized.thumb.jpg.23cfa3349117bfa313c4a607634cc40d.jpg

 

The nice part about that is that the almond extract that I used in the custard is one that we brought home from a long-ago trip to Odessa on a Black Sea cruise. So, we can pretend that we're traveling, even though we're stuck at home.

 

We love to go into local supermarkets wherever we are, and buy some stuff that we can't get anywhere else. This supermarket in Odessa had some interesting flavors including arak, bitter almond, and vanilla butter. The brand is one that I'm sure@notamermaid and our other German friends are familiar with - Dr. Oetker. Arak is an interesting flavor that many of Chris's family recipes call for, but it's hard to find around here.

 

Chris actually took Friday off so if the weather cooperates, we might try to go for a hike somewhere nearby. It's supposed to be 50 degrees so why not get outside and take advantage?

Edited by jpalbny
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@jpalbny, you got me at almond custard.  That looks and sounds delish.  Sometimes if I'm standing at the kitchen counter I'll open the spice cupboard and take a whiff from the bottle of almond extract.  I'm sure the neighbors think I'm weird.  The only reason I go to weddings is the hope of scoring some almond flavored white cake.  

 

@texasstar, Thanksgiving is a lot of work!

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Trader Joe's has Almond Kringle back in stock for the holidays.  Had my first piece for breakfast today.  That's MY thanksgiving tradition!  [No turkey in our house ever – we don't like it; but that duck breast sounds very good!]

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Happy Thanksgiving to all those lovely people in the US and elsewhere in the world who are celebrating this today.

🦃 🙂 🍷

 

notamermaid

 

P.S.: For us it is a normal, not so normal Thursday. I am off to do some shopping and then back to my household duties.

 

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  • Host Jazzbeau changed the title to River Cruising Water Cooler

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