Erosion – A Natural Phenomenon – I Calanchi di Atri

‘I Calanchi’ are a geomorphologic process of erosion due to the climate. Clay mixed with a high percentage of sand, steep slopes, rain and dry seasons are the sculptors of the badlands of Atri in the northern coastal part of the Abruzzo region.

The English word badlands does describe the area well in the sense of agriculture because there is not really anything edible to grow. The word suggests a bad feeling, though, but, especially artistically seen, it is a very interesting scenery. I found out that people here are very proud of this nature phenomenon.

‘Dante’s pits of hell’ is another name for the Calanchi. He mentioned them in his famous ‘Divine Comedy’. The World Wildlife Fund Oasis was established in 1995 as the Calanchi di Atri. It covers around 380 hectares and they can get high as 468 meters. The area is host to a lot of different animals and plants, among them wild artichokes, licorice and wild gladiolus. Fox, barn owl, badger, porcupine (the mascot of the park) and many other animals are living here. The European green toad is rare but home in this land.

If you walk in the Nature Reserve you maybe will find some sea snails, shells and more ocean fossils. That’s because a million years ago the sea reached Atri. BTW: Atri was once a very important sea port during the Etruscan Period and later.

I drove a few times along the Calanchi, was very much impressed by their uniqueness. The reserve has 28 km of hiking paths or cycle-horse-trails. A lot to explore. I still have to go and walk there, I am waiting for some cooler weather as it is still more than 34°C every day. The formations remind me very much of Cappadocia in Turkey where I visited many places and even underground cities. I know about places like this also in South-Tyrol.

To see the hill-town of Atri right on the apparently fragile top of the Calanchi-hills is impressive as well. Atri has more than 10.000 inhabitants and is a very known and important city for the region.




Badlands of Atri, Abruzzo/Italy:

For further information:
Abruzzo Tourism
Official website of the Riserva Calanchi di Atri


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Homemade Gherkins or Pickles

Fermentation is a way of conserving food. It is one of the oldest ways to preserve food and have enough to eat during ‘hard’ times like winter or dry periods. I prepared homemade gherkins or pickles.

There is evidence of beer made 13.000 years ago. Alcoholic drinks were prepared 7.000 years ago in the Neolithic period. Alcohol is the most known fermentation. But there are others like kefir, sourdough bread, Sauerkraut and gherkins or pickles.

Fermented food is rich in probiotics and helps the gut bacteria to be healthy and rich in diversity. I love Sauerkraut but can’t digest it due to a very sensitive histamine situation. But I can eat gherkins, they don’t affect my well-being. And so last year I already tried to make them at home, because this way they are without added sugar and who knows what else strange the food industry puts in everything. And they came out so incredibly yummy I bought a few kilos of these little cucumbers with the bumpy skin and made my own reserve.

It is super easy. You just need the cucumbers, water, salt, vinegar and spices. And those are your choice. I bought a ready mix of mustard, laurel, dill, onion and pepper. But garlic is a great addition, too. I used also some honey to make them a little sweet.

I am ready now for winter with my gherkins/pickles. Before they won’t be ready anyway, they have to sit for at least a couple of months.

Did you ever make some homemade pickles or any other fermented food to enjoy in the winter season= Let me know in a comment below!

So, let’s pickle!

Gherkins/Pickles
Homemade Gherkins or Pickles
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3 jars 30 minutes
Passive Time
12 hours
Servings Prep Time
3 jars 30 minutes
Passive Time
12 hours
Gherkins/Pickles
Homemade Gherkins or Pickles
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3 jars 30 minutes
Passive Time
12 hours
Servings Prep Time
3 jars 30 minutes
Passive Time
12 hours
Ingredients
Servings: jars
Instructions
  1. Wash all cucumbers and if necessary cut the ends. Put them in a big bowl, add the salt and the water. The cucumbers should be covered completely in the salt water. Let them sit over night.
  2. The next morning wash the cucumbers lightly. In a pan add the water and vinegar and bring to a boil. Meanwhile prepare the jars by washing them with boiling water. Add two tablespoons (per jar) of the spices and the cucumbers in the jars, they should sit 'cheek to cheek'.
  3. When the water-vinegar is boiling, add the honey. It depends by the sweetness you want, add one or two tablespoons. Let it dissolve, then put out the fire.
  4. Now fill the vinegar-water-honey mixture into the jars. Fill them that the cucumbers are completely covered. Close them with the lid and let them cool out. They will go under vacuum.
Recipe Notes

The gherkins/pickles should sit at least one month before you open the first jar. The longer they sit, the better the taste. They will last at least for 6 months, if not more.

The same recipe is great for many other kinds of vegetables, alone or mixed.

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Summer Flower Power at the Arboretum of Ellerhoop

The Ellerhoop-Thiensen Arboretum near to Elmshorn in Northern Germany is a 7 hectares botanical garden. It is open the whole year round and offers at every season spectacular emotions. The flower power in this place is beyond everything. Even now in summer it is an authentic bath of colors and smells. I was very impressed by the many hydrangea, in all colors but mostly in blue. In the Arboretum I ‘discovered’ the rambler roses when I saw first a whole tree full of roses. I couldn’t believe it.

Here are just a few photos of the wonderful Arboretum in Ellerhoop in this summer 2020.












Arboretum Ellerhoop-Thiensen, Schleswig-Holstein/Germany

For further information:
Arboretum Ellerhoop-Thiensen (in German)


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Inside Out – Body Worlds in Lübeck

Body Worlds is a traveling exposition created by Gunther von Hagens. It shows human and animal bodies, preserved by plastination. I saw the exhibition in Lübeck in the Gollan-Werft, an event hall I have been several times for different events.

”You are crazy, that is horrible, you can’t go!” “What’s wrong with you? That’s gross!” “How creepy is that?” Many thought that is nothing to go to, a horrible depiction of dead human bodies. And they are right. In a certain way. Being there it was by far not that horrible, gross, creepy as they said. But instead incredibly interesting, educating and amazing.

Gunther von Hagens is a German anatomist and invented a form to preserve dead bodies, human, animal or plant. He uses a method called plastination. It’s a process he started in 1977. During the plastination water and fats are replaced by plastics (curable polymers). This way the whole body seems to stay the same way. In four steps – fixation, dehydration, forced impregnation in a vacuum, hardening – the body becomes what we can see now in the exhibitions.

von Hagens grew up in East-Germany but came for political reasons to West-Germany in 1970 and continued his medical studies at the university in Lübeck. Going public with his plastination work started a great controversy. He suffers at the age of 75 of Parkinson decease.

The exhibition in Lübeck takes place in the Gollan-Werft (an old unused shipyard). It will be there until the 3rd of September. We – three girl-friends – had the courage to go to see what it is. Because of the ‘Corona-virus-year’ there were only a certain number of visitors allowed and you could really stay and ‘enjoy’ this amazing work.

It is displayed the whole life-circle. From the embryo to old age. A lot of information panels gave explanations about processes, what we actually saw, descriptions of muscles and their function, what people around the world eat and drink in a week (strangely Italy was the only country nearly without soft drinks), why we age and how we could get at a really old age in a healthy way.

I learnt a lot about muscles, body parts, what happens when I move, what happens when I don’t move and much more around my body’s composition. We didn’t even have had once the feeling they were dead bodies, people who once were alive. They seem to be made of … plastics.

If you are not a really super sensitive person and you would walk there continuously thinking they are dead people, but you go with an open mind and curiosity, then I would recommend to go and see this extraordinary exhibition.










Gollan-Werft, Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein/Germany:


For further information:
The Kulturwerft Gollan (in German)
The official website of Body Worlds
The Body Worlds exhibition in Lübeck


Posted in Europe, events, Germany, ON TRAVEL, Schleswig-Holstein | Tagged | 3 Comments

Meow – Today is International Cat Day!

There are celebration days for everything, of course there is one for our beloved felines: On the 8th of August there is the International Cat Day.

International Fund of Animal Welfare created the day in 2002. It is called also World Cat Day and has national celebrations, National Cat Day, as well on various days during the year, it depends by the country. The idea was to raise awareness for our felines, to help and protect the house cats as well as the wild ones.

This is THE day to put photos and videos of our inmates, our friends. Cats are the companions who easily see us as can/tin openers who are strange in their behaviours. Most people think cats love to be on their own, but the truth is, that they love to be in company. My cats have never ever gone to sleep in the evening unless everyone was at home. They all would sit at the door/window to look out for the last one running home.

Let’s celebrate International Cat Day together with some photos.

Do you have a cat? Or are you more a ‘dog-person’?



















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