Secrets of Poland – Exploring Warsaw and Krakow

After Warsaw, we then went on to visit Krakow in the south. There we went to the Historical center, the Christmas markets, Oscar Schindler’s enamel factory, and the Jewish districts that were once the infamous ghettos. We took a day trip to the Wielicksa salt mine and to Auschwitz Berkenau labor camps to learn about the WWII atrocities in person. The trip was truly unforgettable and made Poland one of our favorite countries to visit yet!

Milk Bars – Poland

Hearkening back to its communist days under soviet rule milk bars continue to serve traditional dishes at incredible rates. These are indeed relics from a different era and here you can find the heart of Polish cuisine to find out why they haven’t disappeared.  Perogies, dumplings, cabbage dishes, pickled sides of everything imaginable.  They even serve some meat dishes and typical Polish meals. The milk bars were established by the government as subsidized restaurants for people to afford to get a meal out on occasion without breaking the bank.  They seem to be a communist version of social security of sorts.  That said, the prices are very low and much can be had for very little money.  It is worth getting a bunch of items and sharing with the table to experience the cuisine of the people and get a feel for how your gramma might have cooked it at home, as most of the establishments are run by no nonsense, older ladies who expect a quick order and prompt payment. They have no qualms about running out of items or rushing your order.  They are there to cook, not for the ambiance, and its kinda charming in its own way. 

Mausoleum of Struggle & Martyrdom – Warsaw

Mausoleum of Struggle & Martyrdom is one of the many places the Gestapo interrogated, tortured, and murdered.  It is a free exhibit, just 2 hallways, and by far one of the most enlightening, moving, fascinating, devastating, and underrated (I was the only one there) sites I visited in Warsaw. That evening I remember feeling I was in a dark place…but

Auschwitz Birkenau

Personal belongings were taken upon arrival to a section of the camp referred to as “Canada”. Called “Canada” because people brought valuables (thinking they’d use at their relocation) and the Americas were viewed as prosperous. The Germans took anything of value, burned anything personal. These “Canada Warehouses” were subsequently destroyed by the Germans (along with gas and cremation facilities) to hide evidence of wrongdoing.
Correction, upon arrival they were allowed to keep one item…a belt…because they’d lose weight quickly.
I think guide said initially they’d photograph each inmate, but as cost of film and developing increased, they began using tattoos to save money. Also, as the death toll grew, tattoos were an easier way to identify the bodies.
Each prison uniform had a distinguishable patch so guards could quickly identify the category of prisoner. IE – political prisoners had a red triangle, criminals a green triangle, Jews a yellow star of David, Jehovah witnesses purple triangle, etc.
See bunk pic below, 5-6 people slept on each level.

Castillo de San Filipe de Barajas – Cartagena, Colombia

This impressive battery was the largest in the Americas at its time. Construction began in 1604 and reinforced over the next 200 years with multiple additions to the hill structure this iconic fort was the center of multiple pirate attacks and the point to collect the wealth of treasures from the new world before shipping…

La Cevicheria – Cartagena, Colombia

Opened in 2001 and famously visited by Anthony Bourdain, La Cevicheria has become one of the most popular restaurants in Cartagena. The ceviches are unique and interesting, as expected, and the scene is light, airy and very fresh in this cute, little ceviche cafe. We tried the Peruvian ceviche, Colombian ceviche and a shrimp cocktail…

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Diving and snorkeling on the great barrier reef is unparalleled and simply leaves you breathless with the spectacular wonders and creatures held in these waters. You never know what wonders await you underwater! I was fortunate enough to meet these unforgettable creatures over my 9 dives.

Central – Best Restaurant in Latin America – Lima, Peru

The food tastes as amazing as it looks and truly represents the whole of Peru and all of its offerings at each elevation demonstrating each of the country’s rich culinary bounties on offering in the diverse ecosystems throughout. It is an amazingly unique concept that works so well from the Andes mountains to the pacific coastline the dishes range in flavors colors and techniques highlight the skills of Rogelio and his team. 

Peruvian Ceviche

Ceviche is a staple of coastal Peru. With its Japanese and Spanish heritage the Peruvians put a unique spin on their ceviche and they have mastered the art of raw fish in all forms. The ceviches we tried in Peru were all unique from Cusco to Lima. They like to use soy and lemon and build the dishes using signature staples like corn, chilis, and sweet potatoes in an incredible expression of Asian Peruvian fusion. Peruvians say to never eat ceviche past 2 PM or it’s not fresh.

Diamond Beach, Iceland

Crystal clear hunks of glacial debris washing up on the jet black sands of Diamond Beach is undoubtedly one of the world’s most stunning sights.  Driving up from Vik and past the Skaftafell glacier you pass the Glacier Lagoon Jokulsarlon, and Ice Bay where you come upon a steel bridge with a large parking area to…