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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Romania - Iasi: Repedea Hill - Natural Monument

Dearest hearts,

Only few kilometers away from Iasi, the hill Repedea (Dealul Repedea, in Romanian language) sets high standards when it comes to height and view over the city. It is a wonder of nature that keeps trances within from the sea itself. Over 10 million years ago - as per what archeologists say... - this place/space was covered by water. As witness to that fact are the shells that can be found in the rocks located there. The most popular place for the archeologists are the caves located in the area - as you can see from the pictures below.
The plateau which extends itself smoothly now over dozens of hectares bordered by steep slopes became in 1955 geologists heaven and is also the place that offers the best view of Iasi - especially during sunset & evening.
Once on the Bucium hill, 300 meters high, after taking a narrow country road you catch a glimpse of a plate with blue paint guiding you to the  „Rezervaţia paleontologică Repedea”. To get to the Releu you have just 5 minutes walk - to get to the peak. From there you can see Iasi as a model, with blocks and houses, set in stylishly, organized by an invisible hand, to fit the chaos left behind the angry water withdrawal that dug into the rock for millions of years before.
Repedea Hill was declared a natural monument and became the first paleontological reserve in the country in 1955. And in a judgment of Iasi County Council in 1994, the Reserve was declared of Great Importance when it comes to birds, whereas there are 117 bird species in total of 383 species reported in the Romanian fauna.
Repedea hilltop near the TV relay has an altitude of 353 meters, the hill has a deep concavity like an amphitheater, with steep walls, and multiple caves. Over time, people were sheltered in these caves during wars or natural disasters. Currently, the reserve face different risks among which: massive deforestation of trees near increasingly more populated areas and massive landslides. Of the two large panels that said natural reserve area is protected by law, there is none.
Considered within the population of the city as a tourist attraction, people from Iasi spend their weekends and other days off here, having picnics. On the plateau or at the border with the forest, people make fires and grills - heating small areas and burning the land. After numerous trips made here there is remaining waste (glass, PET, plastic cups, newspapers etc.). Being the tourist area there should be some facilities - toilets - but there are none, so the tourists use grottoes and caves to meet their needs... hence not helping the environment... It is sad to say but people do not care and a beautiful place - like this one - gets more and more destroyed each year :(
Large forested areas were cleared of wood by thieves. In addition, the locals began to steal rock wall of the reserve, using them for exterior cladding foundations of houses, although the rock is brittle and is not suitable to be used in construction. Currently, out of five polygons for climbing, only three are operational. There is much potential in this place, there is a large area where people from the Local Council could get involved and do some good, but that never did happen... It is a wonderful place to take a breath of fresh air and it is the best view one could have over Iasi - the city based on 7 hills. I would say it's a definite must when first visiting Iasi - Romania. Unfortunately it is not well kept and if things go towards the same direction as now, in a few years my children would not be able to enjoy it :( so if ever in the area, get your tennis shoes on and have a walk around this old place, you will enjoy it! and make sure you come towards sunset ;)

P.S. Pictures were taken quickly with Samsung Galaxy S4 so don't expect the best :) we did enjoy the place immensely and the company was perfect - this one goes to you Roxana :* - so we wish you to enjoy it at least as much as we did. There are a couple of nice places nearby, where you can rent houses and do a grill, in a organized manner as  well ;) We recommend Hamak ;)

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug  - born & raised in Iasi, Romania :)
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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Balkan Express Grill - Take Away or Eat There

Dear friends,

A while back I was telling you about Balkanica 303 - the first Balkan restaurant in Krakow. Balkanica 303 is a decent, quite serious place, where one would come with the family and friends to have a nice dinner out in the town. The place I will tell you about today, the Balkan Express Grill, is very similar when it comes to the menu but 100% different when it comes to the style and the target audience. If I would dress out for Balkanica 303, for Balkan Express Grill I would not mind qoing there in short jeans and a t-shirt.
Balkan Express Grill looked for me more like a take-out place, than a place where I would sit comfortably and eat. But I wanted to give it a go and the benefit of a doubt. After checking out Balkanica 303 I wanted to know how their pljeskavica tastes and if there is a difference in the other Balkan restaurants in Krakow. Balkan Express Grill was the first one on the list - one lovely sunny Saturday afternoon I was hungry as I could get and I was passing by Florianska street (make that Florianska 39, to be precise), when I said to myself: "Why not give it a go today!" - so I went ahead through the entrance, to the inner courtyard, and walked right through the black door.
Quite surprising was the fact that when opening the black door, you don't actually get inside the place... you are at the main hallway and there is no other way to go then to the left. To the left you will see another door and a stairway leading to an upper floor. The door leads you to the toilet - shared basin for washing hands plus 2 separate rooms for the WC, one for ladies and one for gents. The stairs leading to the upper floor bring you to the main room of Balkan Express Grill - where you will find around 9-10 tables and the bar area.
The Balkan Express Grill is self-service and usually it is open on a daily basis, between 11:00 and 23:00 - but just in case, it is always better to check their Facebook page as they usually post a comment in case the place is closed for the day or booked fully for private parties. You can order online or you can pick up the products yourself. Or you can just jump in and stay a while as you eat your lunch - just as I did :)
The menu at Balkan Express Grill is not extensive, but I consider that as a plus - the chef gets to specialise and if there are only a few things on the menu, than you can be sure the ingredients are as fresh as they could get! :) There are around 5 types of pljeskavica and 2 of cevapi. The price range is between 10 and 16 zloty (as per March 2015) & you can pair the meal up with some water/lemonade/juice/tea/beer (your choice!).
A huge minus of the place is the plastic - non-eco-friendly feeling about it. If you want, you can have fork and knife but they are plastic. If you want to have some water and not drink from the bottle you can have a glass, but it is plastic... You get what I mean? I cannot get attached to a place that uses plastic that much, but if you take that aside I must admit that Balkan Express Grill earns respect when it comes to the food! Of course this is no vegetarian place, if you love meat you will love this place!
The pljeskavica I ate was nothing like the one from Balkanica 303- it was served in fresh hot homemade bread and it was all packed up in one: the minced mixed meat + salad + the sauce = pljeskavica. Now I don't know how traditionally the pljeskavica is served, but I must admit I liked both options - the one from Balkan Express Grill and the one from Balkanica 303. I liked them as both as both were delicious yet totally different from one another! The meat was awesomely spiced and in comination with the white garlic-cheese sauce it was a great meal - it was filling and lasting.
 ***
I must admit I will go there again, just to try the version of pljeskavica with sesame seeds and also the cevapi - that I have never yet tasted anywhere. I wanted to buy some baklawa at the end but I was too full... ;))) Great service, great music, great music! Things Balkan Express Grill needs to work upon: number of seats, plastic forks/knife/glasses. Loved the white - red tablecloth & window blinds - matching the brand logo - well done ;)

** This post was made out of love for great food. I was not repayed in any way and all the opinions are my very own, straight from the heart! ** 
 
Yours truly,
A LadyBug That Loves Balkan Food - Especially Greek!
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Thursday, 23 April 2015

The One And Only Romanian-Polish Wedding Party

My dearest hearts,


Do you remember the traditional custom in fairytales when the princess used to have the wedding with the prince, and the festivities would last for 3 days and 3 nights? Of course this happens also in real life and I think that is fabulous - being able to celebrate, in front of the world, the love you have for your significant other. On the other side of things, this could be quite discomforting and you may remain drained out of energy by the 2nd evening / 2nd day of the festivities. 
***
Being an expat allows oneself to indulge, when it comes to weddings. Especially if you have an understanding and awesome husband as I do. It would be quite impossible to get all the people we love and our dear friends together, in one go - in one day. So guess what we decided? Why have one wedding party when you clearly can have 3 & not all at the same place and at the same time! Plus, it gets funny if people star asking about your wedding and you end up replying "Which one?!" :) - the confused face people make is priceless! My sister, for example, had great fun telling her collegues from work that she needs to attend her sister's wedding, the 3rd one, with the same man :))
Again, a huge THANK YOU goes to Mateusz W. for the lovely pictures from the Polish Wedding
I came to Poland - to the magical city of dragons, named Krakow - almost 4 years ago. I was supposed to stay here only for 6 months, build some international work experience for my CV and then move on, to maybe United Kingdom... that was the plan! In truth, there was this lovely and enchanting Polish lad who managed to make me fall in love and I have stayed here ever since. 
***
If you will ask us about our wedding date, we may give you different answers - and that is not because we do not remember the date! That is due to the 3 days and 3 nights wedding, which we actually split during 3 years = 3 parties * one day and one night each :) It was way more convenient:
  • The Mini - Bachelorette Party :) - should we actually count this one in as well? That might raised things to 4 days/nights instead of 3 ;)))
  • The Civil Wedding & Civil Wedding Party (one for family & one for friends) - was done in Poland, Krakow - with a lot of paperwork nonsense that we had to fix, as apparently even though both Romania and Poland are part of the EU there is not much help when it comes to bureaucracy... - we already celebrated the 1st anniversary of the Civil Wedding :) - 7th December 2013
  • The Church Wedding & Wedding Party =  The One And Only Polish-Romanian Wedding Party - Poland, Krakow & Laskowa - Saturday, 9 August 2014 - at my second fav church (after St. Mary's Church, in the Main Market Square) named Peter & Pawel, on Grodzka street, on the way to the Wawel Castle - the church is the very same one in which St. Pope John Paul the 2nd's parents got married :)
  • Last but not least, the 2nd Wedding Party - The One And Only Romanian-Polish Wedding Party - Friday, 24th April 2015 - that will take place in Iasi, Romania - having one party in Poland and one in Romania always sounded fair as wel knew we could not get everyone at the same place at one. Especially that getting to Krakow, from Iasi, is quite a challenge!
When it comes to the Wedding & Parties in Poland, I must admit that my awesome husband took the lead and he was the one taking care of venue, getting the DJs and I was in charge of the photographer - which, I have to add, is brilliant and got recommended by a good friend of ours; his name is Mateusz Wojnar and I am sure if you will choose him you will never regret it! He knows how to work with people and make you laugh and smile and feel comfortable. Mateusz works with natural light and gives you the liberty of expression and I believe that is very important - he comes with the ideas but you work together, as in a partnership :)
***
When it comes to the Wedding Party in Romania, it was supposed to be all on my plate - helped remotely by my mum and sister. I must admit I have to extend a huge THANK YOU! to my amazing mother, who helped me along. I only took care of the list of guests online and helped pick the band & photographer. The rest was all on her plate and she managed it wonderfully - I could not have asked for more :) This Monday we had the menu tasting and what she picked was yummy so I can hardly wait for morrow, to have fun with family and friends. The party in Romania will be half the size of the one in Poland, and as a lot of my aunts and uncles could not make it for the Polish one, I am happy I shall see them now :) It will be much more intimate and we will have more time to speak and dance with everyone. Hopefully all will run smoothly, so keep your fingers crossed ;)

P.S. Last time I totally messed up the first dance, when my shoes just came off and I had to kick them away. This time I am wearing a different - shorter - dress so maybe they will not get caught up... Fingers crossed everyone!

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug & The Happy Lovely Polish Lad
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Monday, 20 April 2015

Sztuka Śledzia - The Art Of Herring

Dear sweethearts,

Remember how a few days back I was telling you about Naturalny Sklepik - Or Where To Buy Natural & Organic Products in Krakow? Well today I will tell you about another Polish brand, created by the owners of the Naturalny Sklepik - today I shall be telling you about Sztuka Śledzia. The name itself is quite fun as it consists in a play of words - Sztuka can mean a piece of something but also a work of art, Śledz means a certain type of fish - herring; so the name can be translated into "A piece of herring" and also into "Art of the herring".
The idea of the brand started inside the Naturalny Sklepik, when the owners started bringing high quality fish into the shop. They began with herring and diverse types of herring salads. It was such a huge success that they considered creating a new brand, under the Naturalny Sklepik umbrella, that would focus only on fish products. The products are MSC tested and approved - international settings for fish quality.
If in Poland, you can find their products at the Najedzeni Fest and at the Targ Sniadaniowy. At the moment they are trying to go outside the Krakow market with the fish products so you will be seeing them twice a week - all year round - at the Biobazar (in Warsaw and Katowice) & once a week - all year round - at the Bazar Smakoszy (Wroclaw).
The owners - Piotr & Marta B. - prefer live contact with people and they love running the business in the family. For example, when Piotr is going with the festivals to Warsaw or Katowice, the young son takes over and takes care of the Sztuka Śledzia at the Targ Sniadaniowy in Krakow - and you can see him on the pictures, as a living proof :)
They were thinking of bringing such products into the market ever since they opened the Naturalny Sklepik - there they brought the first japanese products for sushi; that was about 10 years ago, when people in Poland did not have the culture of eating sushi. They did not know much about sushi and how to behave when having it, so Piotr & Marta hosted the very first sushi classes in Malopolska - where people could study thai and chinese kitchen. 
***
They also used to host, for friends, once each 3 months, meetings where people would bring new food. Old clients, who became friends, would come and present their dishes. These people would be crazy about food and cooking, they would do it as their hobby. One of the dishes served at one of these parties was herring in gold :) 
***
Sztuka Śledzia aims into creating culinary and estetic taste. Piotr & Marta wish for their clients to see food as art, as a way to express yourself. They aim for creating good food products and quality design for the items that they sell. Sztuka Śledzia wishes to celebrate the food; wants the clients to understand that preparing food with good energy is the key. All that you create must be done out of love, with love.

P.S. I did try some of the fresh herring + herring salads from Sztuka Śledzia and they are indeed yummy. I am not a huge fan of fish myself, but I must admit the salads were finger-licking good! Especially the ones with garlic and yogurt & the ones with indian condiments ;) You can also find them online, on their very own Facebook Page.  

** Sponsored post but written from the heart, without any external influences**

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug (Recommends you to go ASAP to Targ Sniadaniowy and test some things from there, as they are deliciously yummy + buy some fresh fish from Sztuka Śledzia)
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Friday, 17 April 2015

Naturalny Sklepik - Or Where To Buy Natural & Organic Products in Krakow

Dearest hearts,

What is better for us than to live healthy and natural, as close to Mother Nature as we can be? We are so tied up in our day to day life on things that harm us - driving cars that pollute the air we breathe, drinking juices filled with aditives instead of drinking fresh water, eating sweets on a daily basis as snacks... We hurt ourselfs continuously; sometimes without even knowing or caring. I love the idea that the TARG Śniadaniowy brings - the way it encourages people to go back to their roots and eat more healthy products.
I have lived in Krakow, in Poland, for almost 4 full years now and I did not manage to find a good eco-store where they would sell all sorts of natural products and ingredients, until almost a month ago! Of course there are the ocasional fairs where you can buy products from the local manufacturers and also certain small shops where you can buy vegetables and fruits produced localy. But if I wanted something bigger or more specific, like different types of herbs and spices that usually you would not find at the store... well that was an issue for me! I never knew where to go and from where to buy it except from the huge supermarkets - which, not all the time, had everything I needed.
The Entrance to Naturalny Sklepik
I was lucky to bump into Naturalny Sklepik - located on Krupnicza 8, Krakow, very close to Teatr Bagatela. If you pass by the street you may miss it but I urge you - from the bottom of my heart - to go inside even for a moment. You need first to pass through the building and get to the inner courtyard - where in the spring/summertime/autumn you can buy juices or even a piece of homemade cake and stay outside on the bench and listen to the fine French music playing :)
The Naturalny Sklepik was opened almost 15 years ago - in the summer of 2001. The couple that started the business and hold it under a firm hand are fans of food and they see food as art. They have started the business with spices - at the time when good food was hard to come by, due to the lack of ingredients, they needed something more than what the market had to offer. They loved good food and good food could not be prepared only with salt and pepper... This is how they started bringing the spices from their indian friends from Germany. The spices that you can find now on the rack are mostly indian but there are also european mixes of herbs + local products as well.
The clients always asked for more and since the store opened its gates in 2001, more and more products entered the Polish market through Naturalny Sklepik. To be stated out that the shop never left its original location and it stands on the very same spot it opened up back then. There was a 2nd small shop opened - for cosmetics - approximately 1 year ago on Starowiślna but it closed out - there are many cosmetical eco products out there that can be bought online and people were not used to the concept.
As I was sitting in the inner courtyard, drinking a fine aromatic tea with Piotr - one of the owners of the Naturalny Sklepik - I could see that there was a constant bustle of clients coming in and always buying something (never just looking!). Each time they would come and go they would greet Piotr and smile. The clients know Piotr, they know the owners, they became friends... just think about it, if you would shop in the same place for 15 years, would you not befriend the one you talk to on a daily basis? I know, in a supermarket it is hard to do such thing, but Naturalny Sklepik seemed such a cozy place to me - very inviting!
The clients that the shop has is quite a mix - you have typical Krakowians, students coming from around the country/world and also you have quite a large number of expats. Naturalny Sklepik has quite a lot of indian clients. Did you know that the owner of the biggest factory in Nowa Huta is from India as well? and guess what? they are clients to the Naturalny Sklepik.
But why India, you may ask? Why bring indian products on a traditional Polish market? Well, my dearests, India has one of the richest kitchen ingredients. So if you want something original and tasty and spicy, you need to try out their mixes. That was what the owners did and they fell in love with the taste. Piotr gets enthusiastic when he explains Indian culture and their specific food, like Chapati Ata - made out of wheat flour, resembling a bit with the bread. You can eat that with rice, vegetables and there is always a touch of curry :) The indian products come from Germany - as they did from day one.
When you think and talk about eco products, about eating organic, about being close to nature, people may smile... They may think this is a trend and this is what hipsters would do, this is what hipsters would eat... Well there is a trend dating 2-3 years back, that is true, but if we look even more into the past we will see that the mindset has changed earlier than that. People go abroad now more often. "Europe is a big village" as Piotr also quotes. "People want to eat good and interesting food".
People become also more and more aware when they have kids, and they realise that they cannot feed their offsprings with the products that are now on the market. They want their kids to grow healthy and have strenght, and that is a goal still hard to reach in a city like Krakow - where the pollution is the highest in Poland.
I could say that in Warsaw it is more of a trend, than a way of living & in Krakow the other way around - but don't throw stones at me! think about it, analyse it and let me know what you think ;) Everyone seems on the run there, racing, wanting more money - more power - more technology. Sometimes - even though I like Warsaw - I feel like the city has its own pace, faster than the usual, faster than it should be...
They are in the proces now of opening up a new brand, that specialises in fishes, but I will tell you more about that on a later post ;) but in case you wish to find them, search for Sztuka Śledzia on Facebook ;) and as Piotr says: "For good things you have to wait!"
The best selling products for Naturalny Sklepik are the cheeses + spices + fresh products (both vegetables and the fruits, that come always fresh from the local providers/producers - they always buy the products first hand and they do not like going through re-sellers). When it comes to the least selling product, it is hard to tell! as the product range always changes, in accordance to what the clients need. It is a fluent process where they order precisely what they know will be bought.
You can find Naturalny Sklepik open each day between 9 AM and 7 PM, Saturday between 9 AM and 3 PM and Sundays it is always closed + the legal holidays in Poland (the official holidays, like Easter and so on.). The outside area is perfect for meetings between friends and you can have some tea/coffee/juice or even wine - of course everything is self-service so you need to come inside, buy the products and then enjoy them outside :)
You can also have some homemade cookies - like the brownie with fruits, in the pictures above. The producers for the sweets and the bread are small initiatives inside the local market - and I love that! the care about the local products and keeping the small initiatives alive as well. I recommend Naturalny Sklepik from all my heart and I am happy that such a place exists in Krakow and that I finally managed to find it! :)

** Sponsored post but written from the heart, without any external influences**

Yours truly,
The LadyBug That Will Visit Soon The Naturalny Sklepik & Buy Some Homemade Sweets
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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Muzeum Kata „Kacianora” - Executioner Museum

Dearest hearts,

The subject I am going to approach today may be quite tabu for some - today I shall be telling you the story about Executioners Museum in Krakow. People in the world - as far as my humble experience of life taught me - are split between people who approve and those who look with disgust and do not agree upon the presence of torture in the world. I would like to say that I am without flaw and that I do not agree with torture, yet in some cases I have felt it necessary... What would you do if you knew that the life of many would depend on torturing a single person? I would like to believe that I would not harm anyone but one cannot tell until time and circumstance has pushed one into real action where you have to take this decision... I pray that none of us would ever be in such a circumstance to take such decision. We are not Gods and we should learn by the mistakes that other have made. We all know that the History is one big turining wheel that repeats itslef. Maybe we should just sit back and think things through...
***
But why so much fascination over torture? And why do people - when they think of methods of torture - believe that it was invented in the middle ages? Most certainly it is easier to make the connection with that time, when it somes to the pagan faiths and believes and on the hunt for witches of the time, but the torture is as old as - at least - the Ancient Greece. Greek and Romans alike used it for interrogation purposes. Until the 2nd century AD, torture was used only on slaves (with a few exceptions). After this point it began to be extended to all members of the lower classes. Since the days when Roman law prevailed throughout Europe, torture has been regarded as subtending three classes or degrees of suffering.
First-degree torture typically took the forms of whipping and beating but did not mutilate the body. The most prevalent modern example is bastinado, a technique of beating or whipping the soles of the bare feet. Second-degree torture consisted almost entirely of crushing devices and procedures, including exceptionally clever screw presses or "bone vises" that crushed thumbs, toes, knees, feet, even teeth and skulls in a wide variety of ways. A wide array of "boots"—machines variously, ingeniously designed to slowly squeeze feet until their bones shattered—are quite representative.
Finally, third-degree tortures savagely mutilated the body in numerous dreadful ways, incorporating spikes, blades, boiling oil, and extremely carefully controlled fire. The serrated iron tongue shredder; the red-hot copper basin for destroying eyesight; and the stocks that forcibly held the prisoner's naked feet, glistening with lard, directly over red-hot coals (foot roasting) until the skin and foot muscles were burnt black and the bones fell to ashes are examples of torture in the third degree.
 ***
Modern scholars find the concept of torture to be compatible with society's concept of Justice during the time of the Roman Empire. Romans, Jews, Egyptians and many other cultures during that time included torture as part of their justice system. Romans had crucifixion, Jews had stoning (that is even mentioned in the Bible) and Egyptians had desert sun death. All these acts of torture were considered necessary (to deter others) or good (to punish the immoral).
Now almost every big city in Europe has some kind of Museum of Torture with a wide display of original and replica instruments of torture used in history. I have to admit I was living in Krakow for almost 4 years and going to the Main Market Square - Rynek Glowny - a couple of times, on a weekly basis, yet I never bumped into this museum before - to my shame! But now I have to make up for it! :) The Muzeum Kata „Kacianora” - Executioner Museum - is a lovely, tiny hidden gem of Krakow. Located on Rynek Główny 29, in a 15th century cellar, it holds over 100 items. Some complain - when there - that is just one single room. Well I say that is nonsense! I have spent there 2 full hours and 40 minutes and I did not feel time passing by! 
 ***
That is also because of the wonderful tour guided that spoke perfect English and told me stories I did not knew before, connected with the instruments of torture. I must admit I know quite a few stories and legens myself, like the fact that the Iron Lady/Iron Maiden is just a myth and it was more of a isolation chamber, but without the inner spikes ;) The price of the ticket - March 2015 - was 9 zloty per person + the extra 30 zloty for the tour. But I can say, hand to my heart, that is worth every penny! I would not recommend the museum to kids, but for history buffs it is a must :) It is not part of the National Museum, it is a private one, but well taken care of - though it does lack the publicity it deserves!
The overall impression of Kacianora Museum, for me, was 100% positive and I will surely recommend it to my friends. As I have said, it is located in the basement of the fifteenth century house; 6 meters deep, inside of which was built a wooden structure - beams and mezzanines. Construction, architectural details at every step a surprise to the viewer. Unique solutions have been used to connect wood, stone and light give power to the  experience. 
***
Also from the guide I found out that there was a previous collaboration with the Free Walking Tour Krakow and the Macabre Tour. I truly believe that must have been a precious and enchanting collaboration as I have seen Jacek - the guide from the Macabre Tour in action - and his enthusiasm in sharing information about the dark side of the city. He would have brought the histories and the magic and Kacianora would have brought the real life examples and the athmosphere :) To be mentioned that the over 100 items are all replicas! 
 ***
If you are in Krakow and you like history and this particular subject I believe that this museum deserves a chance and should be rated even higher than #54 of 228 things to do in Krakow - on TripAdvisor, my good friend ;))) It is open on a daily basis, from 10:00 to 19:00, but I believe it also closes during National Holidays. You can also find more info on Facebook and on their own site, though in both cases all is in Polish. One thing to mention: No Photos allowed inside & No Touching of the expos!

** This post was made out of love for the Unknown Museums of Krakow - that I have yet to discover. I was not repayed in any way and all the opinions are my very own, straight from the heart! Also with this ocasion I would like to thank one more time the most adorable & knowledgeable guide I have ever had in a Museum :) **

Yours truly,
A Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves To Discover Hidden Gems
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Saturday, 11 April 2015

I Love GREEN - 100% Natural, Organic and Polish

Dearest hearts,

Not long ago I was telling you about TARG Śniadaniowy w Krakowie - Krakow Food/Breakfast Fair. I was sharing with you that these types of fairs are a great source of information for the people who wish to live a healthy life and consume organic products. At the Targ Sniadaniowy I also met Magda - one of the owners of I Love GREEN company, that I will tell you about today.
As we all know, the market everywhere is oversaturated by products that taste good but have hundred of calories and are actually not good for our bodies, as they are full with chemicals. Fresh juices and smoothies are coming more and more in fashion, due to their high count of vitamins and nutrients. The juices from I Love GREEN are obtained from seasonal vegetables and fruits that give the consumer power - vitamins, enzymes and minerals that miraculously stimulate the body to action.
The technique used by I Love Green to obtain the juice is mechanical (ie. COLD PRESS) and it  allows to squeeze as closely as possible the vegetables and fruits, in order to get everything that is best within them. Thus, the fibers are crushed and cell structures and nutrients stored within them end up in the bottle, for you to enjoy :)
Marta and Dorota - located in Krakow, Poland - are the lovely and ingenious ladies that came with this idea and they are the proud owners of I Love GREEN. They came with this idea due to their active and healthy lifestyle and also because they thought the market was missing this type of product - and they were right! In November 2014 I Love GREEN open its virtual doors and the company began its journey down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City of Nature.
The Menu, on the 2nd weekend of the Food Fair was in English ;)
The company is very much focused on a small and specific niche of customers. It produces only cold press juices - the main product of the company and its bestseller - and smoothies. The products are with no artificial adds and they are made from 100% fresh products - vegetables and fruits bought by the ladies from special local markets. Also in the smoothies the milk used is 100% natural as well and both Magda and Dorota always test the product before it reaches the market. Due to its fresh ingredients the shelf life of the product is max 2-3 days.
One of the most famous local markets where people from the village come and sell their dairies and vegetables is Nowy Kleparz. That is also from where the owners of I Love GREEN select their ingredients.  They use different producers from farms near Krakow - in case you did not know this, Malopolska region is quite famous for the eco villages (take from example the apple farms right outside Krakow). Why different producers, you may ask?! - well the girls want to get the best products so they will always be flexible when it comes to the contact with the producers.
Magda - I Love GREEN
As I mentioned, Magda and Dorota started this company and they modified the receipes by testing on themselves and their family and friends. They see the products as a source of health and life. At this stage they are at the point when they are building their network - ETA next 3 months. They are present in one shop that really growed on me lately: Sklepik Naturalny on ul. Krupnicza 8 - I may write about it soon, so stay tuned! but also in several others, listed here.
Soon you will also be able to admire the English part of their site, as right now it is all in Polsih - both the Internet Site and their Facebook Page. The nice thing about I Love GREEN site is that you can actually order the products online - I have not tried that yet so I am not sure how that goes, but Magda and Dorota deliver in Krakow the products so you can always contact them via the Contact Form on the site.
As Spring is here and the temperature goes higher and higher, the requirements also grow exponentially for I Love GREEN. For example, in the first weekend of the Krakow Food/Breakfast Fair, the ladies from I Love GREEN sold over 300 cold press juices and smoothies in 2 days! To be mentioned also that I Love GREEN is the only company that sells cold press juice in a bottle in Krakow.
The products were approved by the local authorities as a regional product and the users can enjoy responsibly the juices and smoothies in 2 days since they are bought. I Love GREEN has big plans for development and I eagerly await for them. As the season of skirts and bikes is coming rapidly, they also thought about selling the products by bike and also small stands, but until then you can find them at the Krakow Food/Breakfast   ;)

* Products cost the same, be it cold press juices or smoothies - 10 zloty per 300 ml of 100% organic and yummy product (I tested the cold press juice & the grepfruit smoothie and both were delicious and quite energy giving!)

** Sponsored post but written from the heart, without any external influences**

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves To Discover New Things :)
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