There is something special about the Dead Sea
Although the Dead Sea may be biologically dead, it maintains its historical ability to nourish the mind and body through its therapeutic qualities. Life may not be sustainable within its waters, but it most certainly thrives along its shores.
Walking trough the rocky path to have access to a small shore lined with salt crystals rocks and other minerals surrounded by a rich aqua marine colour and emerald at its edges, straddles the borders of Jordan and Israel, as a view I could look up at the mystical city Jerusalem that lies behind the mountains on the other side, I have discovered that the Dead Sea is in fact a saline soup where is so easy (well not at the first try) to float.
There is no outflow; and the exceptionally high rate of evaporation produces large quantities of raw chemicals which are used world wide in medicine, agriculture and industry.
Floating is effortlessly due to its concentration of minerals, which is the highest in the world, but entering in the Dead Sea has its own science. When I arrived, I had no clue what to do and how to do it. My first minutes at the Dead Sea, I spent it looking at others who were already floating and waited to see someone getting inside to learn how to do it. Even after, I felt like an idiot, trying to immerse in the emerald waters. I thought I just needed to lay back, but is not as easy as it looks. But no worries, is just like that for the first time, after that you relax and have loads of fun!
After I managed to float, I laid still in the water comtempling the silence, the view, breathing the most pure dry oxygen-rich on earth and absorbing the most therapeutic sunlight on my skin.* And no, I didn’t take the journal for the famous picture floating reading souvenir., but I do have another ones. Out of the water I began to feel the benefits. The salty water makes my skin feel rejuvenated. Washing the salt off under the shower I get my skin ready to welcome the natural mud that is right there, pure and fresh inside the ceramic pots provided by the hotel.
What experts says:
‘Experts believe it’s not just the mineral composition of the Dead Sea that clears the skin. Sitting at the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea is covered by a thick haze that filters out damaging ultraviolet rays but allows therapeutic light to shine down. The filtered sunlight has proven effective in the treatment of psoriasis — and it also means you’ll be less likely to burn.As a result of the unique healing characteristics of the region, the Dead Sea has been recognized as a leading health site.’
Here are some tips to follow before entering the Dead Sea – this is definitely not the place to break the rules – no worries, after your first dip it will be easy.
In the Muffin’s recipe, as you probably noticed, I used an unusual ingredient: Mahlep. It was the very first time I used it.
I discovered this aromatic spice in Greece while exploring the local market. At the time I had no idea what it was or what it was used for.
I asked around but no one could explain me because of their poor english. I bought anyway a very small pack, that I’m regretting now, I should have bought more….
Once back home, I put it away and completely forgot about it. A month later I flew to Antalya in Turkey and again the same happened; I found the Mahlep, in a spice & chocolate store, but this one was in powder. Again I asked what it was for and this time I was told that it’s something traditional for cakes but it should be used in a very small quantity. And this was all I got from trying to understand very poor spoken english.
Still I was very intrigued…. but I had a good feeling about this powder. The few words I got from the guys at the shop were enough to make me buy it, again! This time back at home I did my research. I learned about it and decided to experiment it. The muffin dates were my first creation where I have used the Mahlep powder. It left a beautiful cherry scent in the kitchen, making my mouth watering for a bite! I was taken by surprise how good Mahlep made this muffins!
What is Mahlep? It is an aromatic spice, just like nutmeg. Is made from the seeds of a species of cherry. The cherry stones are cracked to extract the seed kernel and after ground to a powder before use.. The tree is native in Mediterranean region, Iran and central Asia. The finely ground mahlepi powder is made from the inner kernels of fruit pits of a native Persian cherry tree (Prunus cerasus mahaleb).
What is used for? It is used in small quantities to sharpen sweet foods. Used for centuries in the Middle East Greece, Armenia, Turkey, Iran as a flavouring for baked goods. In Greek cousin, it is the characteristic flavouring of Christmas and Easter cakes into pastry recipes. Something that I never tasted because I eat grain-free – Paleo. In Armenia where it is used almost exclusively for sweetbreads and confectionery and Turkey it is used for pogača – kind of small round bread
What it tastes like? It has a distinctive fruity taste, a delicate fragrance that is dominated by a bitterness flavour similar to almonds and cherry notes. Although quite aromatic in the sense that “a little bit goes a long way” it is the combination of the fragrance and the bitterness which makes the spice uniquely suited for sweet foods.
How to store? As with all spices, should be stored in a cool dry place, and it must be used within a year or so for the most powerful flavour.
Where to buy:
Istanbul: Egyptian Spice Bazaar
I was a very young girl when I watched the movie ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ despite of my age, was and still is one of my favourite movies from the 90’s. I know it’s not everyone’s favourite, but I’m a musical lover. I still remember very well the night I watched the movie at a small theatre with my sister, in a cold rainy night, I even remember how much I cried and closed my eyes when it was Evita Peron’s funeral scene. Back that time, so young, never crossed my mind that one day I could be passing by this magnificent pink Palace.
After, I went for a pray at the Cathedral where I felt wonderful, standing by the general’s San Martin (the hero of Argentine independence) tomb that is guarded by two permanent soldiers and witnessed the changing of the guards.
The afternoon was followed by a long walk in the world’s longest avenue, adorned by a variety of shops… Walking this avenue killed my feet, I was completely ‘kaput’ by the end of the day dreaming with a foot massage back at the Duhau Palace.
And here you are getting lost in the magical, romantic and seductive trashy Boca. Just say it: ‘La Boca’ its quite hot hmmm sexy, fun, full of life. This is my favourite district of Buenos Aires and I must confess that was very difficult to chose a few pictures to share with you, but if you are curious to see more I will update my Pinterest and Flickr account with B.A. photos.
It’s impressive how the beauty of this ‘Bairro’(neighbourhood) is made of cast-off ship materials such as planks, sheet metal and corrugated iron, brushed with vibrant colours and adorned with life size prostitutes, dancers, sailors to give the taste from just how it was in the past. The romantic says that Tango was born here, the seductive dance between the sailors and the prostitutes.
What means ‘La Boca’ – ‘The mouth’; barrio of La Boca is so named because it is situated at the mouth of the river that runs along the capital federal’s southern border: the Riachuelo.
Picturesque . Extravagant . Seductive
The most upscale neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. Expect the shopping to be pricey but worthy.
Shopping paradise full of trendy national brands catering for men and women, as well small cosy coffee shops.
The city’s newest district, inspired by places such as the Docklands in London and Darling Harbour in Sydney, Puerto Madero is now an ecological reserve, also very popular during the weekend for birdwatchers, walkers and cyclists. The highly pedestrian invites for a long walk along the docs where you can find ships floating museums; considered one of the most successful urban restoration projects in the world. The sky was clear, the sun was hot and shining. The day was begging for more then just a walk around the city for shopping or sight seeing. It was craving for something WOW!! something more spicy… And could I find it on a weekday when every one is working?! Oh yes! It is possible! And just a few minutes from the town center! Pure decadence 24/7! From the moment I walk into this old red-brick building I felt welcomed to enter in the Philippe Starck Argentina’s homage. Lavish, opulent, immersed in a richly ruby-red. I was feeling even more sexy and posh on that red carpet. Hmmmm…Where are the paparazzi?! (actually when I arrived there was were some kids waiting for some latin celebrity). I love art! And here I found one of the world’s best Malbec collections (such a good surprise), and a sexy posh 1920’s inspired silk cabaret. Every single door is a surprise, you never know where it will take you. And I have open all; the bistro, the Library bar, the toilets, the spa. After checking out and taking pictures of every single inch of this masterpiece of design – pictures worth more than words – I just laid back in the sumptuous reddish chaise lounge by the wonderfully large pool (heated during the winter) ornamented with a enormous golden crown fountain. I closed my eyes while pampered with a foot massage and taning. When I woke up I had an exotic cocktail smiling at me. If you prefer a wine, they have the biggest collection in Argentina. Now imagine all this plus a very hip and trendy Saturday Pool Party, or a Tango show followed by drinks. Perhaps the best night life in Buenos Aires 😉 If I could choose one place to live in Buenos Aires, this would be the place at one of the 83 unique privately owned apartments, just to have that super-star feeling. Hotel Faena Martha Salotti 445, Dique 2, Madero Este http://faena.com email@example.com