Flammkuchen and Luxembourg trip

I guess you already know we love to travel. I wish I would also love to write about it and share the amazing places we’ve been with you, but I’m kind of lazy, and since I’m making thousands of pictures on holidays (yes you read that correct, I go into THOUSANDS and it annoys even me a lot ;) ) it’s pretty difficult to choose what I would actually like to show you in a tiny space of a blog post.  Fortunately, that’s not always the case. At the end of  June we went for a long weekend to visit our friends in Luxembourg. Short trip + lot’s of time spend on chatting = few photos ;) Yes, finally manageable enough for me to finally write a post ;) Luxembourg welcomed us with rain. Fortunately, we were unlucky with the weather just for a single day and enjoyed hot sunny days for the rest of our trip. I must say I was quite surprised how tiny yet international is the City of Luxembourg. It has only 80 000 of citizens yet it bursts with energy.

Somehow, I had an image of Luxembourg as a country that looks just like Netherlands, and I have never even thought that we will see charming villages hidden in the valleys surrounded by forests. I was really enchanted with tiny old towns full of cafeterias and craft shops – that’s the thing I really miss in Finland. And another reason to visit Luxembourg are lovely vineyards  spreading along picturesque Mosel river scenery, a true lifelong memory for me. I must say I’m really positively surprised how much this petite land has to offer! Sadly, I guess at the same time, it is the least traveled country among Benelux area.

Luxembourg is a really tiny country. I guess it’s a bit difficult to talk about the traditional cuisine there as all the German, French and Belgian culinary influences pretty much mingle together. Thanks to our trip, I have fallen in love with a traditional dish from this region – the Flammkuchen, a kind of  crispy peasant pizza that is topped with fresh cheese or cream instead of tomato sauce (it is also called tarte flambee on the French side). The traditional Flammkuchen is made with onion and bacon cubes, but since I have Mr. No Onion Please at home, I made a bit more modern and lighter version of it. From the amounts given below, you’ll get 2 Flammkuchen. The recipe  for dough comes from  Linda Collister’s and Anthony Blake’s “The bread book” and I found it on CinCin forum. The dough is absolutely fantastic! Comes out crispy and it’s so easy to work with – a must try!

INGREDIENTS

455 g flour (about 12% protein content)
1,5 tsp salt
15 g fresh yeasts
1 tbsp olive oil
280 ml luke warm water

200g creme fraiche
4-5 tomatoes, thinly sliced
salt & pepper
2 handfuls of rocket
10-12 slices of dried ham

1. Dissolve the yeasts in luke warm water and leave them aside for 5-10 min.

2. Combine flour, salt, yeasts and oil and knead a ball of dough. Let it rest under cover for 1,5-2h until it doubles it’s volume.

3. Hit the dough with the fist to release the air and divide it in half. Roll the dough very! thinly (I additionally stretch it in the air, to make it super thin), you should get 2 pieces roughly of the size of your baking tray.

4. Spread the creme on top, leaving some free space on the sides. Put tomato slices on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in 275C till golden brown (remember to preheat not only the oven but also the tray you’ll put the Flammkuchen on!)

5. Spread rocket and dried ham on top. Serve with well chilled white wine :)

ENJOY!

Tasting Estonia

In previous post I promised to show you some food goodies from Tallinn. Since we have spent only half a day there, there is not that much to blog about, but well ;) here it is ;) We had a dinner in Beer House restaurant. It prides itself as  the only micro-brewery restaurant in Estonia. They brew 7 sorts of beer and as you might have guessed, it was a difficult choice so… we bought a tasting set ;) We liked the most Beer House Premium and Märzen Speziel. Medovar Honey was also really good, but I think it should be enjoyed by itself,  cause in combination with other beers it seems to be a tad too sweet. One can  see the brewery vats through the windows next to restaurant’s entrance.

Tallin takes pride in its Hanseatic history and many restaurants advertise their medieval dishes. Beer House is no different and not only it is stylized as a tavern but it also serves a wide variety of dishes that probably are similar to those from the past. For a beer snack we chose pig’s ears. Doesn’t it sound fun ;)? It is something really interesting to try, but for sure I won’t crave for it ;) For main Mr No Onion Please opted for ribs, while I got sausage of game with potato and forest-mushroom pocket, beet and horse-radish terrine, mustard sauce and fresh сranberry sauce.

I guess the most common food souvenirs one brings from any country are sweets and alcohol. Well, we are no different. That’s usually the first things we think of bringing back with us as well. When it comes to Estonia, the staple food souvenirs are Kalev chocolates and marzipan and Vana Tallin liquor.

I’m not a great fan of Kalev milk chocolates, but I must admit, they really know how to make good white ones. Both me and Mr No Onion Please adore the white chocolate with dried blueberries and crisps. Mr No Onion Please is also a fan of white chocolate with strawberries and cookies, while I prefer the one with dried cranberries and coconut. When we went to Kalev store, I have spotted a new milk chocolate with almonds and gooseberries. Oh my, I love gooseberries, of course I had to buy it! It is a nice chocolate, though, to my disappointment it doesn’t contain dried gooseberry bits (or not at least visible ones). I would also like a tiny bit more of the gooseberry flavor in it, but in general I was pretty happy with the taste and will definitely buy it again.

Another “souvenir” that one just has to bring from Estonia is Vana Tallinn liquor. As much as I  can’t really handle the original liquor (too strong), I really adore its cream and coffee cream versions. There is a tiny bit of rum and vanilla flavor with some  delicate citrus aftertaste. Definitely one of the best cream liquors I’ve ever tasted. They are absolutely delicious! Since I got now a new bottle (my stock always replenishes so fast ;) ) I’m planning to use it in  cheesecake, oh boy, can’t wait!

Kama chocolate

Now, something about Estonia’s national food product, that won’t be commonly found in a visitor’s bag – kama. It’s a mixture of roasted barley, rye, oat and pea flour. Historically, it has been used as a stomach-filling snack that could be quickly prepared by mixing it with lard. Nowadays, it is usually enjoyed  simply mixed with buttermilk and some berries. You can read more about it here and search for kama recipes on Nami-Nami blog. In fact, this ingredient is so popular, that Kalev has made a “chocolate”, using kama instead of cocoa. Actually, Kamatahvel is a fortunate outcome of Soviet times experiment. You see, during communism it was very difficult to get cocoa beans, so people started to search for alternatives. Of course kama could never substitute the real cocoa, but the outcome was not only interesting but also pretty tasty. It reminds me somewhat of a similar product invented in Poland during those times. Not only cocoa was a deficit  food product, it was also very difficult to get coffee. Similarly to kama, so called grain coffee was invented. It constituted of roasted barley, rye, sugar beets and chicory and despite it was barely reminiscent of real coffee, it remained popular not only through communism but also nowadays you can buy it as INKA grain coffee. Quite amazing what people can think of, when they are in need!

Though I bought kama just several days ago, I’ve already used 2/3 of the package (I guess it means another Tallinn trip quite soon ;) ). Apart from mixing kama with my morning muesli, I’ve decided to try out a recipe for kama mascarpone truffles – kamakäkid. I have substituted raisins with dried cranberries, as I’m much more keen on those. Thank you Pille for the recipe, we have enjoyed it together with our friends a lot!

INGREDIENTS

250 grams of mascarpone
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp chopped dried cranberries
3 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
3 heaped tbsp kama flour
a generous dash of Vana Tallinn cream liqueur (can be substituted with eg. Baileys)

Mix everything together, put into the fridge for a while. Form into small balls, roll in kama or cocoa powder and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Tallinn – a quick walk

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We’ve just came back from a day trip to Estonia. Though officially it was supposed to be a work trip, we’ve spend a great afternoon in lovely Tallinn. You see I hold the nationality of one of the very few countries in Europe that are still “privileged” to need a visa for short term visits to the USA. Since the embassy in Finland is basically closed down for renovation, I was told to go somewhere else… You can imagine I was really pissed off, cause it is not only really troublesome to actually get a visa (tons of documents), but still to be forced to travel abroad to get it was a tad too much for me. Anyway, I decided to make the best of it and took Mr No Onion Please with me for a relaxing  Sunday in Estonia. I must say we had a great day that reminded us of how charming Tallinn is. We  definitely have to make another trip there in the summer! Here is a short compilation of some old pictures from Tallinn’s old town and soon I’ll blog a bit more about the goodies I bought ;)

Istanbul’s street food

You can have great eats no matter if you dine in a fine restaurant or in a shabby bar in Istanbul, but since it is the street food that shows the soul of a city, that’s what I would like to focus on. I bet that as soon as you think of Turkey you just see kebabs. But there’s much more than that ;) First of all amazing sea food. There are lots of restaurants where you can enjoy some amazing dishes and mezes (I’ve never eaten before so amazingly delicate squid!). But street bars also offer  some delights. In previous post about Istanbul there is a pic of people who enjoy fishing for sardines – hamsi. If you don’t have your rod while visiting the city, and I bet you don’t, you can anyway enjoy those small jewels of the sea by eating in one of many tiny bars serving fresh deep fried hamsi – so simple, yet so delicious! In the nights the streets become full of vendors trying to sell smoked mackerels and superb mussels filled in with pilaf – that’s a must try when you’re in Istanbul! You’re surrounded by two seas and a Bosphorus trait so be prepared for eating tons of fish!

Ok, so Turkey is a truly carnivorous country. Though you’ll find there some delish vege food as well, the main focus is on meat. Kebabs are known worldwide but there are some other particular delicacies to be sought for. One day we  wondered into Fatih district of Istanbul where foreigners are not a common sight. We went there because of one particular dish – pit oven roasted suckling lambs. There are several restaurants there serving this delicious meat and they were full. No wonder, the meat was amazingly tender and tasty. I can say without any doubt that it was the best lamb dish I ever had in my life! The lamb is cut into small chunks, topped with lavash – turkish kind of pizza as I like to call it ;) and served together with foamy ayran – a yogurt based beverage.

The post wouldn’t be complete if I wouldn’t mention offal. The dishes with it are really abundant in Turkey. What  a pity  that in the Western countries we seem to forget how tasty those parts can be. In my family for example we were not used to cook with offal, not even liver! And I know most of my friends had same situation in their homes when they were young. I believe that often the things you’re not exposed to in your youth are then the ones that make you feel scared or disguised. So many people will not try them by themselves once they are grownups. Luckily, I’m a curious person and though at the beginning I felt a bit weird about eating offal I always want to try new things, and once I tried I must say that if prepared well it’s delicious! It’s such a pity that offal is in many counties a very neglected food. And I don’t mean only the various flavors we miss, I just feel that by eating some offal from time to time we would decrease the amount of animals that need to be killed. Nowadays just several cuts are popular and most people cook with those. Of course the rest is never really wasted but what if instead of sending those parts to be minced for fodder we will eat it by ourselves? May seem like a minimal impact for animal welfare and environment but even such matters!

Once you’re wondering in Istanbul during the small hours you’ll be stunned by the amount of street food offered to help your grumbling belly. One of the comfort foods is a stew with sheep brains. Just next to our hotel there was a bar serving this delicacy and we could see day by day cooks patiently peeling off skull bones to fulfill the locals’ cravings. Ok, so I must admit that though I like to try offal, brain is a definite no for me – I guess it’s mostly psychological barrier, but I like to say that since I work with brains on daily basis I need to separate my professional and private life and therefore won’t eat those ;) We had instead just a delicious basic kebab wrap (note that when grilling they put flat-breads on top so that the juices will soak into them).

Ok anyway, let’s go back to what offal we actually ate in Istanbul ;) Of course we had kebabs made of liver and they were absolutely amazing! Delicate meet with a hint of sweetness, perfect. But the staple street food I want to write about is kokoreç. It is simply tripe grilled over charcoal fire, cut in tiny pieces, put inside the bun with fresh tomatoes and loads of sumac and pepper. At the beginning I was a bit skeptical as I have seen tripe being soaked at the butchers. It was grayish with bits of undigested grass, what else to say – gross. But once we took a first bite of it, we immediately stood in the queue to get a second portion ;)

Istanbul part 2

Before going back to my usual food related posts I still would like to show you several more pictures from Turkey. This post will be a bit general, while I’m still preparing one more related to amazing Turkish food.

Apart from it’s historical center, Istanbul has quite many other interesting districts. One of them is Beyoğlu and if you won’t find your way to there, you basically haven’t seen the city at all. Beyoğlu is a lively district located on European side of Istanbul. It can be called entertainment and shopping district as it bursts with restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and designer shops. Many will tell you that it is the art heart of Istanbul too. Among elegant Neoclassical and Art Nouveau buildings you’ll spot lots of small galleries and workshops. Istiklal Caddesi is a sophisticated main street running into neighbourhood from Taksim Square. Right nearby is famous Nevizade street packed with rows of historic pubs and restaurants.

Galata is a stone tower that dominates over Beyoğlu. Built as a watchtower during Genoese rule it was the city’s highest structure. It is over 65 meters high and the wall thickness is amazing 3.75m! Nowadays, this medieval landmark offers a fantastic panorama of Old Istanbul and Bosphorus.

Historical center and Beyoğlu are within walking distance from each other. To get from one place to another one has to pass a bridge that goes over a small Bosphorus bay. It wouldn’t be any particularly interesting spot, but it happens to be one of favourite fishing places. No matter if its early morning or late evening, you’ll find if just packed with people trying to get hamsi – delicious little sardines that are plentiful in Bosphorus.

One of the “must do” things in Istanbul is to take a ride along the coasts of the Bosphorus – the world’s narrowest strait used for heavy navigation that divides the city between Europe and Asia. One can say that it is only thanks to Bosphorus that Istanbul was established. As it is the only passage between the Mediterranean and Black Sea it is of huge strategic importance and therefore already the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great decided to found in this place his new capital – Constantinople. Nowadays, a bunch of ferries and hundreds of tiny fishermen’s boats traverse Bosphorus restlessly. Not to mention tens of cargo ships going through this busy tiny strait every day.

The ride was really worth it. On the way one may gaze at amazing waterfront houses and historic mansions. We were quite unfortunate though, because of the weather the visibility was low and it was bloody windy so we were mostly sitting and shivering inside the boat. I believe it can be fully appreciated only with the nice weather. Nevertheless, better to take it even in bad conditions that not at all. As in the evening the weather was improving we have decided to take another ferry and finally to go for a walk on the Asian part of Istanbul. I won’t deny it, the main point of that trip was that though we went there just for 2-3h I can now proudly say I’ve been to Asia ;)

Turkish sweets

I bet that when thinking of Turkish sweets there are three things coming to your mind: baklava, halva and turkish delights. Turks are known for their notorious sweet tooth and even me who would shuffle down my throat loads of desserts gets stuck after eating two or three of their highly syrupy pastries. But since I guess you all know those luscious baklavas, finger-licking halvas and scrumptious turkish delights, I’m not gonna write about them. I will try to show you a few other, a bit less common but nohow less delicious treats.

As much as I’m always allured by huge choice of sterile made market available sweets, I still believe that the best are those that are hand-made. They taste so much better when someone puts heart to create them. And so to get a real taste of artisan sweets we went for a visit to Altan Şekerleme. The shop is stuck in a really weird neighbourhood, where you can buy a saddle as well as sharpen your knives. Once you open the doors you feel like you’re in a time machine, like you’ve just jumped back half a century or so. You do feel like this is not just another place, but that it actually has a soul. The shop was opened in 1865 and since then is run by one family, passing the secret recipes from one generation to another. You can get here halva or turkish delights but we were tempted by the huge rock candies sitting on the countertop in lovely vintage jars. Akide, as they are called in Turkish, come in many flavors – strawberry, lemon, caramel, cocoa, mint, cinnamon and my favourite – bergamot.

I’m sure I’m showing you all the things you must have seen before, but I bet that the sweet below will stun most of you folks. Looks like a typical boring milk pudding, right? Oh, believe me, it can be called anything but boring. I guess you would never tell it’s made with chicken breast fillets, would you? ;) No, it’s not disgusting and no ,it doesn’t taste funny. You basically don’t taste the chicken at all. If no one would tell you there is chicken you would never even have a clue there might be some meat inside. You may ask so why the hell they put it there? Well, I believe it’s all about the texture. You see, when you eat it, you actually can feel tiny tiny fibers that come from chicken breasts. Apart from being unusual tavuk gögsu (cause that is the proper Turkish name of this pud) has also quite a history – it emerged as a palace dish during Ottoman times. If you’re a bit more adventurous foodie then I guess you’ve put it on your “to eat” list.

Ever heard of helva? It’s a dessert that you’ll be offered in nearly every restaurant in Turkey. It’s really good as well as simple to make, so no wonder it’s so often set on menus. Traditionally, helva signifies good fortune and was used to be made on important family events such as births or deaths as well as moving the house, graduating or getting a new job. I’m pretty sure I’ll make this dessert in near future, so if you’re curious how it is done, please keep an eye on my updates ;)

Last but not least a word about ice creams. In Turkey (as anywhere else in the world) you’ll get dozens of delicious ice cream flavours, but it’s a particular one that is unique and worth to walk your feet off to find. It’s famous Maras’ chewy ice cream. Yup CHEWY, that’s not a typo. The slightly chewy consistency comes from a pine-scented tree gum called mastic. It’s widely used in Turkey and Greece to flavor puddings, some bread doughs and raki. You will find it on bazaar stalls in form of crystals, that must be pulverized prior to their use. Additional thickening factor used in chewy ice cream, is another peculiar, typically Turkish product. Salep is a ground wild orchid root that apart from flavour and thickness gives the ice cream its typical pearly white colour. While wondering on Istanbul’s old city narrow streets, you’re sure at some point to bump onto an ice cream show. It takes one metal paddle, one vat cooling down the ice cream mass and one vigorous Turk to make your jaw fall down in amazement on how chewy the chewy ice creams can really be.

Istanbul

I guess I’ve already said I had great holidays, didn’t I ;) ? I must admit I was truly mesmerised with Istanbul’s beauty. This city has it all – outstanding history, precious monuments yet vibrancy and soul of ever young metropolis. I would like to share some of my memories with you. So let me take you on a short walk around the Old Istanbul’s fabulous district – Sultanahmet (on the picture above you can see Aya Sofya on the left and Blue Mosque on the right – two outstanding creations that make the skyline of Istanbul so impressive).

Probably the most known monument of Old Istanbul is Aya Sofya. It is truly magnificent. I was honestly stunned by its colossal dome that is said to be the greatest of all. It is supported by 40 massive ribs that were constructed of especially made hollow bricks to lighten the construction. Since the completion in 537 it remained the greatest church in Christendom until it was converted into mosque in 1453 and further on into a museum in 1935. Apart from glorious dome Aya Sofya houses impressive mosaics of Christ, Madonna and archangels as well as the scene where Constantine the Great offers Mary who holds the Christ child, the city of Constantinopole.

Blue Mosque was built by Sultan Ahmet in the beginning of 17th century. Set opposite Aya Sofya it was supposed to rival in it’s exquisiteness. It’s not only the exterior grandeur to be admired. The interior is covered with tens of thousands of blue tiles (hence the name) and the light goes to the central prayer space through 260 stained-glass windows.

Another treasure of Sultanahmet is hidden underground. It’s the basilica cistern – enormous water storage of 140m length and 70m width with 4.8m thick walls, built by Byzantine emperor Justinianus. It has an amazing capacity of 100 000 tons water storage. This magnificent structure stuns in yet another way. The ceiling gravity is distributed to 336 columns in Corinthian and Doric style that are grouped in symmetric, seemingly endless rows.

Last, but not least one must mention splendid Topkapi Palace that was a home of sultans till mid 19th century. The palace is based on four court plan starting from the quarters that were available to every citizen and finishing on private monarch’s apartments. Not surprisingly, the most interesting part is visiting imperial family quarters so called Harem.

Islamic law allows the sultan to have four wives, but doesn’t regulate anyhow the amount of concubines (and some of the sultans were said to have over 300 of them!). Lonely Planet guide says: “The women of Topkapi’s harem had to be foreigners as Islam forbade enslaving Muslims, Christians or Jews. Girls, too, were bought as slaves or were received as gifts from nobles and potentates. On entering the harem, the girls would be schooled in Islam and Turkish culture and language, as well as the arts of make-up, dress, comportment, music, reading and writing, embroidery and dancing. They then entered a meritocracy, first as ladies-in-waiting to the sultan’s concubines and children, then to the sultan’s mother and finally if they were the best, to the sultan himself”.

As the Ottoman dynasty didn’t observe primogeniture any imperial son was able to inherit the throne, therefore each lady struggled to have her son proclaimed to the throne, what was resulting in numerous murders. Apart from Harem, Topkapi palace offers some other intriguing sights. Particularly worth of mentioning is the Treasury, where one can admire the 5th largest diamond in the world as well as Sacred Safekeeping Rooms that contain a hair of Prophet Mohammed’s beard, his footprint and sword as well as Moses wand, which he used to divide the waters of Red Sea amongst other peculiarities.

So this is it, I hope you enjoyed the post as well as I hope I left you hungry for more pics, cause I still have some stashed from other Istanbul’s districts ;)

Chernobyl

I’ve decided to write this post after reading Leave Me Here recent entry. We were visiting Chernobyl and the Pripyat ghost town in late July 2009 and it was a truly moving time travel into the Soviet deceptive world. I believe all of you know more or less the story of what happened on the 26 April 1986 and I hope you realise as well how many lives has been lost in that accident and in following years due to radiation. Anyway, I don’t really want to write again about that tragedy, I just want to write about how easily we forget about such stories.

Nowadays media are bombarding us with hundreds of news. Let’s make it more correct – BAD NEWS. Well, I understand it in a way, the catastrophes and tragedies sell the best. No one is really interested that Anna X gave birth to a baby boy and became the most happy person in the world (as thousands of other women the same day) or that Frank Y has won the battle with his colon cancer. No, we want to hear about the bad things happening. Or at least our nature makes them sound much more interesting. And so yesterday was Haiti, today is Chile, tomorrow will be some other great tragedy. Yeah, you may say, what’s the big deal, you don’t like how the news are presented so just don’t listen to them and stop complaining. Well, this is not the point. What I’m trying to say is that will you remember about those disasters in let’s say 1,5 years? I bet you won’t, unless you were personally affected by them. And so this is the point of my moaning. By constant listening about calamities not only we become less sensitive to people’s tragedies but most importantly we tend to forget about them as soon as they disappear from the newspapers’ headlines. In a sence that is how it is supposed to be. The buildings will be rebuilt, the economies will stand again on their feet and the dead will be worshiped in the hearts of their relatives and friends. There are too many things happening now to stay all the time embraced by the past. Nevertheless, some catastrophes shall not be forgotten.

Chernobyl is one of those disasters that we should always remember about. And it it not only because it’s a great lesson for the future to be more aware of the nuclear energy risks . The important thing is that Chernobyl disaster is not over at all! Yup, there is nothing new in the statement that the radioactivity has a very long half life and basically nearly all of the radioactive dust that has fallen on Europe in the mid 80’s is still here, still dangerous just usually covered by new layers of soil, juicy green grass, concrete where houses for happy young families were built. But it’s there and worst of all it’s still radioactive and still will be for hundreds to thousands of years. And I have some more bad news for you – there is far greater danger ahead of us than the residues of radioactive cloud, and unfortunately nearly no one talks about it.

To understand what we really should be aware as well as scared of you need to make a small exercise and scroll up to have a look at the first picture again. What you can see on the bottom right is the 4th reactor, the one that exploded. More accurately you’re looking at it’s sarcophagus, built to seal up all the mess. Now have a closer look at the picture on the left – that’s a close up of that concrete-metal can. The sarcophagus was built in a hurry, most of the job was done by remotely controlled machines and so the construction was not done with a proper precision. Now, after 20 years it is full of cracks and it’s literally eaten by corrosion. Imagine what happens when it’s raining or snowing – the water comes in creating a radioactive soup. And what comes in must come out…. And no I’m not joking, it really is leaking! So how much of radioactive waste is left inside the sarcophagus? Well… imagine that what actually escaped as a radioactive cloud is only roughly 3% of what is still inside! So now you know… The power plant is situated just next to Dniepro river, Dniepro falls into the Black Sea, the Black Sea is connected to Mediterranean one and that one goes to Atlantic Ocean. Yes…. this is pretty terrifying vision, well actually it’s not just a vision, it is happening now, and no one really talks about it!

It wouldn’t be fair to say that completely nothing has been done about this situation. Right after the completion of the sarcophagus it was decided that a second one should be built as soon as possible. It was even then obvious that the construction is pretty fragile and absolutely inappropriate to seal the radiation inside for a long period of time. Since all the Europe was affected by the radiation, all the countries were interested to help to tame the ecological disaster. And so if I remember correctly over 20 billion of euros was collected at that time and donated to plan and build the second sarcophagus. The plans were that it will be finalised in 2009. But those were only plans. What has happened is that the money (as often happened in Soviet Union) somehow disappeared. The second sarcophagus has never been built, moreover there is not even a ready plan how and from what kind of materials it should be constructed.

The truth is that nearly everyone has forgotten about it. Chernobyl is passe, it’s not interesting anymore. And so the public opinion is not informed about the dangers, we are not reminded that there is still the heck lots of radioactive materials inside the sarcophagus, we are not told it’s escaping from there and contaminating the surroundings. Hence, no public pressure to do something with it and obviously politicians are not interested to pump billions of euros to seal it up again. But believe me, those billions that’s still a cheap price in comparison to how much we will pay once it all spills out.

What I realised after reading Leave Me Here post, is that after half a year I have also kind of  forgotten about it. I came back from holidays, rushed into everyday matters, put the pictures in the folder and….. that’s it. Total indifference from my side. So I decided to write about it at least now. Even if just several people will read this post, at least I know I’ve tried to tell an important story. And hopefully, you will tell it to several more people.

For those who would like to learn a bit more about the Chernobyl tragedy I really recommend to watch “The battle of Chernobyl”. It’s one of the best documentaries I’ve watched about that disaster and you can see it for free online.