Okay, so this is going to out me, as if it wasn’t too late, but I used to love the album “Liza with a Z,” a recording of the TV special of the same name, which was in turn a film of a live concert performance. It was directed by Bob Fosse, who won a Emmy.
It included a song called “Ring Them Bells.” Take a moment to watch and listen. I won’t go anywhere.
The first time I heard that song, I decided I’d go to Dubrovnik one day. And now I’m here. Though I didn’t meet my Norm Saperstein, and tomorrow I am leaving.
That’s okay, I’ve already met my next door neighbors. And I’ll pass.
But for some reason, that song made me think of Dubrovnik as this exotic place, and I longed to visit it one day. And now, here I am!
Continue reading “Ring Them Bells”
I went to Montenegro today. It was really lovely.
But I went the wrong way, and it turned out to be the biggest disappointment of my entire trip.
Continue reading “Wrong way to Montenegro”
It’s hard to believe at this time yesterday I was sitting on my balcony in Korčula savoring my last moments in paradise before getting on a boat for the two-hour cruise south to Dubrovnik. Now here I am, sitting in my very comfortable and very modernly renovated apartment, overlooking the old port of Dubrovnik and the city walls, with Mount Srđ rising dramatically up to the Napoleonic fort at its summit.
I wouldn’t say I’m still in paradise. When I arrived in Dubrovnik a little past noon yesterday, I was struck by its dramatic Baroque architecture (most of Dubrovnik’s older buildings were destroyed in a 1667 earthquake) and its throngs of sun-drenched tourists licking ice cream cones. I’ve seen plenty of tourists elsewhere on this trip (see Rovinj, Mostar, Split, and Hvar), but Dubrovnik brings it to a whole new level. And it’s still shoulder season. It was hot enough and crowded enough for me, thank you very much. I can’t imagine why anyone comes here in July and August, which is when everyone comes here.
Between the tourists I think I found the beauty of this city.
Continue reading “But where’s the pearl?”
Who would think a day in a place as serene and lovely and idyllic as Korčula would also wear me out so completely?
It’s strange, because I didn’t do anything other than wander around. I even took a nap in the middle of the day. And tonight I didn’t even have the energy to go out to dinner.
Continue reading “Of course you love Korčula”
Imagine you’re on a Mediterranean island. You’re sitting on a third-story balcony. In front of you, not ten meters away, the clear blue waters of the Adriatic reach 500 meters to a rugged mountain landscape, a few red-roofed houses clinging to the shore just below the cliffs. A cooling sea breeze is a perfect antidote to the already warm rays of the morning sun. Palm trees line the path along the water in both directions. The sound of the water lapping against the shore is punctuated by the squawking of seagulls and, every fifteen minutes, the clanging of bells from nearby church steeples.
You’re imagining being me right now.
So, okay, I’ll say a little about yesterday, but then I want to get back to enjoying my second paradise in a row.
Continue reading “Paradise Found, Lost, and Regained”
This was one of those days that everyone else calls “vacation.” I call it “nothing to do.” But that’s okay. This is a beautiful place to do nothing.
I simply wandered around most of the day. I sat and watched people. I gazed at the brilliant turquoise water. I sat at a cafe and had a cappuccino. I bought groceries and sat on my balcony and ate breakfast and lunch and dinner with that great view overlooking the town of Hvar. I took a nap in the afternoon. I read a little. I wandered some more.
Continue reading “Less seeing, more being”
While I was waiting in line to board the catamaran to Hvar (along with, it seemed, every other American in Split), someone standing nearby send to his companions, “We’re splitting Split.” No one laughed, and I said to him, “I bet that’s the first time anyone’s ever told that joke.” Everyone laughed.
Well I went to Split, and then I split Split and came to paradise. And nobody’s laughing. Just sighing contentedly.
Continue reading “Split and found paradise”
Before I proceed with my regular daily blog post, I want to make a special appeal for those who aren’t on Facebook and didn’t see my appeal there.
As you know, I just spent three days in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it was raining and the Miljacka River was threatening to overflow in some parts of the city. While Sarajevo was spared, many other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina were severely affected by flooding.
I don’t know how much of this has been covered by US media, but it is a terrible situation, and local resources to aid those in need are very scarce.
I connected with many people in Bosnia and will cherish the connections I made there for the rest of my life. These are warm, kind, friendly people, and we in the United States let them down in a big way once before.
If you are enjoying hearing about my travels, please help. Amir sent me links to two web sites where you can learn more about the situation and make a small donation.
Bosnia flooding fund 2014 at GoFundMe.com
Just a Dollar Flood Relief (and while you’re visiting this site, be sure to click on the Home link to learn more about poverty in BiH)
Continue reading “A town so cute I just wanna give it a hug”
Today I remembered why I love to travel. It’s not to see a famous and beautiful bridge and walk the cobbled streets of an “Old Town.” It’s not to buy the same tacky, made-in-China souvenirs that are sold in shop after shop. It’s not even to eat the local food (although that’s pretty important) or to see beautiful scenery (although that’s definitely important too).
Yes, I took pictures of the bridge. In daytime and after dark.
Continue reading “What bridge?”
My first impressions of Sarajevo, arriving in pouring rain and heavy traffic two nights ago after a long day of driving, were not so good. The city seemed dank and crowded and not ready for prime time.
Even yesterday, after that wonderful day spent with Amir, I was more enamored of the stories than of the city. Perhaps it was the rain, being cold and wet all day.
But today I just let myself wander and explore, with no agenda except the tour I took to the tunnel museum and the concert this evening by the Sarajevo Philharmonic at the National Theatre (more about those later). And I’m starting to fall in love with this city. Even in the rain and the cold, even with the traffic, Sarajevo, it turns out, is a stunning city of beautiful people, varied and interesting architecture, a rich mixture of cultures, a lovely setting surrounded on all sides by hills, and a strong sense of history.
Continue reading “Sarajevo is a sly seductress”