Compartment with the conductor's hat as I traveled from Zagreb to Sarajevo by Train

Zagreb to Sarajevo by Train

My compartment in the last car of the three car train, smelled of old cigarette smoke. The curtains on the windows were that special shade of yellowish-brown that is only attained through years of sun-bleach and cigarette smoke. I chose a seat by the window and settled in.  The seats in my compartment were blue and stained with a random pattern of black ash streaks. The head-rests were blue too – all except for the[…]

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The National Theater - Zagreb, Croatia

Photogallery: Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, the capital city of the Republic of Croatia and Croatia’s largest city (at just under 1 million people) teems with life, vibrance, and a kind of modern grit that can only be found in the largest of the post-communist era cities.  Graffiti litters walls indiscriminately; old and new, sound and crumbling all bear the colorful markings of urban youth. Ancient trams ply the city’s tracks under magestic, if a bit uniform cream colored stucco[…]

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A Balkans Bucket-List for the New Year

From Greece to Serbia, Slovenia to Albania, I’ve come to understand that the countries that make up the Balkan Peninsula offer exceptional scenery, great food, a complex and fascinating history, and wonderfully hospitable people. As I look forward to the coming year, here is my Balkans Bucket-List for 2015 (in the arbitrarily chosen order of South to North). My 2015 Balkan Bucket-List 1. Hike the Vikos Gorge (Greece) Some Polish travelers who stayed with me[…]

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The Town Hall Christmas Tree, decorated with painted cups and bottles in Ljubljana Slovenia

How do you say Merry Christmas?

Merry Christmas from the road! I am spending Christmas in beautiful Zagreb as I travel down the Balkan peninsula back to Tirana. Here’s how the different Balkan countries say Merry Christmas: in Albanian: Gëzuar Krishtlindjet In Bosnian: Cestit Bozic in Bulgarian: Весела Коледа (Vesela Koleda) In Croatian: Sretan Božić in Macedonian: Среќен Божик (sreken Bozheek) or Христос се роди! (Hristoc se rodi!) – Christ is born. In Montenegrin: (Hristos se rodi) – Christ is Born, although[…]

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Birdseye view of visitors walking the streets of Dubrovnik

Down the Eastern Adriatic: Photogallery

When my mother and I set out on our journey from Ljubljana to Tirana, we had only an outline of a plan: follow the Eastern Adriatic coastline, travel by public transit, and have fun. It took us seven days to travel over 1000 kilometers – all by bus.  We stopped in Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, and Kotor, and enjoyed every second of the Journey.  Here is the Eastern Adriatic Photogallery. Down the Eastern Adriatic Day[…]

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Dubrovnik Cathedral surrounded by a sea of red roofs

Reflections on Dubrovnik (and on finding art in hidden corners)

 Reflections on Dubrovnik… I have lots of words to describe Dubrovnik, Croatia – not all of them are good. Dubrovnik is, of course, photogenic and beautiful, a majestic city from an older, more durable, and more beautiful world. Dubrovnik is everything every traveler dreams of, but it is also lifeless, soulless, heartless, and dead. To be fair to Dubrovnik, people like me made it the way it is. While official sources list the number of[…]

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Dubrovnik, Croatia as seen from St. Lawrence Fortress

Down the Eastern Adriatic: Dubrovnik

Part IV: Split to Dubrovnik Our bus left Split at 8:00 in the morning. Once more, we followed the smaller, coastal road. The day was overcast and the bright summer sun cast silver patches of light onto the waves through breaks in the clouds. The little road wound along a never-ending string of limestone hills and mountains. About an hour and a half down the coast, the bus stopped for a short break. Fifteen minutes[…]

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