Archive for the ‘Travel Writing’ Category

Photos from London, Istria and Croatia

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We’ve gotten a lot of requests to see some photos from our vacation. Herein, we oblige.

Thanks to all our online friends for continuing to support us when we were away.

This time my wife and I took less photos than trips prior, probably because we are taking more time to enjoy ourselves and have a more discerning eye for images.

So……here’s what we were up to for 12 debt-free days.

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation!!

 

London Olympics

We arrived in London off a red-eye nonstop from Chicago. Countdown to the Opening Ceremony in Trafalger Square.

 

 

The weather was a bit milder than what we left back home (105 degrees, no rain for months).

 

 

If you are in Istria, it must be time to eat.

 

 

Getting lost in the back streets of Vodnjan, in search of the mummies at St. Blaise.

 

 

After getting kicked out of St. Blaise’s church because SOMEONE didn’t have their shoulders covered, we decided to go to the friendlier confines of Motovun.

 

 

Yes, I quite like the view from Motovun. Totally worth the 30 minute hike up a mountain in the blazing sun.

 

 

So many interesting doors in Istria. Don’t you want to know what’s behind it?

 

 

My view of the Mirna River valley from Humska Konoba in Hum, the smallest town in the world. The meal was superb.

 

 

After Hum we crossed Mt. Ucka (actually went through her via a 16,000 foot long tunnel). Now we are above Rijeka in Kastav for pizza and beers.

 

 

From the darkness, into the light at Medveja.

 

 

Enjoying a full moon over Trsat with my beautiful wife.

 

 

The view from the Frankopan castle in Krk, on the island of Krk.

 

 

You shitting me? I gotta cross this expanse in a tiny Hyundai hatchback to get to the beach?

 

 

Okay, the drive was worth it. (Baska, Croatia).

 

 

Enjoying some drinks at Mošćenička Draga.

 

 

I almost forgot about the sky. The only clouds we saw, but they were the most beautiful.

 

 

Hey, ho, what’s this? We must be back in London for another day.

 

 

One last walk to one last strange bed, before one more flight before just one more until we are…almost home.

 

 

 

Make Your Travel Photography Magazine Quality

I used to be a travel photography purist. The way I took the photo was the way it was going to stay. I didn’t have Photoshop or formal graphic design skills, so I thought I was stuck with what the camera captured. I was okay with it.

travel photography

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I Bought a Tablet (Which Makes Me a Jerk)

So I finally broke down and bought a tablet computer, which officially makes me a jerk.

tablet

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The Best Travel Tip I Ever Learned

Best Budget Travel Tip

The following is a guest post from Simple Island Living, as part of the Yakezie Blog Swap. I wrote a post on the same topic at Simple Island Living, so make sure you head over there after reading this to see my post.

I am a huge foodie. My husband and I love food and wine almost more than anything else. The money problem we run into when traveling, therefore, is how not to blow everything on food. And as everyone knows, traveling and eating is a pricy endeavor – even for people who don’t like eating at $100/plate restaurants. For instance…

A family of 4 goes to Jack in the Box. Everyone gets a value meal – at a whopping $7 per person after taxes. That means that they spent $28 for 4 greasy burgers, 4 overcooked fries, and 4 large sugary sodas. Ouch.

Which leads us to the best budget traveling tip I’ve ever learned:

Don’t be scared of the words “fine dining.” Going to a chain restaurant, or a non-fine dining restaurant doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be saving money.

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Otok Brać – Vacation from Vacation

The phylloxera swept across the terraced hills of Otok Brać – Island of Brać – in the early 1900s, invading the soil.  Native to North America, the tiny yellow aphids traveled across the sea to Europe in the late 1800s, feeding on vino roots and spreading their wine death like an infestation of involuntary Prohibition.  The people on the island of Brać did not see it coming, and the families stood in awe and despair at the expanse of useless vineyards left in its wake.

And the families began to splinter.  Some sought refuge on the mainland of the Dalmatian coast; some found their way to the university in Zagreb, while many began to feed the Croatian diasporas in South America, the United States and Australia. Those that stayed planted more olive trees, knowing that it would be 50 years before they would bear fruit, and that the hard work might mean a better future for those generations to come. The old olive trees watched, some for hundreds of years or more,  and continued to put forth. 
The terra rossa soil held them close, and it was the color of blood.

 

My wife and I arrived on Brać via a car ferry from the ancient city of Split.  The third largest island in Croatia, Brać is within sight of the mainland, but hundreds of years ago, that distance was enough to insulate the people from the outside world.  The island is small, only 396 square kilometers, and the pirates who roamed the seas drove the people away from the stone beaches into the hills of the island, where they built beautiful churches and campaniles.  As our ferry came upon Supetar, or Sveti Petar (St. Peter), I felt like an invader must have felt as he came upon the small island.

The first things you notice about Brać are the stones…piles of stones everywhere.  Fences made from stone; terraces made from stone.  For hundreds of years the people pulled them from the karst to expose the soil necessary for grapes and olive trees.  The men dug and the women stacked.  And sometimes the stones were formed into bunjas, round huts built in the fields to provide shelter from the fast moving rainstorms and the oppressive sun.

Even if you know nothing of Brać, you probably have still seen its stone.  If you have looked at a photograph of the White House in Washington, D.C., you have seen the marble that is cut from the island’s bowels.  The stone is prized, yet the bits that protruded from the earth must have been the bane of the olden farmers of Brać.  It is hard to imagine that the millions of stones and millions of hours spent removing and stacking them…

 

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