A Travellerspoint blog

Germans in Sarajevo

Angus: "you mean I can't be part of this conversation??"

sunny 28 °C

Nils just finished speaking German for the past 2 hours to an engineer staying at our hostel in Sarajevo. Max and Angus are totally impressed!! Stay tuned for more on Sarajevo.

Posted by clarkesabroad 13:55 Archived in Bosnia And Herzegovina Comments (0)

Mostar :

and how do you spell Bosnia-Herzegovina?

sunny 30 °C

Mostar sightseeing

Mostar sightseeing

Bridge jumper in Mostar

Bridge jumper in Mostar

Shore of the Neretva River

Shore of the Neretva River

We left Korcula and enjoyed a private Peljsac Peninsula Tour. We had bought one way bus tickets to Mostar but when we got off the boat on the mainland across from Korcula, we were met by our exclusive chauffeur, Zirko. He owns Korcula Travel and had some business in Mostar so he drove us there. His English is very good and he is keen about Croatian politics so there was lots to talk about. The peninsula is rugged and the views from the mountain road were spectacular. It reminded us of Dead Horse Gulch on the approach to Skagway. We passed through the town of Ston, the location of the "Great Wall of Croatia", second only to the Great Wall of China...a very distant second at 5.5 kms. Grapes grow very well in this area so there are quite a number of wineries along this road as well.

Upon arrival in Mostar, we discovered that our motel was short on the "mo" as our fearless driver Zirko circled the Old Town several times looking for Motel Emen. In the end, we got out and walked over cobblestones through a busy market until we saw the sign. The mo/hotel was new and the room quite like an Ikea showroom with lots of light wood and a pristine bathroom. It was a very short walk to the Old Bridge which is the first place that we visited. There were several young men there teasing tourists by standing outside the railing of the bridge and looking like they were just about to jump into the cold Neretva River....they just needed the right amount of money. It was over 40 minutes of starting and stopping until finally, a young man in baggy red shorts took the plunge. Angus jumped twice from the shore in his baggy brown shorts....and no one gave him a cent! The next evening, we all went swimming and the feeling of floating down the river was great. I took the Louis Kedziora approach to water entry and didn't even put my toe in first. I was very thankful for my cold water swimming training at Long Lake this year.

Mostar is a city with several mosques and Catholic church spires doting the skyline. We took a tour of one of the mosques and climbed to the top of the minaret for an amazing view of the city. The Old Bridge, was frequently hit by artillery in the early 1990s and finally totally destroyed. It was rebuilt using the same technology that was used by the Ottomans 450 years ago. The handcarved stones that were used are smooth and slippery...in fact, during one crossing, Max slipped and almost flung our groceries over the side into the water below. We were quite a sight when we made our final crossing on our way out of town - Nils and I carrying the large bag on wheels which was useless on the stone walkways in the Old Town and the boys bent over with all the rest of the backpacks. On to Sarajevo..

Posted by clarkesabroad 13:19 Archived in Croatia Tagged bridges swimming mostar Comments (0)

Korcula, Croatia

Getting comfortable with island living

sunny 30 °C

Diocletian's sewage system

Diocletian's sewage system

Angus getting some luck from Bishop Gregory's toe

Angus getting some luck from Bishop Gregory's toe

Eating out in Korcula

Eating out in Korcula

Wee Angus is now 11 years old having had a wonderful birthday in Croatia! We celebrated with a boat trip to Krka National Park where we swam near waterfalls and walked under cool forest canopies. In the evening, our neighbors from Whitehorse came by for dinner and ice cream. We sat out under the stars on our large balcony, commenting on how nice it was to be wearing shorts and tank tops in the evening in September..an experience not likely to be replicated on any of Angus' future Whitehorse birthdays.

We left Primosten and traveled to Split. We spent the afternoon exploring the palace of Diocletian, a Roman emperor who was born near Split and came back there in his retirement. The basement of the palace is amazingly still largely intact and even cooler is that much of the Old Town of Split was built around the palace creating a maze of cobbled walkways to explore.

From Split, we took a catamaran to Korcula Island where we have an apartment up in the hill with a balcony looking over the ocean. We have had almost every meal out there except when the kids complain that it is too hot. The weather has been amazing since we started this Croatian adventure...we have seen very few clouds and we retreat for a siesta each afternoon to escape the heat. We are swimming a couple of times a day and the boys (the three of them) are loving the snorkeling. Marco Polo was born here in Korcula so the town makes much of that fact with a number of restaurants and ice cream stands named for him. So far our language acquisition consists of pivot (beer), kava (coffee), and hvah la (thank you).

In the next day or so we will be leaving this island paradise and heading to Mostar and Sarajevo..a short break from the coast before we return to Dubrovnik.

Posted by clarkesabroad 01:20 Archived in Croatia Tagged swimming korcula Comments (2)

Pictures

trying to work it out

sunny 28 °C

Still getting the hang of uploading pics using the iPad...here are 2 more attempts!

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Posted by clarkesabroad 20:51 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Swimming in the Adriatic

"hey Mum... this is warmer than Long Lake."

sunny 35 °C

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After four days of close to 40 degrees in Zagreb, we took a pleasant bus ride to Primosten on the Dalmation Coast. Our apartment is large, airy, and close to the beach. After a coffee in a cafe overlooking the harbor, we headed out for a swim and the boys were thrilled with the temperature...as was I! The beach is rocky but more comfortable to sit on then we expected and the water is as blue as the pictures.

Despite the heat, we enjoyed our time in the capital. We stayed near the British Square, which is an enjoyable 15 minute walk from the main square. To beat the heat, we went to the local swimming pool and admired the evocative Tito era architecture for the people. One interesting design feature of some of the tiles surrounding the various pools was that they were significant heat attractors. This made it virtually impossible to sit or lie down.

We enjoyed our walk around the Upper Town where we visited the very poignant Museum of Broken Relationships...I am hoping to borrow the idea to open one in Whitehorse. Basically you ask people for donations of objects from their past relationships and have them write up a little blurb. Some were funny like the frisbee "so if my boyfriend ever darkened the door of a cultural institution, which would be a first in his life, he would know immediately that this was about him and dumb gift that he gave me on our 2nd anniversary", many contributors were mad, and lots of the items were sad, like the letter written by a 13 yr old Serbian boy to give to a girl that he meet while fleeing his home during the war. She left before he had a chance to give it to her.

Max and Nils also went to the Museum of Naive Art. This is a renowned school of untrained (primitive) artists. It is an ecclectic collection of primarily stylized Croatian folk scenes. The presentation of the characters is expressionistic and the colour choices border on psychedelic. Max felt that a number of them would make perfect Metal band covers. He suggests that you look up Ivan Vecenaj's masterpiece, "Evangelists on Calvary" on Google.

We are off to swim now and enjoy this beach town.

Posted by clarkesabroad 04:54 Archived in Croatia Tagged water swimming zagreb Comments (2)

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