Thursday, December 20, 2012

Xmas in Paris, IV

OK, technically not Paris.  This is inside Reims cathedral.  But it was during my trip to Paris over the hols.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Xmas in Paris, III

I had never been to the roof of Galeries Lafayette.  I plan to go many times - the views are stunning.

Here is a photo from one foggy morning.

Xmas in Paris, II

The Pantheon, in the 5th arrondissement.  My favorite hotel, Hotel des Grands Hommes, is directly across the street.  On this day there was a huge, loud demonstration going on - directly behind me as I took this picture.  Looks pretty tranquil here though, huh?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas!

Everywhere you go...

The next several posts will be photos from Paris.  I love Paris at Christmas time!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Good timing!

I have slipped a little this weekend on posting of photos.  In case my fellow hikers were wondering if I took pictures of just about EVERYTHING, here is proof...  I took my camera to the water with me, sat in the surf and let the waves wash over my legs...  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Walking around Split

More randomness!  Our Backroads tour ended in Split so I was alone at this point.  On my last full day in Croatia I decided to walk up the Marjan Hill.  What beautiful views!  There is a fortress of sorts at the very top which had views over the Adriatic and the nearby islands.  There was also a 13th century church which was closed up - I've no idea if it is open on certain days.  It was tiny-tiny.

I also saw a Dalmatian - the only one on I saw on the whole trip.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Hiking on Hvar Island

Good morning!

My planned "one photo per day" on this blog is turning into a morning story telling.  Oops.  By the time I finally finish sorting the photos to share with the group, I will have shown most of them here!

A few weeks ago in Croatia we hiked part of the coastline of Hvar Island.  Such blue clear waters - just like all the other places we visited that week.  Our walk ended at a fabulous outdoor lunch, perhaps the best of the whole trip.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Peljesac Peninsula hike

Good morning!  Today's photos are a few from the day of our hike on the Peljesac Peninsula. 

We had lunch with a view overlooking Korcula, and on our hike passed a number of abandoned houses and churches (although the graveyards were still being tended).

We even saw a massive yacht with its own helicopter pad (complete with helicopter).  Maybe he got lost looking for the Riviera?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Pucisca

This morning I have five photos to show you.  On our last full day of the trip we stayed in Pucisca, on Brac Island.  We stayed in a beautiful 15th century castle which was right on the harbor.  These are a few photos from my wander around town, as well as a few taken from my balcony in my room.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Architecture

I loved the architectural details I saw in Dubrovnik.  There were clearly some Venetian influences, and the red rooftops instantly signify Dubrovnik.  Not sure what influenced the dome below, does anyone know?

The first one below is Sponza Palace.  I am not sure what the second one is, but I was standing in the same spot.  Perhaps part of Church of St. Blaise?

Finally, another view of the rooftops.  Air conditioning units, satellite dishes, attic dormer windows, laundry flapping in the breeze...  some things old, some things new. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Some more of the boat!

More random photos - nothing has been in chron order so far.

These below were taken the day we "met" Bozidar and sailed to Hvar.  We had a dinghy ride over to where she was anchored and then we swam for a little bit, in order to replace our sweat-salt with sea-salt on our bodies.  At least we cooled down though.  No swimming photos, alas, as I was one of the swimmers. 

En route, there was quite a bit of excitement when we realized we were being paced by dolphins!  How cool is that!  Definitely rates as a highlight.  They shimmied along side us for a while - and we had to have been going 20 miles an hour I'd say.  Maybe more.  How fun!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Back at the Buza Bar

Good morning!  Here we have some photos of our cocktail hour at the Buza Bar.  This was our first evening together and Backroads picked a prime spot for good views!

Buza means "hole" and to find these lovely bars (I and II) you have to walk along the inner walls, near the top, and look for the hole in the wall.  One of them, at least, has a sign pointing to the hole that says "Cold Drinks". 

Step through the buzas and enter another world.  Both bars cling to the cliff and the tables and chairs are settled into whatever flat pieces of rock are found.  The menu is pretty simple:  beers and wines, some fruit juices.  I think you could get chips too (meaning, not french fries). 

You can't see in the photos here, but both bars are also popular swimming spots.  Directly behind me is the Adriatic.  Don't back up!

They are in larger format this morning, so if you cannot see them on your screen, click on each and they should show the whole photo.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. View from the fortress near sunset

More photos from our visit to Hvar (pronounced, roughly, Var - no H).

In the late afternoon after our beautiful morning hike, I decided to wander up to the top of the hill and have a look from the fortress.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Arrival in Hvar

Hvar is apparently a celebrity haven.  Reachable only by boat, it must be more secluded than most places (cruise ships notwithstanding).  We didn't see any celebrities but apparently other guests have seen Beyonce or Charlize Theron.  I believe Beyonce and Jay-Zee named their baby girl after a flower found on Hvar, Blue Ivy.

Hvar is also famous for its lavender.  We are well past the purple lavender season, but we did visit a lady who cultivated lavender and we bought some oils and sachets.

Enjoy a few photos of our arrival.  There will be more forthcoming from our hike.  The second one is of the Spanish Fortress overlooking the town.  It was built in the 16th century and replaced one built by the Venetians in the 13th century.

I added a photo of the BLUE BLUE waters of the harbor in Hvar - part of the Adriatic Ocean.  This is the harbor, not a swimming pool.  Yes, it is that clear and that blue. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Dubrovnik Crowds

Here are a few photos of how crowded the Stari Grad (old town) of Dubrovnik can get - and remember this was September - after school had resumed!

In the first, I am in the thick of the action.  In the second, I am on the wall looking down. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Rooftops in Dubrovnik

We are back in Dubrovnik again.  This was not taken from the wall, it was taken from the rooftop terrace at my hotel, the Stari Grad (four stars, for anyone considering staying there). 
My hotel was inside the walls and I didn't realize until the taxi dumped me at the gate that it meant "walk your own bags through the crowds to your hotel, once you find it that is".  Had I been alert I would have asked the hotel to have a porter meet me.
At any rate, once I cleaned up I checked out the terrace and the lovely views.  Can you see the cruise ship?  I have a better photo which I will post tomorrow.  It appears that the top of the ship is as tall as the top of the walls.  Scary indeed. 


Oh, what the heck, I'll add the photo today.  Check it out.  That cruise ship looks like it's taller than the wall on that side!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Some of the hiking gang

Good morning!  Here we have a few of our hikers, having a rest on a bench amidst pretty flowers. 

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