Monday, 28 December 2009

Going to Macedonia for the holidays


Finally it is time to travel somewhere again. This time the destination is Macedonia and considering my travel companions, the trip is definitely going to be an interesting adventure.


We are taking a train from Ljubljana (Slovenia) via Belgrade (Serbia) to Skopje (Macedonia) which is going to take no less then 19 hours. We are planning to spend a few days in the capital of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (or FYROM) as it used to be referred to due to a naming dispute with Greece.

EDIT: I have been reminded by one of my readers that now the official name of the country is Republic of Macedonia.


The main plan is to check out the city of Skopje, try some local food and drinks, and generally have a great time. We will have four days to explore the city and maybe also take a day trip somewhere else - I think Ohrid is one of the more obvious choices. Let us just wait and see.


Unfortunately you will probably have to wait for the report until I return. I guess it is going to be a whole new year by then.

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Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Flowers on a window


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Monday, 21 December 2009

The hidden beach of Lubenice


It might have been snowing here in Slovenia for the last week or so, but I just have to finish my short series of posts about a trip to the Croatian island of Cres a couple of months ago. As I mentioned a few posts back, Lubenice is a village well worth a visit if you happen to find yourself on the island.


St. John (Sveti Ivan) beach bellow the village of Lubenice on the island of Cres is one of the loveliest hidden beaches in Croatia. It is not easily accessible from land - the descent from the village 378 meters above takes 45 minutes and the climb back even a bit more. The little bay can be approached only from two directions - one is a steep, narrow path we took and for the other you need a boat.


When we were still at the top, in the Lubenice village, we thought about not doing the whole thing at all. Dark clouds were starting to role in from the sea. We figured the worst thing that could happen would be some kind of a thunderstorm. Since we were going to get wet in the sea anyway, we decided to go down the path.


The path offered great views of the village above and also the idyllic beach below.
We went by a sports climbing area which was also chosen by an eagle family as a nesting place. An eagle cry could be heard every now and then.
When we were half way down, we saw a lightning which was followed by a loud thunder. Shortly afterwards it started raining heavily. The narrow path momentarily turned into a soil coloured stream. For a few moments we tried to take cover under some bushes, but all we got from doing that were dozens of scratches. As we learned a bit too late, the bush was full of thorns and its little leaves didn't give almost any protection from the rain.
After a few minutes we decided it would be best to just keep going.


When we got to the beach we were soaking wet. There we were greeted by a few other adventurers crowded under a small roof trying to stay dry. We joined them and waited for the storm to pass. After five minutes it was all over and sun was shining again. Time to dry wet clothes and to take a swim. It was great!


The afternoon went by all too quickly and it was time to get going. On our way up we saw a person meditating alone on the picture-postcard beach during a magnificent sunset (if you look closely you can see him on the above photo). If that isn't an idyllic way to end the day I don't know what is!


Since the winding path is pretty steep the climbing time depends heavily on ones physical condition.
I guess since we needed almost the same amount of time for the climb as we did for the descent, we are not in such a bad shape after all.


This trip was really lovely and I recommend it to anyone with taste similar to ours. However if you try to do this in top summer season, you might be disappointed with hordes of tourists rushing in on charter boats from nearby towns. Luckily we didn't see any.

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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Winter is here!


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A perfect day in Lubenice


On our second day on Croatian island of Cres we decided to visit another picturesque little village. Ancient village of Lubenice. This time we were following a recommendation and were not sorry to do so.


Lubenice literally translates into English as water melons. I don't know what is the connection between the name of this settlement and the fruit, but we definitely didn't see any watermelons while we were there.


It is believed that this village has been continuously inhabited at least for the last 4.000 years. Yes, that is old - Bronze age old. I guess the natural setting of the village has always been a decisive factor. From a view of a strategic position, it has always been really well protected. The side facing Adriatic sea drops straight down towards the sea - 378 meters below. Enforced with a stone wall with only two entries during the Middle Ages I guess this was an unconquerable stronghold.


Today it seems there are more churches in this villages then any other building types. When walking through the streets of Lubenice everything really feels old. In clear weather it offers magnificent views of northern Adriatic.
Local taverns are known for their excellent lamb dishes (jagnjetina ispod peke). I must say it really was delicious! The small tavern also has delicious local vine, cheeses and prosciutto on offer.
Apart from enjoying a meal in a couple of very good taverns and visiting a small museum, there isn't much to do in the village itself.


However there is a steep winding path down to the sea. Of course we went to explore it. But more about that in one of my following posts...

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Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Autumn colors


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Sunday, 6 December 2009

Free Google Wave invitations


Have you heard of Google Wave yet?
I guess most of you answered with a definite YES. For you two ignorant goat herdsmen, who haven't heard of it yet due to a busy goat herding season or something, it is time to get out of your cave and take a look at Wave's interesting features directly from members of the Google team.


Even if it might seem this thing has nothing to do with blogging and even less with photography, that is not the case.
Google Wave is a powerful communication platform which among other features also allows you to automatically publish your communications (interactions or "waves" as they are called) on your blog. You can also easily share your photos with your friends.
These are just a couple of the features that Google Wave offers. If you want to know more, simply go to wave.google.com and check it out for yourself.


Let me finally get to the point... Recently I have been invited to use Google Wave and awarded a few invitations myself. I have 5 invitations left and since Santa Claus spirit is in the air I decided to give them away to my readers.


If you are interested simply leave your request with an email address in a comment to this post.

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