The last few days in Dubrovnik have been lovely. Days of feasting and festing have worn me out, but it was all worth it. The first day was the rehearsal dinner--we sailed to a nearby island about 45 minutes away from the main port & then dined beneath the stars on an old fort site. The octopus risotto (at least that's what I think it was) was AMAZING!
The next day we toured the Old City, a walled-in town with tons of charm and great views as we walked the city wall. This is a cruise ship destination and we could have picked a different day to tour around--the wall, the main plaza, everywhere was pretty crowded (ala Times Square) and it was hot hot hot, but the views: priceless.
Then there was the main event: the wedding! Held in a beautiful old church in the middle of the Old City--done in both Croatian and English--It was so lovely to see all the people: an amazingly diverse group-
The bride was stunning & the groom didn't look too bad himself :) -- And then it was time to party. We walked to the highest fortress where the reception was held and wow! That's about the time I stopped taking pictures because there was eating and drinking and dancing to do--all of which kept us busy until 2am, but I hear the reception didn't end until almost 4am. The bride's grandmother was one of the last ones to leave the dance floor! Good good times.
Yesterday was another short sailing trip to a nearby island where some of us swam or did cliff dives or just tried to regain our equilibrium with some food and drink.
What an awesome time. Now off to the next destination for a couple of days before heading back to real life.
Dubrovnik is beautiful. I've walked around for just a little while in the city--a walled in wonder--because of the dastardly heat, and the fact, that my jaunt into town coincided with a major cruise ship landing. Suddenly the quaint old town felt like Times Square so I headed back to the hotel for a nap and to get ready for the rehearsal dinner tonight. Tomorrow there will be more adventures. More soon.
Last week I had a lot of fun saying: I'm going to Dubrovnik. (Really, try it out--lots of good sounds are involved in that sentence.) But really, my first stop is Zagreb--yesterday evening beautiful sunny Zagreb, today it is chilly, gray Zagreb. It feels like two different cities in the span of 24 hours here.
Zagreb is sleepy. But that's just my speed with my terrible double-back reverse jet lag compunded by lack of sleep after the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference days.
Today, we ventured on the tram (always love taking public transportation in a city that has even a decent system) to the castle overlooking the city. It took some doing to get there with a faulty map and very bad (non-existent) local language skills. But got there we did and despite the cold wind, the view from the castle was totally worth it.
Then it was time to just walk around the old city. A quick visit to the "Naive Art Museum" (naive meaning folk), lunch on the main plaza, window-shopping, a visit to the cathedral, the botanical gardens, and whew that's all I could manage before the afternoon nap. There's time tomorrow to visit the open-air market in the morning and then . . . I'm going to Dubrovnik. Can't wait!
It's been a busy, exhilirating, frustrating, and exhausting trip. I've barely had any time to process all of the experiences and no time at all to blog. But I wanted to share a few photos and will blog more about the trip once I return stateside! After leaving Sharm El Sheik on Monday, we spent two days in Luxor, and yesterday we arrived in Cairo. Today it's a tour of the Egyptian Museum and walk through Islamic Cairo and the markets. Tomorrow to the Pyramids. More soon!
I am on the surprise 40th birthday celebration tour. It started in LA with an amazing surprise dinner and tomorrow I'm having a real Danish birthday lunch. I'm so excited. We were greeted yesterday at the airport by my dear cousin Lone, and kids, and aunt Henny. Waving flags the whole thing. This has been a wonderful week. (I haven't even told you about the wondrous 2nd annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival -- but will when I return stateside next week.) For now, I am enjoying family, friendship, fellowship and food. This is the best birthday ever!
The last day in Rome couldn't have been better. I got a good workout in before heading to the American Academy where we had lunch with Margaret and her husband, Matthew. Matthew is a photographer who's enjoying a year-long residency there. It really seems like heaven--the ultimate artist residency. Margaret gave us a tour of the building and gardens and then treated us to lunch which is prepared for them daily by a Chez Panisse chef. It was divine. We stuffed ourselves, enjoyed a coffee and then walked back to our hotel through Trastavere and by the Pantheon! The flight home was easy and happily uneventful (unlike my flight out two weeks ago) and now I'm back home. The adventure is over. I've got some fun photos, an extra pound or two (well worth it), a pile of laundry, and many wonderful memories.
We made the move from Bath back to London, but not before I got a wonderful massage at the Bath Spa Hotel. Nice work Susan. The train ride to London is just shy of 1 1/2 hours--the perfect chance to write a few postcards. Yes, I am still old school in many ways. I can't help myself. I've culled my list of send-to people to about 5 after years of sending some 20 postcards to people who didn't really care to receive them. I'm down to sending the "hi mom" and family cards now. Still, it's always a satisfying part of my journeys (no, twitter and facebook status comments just aren't the same). London was a lot less sun-shiney today--nevertheless we headed to Notting Hill and Portobello Road where we found some delicious olives and salami. A very strange little to-go treat as we walked the streets, but you have no idea how much I have eaten! I wanted to skip lunch but it didn't want to skip me --thus the snack. Now, off to Benares, the most amazing Indian restaurant I've ever been to. Swank and comfortable. Pricey. But soooo delicious and a wonderful way to end the days here in the U.K. Tomorrow Sicily! Can't wait to see the DG's over Easter dinner!
It was a lovely day: an excursion to see Stonehenge and a stroll in Bath proper with a visit to the famous Roman Baths. But oh how I hate being a tourist in a tourist destination: herded, and crowded and bustled about from one numbered sign to another looking at things that are no longer really there. It's the strangest thing: these audio tours. Dozens of people crowded around rocks that are sectioned off for display and we stare at the rocks while we listen to some bit of information from the audio guide about what the rocks used to look like. But still there are highlights of the day: 1. Well, seeing Stonehenge. It's a World Heritage site--on that long list of things you must see before you die. 2. Well, seeing the famous Roman Baths--but really, the best part was when a mallard--probably as tired from the rain and the cold day--flew down and took an afternoon swim in the warm therapeutic water. Now, there's dinner; tomorrow a massage in the hotel spa; and then back to London for a fabulous meal at my favorite Indian restaurant in the world. And then Sicily for Easter dinner with friends! More from the road!
After a very difficult trip across the Pond--my flight out of JFK was delayed by 15 hours which I meant I slept in an airport lounge on Saturday sitting up--I finally arrived at close to midnight Saturday. The last few days have been incredibly fun. Here to celebrate my friend's 40th birthday. We had a blast. London dressed itself up gloriously for my best buddy, Rayme, who's never been to Europe before, with tons of sun. I saw parts of the city I never ventured before because it was too cold or too wet or too both. We saw the changing of the guards --quite by accident--and strolled through the lovely Notting Hill neighborhood. Lunch at a sidewalk cafe brought us an unexpected adventure: meeting best-selling author Simon Astaire! He gifted his book to me and I can't wait to read it. We walked along the Thames. We saw two plays: one at the Old Vic (Thank you to Tina and Kathleen) and one on the West End (Plague Over England--an extraordinary cast). There was some shopping. I think I found a good dress for Book Expo for me--and of course, there was much talk and wine drinking. Tea at Claridge's with a discreet playing of happy birthday and dinner at a wonderful Argentinian restaurant called Gaucho. Rayme headed home this morning--let's do it again, it was so much fun! Hubby and I continue the adventure today in Bath, tomorrow Stonehendge. Ah, vacation! Love it.