Thursday, October 11, 2012
It's been nearly a month since I left the Balkans and have settled back into my "Italian life" in Tuscany. The second half of my Balkan trip was brilliant and beautiful in ways I never imagined. Here are a "few" photos for you to enjoy as I tried to capture the essence of the Balkans along the Adriatic coast.
Sunset in Saranda, Albania
Shkodra, Albania. This town in the north is right on a huge lake and borders Montenegro. I took a bike ride to the gypsy part of town.
I stayed at a guest house in Shkodra to experience some authentic Albania cuisine and culture
And it was beautiful and delicious. This is the entry walk way to this family-run guest house, covered in 45 year old grape vines.
The most flavorful and deeply colored fig I have ever seen.
View of the Albanian Alps from the guest house vineyard in Shkodra.
Sveti Stefan, Montenegro. I took this photo from the bus window (sorry for the lack of clarity). This island is now one huge luxury resort.
Grilled squid in Kotor Bay
The city of Kotor was beautiful! The walkways, old buildings and piazzas were absolutely photo worthy! I could not stop taking pictures here!!
Entry way to hike up the old fortress walls of Kotor
Piazza in Kotor
Tourists... lots of them between 10am-4pm as the cruise ships dock for the day and let everyone off to visit the town
Old fortress walls of Kotor
The Bay of Kotor at sunrise as I hiked the old walls
Beautiful Bay of Kotor (Europe's southernmost "fjord") and the Montenegrin flag
This bay is stunning
Met some new friends and took a paddle boat ride in the bay
Islands of Perast
Town of Perast
View of the Bay of Kotor from Perast
Beautiful Perast building
View of lakes near Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
The Tara Canyon - Durmitor National Park
Tara Canyon Bridge
Loved this water in the Tara Canyon- it was so crystal clear, blue and beautiful!
We even found another Shopska Salad! This is my 10th. And it had the PERFECT Balkan cheese on top!! WOOHOO!!
Black Lake, Durmitor National Park
Spectacular sunset views!
Thank you Montenegro... I will be back.
Jumping from the rocks outside the city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia
Loved this afternoon of jumping off the rocks outside the Buza Bar. The Adriatic was the perfect cool temperature and a beautiful blue color (but a bit cloudy for this particular photo)
Sunset looking toward Lapad Island, Dubrovnik
Met up with my cousins for dinner one night in Dubrovnik! What a treat!
View of Dubrovnik from the Lokrum Island
Fountain in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik Piazza at night
Dubrovnik in early morning
Beautiful Dubrovnik from the city walls
Walking along the city walls of Dubrovnik
The colors of Dubrovnik were brilliant
Terra cotta roofs of Dubrovnik reminiscent of Italy
Glad I got up early to walk the walls while it was still "cool"
Enjoying the view of the city
First views of agricultural richness of Bosnia (from the bus)
Typical Bosnian cuisine- Cevapi and Somun (Bosnian meat balls and pita)
The wounds of the war from the mid 1990's are still visible in Mostar.
You can feel the wounds as much as you can see them
Mostar cafe scene
Famous bridge of Mostar. This was destroyed in the war and rebuilt, opened in 2004. Each year professional divers jump from the highest point, approximately 25 meters tall.
Typical scene of old town Mostar- lots of Turkish influence!
One last view of the bridge of Mostar
Burek- a delicious Bosnian (and Balkan) savory pastry filled with meat and onions. Not exactly low calorie, but absolutely delicious and very filling!
River in Sarajevo. It is red because of the heavy rains washing in all the mud.
"Pigeon Square" in Sarajevo
More Turkish shops!
Sephardic Jewish Temple, Sarajevo
Streets of Sarajevo. They have rebuilt this city amazingly fast and well- it has a very vibrant cafe and bar scene and is lovely to walk around.
Emperor's Mosque, Sarajevo. The muslim and Turkish influence was very prevalent in this country.
Cemetery at Emperor's Mosque.
Roses of Sarajevo.
These areas of destruction were filled in with hard red material to create a beautiful image despite the sadness and loss that originated at these spots.
At the Sarajevska Pivara Brewery in Sarajevo. Delicious beer and wonderful food!
Jajce, Bosnia. The town is built literally over a waterfall
Back to CROATIA
Boardwalk in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia.
This natural wonder is miles long and is absolutely stunning
Water flows down, creating new channels between trees, over rocks, etc.
Beautiful views around every corner
The water really is THIS BLUE and clear!
Walking UP a waterfall
If you ever have the chance to visit Plitvice, you will be happy you did! They have the walking routes mapped out for every ability and amount of time you have to spend (from 3 hours to 8 hours)!
Dock in Zadar, Croatia
Zadar, Croatia. Looks like a little piece of Italian heaven! Just across the Adriatic sea!
Zadar is known for it's white marble streets
Sea Organ, Zadar. This is a set of pipes built into the wall along the sea and as the waves lap up against the wall and enter the pipes, it creates beautiful music. This is apparently the only one in the world!
My favorite spot in Zadar is at this Sea Organ. I sat here for nearly 4 hours at sunset, just listening to the sea music and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.
The Sea Organ is a popular locals spot to gather at sunset as well
Ferry heading to Italy
Next to the Sea Organ is this solar powered light show!
My last sunset in the Balkans! Sad to leave but happy to return to Italy.
Sunrise from the ferry as we entered Ancona, Italy.