Monday, May 24, 2010


Well, I have been all over the place since I last posted. Right now I am sitting in my hostel in Belgrade, Serbia. In Serbia they use the Serbian dinar and there are about 67 to a dollar. I will now give you the highlights since my last post and there are a lot of them as I have not had a lot of time to post things.

May 17
After we left Krk we went to the Plitvice national park. There they had amazing waterfalls. I cannot wait to show pictures. (If you are wondering why I do not use contractions it is because the keyboards are different here and hard to figure out where certain things are like an apostrophe key). I wish we could have had more time there. From there we went to Sibenik where there was a cathedral with an amazing baptistry. From this day on the cathedrals get better.

May 18
This was one of my favorite days. We went to some Roman ruins in Salona and were allowed to climb all over them. It was an amazing time and fun to get as high as you could. It was like a giant playground. It was fun to watch us all climbing on everything we could. Next we went to Klis where there was a fortress. This was another place we all tried to climb to every place that was possible to get to. I have to say the view was amazing as all the views on this trip are. Trogir was next with yet another amazing cathedral. In this cathedral we were allowed to climb the bell tower. We had a short time to do it so Pearse told us to get up there as fast as we could. I led the charge up the winding stairs and then the scary metal stairs to the top. We all had to crowd into the top before we could start down. The view was yet again gorgeous.

May 19
This day we went to Ston which has the world's second largest wall (found the apostrophe finally)! Stephen got us permission from one of the people that was working on the wall to pass a stop sign so we could go farther up the wall. This part of the wall consisted of only stairs going straight to the top and was very tiring. But it was worth it. However we couldn't go as far as the wall would go as we didn't have nearly enough time to go there and get back. Dubrovnik I didn't like as much because it seemed that the only people there were tourists and the only Croatians were trying to sell things to tourists. Despite this the architecture was amazing and the old city on the waterfront was picturesque. The place we stayed at was north of Dubrovnik and my favorite place. Here we went swimming in the Adriatic.

May 20
After some people had a very cold early morning swim we went into Montenegro for the day. The thing I liked best about Montenegro was the mountains but overall I prefer Croatia. We went to Perast where there is an artificial island that was created by placing rocks around a coral reef. We then went to Cetinje where we visited an Orthodox monastery. Cetinje used to be the capital of Montenegro. The monastery was very basic but they had a lot of treasures and relics.

May 21
This day we left Croatia behind and went to Bosnia. Bosnia is a very Muslim country with Catholics, Orthodox, and other Christians mixed in. It tried to be multireligious and there license plates make it impossible to identify where someone is from so it cuts down on vandilism. The first place we went to was Mostar where we visited a evangelical church. We then went and saw a bridge that had been destroyed and then rebuilt by fishing the stones out of the river. In Blagaj the only thing we saw was a Dervish house. It overlooked a river and was very plain. This was the first time we had to put headscarves on. Let me just say one thing about headscarves. We do not put them on to conform but to show respect to the culture we are it. In that culture as well as Orthodoxy headscarves are a sign of respect for God and it is unthinkable to not put them on in a place of worship as that would disrespect God. It is actually not a bad idea as it makes you modest and is a sign of respect and devotion to God.

May 22
Then it was on to Sarajevo which is split between a Muslim/Catholic federation and an Orthodox east. Pearse didn't know his way around too well so we tended to seem like we were lost. We saw many museums and visited our first mosque. Muslim artforms are expressed through their caligraphy, carpentry, and the painting of their mosques so it is a beautiful place. We once again had to put headscarves on to show respect. On our way back to where we were staying we stopped where Prince Ferdinand was shot.

May 23
We have gotten to the point where we have mostly long bus rides and not much to do. During the semester we read a book about a bridge on the Drina river. This day we went to Visegrad where this brideg actually is located. It was destroyed like the one in Mostar and then rebuilt. We got a group picture of us all on the Kapia which is where people used to hang out on the middle of the bridge. Then we had a long bus ride to Kraljevo, Serbia. We got there late and then went to dinner. There had been a mistake made and instead of meat platters to share amound a table each person basically got their own meat platter (which seemed to have at least 2 pounds of meat) and in Europe you have to eat all of your food or at least as much of it as you can or it is impolite. So we all had to eat a ton of food which we couldn't. I think we are all put off meat for a little.

May 24
Today we visited two Orthodox monasteries. The artwork in these places is wonderful. The views were especially so. I have to say that after this trip I will have some awesome pictures to turn into quilts. Then we went to Belgrade where every room has a computer which made me happy as I can actually update this blog. Tomorrow we will explore Belgrade and then return to Croatia. We will soon be done with EMW as we end on the 30th and then I will be going around Italy with Hannah and Katie. There is a British Airways cabin crew strike but we know we can get to London. From London to home it seems like we can as they say they will run most flights but there is the slight chance we will have our flight cancelled. They won't know there flight schedule until June 1st so please just keep that in your prayers as we would like to get home after we are done in Italy. Well I better let someone else use the computer as I have monopolized it for long enough. Maybe next time I will be home and can post pictures. Until then TTFN.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


So I haven't had a chance to get on a computer in a while and my iPod touch doesn't work for this. We landed in Budapest last week and since then have been to Zagreb and places around the island of Krk. Krk is just of the Istrian peninsula. I am having an amazing time here but we have not been lucky on the weather. It has been raining a lot. Because of this our time in the Istrian peninsula was not going to happen so we went around the island instead and had a lot of free time. We went to Basca where some of walked up to a cemetary with an amazing view. Tomorrow we will leave Krk and head down the coast. I will post more later but for now I need to go. I am enjoying it a lot. TTFN.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Preparing for Takeoff

Today I had a wonderful Kara/Debbie day with my Aunt Debbie. We went for our normal Concord trip. For lunch we had appetizers at the Olive Garden. This was followed by a trip to Borders where you can never spend enough time just browsing. Once again I forgot my Borders gift card. I'll finally remember it one of these times. Together we did some last minute shopping for my trip which I start tomorrow evening.
I have semi figured out the details about working at a vets this summer. It looks like I will be spending about a month in Lowville, NY at the practice there with my Uncle Chuck. The only downside to this is that it will be just volunteering so I will lose a month's worth of time that I could be working at Hannaford earning money for school. I will get to see all aspects at working at a veterinary hospital though as well as experience and that is what I need if I am to go on to vet school.
The house is coming along wonderfully and it will be interesting to see how much work has been done on it with all the time I won't be home to help :( I will just have to help as much as possible when I am home I guess.
Well tomorrow I start on my trek. After work I come home, change, grab my stuff (hope I have all I need), and head out to the first waypoint on my trip to the Balkans. If you don't hear from me soon don't worry it just means I can't come to the internet right now and will get back to you as soon as I can. TTFN.

Balkan Itinerary

Here is what I will be doing in the Balkans on my trip.

Mon., 10th May Toronto-Budapest

18.25 fly from Toronto BA92

Tues., 11th Budapest

06.45 land Heathrow

08.45 fly from Heathrow BA866

12.15 land Budapest

13.30 leave bags at hostel

14.00 Jewish quarter; picnic lunch

p.m. Buda, Mátyás-templom etc. (3.4 km. from hostel)

19.00 restaurant supper

ACCOMMODATION: hostel in Budapest

Wed., 12th Budapest-Zagreb

a.m. Heroes Square

12.00 bus Budapest — Zagreb

16.30 arrive ZG, check in to hostel

18.00 restauranr supper

19.15 lecture on evangelicals in Croatia: Melanie Ivančević

20.45 ice creams at Vincek!!

ACCOMMODATION: hostel in Zagreb

Thurs., 13th Zagreb

08.00 breakfast

09.10 sites on Gradec (one of 2 main hills in central Zagreb):

· Marian shrine at Kamenita Vrata

· Kula Lotrščak

· Sabor (parliament)

· St. Katherine’s Church

10.40 Atelijer Meštrović gallery showing works of the famous sculptor, Ivan Meštrović

13.00 lunch at Picerija Dvojka

14.30 cathedral

15.15 Zagreb City Museum

17.45 restaurant supper

stay as previous night

Fri., 14th Zagreb-Krk

07.45 put bags into 1 room at hostel

08.15 breakfast

09.00 free time around Jelačićev Trg

09.45 meet under clock

10.00 Povijesni Muzej (History Museum)

11.20 Strossmayer Gallery

12.50 picnic lunch on lawn outside Strossmayer Gallery

13.50 Muzej Naivne Umjetnost (Museum of Naive Art)

15.50 leave museum

16.50 bus for Krk

19.30 restaurant supper


Sat., 15th Istria

8.45 bus leaves Krk

11.20 arrive Pula, Istria

14.30 leave Pula

15.35 arrive Poreč, Istria

17.30 restaurant meal

19.00 leave Poreč

21.30 arrive Krk

stay as previous night

Sun., 16th Rijeka and Krk

07.45 breakfast

08.50 leave for Rijeka

10.00 Bap. ch. in Rijeka

13.00 picnic lunch

14.00 leave for Omišalj, Krk

14.30 arrive Omišalj

15.30 leave for Vrbnik, Krk

16.00 arrive Vrbnik

17.30 leave for Krk

17.50 arrive Krk — see Frankopan castle

18.50 restaurant supper

stay as previous night

Mon., 17th Plitvice

08.30 bus leaves Krk

11.45 Plitvice National Park

13.45 picnic lunch

14.30 bus leaves for Šibenik

17.10 Šibenik tour

18.30 leave

18.45 restaurant for supper

Accommodation: Seget Vranjica, north of Trogir

Tues., 18th Split

09.15 bus leaves accomm.

10.00 arrive Solin

11.45 leave Solin

12.00 arrive Klis

13.00 picnic lunch

13.45 leave Klis

14.15 Diocletian’s Palace and cathedral ... and Grgur Ninski (Gregory of Nin) statue

15.30 free time — get own supper

17.00 bus leaves Split

17.30 arrive Trogir

20.45 leave Trogir

21.00 arrive at accomm.

stay as previous night

Wed., 19th Dubrovnik

8.15 bus leaves accomm.

11.30 arrive Ston

12.30 picnic lunch

13.00 leave Ston

14.15 see Kneževi Dvor in Dubrovnik

15.15 Dominican monastery

17.45 restaurant dinner

ACCOMMODATION: north of Dubrovnik

Thurs., 20th Montenegro: Boka Kotorska and Cetinje

08.45 leave Zaton Mali

10.40 Perast — museum, island

13.10 picnic lunch

13.45 leave Perast for Mount Lovčen

15.15 arrive Cetinje

15.45 monastery museum in Cetinje

16.45 free time in Cetinje

17.30 leave Cetinje

21.00 supper at accommodation

stay as previous night

Fri., 21st Mostar and Blagaj

09.00 leave Zaton Mali

12.00 tour central Mostar

13.00 lunch — then free time

15.00 leave for Blagaj

15.30 arrive Blagaj — see dervish house

17.00 leave Blagaj

20.00 arrive Sarajevo

20.30 supper

21.00 talk from Vanja Bule about missions in BiH


Sat., 22nd Sarajevo

10.00 Zemaljski Muzej (open 10.00-14.00 Sat.)

12.30 Ghazi Husrev Beg Mosque

13.30 picnic lunch

see Sarajevo

stay as previous night

Sun., 23rd Sarajevo-Višegrad-Kraljevo

08.00 breakfast

11.00 church service

13.00 leave Sarajevo

15.15 arrive Višegrad lunch

16.45 leave Višegrad

19.45 arrive Kraljevo

stay Kraljevo

Mon., 24th Studenica, Žiča

09.15 leave hotels

10.30 arrive Studenica monastery

12.00 leave Studenica


14.30 Žiča monastery

16.00 leave Kraljevo

18.45 arrive Belgrade, check in to hostel

19.30 supper in Belgrade

Tues., 25th Belgrade

09.15 leave accomm.

· Kalemegdan

· lecture about religious minorities in Serbia — Aleksandra Đurić-Milovanović

· Orthodox church

· parliament and palace

16.00 leave Belgrade

18.30 dinner in Slavonija (eastern Croatia)

21.30 arrive Vinkovci


Wed., 26th Vukovar and Osijek

09.15 bus leaves

09.45 arrive Vukovar Nena Kovačević: Franciscan church; Ovčara war memorial

12.30 lunch

13.30 leave Vukovar

Aljmaš Marian shrine

15.00 arrive Tvrđa, Osijek Marina Vinaj: Muzej Slavonije

16.30 tour of Tvrđa

17.30 dinner at Old Bridge Pub

19.15 ice creams at Hotel Osijek

20.00 leave Osijek

21.00 arrive Vinkovci

stay as previous night

Thurs., 27th Đakovo

09.30 leave for Đakovo

10.30 Đakovo cathedral

11.15 Strossmayer museum

12.00 lunch — then free time

13.30 leave Đakovo

afternoon not yet planned....

21.30 overnight bus ride to Venice

Fri., 28th Venice (day 1)

see Venice


Sat., 29th Venice (day 2)

see Venice

stay as previous night

Sun., 30th

finished with EMW traveling and will be traveling for a little bit more in Italy

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Commence Pre-Flight Inspection

Well, I've thought for a long time about having a blog and finally decided to create one. I first got the idea from my mom's blog and seeing as we both have our many quilting projects thought it would be a great idea but never got around to it until now. Hopefully I will keep up with it.

Life around here is getting crazy what with finishing my paper for my honors class (which I turned in today) my trip to the Balkans coming up, building our house, and trying to see if I can find a vets to work at this summer. Hopefully that last one will be worked out before I leave for the Balkans.

Our puppy Riley is quite adorable and can never seem to get enough attention. He is great to play with. All you have to do is lay on the floor and wait for him to stop licking your ears, crawl over your neck, and race up and down your legs. Watching him race in circles is great fun too.

It's too bad Ginger doesn't get along too well yet but we are hoping that will change once they are in the new house.
I have finished my first year at Houghton and am about to finish my Easts Meets West Honors program with a trip through Eastern Europe. What a trip that will be. I will be traveling around with a group of 27 other students, our professor, and his wife for three weeks and then traveling with a few friends for a little more after that. We finally got our itinerary today from our professor. On Monday we will fly from Toronto to Budapest where our adventures will commence. Throughout our trek in the Balkans we will journey through Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro ending up in Venice. And yes, to all you who ask, I will take plenty of pictures and I will share them with you. For me however, my trip begins Saturday after work. I will be going to southern New Hampshire late Saturday so I can leave early Sunday to go to Rochester where I will stay the night and from there I will leave for Toronto and the Balkans.

After I get back it will be interesting to see how far our house has come. To save the trouble of describing that project you can go here to follow what is going on.

I need some sleep so I can be ready for my Aunt Debbie day! TTFN.