Page 4 of buddymedbery Travel Blog Posts

South America » Ecuador » North » Otavalo August 26th 2017

Having always wanted to visit the Galapagos Islands, we decided to make that our chief destination for 2017 travel. We knew full well that we will likely not be back this way, at least no any time soon, we decided to add Machu Picchu as a further destination after the visit to the islands. My brother Chuck located a Galapagos journey that would put us on a boat with less than 20 people exclusive of staff. Since it was fully chartered by the Houston Zoo, we happily joined the Zoo. As we would come to realize, this gave us a huge benefit in terms of the clientele on the boat. The flight down through Atlanta was uneventful. Chuck and I sat in steerage, but were in the row where the exit door was located, so had ... read more
Fast food, Ecuadorean style
Rustic joining

North America » United States » Oklahoma » Oklahoma City August 29th 2016

Our last day on the road we just drove from Sarajevo to Rijeka, then the next day took the bus to Trieste and the train to Venice, then the next morning departed for an uneventful trip home. All the pics are now available on Flickr read more

Europe » Bosnia & Herzegovina » East » Sarajevo » Ilid┼ża August 22nd 2016

Today was occupied with driving from Kotor to Sarajevo. Although it sounds rather mundane, it was in fact a journey of great beauty and pleasure. We had programmed our GPS units to take us through Durmitor National Park, and that trip was magnificent, and somewhat unexpectedly so. We had anticipated mountains but did not know that most of the trip through the park would be on very narrow roads wide enough really for one car but with two-way traffic. Rounding bends with no visibility around the bend was frequently an adventure. But with risks come great rewards. This was one of the most spectacular travel days we have had, and I think by general consensus the best of this trip. The narrow winding road snakes upward to high mountain valleys, meadows, and bowls, punctuated along the ... read more
Japanese beetle on thistle - Durmitor National Park
Durmitor National Park
Tortured rock - Durmitor National Park

Europe » Montenegro » Kotor » Kotor August 20th 2016

The drive from Dubrovnik to Kotor Montenegro is a short one, but it involves a change in worlds. Croatia is blessed with a beautiful coast extending for hundreds of miles of shoreline, including islands. The bounteous sun is almost ever-present, and tourists are plentiful. As a result, they have had the money to invest in their infrastructure and it shows. Roads are well-constructed and well-maintained. Hotels are everywhere, and restaurants plentiful. Almost everyone speaks English, a virtual necessity in the tourist trade. The parliamentary government is apparently well-organized, and the population is relatively homogeneous. Croatia has emerged from the break-up of the old Yugoslavia and the resulting civil war with a bright future, realizable now. As far as I can tell, the same is true for Slovenia, although we did not see as much there. It ... read more
View from our pension near Kotor
Mussel farm in Bay of Kotor
St.Tryphon's Cathedral, Kotor

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Dubrovnik August 19th 2016

In the early afternoon of April 13, 1944, a flight of B-24 Liberator bombers were loaded with over 10,000 pounds of bombs, fueled, belched smoke from their engines as they started, made the difficult taxi to the main runway at Giulia airfield near Foggia IT, and took off into the clear air. As the flight formed up, they headed on course of 2440 true, a course that would take them over Yugoslavia and on to their target of Budapest. At least one never made it. Coming in over the Yugoslavia coast it was hit by antiaircraft fire, and began to lose altitude. Three men made it out with parachutes, including the right waist gunner, the navigator, and the tail turret gunner. All the others died when it crashed about 15 miles from the coast in what ... read more
Ploce Gate, Dubrovnik
Jennie on the ramparts of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik ramparts

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Split August 18th 2016

Although the city of Split was founded as a Greek colony in about 400 BCE, all that we know of it currently comes from the fact that Diocletian was the first Roman emperor to retire from rule, and did so when he moved to a new palace he had constructed at Split. The palace had walls that were 50-70 feet high and enclosed about 9.5 acres. With abundant water supplied by an aqueduct from the Jadro spring, and with the palace fronting on the sea to allow easy escape in case of attack, it represented a safe and secure place for refuge. The palace was finished in 305. Following the death of Diocletian in 311, the palace was apparently virtually abandoned, but was later reoccupied by Flavius Julius Nepos, the last emperor of the western half ... read more
Souvenir shops in entrance passageway
Niches for Roman gods in apse of St. John's Church
St. John's Church

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Zadar August 17th 2016

Today was a "beat feet" drive to Zadar, with no dawdling along the way. Zadar is one of several old towns along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, and the current Old Town goes back to the middle ages, although historical evidence of this as an important seafaring town goes back several centuries BCE. Zadar is the largest city in Dalmatia, and the fifth largest in Croatia. It is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the country. Zadar was heavily bombed during World War II, at least in part because Yugoslavian partisans greatly overstated the German presence there in order to further their own power ambitions. There was no important industrial target, and Zadar has sometimes been called the "Dresden of the Adriatic" because of the heavy bombing of a militarily unimportant target. From a tourist standpoint, ... read more
Sign for upcoming maraschino festival
9th century Church of St. Donatus
Interior of Church of St. Donatus

Europe » Croatia » Istria » Pula August 16th 2016

I have been fascinated by the Roman arena in Pula since I first saw the Il Divo video with them singing Amazing Grace there, and that led me here several years ago, and back again today. The Pula Arena is the most complete remaining arena in existence, and one of the 6 largest in existence. Completed in 81 CE, it was long abandoned after the outlawing of gladiatorial contests and fight between prisoners condemned to death. Today it is used for the Pula Film Festival and for various concerts, including artists such as Elton John, Pavarotti, David Gilmour, Sinead O'Connor, and many others. After touring the arena, we elected for an early supper, and had a great repast of grilled branzino and pasta with truffles. A note on the truffles: Istria is famous particularly for the ... read more
Pula Arena
Pula Arena
Pula Arena

Europe » Slovenia August 16th 2016

There is a lot I can't tell you about Slovenia. I cannot speak to the cultural traditions, the traditional dress, the appearance of the cities. Although we stayed near Ljubljana, we did not go into the city center. But what I can tell you about is the beauty of the countryside, and particularly the stunning sights of the Soca River Valley and Slovenia's only national park, Triglav. The latter ranks with the best in the world, and drew comparisons in our group to Yosemite. Leaving Opatija, we headed northward then westward to start up the Soca River valley, culminating in the park. Slovenia has sometimes been called the "green heart of Europe", and the meaning of that sobriquet was obvious on our drive. From what we saw, the vast majority of the country, other than its ... read more
Triglav National Park
Triglav National Park
Triglav National Park

Europe » Croatia » Istria » Rijeka August 14th 2016

Car rental companies do now allow you to rent an automobile in Italy and take it into the former Eastern Bloc countries, such as the countries that formerly formed Yugoslavia. Therefore, we had to take a bus from Trieste to Rijeka in Croatia and pick up the rental cars there, which turned out to be somewhat of an adventure. We got off the bus in town, and took taxis out to the airport, about 30 minutes away. When we got there, the rental office was closed, and while we were working through options the only person in the airport came over and told us we would have to leave since he was closing the airport. We managed to get through to the rental company and after some delay of a little over half an hour were ... read more

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