Walking Prague, Czech Republic

When I think of Prague, Czech Republic, and Czech people my very first associations are (in no particular order):

Martina Navratilova, Bedrich Smetana (Prodana nevesta, Vltava), Miloš Forman (director of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, The People vs Larry Flynt), Škoda Auto, Pat & Mat (hilarious ! makes me smile just writing the names down), Vaclav Havel, Antonin Dvorak, Eva Herzigova, Franz Kafka, Karel Svoboda (because I remember clearly seeing his name written in credits in every Biene Maja (Maya the Bee)  episode that tens of millions of Europeans grew up with), Ivan (“the Terrible”) Lendl, Milan Kundera.

Czechs are friendly and low-key people. They’ve built a magnificent capital (practically every window has a view) and make exceptional beer.

It shouldn’t have taken me aback, then, considering how many great people contributed to what Prague today is. But it did, Prague blew me away. I mean, I knew it was a grand city but I didn’t quite expect to like it that much. It’s beautiful! Continue reading “Walking Prague, Czech Republic”

Tourism – Where Are We Heading To?

During our recent visit to Prague we witnessed a spectacular if unusual sight on one of our strolls across this magnificent city. On a bridge not far away from its biggest brother, the Charles Bridge, there was a group of silent manual, one could say blue-collar, workers. They were only exchanging a few words between them, a random sigh of relief could be heard here and there, and only an occasional exclamation of victory disrupted the peaceful afternoon. Some passers-by stopped and watched, like we did for a couple of minutes, the others rushed past not noticing what was going on.

Continue reading “Tourism – Where Are We Heading To?”

Walking and Jogging Split, Croatia

Ante, born and bred in Split, a Dalmatian city and second largest in Croatia, after Zagreb, the capital, looks forward to another sunny weekend spent in his home town. As usually, he takes his and his wife’s little dog for a morning walk along the coastal promenade towards Marjan, the landmark promontory hill that’s sacred to every Splićanin as residents of Split are called.

They climb several flights of stairs before they reach a walking trail winding through an airy Mediterranean forest all the way to the top. He stops for a minute to take in the view of Split, its harbour and marina below and of the islands out in the blue Adriatic. More times than not he walks the perimeter of the hill but sometimes he turns back when he reaches the westernmost point. Anyway, Ante’s back on the waterfront soon enough to enjoy a cup of coffee on the terrace of one of the many cafes along the beloved Riva, Continue reading “Walking and Jogging Split, Croatia”

A Long Weekend in Rome, Italy

My father took me to Rome when I was about ten. He went on business but planned to extend his stay for a couple of days so he could bring me along and show me the great city. I have a vague memory of us arriving in Stazione Termini, him in a grey suit, shirt and tie, although I have no recollection of us actually travelling aboard a train (or, for that matter, a plane beforehand). Anyway, Continue reading “A Long Weekend in Rome, Italy”

Top 17 Restaurant Meals of 2018 – Worldwide

For years now, come December and I’m yearning for January. Its sobriety and down-to-earthness appeal to me tremendously once the bacchanals of the last month of the year progress to hysterical heights.

I think they did good when they chose January as the first month of the year: days are getting visibly longer, everybody’s resolving to improve and approaching the future with sensible planning. None of that is just as sweet without asserting the good stuff of the past year. Here’s my list, then, of the most impressive meals I’ve had in 2018 outside the home – in no particular order, common denominator being good quality, delicious food.

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Hiking from Umoljani to Lukomir, Bosnia & Herzegovina

I’ve heard about a woman from Sweden, a friend of a friend, who returns to Sarajevo every summer to go hiking in the surrounding mountains with her local friends. Apparently, those mountains, in particular the vast terrain on Bjelašnica (2067 m), fill her heart with peace and warmth and heal her stressed out, weary soul. “This is where I seem to achieve my balance at last,” she reportedly said a couple of years ago on her first hiking “pilgrimage” to Lukomir, the remotest village of Bosnia and Herzegovina that is yet only a few dozen kilometres away from the capital.

And so she comes back to the Bosnian Dinaric Alps every summer, heads to the mountains for a dose of fresh air and exercise, not knowing how to describe what it is that actually helps her stabilize herself. Just before she flies back to Scandinavia, she pays visits to local beautician, hairdresser, nail salon – and off she goes back home happy, rested and beautified inside out. Continue reading “Hiking from Umoljani to Lukomir, Bosnia & Herzegovina”