Harvesting for a Cause: Picking Olives in Mediterranean Malta

Strolling some Mediterranean sidewalks during the late-autumn months, it’s not unusual to see shriveling olives wasting away on the ground. There are, of course, locals who spirit away buckets of a forgotten tree’s olives, or the odd pigeon that might take a peck at the bitter fruit, but it’s been my observation that a considerable amount of urban olives go to waste.Continue reading “Harvesting for a Cause: Picking Olives in Mediterranean Malta”

Conquering Montenegro’s Kotor Fortress

When night falls over the rugged mountains cradling Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor, it becomes very clear why the country’s native name, Crna Gora, means ‘black mountain.’ As the sun is snuffed out each night, the mountains make like a chameleon, going from steel grey to a black silhouette. Eventually, the water of the mighty bayContinue reading “Conquering Montenegro’s Kotor Fortress”

A Guide to “Losing Your Heart” in Heidelberg, Germany

What to see, do, and eat in Heidelberg, an enchanting university town in southwestern Germany.

Kalofer, Bulgaria: A Story of Life, Lavender, & Lace

Arriving in what was to be our home away from home in rural Bulgaria, we knew not a soul. But by the time we left Kalofer, a tiny town tucked away in Central Bulgaria, where the livestock population quite possibly outnumbers the number of humans living there, an impromptu farewell committee was wishing us adieu.Continue reading “Kalofer, Bulgaria: A Story of Life, Lavender, & Lace”

Escaping to Marjan Hill, the ‘Lungs of Split’ Croatia

Marjan Forest Park is often referred to as the “lungs of Split, Croatia.” The park’s pine forest exhales fresh oxygen into the nearby city — which is removed, but within walking distance. Marjan (or Marjan-Park Šuma, in Croatian) has been a popular recreation spot since at least the 3rd century. Back then, Roman Emperor Diocletian (who hadContinue reading “Escaping to Marjan Hill, the ‘Lungs of Split’ Croatia”

Paddleboating & Promenading at Lake Palić, Serbia

Passing through Palić’s Great Park entrance, a heavily-carved wooden arch that resembled reddish-brown lacework, I couldn’t help but imagine who had strolled through the gates a century earlier when this part of northern Serbia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. We continued along on a sidewalk that was covered by a thick canopy of handsome old trees, ourContinue reading “Paddleboating & Promenading at Lake Palić, Serbia”

Shades of Blue: Krka National Park, Skradin & Primošten, Croatia

During an excursion along Croatia’s twinkling Adriatic Coast one winter afternoon, I concurred with astronauts who’ve professed Croatia to be the bluest place on earth. Along with our friend, Damir, we’d left our home away from home within Diocletian’s Palace in seaside Split, and headed northwest on a day trip. We had plans to stop at Krka National Park, the risotto and yachting townContinue reading “Shades of Blue: Krka National Park, Skradin & Primošten, Croatia”