A Peek at Linderhof Palace

Schloss Linderhof is the smallest of three castles built by King Ludwig II in Germany’s state of Bavaria in the mid to late 1800s. Simultaneously referred to as the ‘Fairy Tale King’ and ‘Mad King Ludwig,’ eccentric Ludwig is perhaps best known for having commissioned Neuschwanstein Castle, the so-called ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Disney Castle.’ He is said to have been obsessed with French culture, found inspiration in the architecture of Versailles, and reportedly wanted to infuse Bavaria with refined attractions. Linderhof Palace is the only one of his castles that the king lived to see completed.

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Riding the Dubrovnik Cable Car: Breathtaking Views and Pensive Moments

 

“You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.” – Amelia Earhart

Our first two days in Dubrovnik, the sun hid among a thick cloak of clouds. Dodging a deluge of raindrops that is unusual for the city, we longed for the vibrant ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ of postcards – those sapphire-blue skies meeting a sea dressed in the same hue, ripe-orange rooftops, and verdant palm and pine trees dotting the craggy landscape.

Diligently watching the weather reports, we made strategic plans for when to ride the city’s cable car up to Mount Srdj, 405 meters above sea level. As we walked to the cable car station, things started looking up as Dubrovnik gracefully began her transition from greyscale tones to Technicolor.

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The Details of Dubrovnik – Meet the Maskerons

 

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” – William Morris

By day, it could be easy to get overwhelmed in Dubrovnik, given its countless ornate buildings and the enormous sea of tourists streaming down the main street, the Stradun. But it’s important to not miss the details, especially the maskeron or gargoyle-like faces that emerge from fountains and walls, adding a delightful quirkiness to the architecture.

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A Lesson in Cooking Peka, the Signature Dish of Croatia’s Dalmatia Region

One of the most popular meals in Croatia’s Dalmatia region is peka, a blend of vegetables and meat drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with herbs, and then baked to perfection under a bell-like dome, or ispod čripnje. You’ll see it listed on menus throughout the region, and if you are lucky enough to be invited into the home of a Dalmatian family, it’s likely that you’ll feast upon it for dinner. It is traditional for Dalmatians to cook peka in their fireplaces at home. Many Croatian families, especially those in the countryside, even have a special oven outdoors for cooking.

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A Farewell to Trogir, Croatia

 

“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.”

-Henry David Thoreau

Our time in Trogir, Croatia is rapidly ticking down, and we are getting sentimental about leaving this special corner of the world that we have called home for the past seven weeks. Today, we will be heading to Dubrovnik, the so called ‘pearl of the Adriatic,’ by bus. It is a bittersweet morning. Continue reading “A Farewell to Trogir, Croatia”

Shades of Vertigo: Climbing the Bell Tower in Trogir, Croatia

Sometimes, fear can get the best of you, and here in Trogir, Croatia, I must confess that it did.

Whenever I explore a new city, I like getting high above it, and despite an aversion to heights, I’ve climbed some of Europe’s most iconic church towers: Notre Dame de Paris, Germany’s Ulm Cathedral and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. On a recent spring morning, however, I couldn’t muster up the courage to conquer the bell tower of the Saint Lawrence Cathedral, Trogir’s most famous monument.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have done my research in advance. One reader had dubbed the structure the ‘tower of terror’ and many Trip Advisor reviews warned the faint of heart of the unnerving climb. So, I prepared myself for the ascent, leaving anything at our apartment that might be a candidate for rappelling down the infamous stairwell’s cavern. My rings stayed at home, and so did my purse.

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The Hunt for the ‘Original Zin’: A Wine Tasting Tour of Croatia

“From wine what sudden friendship springs!” – John Gay

We started the day in the seaside city of Trogir, Croatia on a quest to find Zinfandel’s ancestral home. By the day’s end, we’d not only savored many splendid glasses of wine, we’d also acquired a greater appreciation of Croatian culture while broadening our circle of international friends. Our wine tasting tour in Split and Kaštela was brilliantly crafted by Alan Mandic at Secret Dalmatia, whose personal network of friends passionate about Croatia made it all possible.

We instantly clicked with our guide, Srdjan, who picked us up in his white Lada 4×4, that he’d playfully introduced as ‘the vineyard car.’ Events later in the day would vindicate the car’s namesake.

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Flourishes Fit for a Fairy Tale: Admiring the Details in Trogir, Croatia

Traveling is almost like talking with men of other centuries.René Descartes

How Trogir tempts me with its fanciful flourishes fit for a fairy tale!

At almost every turn in the Croatian town’s labyrinthine lanes, there emerge weathered faces, coats of arms, religious motifs, and even a nautical-inspired element. Embarking on a grocery shopping mission is a hapless endeavor, for I always become distracted, craning my neck to see the treasures on the façades above. At times, I expect my trusty Nikon (or husband) to start puffing out smoke, exhausted from my maniacal snapping.

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