All Posts Tagged ‘Kotor

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Kotor 2

This is the flag of the city of Kotor in one of the balconies of the main square. The city is a little jewel in one of the most beautiful bays of the Adriatic, the Kotor Bay, in Montenegro, just south of Croatia.

The city is completely fortified, and everything inside is baroque or medieval. It has plenty of history… and life. It’s my father’s home city and one of the most beloved places for me.

Ragtag Daily Prompt – Flag

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Good memories

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Tell us about the top five places you’ve always wanted to visit

Rome, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Kotor, San Francisco and New York. Those are places where I’ve lived wonderful times. In Rome, Zagreb Dubrovnik and Kotor I had the most moving experiences. In the US I worked, had a lot of fun, and found great friends I would like to go back sometime to remember and enjoy again the wonders of the cities that left a deep trace on my life. As for places I never visited before, I have no preferences. I always have gone where life has led me. I have no wish list. By now I can’t travel, so I’m happy with my walks across the city and occasional outings with my friends to the surroundings where there are beautiful forests and mountains, because we are very close to the Pyrenees.

The Wanderer

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Mother

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Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely?

It has been so long since my last travel, that I only can think on get out of this city at least for a day. Where? I don’t mind. Any change would be welcome. I’m stuck in this city. I can’t leave its maze of streets. I like my city. I’m lucky it has plenty of parks and green spaces I can enjoy. It’s also in a privileged place near stunning nature spots. But for me is difficult to leave the city even to go to those places, no matter how close they are. And this situation is gonna last for a long time. I was gonna say: I’m afraid. But I’ll rather say: I hope. Or better: If that is what God wants. Because what ties me to my city this way is my mom. She needs me every day to take care of her. And I feel lucky to be able to help her to have a better quality of life now that she can’t move by herself.

I have a lot of memories of wonderful places I visited when I was free and had the means to travel. Once, I won in a raffle a trip for two to spend a week in Cuba all paid. My mom was then saying that she didn’t want to die without seen her homeland again, so I asked in the travel agency if I could change the tickets from Cuba to Croatia and they say yes.  We got a trip to spend 10 days in Dubrovnik all paid (out of high season). It was great. She told me a lot of exciting stories she lived in the medioeval city during the war. I got to know her courage. We enjoyed the art, the culture, the blue mediterranean sea. We took advantage of our trip to go to Kotor Bay in Montenegro to visit my dad’s family in Kotor city and Dobrota. We had long conversations at my aunt’s orchard next to the shore, feeling the evening marine breeze. Kotor Bay is a wonderful place where you have the sea, some islands, and high mountains together. It was a great trip. I would like to go back. But I know it only will be possible without mom and then I don’t know if I will be able to overcome the emotions and the sorrow.

Places.

 

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By the Sea

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You’ve been given the ability to build a magical tunnel that will quickly and secretly connect your home with the location of your choice — anywhere on Earth. Where’s the other end of your tunnel?

This sounds familiar and I don’t have new ideas

Providing that this tunnel was magical and easy to dig, I would use it to visit my family and friends who are far away and enjoy the beautiful places I love, and now are out of reach for me. Therefor, I would need a two exits tunnel: one in some port of the Croatian coast and other in San Francisco, California.

With the first one I would take a boat and go visit my relatives from port to port and enjoy the beauty of the coast and its islands, towns and cities. I would go to my mom’s hometown of Senj in the North and sail all the way down to the south to pass to Montenegro and go to the Bay of Kotor where my dad was born.

With the second exit I would go to the city where I left some of my best friends, to catch up with them, have fun, enjoy the city wonders, contemplate the Bay, and have a walk in the Ocean Beach at the sunset.

If the secret tunnel only can have one exit, it would be definitely to a place by the Adriatic sea. I’m docked inland, and I miss the marine breeze in my face, the sight of the immensity and the power of the water, the roar of the waves. All these are like a balsam that opens my spirit, help me think more clearly and make me feel free.

Tunnel Vision.

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Tricky bonus

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 ‘Tis the season for road trips — if time and money were out of the equation, what car-based adventure would you go on? (If you don’t or can’t drive, any land-based journey counts.)

Bonus (optional): show us your itinerary by embedding a Google Map into your post! 

I have worked the whole evening in my google map only to find a message that said : sorry, sharing is unavailable at this time. Please, try again later. So, no bonus  at this time. 

I was going to show you a nostalgic itinerary across the Croatian Adriatic Coast to visit places related to the history of my family. 

 

I’d visit places like my mother’s hometown of Senj,

Rovinj where my father’s family has roots,

Kosljun, where our friend Franciscan Padre Mavro lived,

Zadar,

Sibenik,

Trogir,

Hvar,

Split, where I have cousins,

Dubrovnik, where my uncle Ivo was killed during the war,

and Kotor, in Montenegro, my father’s hometown.

Finally I managed to share my map. Here it is (I hope)


Road Tripping.

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History

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If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

At least you have a picture of me. And you keep that old Ecce Homo painting it has been in our family for generations. What about the Barony? Lost? Since when? And the house? And the property? What are we doing in only a few rooms in this strange building? Why are you talking with such a strange accent? Why can’t I understand your children? Where are we? Why can’t I see the sea from the walls of the city?

Two World Wars and long years of emigration later, my great-grandfather would feel completely lost.  His picture, the Ecce Homo and a room full of books would be the only familiar things he would find at our home. The barony is history. After decades of communist regime there is no trace of the house and the property.  We no longer live in his beloved Kotor (now in Montenegro) but in a little apartment in Pamplona, Spain. The younger generations are Spanish. We would need to translate constantly to maintain a conversation, but we are already used to it.

I guess he would be surprised to learn I’m a journalist and all the women of the family are working out of home.  Each one, except my older sister and me, in different cities. And also to see the men helping with the house chores at the end of the dinner.

About my younger nephew appareance (he wears dreadlocks) I guess he would think that young people never change. They always are looking for something different. Even when he was alive.

I suppose  he would be very interested in the wonders of modern life, above all in our machines and gadgets, as almost all in my family are. It must be in our genes.

A shocking and interesting visit.
Modern Families.

 

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An unorganized visit to Croatia

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Dubrovnik/Mario Romulić & Dražen Stojčić

Dubrovnik/Mario Romulić & Dražen Stojčić

When Mom hit 87 she began to say: I don’t want to die without seeing home once more. We didn’t have the money to travel to Croatia from Spain then, but we wanted to fulfill her will. Then suddenly  something never happened to me before (never after) arrived as a gift from heaven. I won a price in a Christmas lottery consistent in a two people trip to Cuba. I asked if I could change the destination and they said yes!

So we went to Croatia that year in an unorganized trip. I hate organized trips. We just wanted to get lost. Mom wanted to see home. She is from Senj, a little town North near the port of Rijeka, close to the Croatian biggest Island, Krk. The town was leveled in WWII and most of its ancient buildings have disappeared except the castle of Nehaj. But the town is still known because of its history and its strong winds: the “senjska bura” that sweeps the sea between the Island and the mainland and in winter use to form ice in the coast. In summer the water is clean, transparent, and beautiful.

We went to Krk to the town of Punat to visit a little island inside a bay of the big Island, Kosljun. This little Island has only a franciscan monastery in it and we went there to visit a friar who was my mom’s friend from youth. Father Mavro. We went to Kosljun in a little boat named St Anton. We spent several days there. It was the most peaceful site I remember. An island only for the franciscans and their guests in a beautiful scenario. Silence, nature, the monastery and nothing more.

Krk has a lot to historic and natural places to see and enjoy. It was great.

Then we headed south to Dubrovnik, a very known medieval city because we wanted to go to Kotor, in Montenegro, were my father was born. Again, Dubrovnik is a popular touristic destination, but is great being there with time to get lost when is not the hot season and you can walk freely through the main street stradun, sit down at the Onofrio’s fountain, go to some little restaurant in one of the narrow side streets, visit the ancient pharmacy of the franciscans or the ducal palace or if you can (we couldn’t because of the age of my mom) take the steps and go up to the walls of the city that fall down to the sea and give you astonishing views. We took a boat and surrounded the walls. It was great. Then back at the hotel a “Klapa” or group of men signing folk songs sang for us in an open air dinner close to the sea. In Dubrovnik the sea was also clean and transparent and beautiful.

Finally we cross the border with Montenegro and went to Kotor another medieval city with Croatian population where my father was born, which is at the end of a beautiful bay of the same name. We were able to visit my aunt and uncle and my cousins and we went with them again to get lost in the city and enjoy the bay surrounded by high mountains, the water calm, with its little islands inside.

Finally we went back to Dubrovnik and then the last day the “klapa” sang to my mom a song dedicated to her. Her name is Anna and the Lyrics goes “Anna, my little Ana, may soul, my heart”. With That song in our hearts we went back to Spain and that was her las visit home.

I would like to come back to get lost in the Croatian Adriatic coast again by myself, visit more cities and places we were dreaming to see, and remember those days with mom.

Daily Prompt: Tourist Trap.