A Fireworks Display for My 100th Story

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Statue in Mijas Pueblo, Spain

During the past five years I have blogged about my adventures and observations of places, people and their cultures. To my surprise, my stories have been read by people in 73 countries around the world!

The worker statue in Mijas Pueblo in Spain reminds me that most of my stories sprang from adventures and explorations. These adventures began on the side of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Southern Spain.

This story, my 100th, is like a fireworks display… lighting up the sky with brilliant flashes with loud blasts! It commemorates those stories that I find most enjoyable.

This story is dedicated to those who have encouraged and inspired me to write and to those who read what I have written.

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My Mole Misadventure

When I was beginning my working career my parents and others tried hard to understand exactly what I did. As I made several noble attempts on numerous occasions to describe what a computer programmer’s work entailed, there was no comprehension of it… and subsequent promotions made it even more difficult.

Finally, in desperation I agreed with their thought that I really worked for the CIA and was using “computer programmer” as a cover. They found that to be much more acceptable even though the company I worked for and my occupation had nothing to do with “the company” (as the CIA is often referred to) or being a spy.

However, a few years ago I was a “mole…” but not in the context of espionage. This is my story about an incident I had in the former Yugoslavia.

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Faces from My Adventures

In a few days I will have an anniversary marking three years since I began my European adventures. When I began my exploration I also started to create my blog. I think of my blog not only as a journal of my discoveries but also as a place to remember the stories I have heard, the people I have met, and the cultural differences which I have encountered.

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A Couple in Zagreb, Croatia

I maintain my blog for myself so I can enjoy reliving memories from the many places I have visited. However, I have shared my blog with everyone and I can’t help but notice that people in 61 countries have read at least one of the 75 stories I have written. I hope that you, my readers, enjoy the glimpse into my life and my explorations.

 

This story is different from others I have written. I always try to add several photos into my stories to help bring memories alive. I have also noticed that I have a significant collection of photos from the past three years that have not been posted. So, this story is all about the faces I have encountered over the past three years.

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Ancient Roman Encounters in Pula, Croatia

When I was in high school I was fascinated by “ancient” history. At the time, my classes were focused on numerous facts about people who were difficult to relate to such as Athenians, Romans, Trojans, Carthaginians, and others. But even though I was fascinated, ancient history really didn’t come “alive.”  In fact, in the larger scheme of things, history 2000 years ago really isn’t that “ancient” considering the age of mankind.

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Roman Arena in Pula, Croatia

However, in my recent explorations history has come alive as I have explored remains of once-great civilizations. Such it was a few months ago when I made a journey to Pula in Croatia.

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Bucket List – You Must Explore Dubrovnik!

I have traveled to many places in the world and have been delighted everywhere by the people, beauty, and culture. Croatia, however, has really been spectacular and picturesque! I lived in Zagreb for a month and a half and visited a beautiful country which most Americans have little knowledge of. While I have written about Plitvička National Park, and Zagreb, the Croatian Adriatic Seacoast has several awesome sites that are certain to be added to bucket lists for world explorers.

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A view through a wall window on the Dubrovnik Old City

Croatia declared independence in 1991 during the break-up of Yugoslavia. After that the nation was forced to fight a war with neighbors Serbia and Montenegro which had other ideas to keep the nation together.

Most explorers coming to Croatia arrive from Eastern Europe and Mediterranean countries. They enjoy the beautiful seaside cities with unique, colorful names such as Pula, Dubrovnik and Split. The explorers know great places to visit and  the history and beauty on the Croatian Adriatic coast are very inviting. I recommend that you put this country on your bucket list! This story is about my adventure to Dubrovnik and the nearby town of Korcula. This blog is about the enticing things I saw there as I was in awe of the beauty of these old cities and their stories.

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Discovering Treasures in Plitvička Jezera

My exploration adventures have taken me to many beautiful natural and man-made places on the planet. This week I found a gem in Croatia’s 295 square kilometer Plitvička National Park. This is my short story about my experiences enveloped by the deep forest and seeing beautiful lakes, cascades, waterfalls and wildlife there.

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Moss covered rocks in the cascades next to the slippery wood walkway in Plitvicka National Park

The rain began early in the morning in Zagreb and continued all the way to Plitvička, an hour and a half away to the mountains. Once there, who cared that it was raining slightly as I discovered the grandeur of this magnificent park.

I went with a small group of like-minded adventurers with a Croatian guide. She said that the park had been cleared of land mines from the war between Croatia and next door neighbors Serbia and Montenegro in the early 1990’s.

“Wait a minute” I thought, as I said “Did you say land mines? Were all of them removed?” “Yes,” she replied. But she recommended we stay on the marked trails anyway and then the worst things that could happen would be to encounter a bear or slip and fall. This was an adventure like no other! I felt encouraged to stay on the trails and away from the cliff edges!

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My Return for More Croatian Adventures

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Ban Jelacic Square

In May I visited Zagreb, Croatia. In a short span of twelve days I knew that I wanted to return to this ancient, small city, the capital of Croatia, and explore it and the country as part of my travel adventures.

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Ban Josip Jelacic in the Square Named for Him

When I was in Zagreb, I blogged about “Slaying Dragons in Zagreb” and I have several unpublished photos. This blog entry is a photo collage of my best unpublished photos of Zagreb. It not only is a record of my initial visit but also sets the stage for what is to come.

This week I returned to Zagreb after two very enjoyable months exploring Romania; I have high expectations about my adventures in Croatia. There are traditional foods that I intend to sample and there are ample opportunities to visit places near the Adriatic Sea and the mountains between Zagreb and the seacoast.

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