Menu Close

Category: Europe: Southeastern

A place in my memory: Naxos

A place in my memory: Naxos

We fell in love with Naxos from the first moment that we set foot on the island. It maintains the right balance of being lively without being overrun, even at the height of the summer holiday season. It is big enough and varied enough to offer a multitude of diversions.…

Istanbul (WHS #139)

Istanbul (WHS #139)

My journey to Israel started with a layover in Istanbul. I’ve never been to the Turkish capital and decided to use the opportunity of a connecting flight to plug that gap on my travel résumé, if only a little. A 9-hour interval from the arrival of the incoming flight to…

Elafiti islands

Elafiti islands

On our last day of the Croatian itinerary, we rented a boat for a tour of Elafiti islands, off the Adriatic coast north of Dubrovnik. We opted for a traditional Dalmatian boat, which afforded a private day-long arrangement at reasonable cost. The downside of that was the low speed at…

Dubrovnik (WHS #135)

Dubrovnik (WHS #135)

The second part of our Croatian itinerary had Dubrovnik as the base. Similarly to Split, we gave ourselves only one full day for exploration of Dubrovnik proper but returned every evening for a meal and a stroll, so managed to acquire a certain level of familiarity with the town. Objectively,…

Chasing World Heritage: #134 (Stecci)

Chasing World Heritage: #134 (Stecci)

My latest travel itineraries have been unapologetically influenced by the desire to visit as many World Heritage sites as I come near. In the instances of Portugal or the Dalmatian Coast, that aligned reasonably well with the notion of a typical first-time tour since the most popular and interesting destinations…

Chasing World Heritage: #133 (Mostar)

Chasing World Heritage: #133 (Mostar)

In a not widely known quirk of geography, a tiny sliver of the Dalmatian Coast belongs to Bosnia and Herzegovina, making it impossible to travel by land between Split and Dubrovnik without entering and then quickly exiting Bosnian territory. The border checks are comparatively relaxed on this stretch, never creating…

Krka National Park

Krka National Park

Krka National Park was not in our original plans. Just like the vast majority of first-time visitors to Croatia, we instead planned on visiting the much more famous Plitvice National Park (even bought tickets online in advance). The latter, however, is two-and-a-half-hour drive away from Split, where we made our…

Chasing World Heritage: #132 (Trogir)

Chasing World Heritage: #132 (Trogir)

The historic center of Trogir sits on a tiny island – roughly 500 meters long and 250 meters wide – that has been continuously inhabited for over 2,000 years. Since the early 13th century AD, the town was gradually rebuilt and embellished with examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque…

Zadar

Zadar

While in Croatia, we technically only explored sights on the Dalmatian Coast. This historic region today encompasses counties with seats in Split, Dubrovnik, Šibenik, and Zadar, all of which featured on our itinerary. The latter is the northernmost of great Dalmatian towns. Wait a second!, says an attentive follower of…

Chasing World Heritage: #130 (Split)

Split (WHS #130)

For the first part of our adventure in Croatia we were based in Split. We budgeted only a single day for exploring the town, but we also returned to the city core every evening for 5 nights, so by the end of that stay we could plausibly claim a pretty…

A place in my memory: Oia

A place in my memory: Oia

This is a pretty recent memory, not even a year old at the time of writing. But it is very illustrative of how the same place can be both most enchanting and most awful, depending on the time of the day. The village of Oia on the northern tip of…

Greece wrap-up

Greece wrap-up

I have now come to the end of my photographic material from the summertime trip to Greece. Over the course of a dozen and a half essays, we revisited places on Crete (Minoan sites, Heraklion, Psychro cave, other locations, not forgetting the unbelievable sunrise), on Santorini (Oia, including sunset, and…

Chasing World Heritage: #116 (Mycenae)

Chasing World Heritage: #116 (Mycenae)

The last ruins that we visited in Greece was Mycenae, the center of the Late Bronze Age civilization that was the main precursor to the classical Ancient Greek culture. Mycenaeans’ period of domination over the Mediterranean came around the time when the Minoan civilization – which we encountered on Crete…

Chasing World Heritage: #115 (Delphi)

Chasing World Heritage: #115 (Delphi)

Delphi was the sacred center of the world for the Ancient Greeks and undoubtedly a remarkable achievement of purposeful architecture, a sanctuary built into the challenging landscape to inspire awe and worship. Unfortunately, very little is left of its former glory, and the visual impact is fairly muted. After experiencing…

Chasing World Heritage: #113 (Acropolis)

Chasing World Heritage: #113 (Acropolis)

I always find myself awed by grandiose edifices. Beholding the Parthenon up close, unfailingly grandiose despite its ruined state blended with a construction site, made the visit to Acropolis instantly worthwhile. Built in the 5th century BC to honor goddess Athena, the patron of the city, the temple survived rise…

Athens

Athens

Common wisdom holds Athens as a single-day destination, with one must-see sight and little else beyond that which is exceptional. Its abundance of ancient ruins may allow a true connoisseur to stretch the stay to a couple of days, but we are far from such connoisseurs. We made Athens the…

Sailing around Naxos

Sailing around Naxos

It may sound unexpected coming from yours truly, but if there was a day that stood out on our two-weeks-plus-long trip to Greece, it was in a sense the laziest day on the itinerary. For the last full day of our stay on Naxos, we penciled in a day-long boating…