Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Needing feedback...

This is me by the sea in Zadar.

I'm putting this photo here to show how I feel when I come to my blog...quite alone out on the pier, with a big expanse all around me! Only two people have left comments in the past ten posts, and I'm wondering if perhaps my travel reports are boring my readers? (And a couple of people have given me verbal feedback.)

Please let me hear from you, whether by leaving a comment or sending me an email.

When I'm sure that it's worth it, I'll continue the Croatian Chronicles. Or if not, switch to something else.

I vowed when I started this blog that I wouldn't do it as an exercise in self-absorption. Personally, my time could be better used creating a real scrapbook rather than a virtual one. The point of blogging is the interactivity, is it not?

Thanks for letting me know whether or not to continue.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Croatian Chronicles: Intermission

Another late night. My car broke down again today (it did yesterday, too), which has a way of messing up the schedule.

So, a quick single photo before I delve into the next series.

This is someone you know walking through what used to be a moat. The wall in the background is the old fortification for the old castle in Cakovec, the town where someone else you know grew up, and where we lived for one year. Actually, our house is in a nearby village, but our mail comes through Cakovec. (Though not through the castle, just to be clear....)

My beloved remembers the moat full of water when he was a boy, and recalls its being drained because of the snake and frog population. Until he told me about that, I never thought what a gross thing a moat would be. I'm sure it they added to the mosquito population and other populations, as well. I imagine it didn't smell very good. Life in those castles was not the fairy tale Walt Disney has made it out to be!

Anyway, these days the moat is gone, and the ground is covered in beautiful green grass with tiny white flowers, and it made for a lovely little walk, almost like walking through part of a fairy tale.

(Back to reality: Does anyone know of a good used car for sale??)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Croatian Chronicles: Donat Details

I was about to say that flowers like this would be a lot easier than the kind I've just come in from planting and watering....but then when I think how long it must have taken someone to carve this, I have to change my mind! I think that would require a lot more patience and perseverance than does my gardening. These are found at the base of one of the pillars in the church of Sveti Donat.

This fascinated me. The church builders used as part of the foundation these Roman pillar fragments turned sideways. (In case it isn't clear, look for the circle on the left.)

Looking out a window, you can see fragments like the type seen in the previous photo.

Looking straight up (as straight as the camera could get it) at the ceiling from the floor. None of our photos turned out well because of the darkness and the height. This dome is lovely, apparently made of two types of wood, and it almost looks as if it is woven, like the bottom of a giant basket. I haven't found any information on it, except that it is not original. But it is quite unusual.

A close up of the top of one of the Roman columns, incorporated the expected way.

I hope you've enjoyed this "tour" of a place that we really did enjoy. Tune in next time for pictures of the rest of Zadar. (Well, not ALL of it, of course....)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Croatian Chronicles: Look Up!

Well, the "blogsite" (?) has been down each time I've tried to get on and add something. It's working now, but I only have a couple of minutes.

When I first moved to Italy, my friend Jay, while taking me around the city, pointed out the importance of stopping to look up often. He said if you don't look up, you miss most of what there is to see. I like the metaphorical possibilities with that idea, but it's also true in a very literal sense when you're walking narrow European streets surrounded by architectural details on every side.

So, here's one shot of the top of Sveti Donat, with the belltower of Sveta Marija (you guessed it, Saint Mary) behind.

I love the way the church is sprouting greenery and flowers in its cracks and crevices, and no one is rushing to stop it.

And I've never seen an angel like this atop a bell tower. It almost looks as if the angel is conducting the chorus of life that goes on in the city, doesn't it? (Remember to click on the photo to enlarge it. You can see it quite well that way.)

If all goes well with the weekend and with Blogger.com, I'll add more photos this weekend and move on to other parts of the trip.

(So, how many of you recognized the man in the photo of the previous post?)

Monday, June 05, 2006

Croatian Chronicles: Special Guest

Had a wonderful weekend with all kinds of people who had ties to the churches in Italy. It kind of made up for not getting to go to Italy when we went to Croatia.

Well, jetlag seems to be over and I guess I am officially back into the swing of things. Which means today was work (with a run to the garden center at lunch), a return to the garden center after work, grocery shopping, then coming home to spray bug-infested bushes and plant verbena and pull up dandelions and other things that came up while we were away. We were both out in the yard until dark.

Which means I am officially tired now! So until I have the energy to do more, I offer a special guest appearance by someone you will probably recognize. This was a big poster we saw in Zadar, with a story below, in five languages, about his visits to Zadar and his saying that Zadar has the most beautiful sunsets in the world. It was the oddest thing, after seeing statues of Francis of Assisi and of various renowned Croatians, to come across this.

They've got some creative tourism marketers, I think!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Croatian Chronicles: Hiatus

Tune in Monday for more photos and stories. This weekend we are off to Arkansas for a reunion of people who have worked with churches in Italy.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Croatian Chronicles: Church Windows

Below are views of, or through, windows in the church Sveti Donat. I especially like the ones with flowers growing in them: they weren't planted there, but grew from seeds that had landed in the accumulated dirt. Amazing how little soil it takes for a seed to grow!