Friday, July 1, 2011

Benji Came Back (And Happy Canada Day!)

Howdy y'all.

So it's been a while since I've posted a blog. To be honest, I don't really have a good excuse for not writing. I have had time to write a blog, but it seems that life has been exciting and full of adventures that I have neglected to document them for vicarious internet readers. I mean one post in almost a month is pretty weak.

Anyways here's the quick update on my life.

The last time I talked to you was after the trip out to Kupari for a little photo hunt. Since then I have discovered an even larger and spookier abandoned hotel closed to Dubrovnik called the "Hotel Belvedere". Fifteen stories of photographic orgasm. It's a totally abandoned resort hotel from the 80's that became the frontline of the conflict in Dubrovnik during the 90's. As it was part of the frontline it was promptly abandoned during the war, then looted for all it's contents just as quickly when the conflict was over. Anything not bolted to the ground was removed... and even things like handrails which were secured were mysterious pillaged form the once majestic hotel. Including the railings from the spiraled staircase, which makes for a much more interesting photo, although slightly more dangerous to capture.

We trekked through the building exploring the old abandoned disco, the restaurant and beautiful terrace with an amazing view of the old city of Dubrovnik.

Anyways exploring old abandoned hotels aside, it's strange how life happens to come together at the strangest of times. I was really lucky to be hanging out at work one day... checking some guests in at the time, when my good friend Ben happened to walk into the hostel. Now this wouldn't be such a big deal deal except for the fact that Ben is actually from Melbourne Australia.

I first me Ben in 2007 when I was working at Fresh* Travelers Bar. He was the random backpacking kid that walked in with his super laid back and open minded attitude. His zest for life was infectious and our friendship instantly gelled. Ben was a university student who got a taste of the travel bug and managed to escape the everyday of Melbourne and backpacked europe for eight months solo... having insane adventures along the way. Throughout my trip in Europe, I managed to meet up with Ben on five separate occasions. Needless to say there are many adventures that were shared. Getting to show Ben the city of Antwerp Belgium during the winter, sneaking onto the city walls of Dubrovnik at 3 am to celebrate my one year anniversary abroad, watching him leap from a fourteen meter cliff into the adriatic sea... were all highlights of our times together.

Now it wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary except for the fact that neither of us really expected each other to be in Europe at the same time. Ben casually walked into the hostel... and asked for a room like it was no big deal.

The last ten days flew by in a heartbeat. During those times we went to Lokrum island a few times, cooked meals, went out for drinks, went bananas at a "Hladno Pivo" (means cold beer in croatian) concert and danced until 4 am followed by a brisk morning swim. The great this is that Ben also managed to hook up with a friend of mine. Nothing makes me happier than seeing two amazing people you know get together... and in the process become even more awesome. It was just like four years ago in Dubrovnik.. like no time had passed at all.Ten days went by, Ben moved his plane ticket back a few days to hang out longer, but his time finally came to jump on a flight up to Stockholm and start some other european adventures. It's so strange how much time can pass, how much distance there is in between and how long you can go without talking to somebody but when you do finally get to see eachother, it's nothing but utterly true and real friendship. It really finally hit me right between the eyes... it was events like this that made me realize why I love the world of travel.

On another note, while Ben was here I did manage to get out and enjoy the Dubrovnik "Petit Festival du Theatre" a grassroots international theater festival. We were fortunate enough to get to experience some amazing musical song and dance from germany. They were true performers in every way. I also managed to watch a woman sing latin music which was a great way to spend the evening while enjoying the cafe like seating of the festival. I did manage to snap a neat shot or two as well.

So there are many amazing stories to be told but I will have to save something for next time. I have been working on a video for a month and a half now and am expecting to upload it tonight... so expect another post sooner than later!

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