Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Few and far between

I know that my blog updates have been few and far between... which happens notoriously with blogs under my care

On the bright side this also means I have been out and about exploring the amazing sights and sounds of Dubrovnik. Lately I have been showing fellow travelers the sights and sounds of Lokrum Island. I have a spiel that I've memorized and most of you would laugh when you hear me... I sound a bit like a tour guide.

Anyways other than exploring local islands, I have also been hanging out with amazing travelers. It's strange how travelers seem to come in waves. Extra ironic as I have just finished reading Susan Casey's latest book also called "The Wave"(A great read if you get the chance). So I've noticed travelers come in waves. First it was the Canadians and Aussies. Then it was Americans specifically from New York and Los Angeles along with the English. Since then it has changes to Scandinavians with plenty of Swedes and Norwegians. And a little shout out to Dave Patterson. Yes Dave, the girls are as pretty as you think they are. I know you will enjoy Stockholm.

Other than noticing travelers in droves, I have also had a ridiculous amount of people coming to visit me. First a group of three people recommended by my friend Ben, then two random but amazing american friends sent by my friend Booboo in Zagreb. Then two more girls who I actually knew from working in the marina in Sidney. So with a massive group of random travelers I embarked on yet another exploration to blow the minds of the visitors and we decided to head out to the Belvedere hotel once again. This time I packed my full photo kit, and between braving the heat of the evening and the broken glass and structural hazards of the building, managed to snap some pretty cool pictures. I know, I know... you must be getting sick of seeing nuked buildings. But what can I say... they make fantastic backdrops!

After the two hour sweat fest of taking photos and exploring the bombed out building, we wandered down to the lower levels where we found a fantastic swimming hole where we washed the sweat, dove into the sea and enjoyed the beautiful view of the Dubrovnik Old City.

I also managed to snap this picture the following day of my friend Maja as we escaped the heat and sat out the rocks outide the city walls. When I saw the full moon making it's appearance earlier that day, I knew I had to grab my camera and make the most of it. One 3 second exposure combined with a quick shot with my LED flashlight and a little black/white effect in iphoto... and this final product.

Anyways we're expecting rain and thunder showers tomorrow in Dubrovnik so I've got to go and batten the hatches... at least I can play make believe... and pretend I'm in Vancouver...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Euro Trip Part 1

So it may have taken the better part of a month but I have finally gotten my act together and managed to finish editing the footage of my trip up to this point.

After leaving Vancouver on May 10th, I departed for Frankfurt with a cheap ticket in hand. With no major plans I decided to visit Katja in Karlsruhe (she was awesome enough to pick me up from the airport and speed me back to Karlsruhe doing 190 km/h on the autobahn) and experience Kat's version of Germany after all the talk of wanting to go back to Europe. Some great beer experiences, sightseeing the german countryside on electric bikes, meeting awesome roomies and cycling around the city I departed for Dubrovnik Croatia to meet up with Jon and Sanja.

A month in Croatia and I managed to document most of it. Adriatic life. Sunshine and warm water. Thunderstorms. Idyllic islands and lots of swimming. I was fortunate enough to get to share these awesome memories with some ace people. Here is a little snapshot of my trip so far.

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!