Balancing Act

Today, 27 September is World Tourism Day. Initiated in 1980 by the UN this year’s theme is tourism and rural development.  As with all UN International Days—and for all of us—the coronavirus pandemic changes everything. Travel and tourism experts predict that national travel will recover before international travel. Data about the global economic impact ofContinue reading “Balancing Act”

Rock Solid

Istrian stone is water resistant and hard as marble. It is a metamorphosed limestone transformed by heat, pressure and time into a durable material.  Vast quantities of Istrian stone were exported to build Venice. The toughness of Istrian stone helped Venice survive recurring flooding. An influential European architectural history titled The Stones of Venice  byContinue reading “Rock Solid”

Set in Karst

Rocky, barren ground. Sinkholes, caves, underground water with no apparent surface streams or lakes. Karst. Derived from the Slavic word krs or kras, the German karst, and the Italian carso or carsico, the word means ‘rocky mountain’ or ‘stone.’ Karst landscapes cover half of Croatia’s  topography and more than 80% of Croatia’s lavishly indented coastlineContinue reading “Set in Karst”

Lights in the Dark

Every year the Višnjan Observatory in Višnjan aka Visignano, Istria hosts a summer solstice Astrofest. Like Astrofests around the world, Istria’s Astrofest 2020 is cancelled because of  the coronavirus pandemic. Visnjan’s Astrofest has a lot in common with other solstice celebrations. People gather to share food, dancing, music, bonfires—and in Višnjan—nighttime stargazing. At Višnjan’s Astrofest, astronomyContinue reading “Lights in the Dark”

Listening to place

Like language and music the sounds of a place shape our perceptions and feelings about it. Listening to the soundscapes of Croatia’s ecosystems and intangible cultural heritage you might hear Karst caves echoing, Zvončari bells clanging, Griffon vultures cawing  Bura winds roaring, Klapa singing, Waterfalls sloshing Lamb peka cooking, Ča, Kaj, Što   Sounds of Zadar’sContinue reading “Listening to place”

Mountain paths

Along Istria’s coast and nestled around  Kvarner’s Opatija Riviera is Učka—mountain range, peak and Nature Park. Učka’s biodiverse ecosystem supports many protected, native plant and animal life. Campanula tommasiana or Adriatic bellflowers bloom there during May and June. From Učka’s highest peak you can see all of Istria, Kvarner Bay and islands, Mount Velebit, theContinue reading “Mountain paths”

ljubavna priča

Many generations grew up playing under this tree, watching its changing colors and admiring its beauty in every season. A 243 year old male ginkgo biloba tree called Adam lives in Daruvar at the entrance to the Castle of Count Janković. This tree is protected  as a natural and cultural heritage monument. It isContinue reading “ljubavna priča”

Origin Stories

Memories of Papa and Noni’s backyard and my childhood are inseparable. Their backyard was a place where my brothers and sisters and I played and posed awkwardly for family photographs. Noni had a vegetable garden where she tended tomatoes, Italian beans and tender June lettuce.  Fruit trees, flowers and vibernum snowball bushes that produced whiteContinue reading “Origin Stories”