Just in time for 2017, we have added three new calendars that are now available for purchase. Just visit our Adventures in Fluency store to buy yours today. These calendars feature beautiful photographs from our trips to Croatia, Greece and Thailand. Claudia Rodriguez, my daughter, and Frank Sandoval, my husband, are the talented photographers. Where will your adventure in fluency be in 2017? Let these calendars inspire you and my blog be your guide.
Life is an adventure, not a destination.
Island hopping in Croatia is like visiting different enchantingly beautiful women. Each island is beautiful in her own unique way. Each island has a very distinct personality, as if the island’s spirit breaths from the core of her island and intoxicates its inhabitants with her ways. As we travel from island to island, Claudia and I are the same people. However, each island evokes a different mood from us and castes her own unique spell on us.
Lokrum: The Bewitchingly Beautiful Island
Lokrum, the cursed island, is only available to receive visitors during the day. A short boat ride from the old City Harbor near the Ploce Gate in Dubrovnik, we buy our tickets from a stand in front of the boat. Lorkum rises above the sea with a sheer wall of tan colored rocks topped by a layer of green trees. The island is surrounded by rocks fitted with ladders that descend to the clear, cool Adriatic sea. From the small pier on the island, paths branch out with signs pointing to a cafe, botanical garden, beaches and the ruins of the monastery.
Claudia sitting on the Lokrum pier
Continue reading Lokrum, the Bewitchingly Beautiful Island
It is already 88 degrees in Dubrovnik and it is only 10:30 in the morning. We are standing at King’s Landing in the Old City of Dubrovnik. In front of us, workers are loading a dark brown pirate ship with explosives. They will blow the ship to smitherines in a few days as part of a historic film. Behind the ship are the towers of the wall and large jagged rocks. We are about to circumnavigate the island of Lorkum in sea kayaks with Adventure Dubrovnik.
Kayaking is a lot harder than it looks. In a few strokes, Claudia and I are in last place. Claudia is sitting in the back as the “engine” and I am in front as the captain. Kayaking takes great cooperation, something that is sometimes difficult for mothers and adult daughters to do. We glide out towards the island. The breeze from the Adriatic and the cool water splashing into the kayak finally stops the stream of sweat that has been pouring off my body for the past twenty-four hours.
Lorkum rises above the sea with a sheer wall of tan colored rocks topped by a layer of green trees. Darijo, our guide, stops us when we reach the island and tells us of its curse. The Benedict Monks had a monastary on the island. One day, Archduke Maximilian Ferdinand of Habsburg came to the island and fell in love with it. The spoiled Archduke ordered the monks to leave. On the last night, the monks walked around the island three times with their candles held upside down so that the wax dropped on the ground. They cursed the island so that anyone who acquired the island for their own personal pleasure would meet personal and financial doom. After Maximilian moved his family onto the island, he was assasinated in Mexico, his wife driven insane and his son bankrupt. Now the people believe that anyone who spends more than three nights on the island will suffer a similar fate. Today, the only creatures that live on the island are the peacocks and the bunnies. The island is covered with them as well as tourists and naked sun bathers during the day who come to visit the gardens and the ruins.
Continue reading From Sea to Sdr – 360 Degrees of Beauty in Dubrovnik
It is the hottest day of the year and we decide to ascend the steep stone stairs so we can walk the walls that surround Dubrovnik’s Old Town. It is just past one o’oclock at the hottest time of the day. It is 90 degrees Fahrenheit. At the top, the narrow walkway is almost deserted. Only a few panting tourists cling to small slivers of shade in the corners of the winding way. The heat is merciless.
From the top of the wall, the view is as spectacular as the heat is ruthless. Sweat pours down my back, soaking me shirt. Claudia’s shorts have a “v” outlined in water just below her waist. We cannot rush this promenade. Every few feet, there is a photo begging to be taken. The domes, the orange tile roofs and the grey granite stone creates new intricate puzzle piece mosaics below as the Adriatic sparkles beyond the walls. Dubrovnik is magical. Walking through the gates is like walking through a time portal.
Continue reading Heat, Heights and Heaven in Dubrovnik