First Prague, then Munich, then Home

I have put off writing a post over the last week. Partly because as our trip winds down I feel an increasing need to try and make our last days in Europe as worthwhile as possible: “No time to write, I’m afraid! I gotta go see X, Y and Z! And explore A, B and C! And eat L, M, N, O and P!” A … Continue reading First Prague, then Munich, then Home

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Frolicking Bulgarian Birds

The other day, as Erika and I were wandering around the central square in Ruse, Bulgaria, we stopped to look at an odd fountain. For the life of us, we could not make out what it was the man was carrying and/or struggling with. Was it an alligator? In Bulgaria? Then, as we puzzled over the figure, we noticed a handful of frolicking Bulgarian birds-sparrows, … Continue reading Frolicking Bulgarian Birds

What Bulgaria is like for me.

The last five days we have been in Bulgaria, first in Sofia (the capital of the country) and now in a smaller city called Ruse (Rus-ah). After our long stretch in Greece (a little over 2 weeks), being in a new country feels strange. In Greece we had finally started to use some basic Greek words to communicate, and could recognize signage when we walked … Continue reading What Bulgaria is like for me.

Athens is Angry

Athens is angry, it seems. It’s a tempered anger, for the most part, but it is lies always below the surface. One always has the feeling of underlying tension, not with each other, but with people and social systems in power. This is most evident in the ubiquitous graffiti. In Greece, especially in major cities but also in the countryside, graffiti is everywhere. From government … Continue reading Athens is Angry

Gawking at Locals

Olympos is a small village on the Greek island of Karpathos described by some as a “living museum.” One of the evidences for this is often given is that “the women still wear traditional clothing.” Another is “the remoteness of the village has kept its traditions intact.” Enticed by these descriptions, Erika and I had been planning to visit the town for several days. To avoid … Continue reading Gawking at Locals

Ephesus: Going waaaaaay back.

The last two nights we were in Selcuk, a town similar in size to Ayvalik (yes, I still miss Ayvalik and seem to want to compare everything to Ayvalik).  Selcuk is the gateway to the Ephesus (Efes) ruins. We stayed at a great place called Atilla’s Getaway, which is run by Atilla, a Turkish-Australian gentleman who proved to be an affable, knowledgeable host. For anyone planning to go … Continue reading Ephesus: Going waaaaaay back.

A Turkish Bath

On Friday, Erika and I went to a bath house to experience a Turkish bath. There is no bath, per se, at least in the Western understanding. Rather, the term refers to the way one is washed and massaged by an attendant from head to toe. We were a bit nervous. We had looked at several, but we had some trepidation about both the cost … Continue reading A Turkish Bath

Destination and Path

Over Labor Day weekend, Erika and I made the cross-state trek to Pullman, WA/Moscow, ID for a visit. During the 7-hour drive home, much of which looked like the image to the right, a desire began to grow within me that longed for the journey’s end. There was nothing much to see or do, it seemed, except be with one’s self and one’s companion. But, … Continue reading Destination and Path

Letting Go of Things

What is value? What do you value? Why do you value it? As Erika and I transition to the next phase in our lives, we have been challenged by these questions. During our eight comfortable years together, we did what most people do – we accumulated things, many things. Our closets were full of wonderful clothing, our kitchen counters covered with cooking conveniences, our garage … Continue reading Letting Go of Things