Day 5 (Apr 19, 2019–Fri) Dubrovnik

My last day had two quests: (1) understand and feel the Croatian War of Independence and (2) do side-by-side wine tasting of the ancient Zinfandel (Krljanek) and their modern offspring Plavec Mali—success! The photojournalist exhibit on the wars that led to the Yugoslavian disintegration was marvelous and the wine tasting was a real treat, something not possible in the States—we’ll see! Here are a few pics of the day.

The before and after shot from the square just 50 yards from my hostel impressed me, but also some of the other war torn scenes.

And then there’s the coup of side-by-side old and new Zinfandel grapes—what a treat. This wine bar was the real treat

Day 4 (18 Apt—Thu) Dubrovnik

Sightseeing all day, starting with a 1+ hr walking tour with 10 other sightseers—all here in Old Town. How do you cull 31 pics to 3 or 4? Big scenes not my Julius Meinl coffee cup for breakfast that gave me a warm feeling of connectedness! My hostel, within two blocks of the first picture, is right in the center of Old Town that totally swarms with tourists—at mid afternoon I had to get away from it all, so I walked a mile uphill to rub shoulders so to speak with locals.

The shore here is very steep and full of cliffs that have their own character. A little harbor at the south end was busy with sightseeing boats full of tourists.

Day 3 (17 Apr—Wednesday) Dubrovnik

First partial day in Dubrovnik—beautiful, overflowing with tourists. The cruise ships don’t help any. Will take my first tour tomorrow morning. My hostel is in Old Town—inside the walls, in the middle of everything. These pics give my first impressions:

Day 2, Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 London

Had a good flight LAX to London, then walked 4.5 miles to the Hotel—best option to get some exercise after a long flight and avoid paying 20£ for a cab since the hotel had no pickup from the airport (only to the airport). It was a bit difficult over some stretches that had no shoulder!

It’s off to Croatia tomorrow morning with a British Air flight at 6:45am.

D-Day, Monday, April 15, 2019 LAX, California

Just patiently waiting to board the plane in the picture (Norwegian Boeing 787) in about 20 minutes for a 7:30 PM departure to London, Gatwick Airport. Am staying overnight near the airport and catching a British Airways on Wednesday for Dubrovnik, Croatia. All’s well.

D-4 (April 4, Thursday) Ventura

Four more days to go until I board my Norwegian flight at LAX London-bound. Had a nice visit to Santa Barbara yesterday where I picked up Lucille and we headed up to Fess Parker Winery. Discovered that Marcy Parker had just passed away–91 years old. That gave us pause! Here are a few pics at lunch and at the winery afterwards (flag at half staff).

D-6 April 9, 2019–Ojai

Hiked with Belle from Ventura to Ojai a gentle uphill 15.5 mile trail, starting at about 6:15 in the morning—nice and cool for much of the walk. Our destination was the Ojai Beverage Company with 50 some brews on tap—what a reward!

D-8 Training for Croatia Walk

Had a great hike on Saturday, the 6th of April with our SoCal Folks going from LA’s Farmers Market up to Runyon Canyon Park. A shell ceremony was celebrated where this pic was taken (the Hollywood sign is tee-tiny off to the right).

Afterwards most of the 37 hikers met at Farmers Market to enjoy their food, beer/drinks and above all our camaraderie.

D-50 (17 June—Sunday) Rome

Tried to get tickets on-site for the Galleria Borghese, but none was available until a Thursday window. Then we gave it one more try through the Marriott close by and that bombed, too. Oh well, we’ll plan better next time. Kurtis (my grandson) and Jesse (my granddaughter-in-law and I had a drink and cheese platter at Harry’s Bar across the street from the Marriott and close to the entrance to the Borghese Gardens. After that, we walked over to the Spanish Steps and the Church at the top of the steps.

From there we sauntered to the Pantheon and went inside with what seemed like thousands of others. Beautiful dome and chapels all around the inside of the Pantheon, which now functions as a Catholic church.

Then back to my Trastevere lodging (by tram) and a little lunch with M&M, and then rest. In the evening we went to the nearby Ristorante Sabatini for a wonderful Father’s Day dinner.

THIS WILL BE MY LAST BLOG FOR MY ITALIAN CAMINO! IT’S BEEN A WONDERFUL TRIP—AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME!

comments on pics:

1. At Harry’s Bar

2. Entrance to Borghese Garden Grounds

3. Top of Spanish Steps

4. Looking at St Peter’s from Spanish Steps

5. Down Spanish Steps

6. Inside Pantheon

7+8. At Dinner. 

D-49 Rome

  • ‌15 June—Friday (Rome) Took a tour this morning of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St Peter’s. So much beautiful art—hard to get your arms around it.

Transferred my backpack to new lodging in the Trastevere District, The Corner Eight. After an afternoon’s rest we walked over to Trevi Fountain—I think thousands of other people had this idea. Must be the same ones that have followed us to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, etc. Somebody tell them to stop. Enough already!

Comments on pics:

1. K&J inside St Peter’s

2.Pieta in St Peter’s

3. Next three inside Vatican Museum

4. Statue of St Peter in St Peter’s

5. Waiting to start tour of Vatican Museum