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Climbing the Walls of Kotor

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On my first visit to Kotor, Montenegro I did not get the chance to climb the Walls of Kotor.  So, on a recent visit I made sure to make climbing the walls the first item on my itinerary. The first walls in St. John’s hill date back to 9th century when Kotor was under the Byzantine rule. The walls reached a height of 918 feet above sea level. A 3-mile loop was added and completed in the 14th century. Endless renovations and additions were continually made until the 19th century. So, the walls were in pretty good condition.  From the port, I went straight to the tourist info center to inquire about the entrance to the walls.  I was handed a map with the highlighted route. Despite the map in my hand, I still managed to get lost in trying to find the entrance to the walls because I was distracted by the many photographic spots in the medieval city. There were two entrances: one from the North side and one from the South side. I walked a few steps from what seemed to be a residential area b

Greek Odyssey

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I'm not really into cruising but I must admit I've cruised on few occasions to see places and experience something that could only be experienced through cruising, such as going through the Panama Canal. Recently, I went on a cruise to sail the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Ionian waters and visit the famous Greek Islands. SANTORINI Santorini is the most popular island in the Aegean waters. I thought I was seeing snow-capped mountains as the ship approached the island. But up-close, they were rows and rows of white-washed houses occasionally dotted by blue domes perched on the cliffs or sitting on top of the mountains.  I visited the two most popular villages in Santorini: Oia and Fira .  Getting to these villages from the seaside was a challenge. We first visited Oia, the most famous and most photographed village in Santorini. We transferred from the ship to the port of Ammoudi, tucked beneath the village of Oia, and took a short shuttle ride to the village. However, the shuttle

Greenland: Among the Icebergs

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As a photo enthusiast, I really am fascinated by nature and landscape photography.  And I'm a big fan of Camille Seaman, who is famous for photographing icebergs.  She captures the effects of climate change by merging the realms of science and art.  Camille said, "Art is not only important, it is necessary for us to communicate what is happening with our planet.  Without art I don't think we will ever truly be able to communicate what climate change is".  Nine years ago, I was so inspired by Camille's work "The Last Iceberg" that I wrote a poem about it. (Reprise below) Still inspired by the beauty of nature, I recently traveled to Greenland to photograph and see the icebergs up close and personal. I literally only saw "the tip of the iceberg/s" (pun intended) because 85% (the bottom part of an iceberg) is submerged in water. I saw icebergs that vary in shapes and sizes: iceberg taller than a building, some with hollow caves and appeared to be

Switzerland - The Swiss Alps

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The Matterhorn I’ve been to Switzerland on short trips before like taking the Bernina Express to St. Moritz but never really explored the Swiss Alps. So as soon as international travel was allowed, I booked a trip to Switzerland and planned on exploring the Alps on my own.   Sadly, I had not fully recovered from a broken wrist when the time came for my trip, and my doctor advised me not to do any heavy lifting. So, I canceled the independent travel. I rebooked and joined a tour group to let the porters take care of my luggage and the heavy lifting. Exploring the Swiss Alps had been on my travel radar for a while, so imagine my excitement when we arrived in Zermatt.   Zermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn. It is a car-free town. And the whole town can be explored on foot in a few hours if you don’t stop at every souvenir shop.   Lots of skiers and mountaineers come to Zermatt to stand on the awesome peak at least once in their life. Considering my current physical condition, I