Saturday, September 14, 2019

Wendy in Prague ...

Wendy writes:
I arrived in Prague from Bulgaria at noon yesterday.  I’m in a hostel in the thick of the touristy part of town, getting my bearings, figuring out where I’ll be staying for the next month or so. I walked for hours today, up the hill to the Prague Castle and monastery, then down into the Old Town where I found a textile/fashion exhibit at the Museum of Decorative Arts that rivals similar shows I’ve seen at the Met in NY.  

Food here is amazing and cheap. After a feast last night of bean/sausage soup, fresh tomato salad and roasted new potatoes, tonight I’m cooking at the hostel. I got a delicious loaf of stout rye bread, 1/2 dozen eggs, and yogurt, all for the US equivalent of $2.42!
                                           
                                       View of Prague from Strahov Monastery hill.


          The 14th century Charles Bridge tower (my hostel is the blue building to the left).



                                                        Steeples at Old Town Square  

                                                   

                            Stained glass panel at the Museum of Decorative Arts  


Next up:   Wendy travels a few hours south of Prague to Cesky Krumlow where she will 


settle in for a month and concentrate on writing articles about her exciting journey.



                        




Monday, September 09, 2019

At the Romanian/Bulgarian border

Wendy returns to Bulgaria … this time to the ancient town of Nessebar on a Black Sea peninsula on the east coast of Bulgaria).

                    
                                      At the Romanian/Bulgarian border at 6:00am


                            View of the Black Sea from her guest house balcony 


                                    Nessebar beach (town is a UNESCO site)


                                         One of many Byzantine churches.


Wendy's next stop will be the historic town of Cesky Krumlov in Prague where she will settle down for a bit and do some writing.

                                            To be continued ...
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                                        Special add-on:   Just got this from Wendy (9/12/10)
Hi Ginnie,
Our tour guide just sent me this picture he took of me as I was watching the sweet children folk dancing in Romania. This was the porch of the house I stayed in. The colorful “tree” of pots were a tradition there. They hung pots like this near the front of the house when a young girl in the house was eligible for marriage. If I remember correctly, the pots signified her skills as a potential homemaker.
Hugs,  Wendy                             






Saturday, September 07, 2019

North Carolina is home to me …

where the hurricane Dorian touched down on our coast two days ago. Luckily I live far enough inland that it didn't affect me. However, look at what it did to Emerald Isle,


and to the Outer Banks.


We have yet to hear words of condolence from our President but I guess he's busy elsewhere. 

Not to worry Birmingham, Alabama. The “chosen one” is on your side and the weather forecast for the rest of your week is mostly sunny. It's such a comfort to all of us to know that !





Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Wendy travels to a small town in Romania.


A welcoming smile
Hand stacked hay stacks, ready for winter


  

   Worker on a horse-drawn wagon 

 Dancer with apple

The drummer playing the cymbal with a screwdriver


TO BE CONTINUED … still traveling !





                          



  

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Sunday, September 01, 2019

Abaco hit hard by Dorian

I first posted this in December, 2017 and apologize for repeating it. I do so because it explains why I have such a deep love for the Island of Abaco and why it is breaking my heart today to see it being devastated by Dorian.

The winter of 1974 my husband and I took a trip to a small “out-island” in the Bahamas. We knew it was remote and with few amenities but it was within our budget and we agreed that it would be good for Dick who's diabetes & asthma were acerbated by the cold weather.

After a flight to Eleuthra and a short boat ride we found ourselves in a picturesque fishing village on the island of Spanish Wells. The people were very friendly and the island was so small that we were able to see it all on the first day. The fishermen were on shore that week so the local “watering hole” was really hopping and they were thrilled to have a new set of ears to listen to their folklore. We also met the only other visitor to the island. He was a man in his 40’s, casually dressed in beach garb and we could tell he was a regular and very well liked.

We found that we had a mutual interest in cards and spent the night playing penny-ante poker and trading stories. The next day was raining and we took up the card playing again. It was fun at first but then we realized that Dick was starting to have a hard time breathing. Our new friend became quite concerned for him since there were no phones, no doctors and no way to get medications quickly. He told us that he had a good friend, a Scottish doctor, who worked at “Treasure Cay”, a resort on the Island of Abaco. He said he would make all the arrangements and that we could transfer our next 5 days in Spanish Wells to the resort in Abaco.   

He was as good as his word and we soon found ourselves on a small private plane heading to Abaco. When we landed there was a chauffeur waiting for us and the driver whisked us off to our beach-front cabana at “Treasure Cay”. We were still in shock when Dr. Hameish Fraser arrived. He told us his friend (and ours) had contacted him and that he was at our disposal. It was such a comfort to have this friendly man welcome us and it was just in time. Dick was getting in trouble with his breathing again and the doctor put him to bed and started him on medication. It would be three days before he was able to get up and Dr Fraser visited every day.

During that time I wandered the beach and marveled at the white sand and the teal colored ocean that lapped the shore. It truly is a paradise on earth, I thought, but can we afford it? The day before we left I went to the office to settle our bill. “What bill?”, said the manager. I explained about the transfer of funds from Spanish Wells and she just smiled. It seems that our card-playing friend was a co-owner of “Treasure Cay” and both he and Dr. Fraser refused payment. Of course I wrote a heartfelt letter to him but I never got an answer. I have thought of that so often over the years and still marvel at the generosity of those two amazing men.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Can you guess where this is?







It's the town of Plovdiv, the second largest town in Bulgaria. My niece Wendy is attending an art seminar there for a week and these are two pictures that she took of the “old town”.  I am intrigued and green with envy.  I can't wait to have her send more pictures .

She writes: "It's a great group of people, interesting lectures and workshops and tomorrow we go to the opera 'Orpheus and Eurydice' by an Italian group in Plovdiv's ancient amphitheater." Of course I had to find a picture of the theater and now I am even more intrigued.  

I hate that my traveling days are over but at least I can see it through Wendy's eyes !



Sunday, August 25, 2019

A question from the audience ..

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) held a Town Hall meeting last week and, not surprisingly, the subject of guns was front and center. The audience was divided and quite contentious as Ernst started in on the line that what was needed for gun control was more attention focused on mental illness. She acknowledged that the country had been through some “difficult moments” related to shootings and at that point the shouts of “do something” came from the crowd.

I was about to turn it all off but they announced they would open the floor to questions from the audience so I decided to listen. A lovely middle aged teacher from Johnston named Ellie Holland came to the mike and, in a soft and emotional voice, she said: As part of my teacher training this past week, I was asked to listen to popping sounds and then determine if they were gun shots or not. I was then asked to be trained to man a family reunification center to provide counseling to parents seeking their children following a catastrophic event.” And then, as her voice choked she said, “So my question to you today Senator is...when can I plan to get back to trainings that simply teach children to read and write?”

Practically the whole audience broke into a cheer for what she'd said but it left Joni Ernst without an answer.