Remembering Sensational Syria

Syria Video by Irene and Rick Butler- Syria “wowed” us with its rich culture, its fascinating history, its ancient sites,…

Egypt’s Sinai Region

Mt Sinai The Sinai Peninsula is a stunning desertscape of rugged limestone and granite mountains with substantial areas of shifting…

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Skopje Macedonia

A city of monuments! Skopje has amazing statues of historic figures and national heroes…here, there, and everywhere. All are impressive – but if I had to choose a favourite, it would be the monument in the city’s main square “Plostad Makedonija”. A gigantic marble fountain with water spurting in a sequence of heights around lions and ancient soldiers is centered by a pedestal on which a great warrior rides high on his steed. The origin of Skopje is doused in mythology. The hero of the story came across a mammoth bolder between 7 mountains – which he recognized as a head without the 7 openings for the senses due to a spell that had been put on it. This hero took his sword and fashioned eyes, nostrils, ears and a mouth – and Skopje became a living, breathing, hearing entity – like the city it is today. And what a…

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Belgrade Serbia

Knez Mihailova Blvd

I’ve heard Belgrade described as “gritty exuberance”, and think this is as good as any two-word descriptor of the Serbian capital. The pedestrian boulevard Knez Mihailova is indeed the epitome of exuberance with its plethora of cafes, many edged with ice-cream freezers, popcorn wagons. Designer fashion shops run side-by-side along its length with wall-to-wall locals…

Sarajevo Bosnia Hercegovina

Old Sarajevo

Old Sarajevo is where East-meets-West in an intriguing atmosphere. Spires with crosses reach up from Christian churches, a historic synagogue stands firm, and minarets of mosques tower. In the centre of this square pigeons congregate around the Sebilj Drinking Fountain with good reason – an elderly gentleman runs a small stand where passers-by purchase small…

Zagreb Croatia

Ban Jelacic Square

If I had only one word to describe Zagreb, it would be “character”- charismatic character at that! September is a month of festivities – Zagrebacki Vremeplov (Zagreb Time Machine); and Ban Jelacic Square, hosting many of the events is a mere block from our door! Crowds cover every inch of space between tents filled with…

Ljubljana Slovenia

Dragon Bridge

Under an ominous sky the Dragon Bridge emits a smoldering aura like the aftermath of fiery breath from the four on-guard dragons. This fearsome beast is the city emblem, appearing on the coat of arms. Legends abound about the dragon, one being an old Slavonic belief that a dragon releases the earth’s waters, ensuring fertility.…

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Old Town

Each city around the world has its own feel. On our first walk over Charles Bridge and through the Old Town streets we find Prague to be one of the busiest historic districts to date – hordes of people jostle for space, inevitably someone steps in front of Rick’s camera as he is about to…

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

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Sitting high on a promontory overlooking valleys and rivers is the Old Town of Luxembourg. For over 1000 years these gorges were paramount to the city’s defense. Walking the pedestrian promenade of “Chemin de la Corniche” we are in for some fine views as it winds its way over the former ramparts (a UNESCO site).…

Brussels and Ypres Belgium

Grand Place

Brussels is the dashing capital of this eccentric little country, with comic book fanatics, sublime chocolates, great beer, and a boy peeing in a pool as its national symbol. Our plan is too seek out these eccentricities and also the chocolate/beer treats, but our first stop is the Grand Place. This square is well-named, as…