Join my Expat Book Club

Hi all!

I have joined a few FB groups in the Belgrade area, but I am at a loss for real community. I recently had an epiphany… I could start an online book club! It is an effort in sharing ideas, posting reading revelations, making friends, and finding direction for expats who have been uprooted and are trying to get their “sea legs”.

It really doesn’t matter what country you are from or where you are in the world. You just need to be able to read the book and share your thoughts on what you have read.

The first book we will read is A Career in Your Suitcase by Jo Parfitt.

The book has a great website that sports a blog, stories, resources, events and more. You can see it all here!

You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Career-Your-Suitcase-Practical-Meaningful/dp/1909193143

 

Now in its fourth edition, it has had amazing success. I think we will find it the perfect book for Expat inspiration.

Please join our group here.

 

https://www.facebook.com/expatbookclubserbia

Photography Friday Paralia, Greece

The little seas side town of Paralia, Greece was a pleasure to visit. Cafes lined the beach and sidewalks. Touristy shops selling trinkets and clothes were plentiful. But the most eye catching thing I saw was this car!

The exterior was less decadent than the interior.

Hello excess!

I think one might need a bath or cleansing ritual to ride in that bling mobile!

A less assuming vehicle with more curb appeal in my opinion is the cute little Fica turned convertible. This rolling reklama (commercial) is evidence how popular Serbian visitors are in this town.

Traveling in a Serbian pack, I shocked a few people there. I would speak partially in Serbian but mostly in English to my travel buddy. More than once I was asked why I was speaking English.  The border crossings were a bit amusing too. The only U.S. Passports in a bus of Serbs was an oddity. Though, most border guards acted like it was natural.

Speaking of Border crossings… I love seeing all the different flags! The Serbian one:

The writing at the bottom says I love Serbia

The Macedonian one:

The Greek flags colors are my favorite. I love blue and white.

A tourist ship with two Greek Flags!

End rabbit trail. OK, back to the Paralia pics.

I prefer the natural beauty of an every day occurrence. The serenity of sunrise is never less then Blissful.

Mornings stillness and lack of distraction is just what this girl loves.

Simplicity in the quiet morning hours without the noise and excitement of the rest of the world. It is like having  the town to yourself.

Mount Olympus peeks from behind the sleepy hotels. not creature stirs on the beach.

The sea side church watches over the town.

The Church is very impressive. The steps are marble. I would be afraid of them in the rain. Very slippery.

I love the reflection of the church next door in the cafe windows.

Have a great weekend!

Traveling Tuesday… Walking through Paralia, Greece

It has been a month now since my Greece trip. I was thinking about it today as I thought about home and the fisherman’s harbor that was across the street from the place I use to literally dump crabs on the the tables of tourists. (They paid me to do it.)

This was the view from my “office” on a good evening back in the U.S.

No fisherman action in the evening here. but truth be told, it isn’t to far off the action I saw at dawn in Paralia at the local fisherman’s marina. Accept of course they use smaller nets than the big ships back home use and no rods to be seen. Like anyone working on a boat, there is lots of prep work for the trip out on the water.

All along the docks on this early April morning, the local fishermen and women are mending and straightening their nets. In the distance, Mt. Olympus looms.  A friendly bunch at such an early hour. They didn’t even mind when I asked to take their pictures, or more accurately lifted my camera and gave them an imploring look. It worked. A smile and a nod gave me the green light.

I could have stayed at the marina all day long, I felt at home there, even if I can’t speak a lick of Greek!. Holy hard language! Pardon the New Testament pun. 😉

One fellow sipped his coffee as he worked on his nets.

This side of Paralia or (Paralija if you are Serbian) was less touristy and filled with lots of stray dogs. restaurants closed til the start of summer lined the area. An old  amusement park and cart race sat on the out skirts of town.

This way to the cart racing facility The faded sign would keep better if it was taken down in the off season…

The mountains framed by the rides makes a great pic, but I was a bit shocked to see the rides all sitting out waiting for summer to start. The salt air is not so good for the mechanics… I would have reservations about getting any of these rides. 😦

Lots of doggies like this one were walking the streets. Some traveled in packs that were quite intimidating. One such pack escorted me for a short while as I strolled with trepidation.

The large dogs who were my short term companions.

They were all larger and could do some damage. Soon they ran off chasing a poor littler dog who was in their territory. This is a dog eat dog world for sure!

Canals intruded on the north side of town. This lazy little turtle sunned himself til I came alone and interrupted him.

More on Greece later. Happy Tuesday! Travel when you can!

Dobar Dan!

Photography Friday~ Meteora

I went to Greece this week. It is a hop, skip, and a jump from Serbia. Well. Actually, a few hours stretched out to several hours if you are traveling with Serbians who know how to relax, have coffee and smoke like a chimney. 🙂

I was traveling with a bus trip of teachers. I was invited by my very good friend M. I am so happy I went. I made new friends. Enjoyed Greek food. and took 4 GB worth of pictures (That is 800 pics). No doubt, photography Friday will have a long Greek hang over. 😉

Today’s post is all about Meteora. This is directly from wikipedia:

The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, pronounced [mɛˈtɛoɾɐ], lit. “middle of the sky”, “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above” — etymologically related to “Meteorite“) is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos.[1] The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river andPindus Mountains, in central Greece. The nearest town is Kalambaka. The Metéora is included on theUNESCO World Heritage List. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteora)

I count myself super blessed to have been able to see this natural beauty.Maybe these pics will bring a little more sunshine to your Friday.

The point of vising the Meteora was to visit a monastery atop the jutting rock formations. This is a sacred place for Orthodox people. It was a stronghold kept from the Turks who terrorized the Serbs, the Greeks, and others for centuries.

Back in the day, rope ladders were dropped to allow entrance. Also, basket like nets were let down for someone sit in. Then they were pulled up to the safety of the monastery. Now they have even cooler ways of getting from one place to another.

Seriously, that is better than the pope mobile!!

Only some of the monastery was open to the public, and pictures were prohibited in  much of that area. I am not complaining. I would rather take pics of the rock formations.

These sites don’t get old. I could snap away all day long!

Tourist do not only flock here for the monasteries. many people come from all over the world to climb these magestic monsters.

This is some impressive stuff!

Meteora was a highlight of the the trip. I would go again in a heartbeat!

Happy Friday!

Dobar dan

Foreigner follies Sunday~ Greece

This is a flashback to another only slightly embarrassing moment in my cross cultural life.

The hubby and I took a bus trip to Greece back in 2010. Crossing the border on a bus seems less harrowing. No international paper work for the car needs to be taken car of a month in advance with all the fees involved, not to mention getting international insurance, etc, etc. Not having to drive, and pay an arm and a leg for gas and a hotel made this trip priceless.

The White Tower in Thesalonika

 

At each border, the patrol officers came onto the bus and collect the passports and took them back to stamp them. This was a Serbian bus tour, my American passport was a bit of a shock to the border patrol guards, after gathering the burgundy Serbian passports, at the last seat collecting my navy blue American one. I can tell you, I got a few surprised looks.

Thesaloniki was the main city we visited as well as touring the mountainous region covered in oranges, lemons, and olive trees. What an awesome getaway!

Birth place of Aristotle, Stagira Greece

After a long bus ride up a mountain with serpentine curves and the look of the pacific Northwest, we arrived at our next destination. At the birthplace of Aristotle, there was a big gate to the ” fresh air museum”. It  was suppose to be closed, but they weren’t trying hard to keep people out, and it was next to impossible to steel anything. The objects were much to large and made of cement.

Everyone began to make their way in. They climbed, scaled, and hopped the fence. But, when I saw how small the fence was, I decided to get a running start and vault over it just placing my hands on top and throwing my legs over. An easy enough task for a person who had been a gymnast in her previous life.

What I didn’t know was the gate was broken and it just fell over bruising the inside of my right thigh. I should say the entire inside of my right leg. It was a monstrous bruise. The sweet darling of a husband wanted to take a picture it was so magnificent. How romantic. What a great memorial of our trip to Greece that could have been if I had let him. 😉

I don’t know how my fellow bus mates kept a straight face. I wouldn’t have been able to keep from laughing. I am sure it was like watching a comedy. Even funnier because it was a middle aged foreign lady. But they only seemed concerned. I would say it was well hidden mirth! The Tom-boy in me lives, and so does the accident prone nerd!

Aristotle and I

As the gate and I fell clumsily together and just after, I felt like I was in a bad travel comedy movie about the ridiculous American… National Lampoons vacation to Greece.

Happy Sunday Y’all

Dobar Dan!