What I Got Up To
June started with a wonderful trip to visit Normandy for the D-Day commemorations. I also got to spend some time in Malta with my friend Jo, exploring more of Gozo and spending another glorious day at the Blue Lagoon. At the end of the month, I started an epic six-week bus trip around the Balkans.
Pic of the Month
My most popular pic on Instagram was this shot of wildflowers on Juno Beach:
On Facebook, my most popular pic was this shot of LaCambe German War Cemetary in Normandy:
- Seeing the Normandy American Cemetary. Yes, I cried, but it was one of those places that seeing is good for your soul.
- Meeting some of the amazing re-enactors that come to D-Day every year and hearing their love for the veterans.
- Meeting and listening to D-Day veterans. Their stories were intense and amazing. I even saw a German vet and learned about his life in the decades after the war.
- Going back to the Blue Lagoon. It’s just a magical place to swim.
- Swimming in Lake Ohrid in Macedonia. I love swimming. Maybe I should live on a beach somewhere.
- Finding out I counted my days in Bulgaria wrong. Instead of a three-week Balkan trip, I had to extend it to six weeks. I love traveling, but I miss my apartment and my puppy and everything in Sofia. Six weeks on buses is a little bit too long for me. Plus I hate getting yelled at by Bulgarians for not understanding their rules when three different offices explained it three different ways, and I only got told the correct information by the American embassy.
- My rental car broke down in Malta on the way to the airport. I missed my flight and had to stay two extra days. Oh, and I got about thirty bug bites the last day I was there, which are still healing.
- There’s a heatwave in the Balkans, and I swear it’s following me. Wherever I am, it’s over 100 degrees, then I leave, and it drops to 85. Ugh.
- Normandy: Commemorating D-Day in Pictures
- Red Tourism: the Ethics and Etiquette of Visiting Communist Sites
- May 2017: Adventures & Updates
Travels with Lucy
I haven’t found a groomer for her yet in Sofia, so I cut her hair myself. It did not look good, but at least it got the job done. If you know a good dog groomer in Bulgaria, send me a recommendation!
June By the Numbers
- Airports: 10
- Beds: 9
- Houses of Worship: 8
- Swimming Days: 8
- Overstayed Visa Days in Bulgaria: 7
- Countries: 5
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 5
- D-Day Beaches: 5
- Balkan Bus Rides: 4
- Days Stranded in Malta: 2
- Mexican Restaurants: 0 (sad face)
- Emergency Awesome Game of Thrones Prep Videos
- Insect Bite Home Remedies
My Favorite Pic
My favorite pic in June was this shot of some Normandy cows chilling in the countryside:
I will be on this bus trip the entire month of July, visiting Montenegro, Bosnia, Srpska, Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. Being stuck out of the country is making me lose work time on the podcast, but I’m trying my best to get it out in the next two weeks.
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Made it to Berat, Albania today. I'm inspired by the beautiful traditional houses stacked between the river and the mountains, like this one. Berat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the @unescoworldheritage website: "Berat bears witness to a town which was fortified but open, and was over a long period inhabited by craftsmen and merchants. Its urban centre reflects a vernacular housing tradition of the Balkans, examples of which date mainly from the late 18th and the 19th centuries. This tradition has been adapted to suit the town's life styles, with tiered houses on the slopes, which are predominantly horizontal in layout, and make abundant use of the entering daylight."
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