Showing posts from May, 2007

More About Paris

Paris is beautiful in spring. Still not overcrowded and the weather is warm enough to spend the whole day on its streets. A trip along the Seine is a terrific way to see the city from a different perspective. We got on one of the Bateaux Mouches and enjoyed the tour. As far as I can remember there was a guide on the boat, but most of the time we listened to a recording on individual handsets. It cost around 10 Euros, but we paid less thanks to the coupons included in the 5-day Paris-Visite-pass that we bought for getting around Paris.

Montmartre is famous for its extraordinary night life, but we didn't go to any of those clubs. Having kids, you simply think of other ways of entertainment. However, Montmartre by day is a bustling area, especially Place du Tertre with many street artists. The Sacre Coeur Basilica is the crown of Montmartre, all in white and so out of this world.

Versailles was a disappointment, though. I expected to see a splendid palace with sumptuous rooms and lav…

Paris, France

We spent Easter 2004 in Paris. The Pierre et Vacances Hotel in Val de Marne was a bit inconveniently situated and rather far from the center, but it was close to Disneyland and almost part of a nice shopping mall. We had a lovely apartment with two rooms and a kitchen, and although the view was not very pleasing we were contented with it. Besides, the public transport ran smoothly most of the time so that it took us less than 30 minutes to reach the center. Except on the first day.

The Croatia Airlines plane landed in the morning so we headed straight for the hotel to check in. We never spend a lot of time in the room, so we immediately got on an RER train and soon we were on top of the Eiffel Tower. Actually, it took us more to reach the lift than to get there from Val de Marne, such were the lines of people, eager to see all the landmarks of Paris from its summit. My son wanted an Eiffel Tower souvenir so we bought one from a street seller. What a ripoff! Later we found those of bett…

Class Trip To France And Italy

As I've already said in my Segovia and El Escorial post, the seniors go for their never-to-forget class trip at the beginning of their last year at school.

The destinations they choose are mostly Prague, Athens and Barcelona. I've been on 3 such trips so far, to Madrid-Barcelona, Athens and the French Riviera - The Tyrrhenian Sea.

The students on the France/Italy trip thought that the main purpose of such trips is to get drunk as often as possible. I slept for only 12 hours during those 7 days and although I reluctantly remember the details of their awful behavior, this trip was the nicest, regarding everything we saw. Besides, the three (also foreign language) teachers chaperoning the students were of great help to me in dealing with difficult students and problems they caused. Being good friends for more than ten years, we managed to find the positive side of almost any situation and we had a lot of laughs.

From Zagreb we went to Nice in France, from where we took excursions …

Summer vacation on Krk

Traveling all over the world is what we love immensely, but we never travel in the summer. One reason for it is that we have absolutely no chance of flying on stand by, and we don't want to spend holidays in the airports. The other reason of equal importance is that summer is reserved for my favorite island on the most beautiful sea - the Adriatic. Krk is the second biggest island, and also the greenest one.

We spend the summers in a village situated one mile from the beaches of Malinska. In the village there are only privately-owned houses and a little church. In Malinska, however, there are restaurants, cosy little cafes, churches, galleries, hotels and way too many houses and apartments, which means that it's overcrowded in the summer. Our beach is a bit secluded, but I wonder how long it will be till tourists find it. Yes, I know I'm a tourist too, but still...

Malinska is a typical tourist resort, proud of its more than a century-old touristic history. There are other …

A Glamorous Weekend in New York

A Glamorous NYC Weekend

My cousin Kristina and I sure had a wonderful time. More about it in the New York City post.

Washington, DC Photos


Washington, DC

The first thought that crosses one's mind when Washington is mentioned is political capital. However, there's more than politics in this vigorous city. The superb museums of the Smithsonian Institution make it the art capital of the US. What's more, with its many monuments and memorials it is unique, totally unlike all the other American cities I've visited.

Where to start? At the Potomac and then on for the tour of those incredible monuments and memorials, the most well-known being the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. But there are also the Roosevelt Memorial with four open-air rooms, one for each of his terms, the Jefferson Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Second World War Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial, which I liked most because of its unique and poignant beauty. Nineteen statues of soldiers on patrol are quietly moving across a field. It's so real, so much larger than life.

The Mall stretches from t…

Gardaland, Italy

Gardaland, Italy
I first visited Gardaland, an amusement park in Italy, in 2001. We had just bought a new car and off we went on a ten-day European tour. First we stopped in Salzburg Austria, where we went for a stroll in this charming medieval town, where everything reminds of Mozart. On the same day we arrived in Buchs in the Swiss 'kanton' of St. Gallen. There we stayed at my friend's who I met on a school exchange in 1998. Although we have only managed to organize one exchange, Julia and I have been in touch ever since. After a few days we went on to St Desert, near Dyon in France, where another friend put us up. I met Jean-Paul, an English teacher, at a seminar called 'New technologies in modern language teaching' in Turku, Finland. Easter in this cute French town was an unforgettable experience.
The tour ended in Lasize on Lake Garda, where we didn't have any friends so we stayed in a hotel. We had a great time, the kids enjoyed themselves immensely.

On my s…

Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany
Last Sunday we hopped on a Croatia Airlines plane and got off in Munich. As early as 8.30 a.m. we were on the S-Bahn that took us to the Dorint Novotel in the vicinity of the old airport or what they now call 'Messestadt'. Although the check in was at 3pm, they had our room ready for us.

The ride to the center took about twenty minutes. From Sendlinger Tor we walked to St. Peter's Church, or as they call it, Alter Peter. We climbed the steep, narrow stairs to the tower from where the view was splendid. Moreover, we happened to be on top at 11, right on time to see the world-famous Glockenspiel. After the show we wanted to try the Bavarian WeiƟwurst as well as their famous drink called Radler (bier and lemonade) in one of the popular Biergartens. The Viktualienmarkt was close by, but unfortunately nothing was open, so we headed for the Hofbrauhaus, a must for all the tourists. But what a disappointment, since it's just an ordinary restaurant with waiters…

School Connectivity

The teacher exchange was the last part of a global project, called School Connectivity for Southeast Europe. The project, launched in 2003, was funded by the US Department of State and administered by Catholic Relief Services. It aimed to promote mutual understanding and solidarity among students from different SEE countries and the US. By using information technologies in developing joint projects, the students from different ethnic backgrounds learned the importance of recognizing and overcoming prejudices and stereotypes.

We were also given opportunities to meet each other in person. Several seminars were organised for teachers of the participating schools. In Croatia we met in Karlovac, Topusko and on Brijuni. A national conference for students took place in Porec, but the most important event was the International Conference on Lake Ohrid in the FYR of Macedonia. Around 300 participants, one student and one teacher from each of the 93 participating schools lived and worked togethe…