Speaking of Travel

Plitvice Lakes

Sometimes the pools of water are emerald in color.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net AUNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, Plitvice Lakes in central Croatia near the Bosnia Herzogovenia border is the crown jewel of the eight national parks in this country. The most visited site in Croatia, it is about a three hour drive from Split, two from Zagreb. There are public buses as well as organized excursions ... Read More »

Surprising Zagreb

The National Theater in Zagreb. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net After reading about Zagreb in various guidebooks, I wasn’t expecting much, especially after spending a week in charming Dubrovnik. What a surprise! Zagreb is a great city! It is a city where the “new” town which is not all that new but very modern is more “happening” than the classic old town. Its cafe ... Read More »

Along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail

One of the many Green Herons.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has identified 515 locations throughout Florida as part of The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail (GFBWT). The 2,000 miles of “trails” feature excellent bird and wildlife viewing. Highway signs identify each site, and there are guide booklets and a smartphone app available, as well as a ... Read More »

The Croatian Istrian Peninsula

Along the Lungomare in Opatija.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net The Croatian portion of the Istrian Peninsula is located in northwest Croatia, along the Adriatic’s Gulf of Kvarnar. Historically, this area was ruled first by the Romans, followed by the Venetians and then the Austrians. For a while in the 1920s, the Italians regained control. Although Istria became part of Yugoslavia in the 1940s, many ... Read More »

Historic Split

Narodni trg, the People’s Square, in Split is a popular place to stop for refreshment. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net Along the beautiful Dalmatian coast between Dubrovnik and the Istrian Peninsula is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Split, a major ferry and cruise ship port. The drive north from Dubrovnik passes through the fertile Neretva Valley known for high quality citrus fruit. Fruit and honey stands line the road. The drive also traverses that ... Read More »

Wilma and Harold’s Lightweight Adventure

Rooftop view of Reykjavik from the Hallgrimskirkja church. PHOTOS BY WILMA SANDERS

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net Unless cruising, which is not our preferred method of travel, grappling with luggage can take some of the pleasure out of a journey. For domestic destinations, we usually use just two carry-ons and a back pack. We literally do carry on our luggage and deal with TSA restrictions by buying any large sizes of ... Read More »

The Black Mountains and Bay of Kotor

A sampling of the local products at the market outside the walls of Kotor.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net In the Middle Ages, the area now known as Montenegro was referred to as Crna Gora; the country’s official name today is Republika Crna Gora, which translates as “Black Mountain.” The name Montenegro, also meaning black mountain, is Venetian in origin. Unlike the interior and its neighboring countries, the coastal region of Montenegro was never ... Read More »

From the Rubble of War

The Ottoman Old Town in Mostar. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net Visiting the charming, somewhat tranquil city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is difficult to fathom that less than 20 years ago it lay in rubble, torn apart by war and barbarism. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one country with two geographical zones, three regions, three ethnic groups/religions, three languages, three presidents and two alphabets. ... Read More »

The Southern Dalmatian Coast

Cavtat provides a quiet alternative to Dubrovnik. Submitted Photos

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net Croatia’s mainland coastline is 1,100 miles of drama and beauty. Offshore, there are 1,200 islands in the Adriatic. The beauty is almost indescribable: deep turquoise water dotted with both rocky and green islands, large bays, isolated coves, rugged ridges and bluffs, dark forests, fertile fields and orchards. Dalmatia encompasses a long part of the ... Read More »

Florida for the Holidays

St. Augustine has a variety of holiday events scheduled at the holidays.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net Since moving to Florida 15 years ago, we find ourselves increasingly spending the holidays in the Sunshine State. It’s not that we don’t like traveling at the holidays; we do. It’s the weather. We spent one Christmas in the Rockies. It snowed every day, and for three days, it was so bad that we ... Read More »

Shopping Locally for Travel Gifts

Keep in Touch in Shops of Marco carries a variety of travel accessories. photoS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net It’s no secret that I like to shop. My husband refers to a day filled with shopping as a “Vickie Day”. He never accompanies me on a “Vickie Day”. Although I do my share of internet shopping for difficult to find items, I prefer local “brick and mortar” shops and particularly appreciate that we have ... Read More »

Dubrovnik

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SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net A trivia question: Who was among the first, in 1776, to recognize the independence of the United States and the first to establish trade with it? It was the nation state of the Republic of Ragusa, renamed Dubrovnik in 1918. Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a dramatically beautiful walled city that sits right ... Read More »

What ever happened to Yugoslavia?

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SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net Those of us of a certain age remember a country known as Yugoslavia and the violence that accompanied its disintegration. Just what was Yugoslavia and what is it like now? The more I read and listen to people talk about the history of this area, the more complex it seems. Yugoslavia was composed of six ... Read More »

The Pink Plane

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SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net I first heard of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) a few years ago. A friend’s mother died of the disease and he wanted to find an “in lieu of flowers” cause whose administrative costs were low. As the only breast cancer organization to receive an A+ rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy (Charity ... Read More »

Apps Galore

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SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net In past columns about apps useful for travel, I’ve mentioned some that assist in negotiating one’s way on the road, in airports, and using public transportation, as well as those that provide destination information, translations, personalized postcards and utilities for which there are varied and useful options. For this review, I’ll broach some different topics. ... Read More »

Travel Websites 2013

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SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net Time flies. It is hard to believe that it has been well over a year since my last “annual” review of travel websites. I remember when gathering information about a destination required pouring over guide books in bookstores to find just the right one and writing to local, state, and national tourist bureaus for literature. ... Read More »

Prelude to Sochi

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SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net No matter who takes home medals in women’s ski jumping at Olympics XXII in Sochi, Russia, for a group of American woman, it will be a victory. Since the first winter Olympics in 1924, men’s ski jumping has been included but women’s has not; it has been the only Olympic event that did not allow ... Read More »

Top questions II

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SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net In discussing top travel questions, the issue of insurance is second to money concerns which were addressed in my last column. Should I buy travel insurance and if so what kind? There are many things to think about as insurance can add 3-15% (or more) to the cost of your trip. In considering trip cancellation ... Read More »

Top Travel Questions

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SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net I often get questions about travel and want to address the most common ones. I’ve written about some of these issues before, but there are some queries that keep coming up and there is always new information to share. By far, the top question I get is about exchanging money and using credit cards ... Read More »

The Isle that is Capri

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SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net I wish I could write with enthusiasm about Capri, I really do. It does have the most beautiful turquoise water, wonderful views, and some nice shops, and the approach to this mountainous island jutting up out of the water is impressive, but I just can’t bring myself to rave about it. Part of it ... Read More »