Tag: 2015

Dubrovnik city walls

On the last afternoon, we finally climbed up the city walls of Dubrovnik and enjoyed the views of the city and the surroundings on a 2 hour walk. There are lots of people on the walls but since everybody can only go into one direction, it does not feel too crowded except on the super popular spots like the view point for the main street (Stradun). Here is the picture from the northern part of the walls showing the harbor and Lokrum island in the back. Further up the path, in the north-west corner we climbed up Tvrđava Minčeta, the hightest

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Boat trip to Lokrum island

On the second day in Dubrovnic, we took the ferry to Lokrum. The ride takes just about 15 minutes and ferries leave every 30 to 60 minutes. There are rocky swimming spots all over and a few sights in the interior of the island. Due to the heat, we did not make it to the fortress but enjoyed the botanical gardens, the monastery (see below), and the peacocks roaming the entire island. The whole island is a protected area which means that people can not stay overnight and also strictly no smoking. Here is a cute reminder on one of the

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In and around Dubrovnik

After Split, we took the ferry directly to Dubrovnik. We arrived in the middle of the day so we dropped our stuff and went one of the numerous swimming spots around the city. There was even a water polo match on and the rocks around were perfect for cliff jumping. On the way to the city, we climbed up to Fort Lovrijenac from which you have a beautiful view of the older city. Up there, we ran for the first (but not the last) time into a Game of Thrones tour group that visits a few of the filming locations in and around

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First fall mushrooms

The fall mushroom season seems to be a bit delayed this year due to the very dry summer. Despite a few patches of chanterelles in early August, not much else was ready to be picked and the strolls through the forest were a little disappointing. With the recent rainy days, very slowly the mushrooms are coming out. I found the first patch of bay boletes (Braunkappen) last Sunday. They were still very young and smallish but very firm and untouched by snails and worms. They ended up in a risotto and the next couple of weekends are now planned for further mushroom hunting trips.

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One day in Split

From Plitvice Lakes we took the afternoon bus to the coast and arrived in the early evening in Split. We dropped our bags at our place and went out right away to find something to eat. We found Luka’s Ice Cream shop afterwards and were very happy and full. The next day we started with an early city tour, passed Gregory of Nin and climbed St Domnius cathedral tower. The steps up are a bit scary but the views are worth it. By then it got already very hot so we took the next bus to the end of the line

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Plitvice Lakes (Plitvička Jezera)

The Plitvice Lakes National Park (Plitvička Jezera) is a beautiful UNESCO protected area with a total of 16 interconnected lakes in Croatia. The water is very clear and from farther away glows from blue to greener colors. Besides the water color, what makes the area spectacular is the difference in altitude of the lakes so that they are laid out as a stair case with beautiful waterfalls between them. The park is divided into two groups of lakes around the largest one, lake Kozjak. The 12 upper lakes (Gornja jezera) are easily accessible with a 2 minute ferry ride. A path

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Half a day in Zagreb

We started our one week vacation in Croatia with half a day in Zagreb. That is definitely not enough to see everything, but with an average temperature of 35C in summer, we put the focus on places closer to the water. Early in the morning, the central market was lots of fun and we used the opportunity to stock up on fresh fruit and berries, nuts, and lavender oil for the trip. We did a short walking tour through the old parts of the city passing windy Stone Gate with its candles and old plaques further on to St Mark’s

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Smoked tomato soup, ghost peppers, and goat cheese

It was time to use the smoker again since I ran out of hot sauce. I put in a few dried ghost peppers from last summer’s harvest and added a goat cheese, mozzarella, spring onions, and a layer of tomatoes cut in half intended for a tomato soup. Here is everything just before I started the smoker. And after about 45 minutes, the results looked like this. The spring onions came out a bit softened and were very nice for sandwiches. The cheese melted a little bit even though I put it far away from the stove but kept its shape.

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Lins Stinky Tofu in Taitung

Coming back to Taitung from Green Island, we had just enough time to stop at Lin’s Smelly Tofu eatery. The tofu comes on either small or large plates (50 or 100 TWD) and we started with sharing a small one. The tofu was delicious, very soft in texture and the fresh basil and garlic sauce rounded up the taste perfectly. So in no time, we ordered more and more until we were full and happy and ready to go back to the train station to go back to Hualien. These were the leftovers: Picture gallery

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Abandoned prison on Green Island

Due to its location 30 km west off Taiwan’s main island, someone got the idea to build a huge prison for mainly political prisoners on Green Island. During the time of the White Terror (late 1940s to late 1980s), thousands were imprisoned and sent to serve time in the prison complex on the north side of the island. The high security block above is also abandoned but still closed. Many other prison and administration buildings are still standing around with but have been cleaned of most doors and windows. There is also a new building that hosts an exhibition of the

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