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The Balkans With a Side of Turkey :: Part 1, Serbia

2 Sep

Belgrade Serbia Balkans Beograd Travel

If you follow me over on Instagram or Twitter, you might have caught a glimpse of my adventures in the Balkans (with a quick zip over to Turkey for good measure) back in June. Initially I thought I’d do a one post roundup including a photo or two of each place, but with five countries visited in 21 days that makes for a severely edited yet still long post. Instead I’ll be trying for quick highlights of each country, possibly with longer, detailed posts in the future. First stop, Serbia.

P.S. I guess this means I should post pics from Portugal and Morocco one of these days too…

Above: View from my 15th floor room. I arrived in Belgrade a few days ahead of our crew in an attempt to straighten out my jet lag. One perk? Awaking early to beautiful morning light.

Novi Sad, Serbia, Balkans, Travel

Train to Novi Sad (shown in the two pics below), the second largest city in Serbia. More on that day over here.

Novi Sad Serbia Balkans Travel

Petrovaradin Fortress Novi Sad Serbia Balkans Travel

And then back to Belgrade.

Belgrade Beograd Serbia Balkans Travel

Kalamegdan Fortress Belgrade Beograd Serbia Balkans Travel

Belgrade Beograd Serbia Balkans Travel

Aviation Museum Belgrade Beograd Serbia Balkans Travel

Though I didn’t fall head over heels, all in all, I ended up liking Belgrade. One wrong turn, some help from friendly locals, and I found my way easily from there on out. While Belgrade didn’t have the wealth of museums many capitals do (I think they’re still getting the national museum back up to speed, though it’s worth a peek), it forced me to check out a few I might not normally have, namely the Nikola Tesla Museum (ask for the guy who demos the exhibits) and the Aviation Museum. Also, bring your appetite! Belgrade has no shortage of food offerings with its abundance of cafés/kafanas. Everything I had was very good and affordable.

As with most places a good bit of wandering is the best way to take it all in. Belgrade boasts a ton of details if you pause to look. It’s a city of contrasts. There’s obvious appeal in centuries of history in a scenic fortress, churches, squares, and art nouveau embellishments juxtaposed with the beauty of decay and grit of recent history – communist era buildings, a bombed Ministry of Defense ruin, and a revered and graffitied printing institution. Obviously with only five days, there is plenty I did not get around to seeing or experiencing – given the right opportunity, I would definitely return.

Denver Area :: iPhone Photos

22 May

Washington Park Denver Design by Jen

Washington Park Denver Design by Jen

Presenting my iPhone photos to belatedly wrap up my fun Denver adventure from last month (and oh, a bit on my iPhone pic approach).

I know it’s been a bit slow here – no excuses, just life – another trip, some ups, some downs, and hopefully some major shifts in the works. I can’t talk about most of that now, but part of that should result in some changes and updates to this site. Stay tuned and wish me luck!

Buffalo Bill Cody Colorado Design by Jen


Buffalo Bill Cody Colorado Design by Jen

Golden, Colorado Design by Jen

Idaho Springs, Colorado Design by Jen

TriggersIdaho Springs, Colorado Design by Jen

Breckenridge Bound Design by Jen

Breckenridge Gondola Design by Jen

Breckenridge Spring Fest Design by Jen

Breckenridge, CO Design by Jen

Breckenridge Cigar Totem Design by Jen

Breckenridge, CO Design by Jen

Boulder, CO fromwhereistand Design by Jen

*Funnily, I took this pic in Boulder, not Denver*

Stranahans Denver, CO Design by Jen

Philly Bound

1 May

From Where I Stand - with Christian Carollo

If all goes according to plan, by the time this posts I’ll be in Denver (5th time since January!) making my connection to my final destination, Philadelphia. Other than the standard junior high trip to Washington DC, one night in Miami, and a 6 hour stint in the Newark airport last year, I’ve spent no time on the East Coast. I pretty much just do a fly over.

But thanks to the wonder that is the internet (I mean that wholeheartedly) and an abundance of airline points, my incentive to visit has shifted. The summer of 2011, I met Holly, now of Mortal Muses and From Where I Stand fame, through an online course. Photography, travel, cheers (as in adult beverages) and her empathy over losing my Grandmothers that summer were just a couple of our bonding points. Have I mentioned she lives in Philadelphia?

In a testament to social media, starting with Flickr, then Twitter, then progressing to Facebook, I became friends with Christian, a friend of Holly’s (also from Philadelphia, are you following here?). Christian’s got the travel, ahem, issue too (and photography and sports) which he chronicles over on Say Hello to America. In fact one of those adventures led him to Oregon last fall and that’s us in the pic above, documenting a chapter in the progression of a couple of online connections into to full-fledged friendships.

The next chapter begins tomorrow – I cannot wait! Five nights in Philly to take in history, sports, art – to eat, drink, watch, photograph, pause, and enjoy.

Weekend Wanderings :: Denver (& Surrounds)

30 Apr

Washington Park, Denver

In early April, a couple of us ventured to Denver to visit another friend who had just relocated. We’d all had rather hectic days leading up to the weekend, so there wasn’t a lot of planning or expectation, just a common goal to catch up, check out the area and enjoy ourselves. As it turned out we didn’t spend a whole lot of time in Denver proper, but explored the surrounding areas. Saturday started with a walk around Washington park (above) followed by piling in the car with a vague idea of heading toward Breckenridge. Along the way we impulsively stopped to check out Buffalo Bill’s grave and its corresponding kitschy gift store (recommended).

Buffalo Bill Cod Grave,y, Golden, Colorado

Buffalo Bill Cody, Golden Grave,, Colorado

Buffalo Bill Cody Grave, Golden, Colorado

Buffalo Bill Cody Grave, Golden, Colorado

A little further up the freeway, we noticed a frozen waterfall and once again spontaneously veered into the quaint little town of Idaho Springs for some photo snapping and some brew pub lunching.

Idaho Springs, Colorado

Idaho Springs, Colorado

Idaho Springs, Colorado

Idaho Springs, Colorado

Once in Breckenridge the spur-of-the-moment spirit continued with a gondola sighting and an emphatic, “I want to go on that!” which led to happening upon a ski slope concert that included a Mighty Mighty Bosstones performance. Further investigation into town and a recommendation from the locals led us to a tasting at the Breckenridge Distillery (which I now also endorse as a destination).

Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge, Colorado

Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Breckenridge, Colorado

On Sunday, we spent some time strolling through Boulder, trying out the fairly new West Flanders Brewing Co. (my favorite of the breweries we visited), and stopping at Left Hand Brewing in Longmont.

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado

West Flanders Brewing, Boulder, Colorado

West Flanders Brewing, Boulder, Colorado

West Flanders Brewing, Boulder, Colorado

Left Hand Brewing, Longmont, Colorado

Left Hand Brewing, Longmont, Colorado

I have a few more iPhone pics from this trip I hope to share when I return from my next adventure. Stay tuned!


2 Apr


I took this a couple of weeks ago with hopes of using it in a First Day of Spring post, but time slipped away. The day job required long days, March Madness kicked off and the amazing weather here in Portland was a much welcomed distraction. Regardless, it’s still spring and the blooms are still blooming, so the photo isn’t completely irrelevant.

In other news, I start a run of three trips in three months when I take off for Denver on Friday for an extended weekend. Barely four months into the year and I’m heading to a second never-been-to destination – I’m super excited! Hopefully I’ll return with photo fodder for a new Weekend Wanderings post!

New Orleans :: iPhone Photos

26 Feb

Kolbs New Orleans

It’s an iPhone only post to wrap up my New Orleans photos. I usually allow myself a little more fun with filters on the phone pics. I also didn’t feel much like pulling the big camera out during the torrential downpour we experienced the first night. For the full experience, be sure to see the cemetery, evil eye and French Quarter posts too.

Mussels Lüke New Orleans

Storm Downpour New Orleans

Storm Wind New Orleans

Fleur di Lis Slickers - New Orleans

Irish Bar Lights - New Orleans

Palace Cafe - New Orleans

Bourbon Street - From Where I Stand - New Orleans

St Louis 1 Cross - New Orleans

St Louis 1 Tomb - New Orleans

St Louis 1 - From Where I Stand - New Orleans

St Louis 1 Tomb 2 - New Orleans

Bourbon Street Neon - New Orleans

French Quarter Chief - New Orleans

French Quarter - New Orleans

French Quarter Cathedral - New Orleans

Neon Fleur di Lis - French Quarter - New Orleans

Marching Band - New Orleans

Napoleon House - From Where I Stand - New Orleans

Neon Hotel - New Orleans

Sunset Over Rockies

New Orleans :: The French Quarter

19 Feb


On the only full day of sight-seeing in New Orleans, we first wandered Saint Louis Cemetery Number One, then took a turn through the French Quarter, loosely following a walking tour route. It was a fairly sedate and chilly Monday, but we definitely enjoyed  just checking everything out, stopping for lunch, beer, the market and for a little souvenir searching as well.










The below shot was taken the following day after a breakfast of cafe au lait and beignets at the famous Café du Monde. Then it was off to work. Sigh…


And finally, the fog lifted a little as you can see from the below pics taken yet the next day from the 41st floor of our hotel. We attended a reception on that very floor the night before and you couldn’t see an inch out the window for the fog.




New Orleans :: One More from the Cemetery

29 Jan

St Louis Cemetery Number One, New Orleans

Somehow I forgot to include this photo in yesterday’s cemetery post. It’s actually one of my favorites partly because of the evil eye which reminded me of my 2010 trip to Turkey. To this day I have one in my home, my office, and I try to have one clipped to my bag while traveling. I need all the help I can get!

New Orleans :: Saint Louis Cemetery One

28 Jan

Statue, St Louis 1, New Orleans

I had the good fortune to travel to New Orleans recently for a work conference. Having never visited previously I flew in a little early and did my best to see some of its sights. Of course there just wasn’t enough time. And of course that means I will have to return. They were also having their “one week of winter,” so photos and light proved a bit challenging with the rain, wind and fog. But in the case of the cemetery, the fog definitely lent to the atmosphere. We chose to visit Saint Louis Cemetery Number One due to its proximity, history and supposed safeness. (According to Frommer’s, unguided cemetery visits are not recommended – for the record, we felt perfectly safe.)

I recommend a visit to New Orleans and thoroughly enjoyed its food, drinks, history, people, sights, talents, quirks, originality and spirit. I look forward to plotting my return!

St Louis 1, New Orleans

St Louis 1, New Orleans

St Louis 1, New Orleans

St Louis 1, New Orleans

Detail, St Louis 1, New Orleans

Cross, St Louis 1, New Orleans

Daughters of the American Revolution, St Louis 1, New Orleans

From Where I Stand, St Louis 1, New Orleans

Marie Leveau Tomb, St Louis 1, New Orleans

St Louis 1, New Orleans

St Louis 1, New Orleans

Rose, St Louis 1, New Orleans

St Louis 1, New Orleans

Statues, St Louis 1, New Orleans

Cross, St Louis 1, New Orleans

St Jude Shrine, St Louis 1, New Orleans

Weekend Wanderings :: Oregon Coast

7 Jan


Picture four friends (friends yes, old friends – no, close friends – closer now!) watching football the evening of December 23rd, pondering the plight of New Year’s Eve and its overpriced, overcrowded, overserved, undertaxied masses… It’s no wonder that by the 24th we had a beach house booked for the 30th and 31st. It turned out to be an absolutely stunning (if chilly) couple of days – and a fun and memorable New Year’s to boot. Cheers!