Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel
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Typical street scene in Kathmandu, Nepal, with people riding on the roof of overloaded van bus

Click on title to view photo in large format: Typical street scene in Kathmandu, Nepal. The overloaded van bus with people riding on the roof is typical of public transportation in Nepal, not only in the city, but also on cross-country trips. As with most Asian countries, traffic is willy-nilly, with cars, Read More

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Four months. Fourteen countries. Fifty different destinations. By the time I reached Sarajevo I was exhausted. I’d accomplished my goal of visiting all seven of the ex-Yugoslavian countries plus Albania, but poor Croatia had been given short shrift earlier in the summer. Rather than battle high-season crowds and a record-breaking heat wave at the seashore, I fled to the capital of Zagreb. Not only was it cooler, it was virtually empty; everyone in the city was at the coast. As a result, I’d missed the Dalmation Coast cities of Dubrovnik, Zadar, and Split. I had a choice to make. Should I try to see all three in the eleven days left before I was due in Italy? Exhaustion provided my answer. I couldn’t even think about moving that fast. Instead, I booked a vacation rental apartment just outside the Old Town of Split, Croatia for the entire eleven days.

Silver (east) gate of Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia

Silver (east) gate of Diocletian’s Palace in Split, Croatia

It would turn out to be one of the best travel decisions of my life. Nanka, the owner of the apartment, informed me that her aunt, Ljubica, was eager to meet me, as she was a retired journalist. A few days later Ljubica and I met for lunch at Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was once home to the Roman Emperor Diocletian. I had explored the palace by that time, but as a local, Ljubica knew the secret places. She led me to a tiny cafe tucked into an obscure corner of the fortress Read More

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Strolling along the Riva in Split, Croatia.

Click on title to view photo in large format: The stunning, 820-foot long promenade known as the Riva in Split, Croatia, separates the Old Town from the sea. It is home to dozens of sidewalk cafes, where visitors can relax with a beverage while the sun sets over the harbor. Read More

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The Peristyle inside Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia

Click on title to view photo in large format: For centuries, the Peristyle of Diocletian’s Palace served as the main gathering place for the town of Split, Croatia. Built at the beginning of the 4th century AD, the palace was originally intended as a private residence for the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Initially, the Peristyle led to the main entrance of his living quarters. Over time, parts of the complex were converted for commercial use, homes, and even Read More

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White paving stones and limestone block buildings in the Old Town of Split, Croatia

Click on title to view photo in large format: Typical street in the Old Town of Split, Croatia features glistening white marble paving stones and buildings of white local limestone. Sidewalk cafes are a common feature on nearly every street in the Old Town, and many of the ancient buildings have been converted to shops. Read More

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Narodni Trg (People's Square), in the old town area of Split, Croatia

Click on title to view photo in large format: Narodni Trg (People’s Square) is the main gathering place for residents of Split, Croatia. Prior to its construction in the 14th century, the main square of the city was the Peristyle, located inside Diocletian’s Palace. As the city expanded, it became evident the Peristyle could no longer accommodate the growing population, thus this new square just to the west of the palace compound was constructed. Today Narodni Trg is Read More