Books Worth a Look

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - This book is a must read. Better than anything else I've read, it takes you vividly into the life of a person in the 3rd world who has no choice but to escape. It is brilliantly written & works well as an audio book. Often I've sent info about the wonderful refugees I've met in Europe. We know only so much of their plight as it is painful for them to recall much less live through again by recounting it. But over time it is clear what they've lived through. This book is excellent as you discover the horrors of their world. Somewhat how to me, it is like being in Europe near a Concentration Camp. One has an obligation to visit it. 'Never to Forget.' In this case, to have our eyes opened.
  • Garbage King by Eliz Laird - The book is set on the streets on Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia and here lives Mamo and his sister Tiggist. When Mamo's "uncle" offers a job, he soon sets out on a bus to work. Little does he know that he is actually being sold into slavery...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Old Town Dubrovnik, Croatia at night

My first glimpse of Dubrovnik from the airport was wonderful. Straddling the coast of the Adriatic, it looked idyllic. Just above the city, the mountains rise. They are in Bosnia. You get a real sense of overwhelm when you see this and recall that Serbia launched 2000 shells on the small city in 1991 and 1992. 68% of the 824 building in the old town were damaged.

Seeing the Old Town at night

After settling in and talking at length with my room mate from Chile, I took the bus to the old town. This is truly remarkable. Picture a castle. The town resembles a castle literally from the outside. There is a moat, draw bridge, towers and incredibly think high walls. Only when Napoleon came did Dubrovnik truly lose its autonomy.

You enter through the low rounded arch. Immediately you are struck by the light. The walls are high and you enter the main street stunned. It is all marble, sidewalks and main street. No cars are allowed. It takes awhile to take in that you are literally walking on marble everywhere. Turn into a narrow lane, it is all marble. Buildings in white stone rise on all sides.

It almost feels like a fantasy. There is no grass, no earth. Its is just all marble!

Tomorrow I will get to see it at length in the daylight. You can climb the wall and walk all along it, visiting the four towers at each corner. Monastery, church, houses, shops, museums all look out on the Adriatic. Wow!


Jim and Nancy Forest said...

I wish I could beam myself over to Dubrovnik to join you, Phil. It's one of the most beautiful towns in all of Europe.

Phil Rivera Travel Blog said...

Thanks Jim. I would love that. I hope to return within this year. Much more to see and the peopel were terrific. The city is so clean!

Cheers from Essex, England!


Thoughts on the amazing people I get to meet.

Rich, my 19 year old friend, soon to be Franciscan and recent community member at Haley House in Boston. An article he wrote.