LA Abroad



Now, I expected this section to be something on the Old Town and the City Walls and maybe throw in a Game of Thrones reference even though I don’t watch it. Especially since Dubrovnik is perhaps the most popular tourist destination of my entire trip. The Walls were cool, better than most of the fortresses I’ve been to. But that’s about it. I also hiked up Mala Petka. Not elaborating and just posting pictures instead.

Old Town of Dubrovnik
City Walls
Another ledge Dad
The ledge from another angle
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I love moats


A natural ledge

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So that’s what a trail marker is
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Croatia is known for its islands just like Minnesota except here its not negative degrees

What really struck me is how similar Dubrovnik is to Los Angeles. I mean, it’s not like it reminded me of LA. It was LA. It’s the exact same place at any given moment. Now I know how that sounds and I guess there are four possibilities. (1) I’m correct, (2) it was a lot like LA in comparison to the other places I’ve been recently, (3) since I grew up in LA, that’s pretty much the only thing I’m able to compare with or (4) I don’t know what I’m talking about and I’m homesick and just see LA everywhere. Numbers (1) and (3) are most likely.

Other than the Old Town (the most popular but just one area in the city), no matter where you were, it felt like LA. And I’m 100% sure a Dubrovnik native would say the equivalent thing when visiting LA.

I’m not going to be able to coherently explain why and pictures – though I’ll post them anyway – won’t be able to capture the vibe (you know, the LA vibe), so I’ll just list the things that were similar. Specifically, Dubrovnik felt like a combination of the Hollywood Hills, Bel Air, Pacific Palisades, the neighborhoods around Wilshire like Brentwood, and throw in a little bit of Palos Verdes, Malibu, and Santa Barbara. But those disparate parts complicate the fact that it did feel very LA-ish everywhere.

Here’s the list of similarities: the roads, the traffic, the traffic lights, the painting on the streets and crosswalks, the street parking and parking meters, the curbs and sidewalks, the medium density housing, the suburb-ity, the green hills with transformers and antenna on top, the palm trees, the red mission-style rooftops, the mountains, the expensive beach front hotels and villas, the malls, the shops, the taxis, the promenades, the harbor. Now I’m going to post a whole bunch of photos (I’m being pretty fair, not just choosing the ones that support my point) and see if you can tell it’s not LA.

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Tell me that doesn’t look like LA. There is no reason to ever vacation to Dubrovnik because you could just do the one hour drive to Bel Air and call it a day and not even have to convert your currency etc.


A perfectly beautiful lunch stop on the Adriatic Highway.

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More pictures, another village near Dubrovnik.

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Back in Montenegro

Monastir Ostrog

Nice windy drive up to the monastery. I was listening to the instrumental theme to Back to the Future and vroom the car hit 88 (kmph but still) and then nothing happened.Snip20150503_3 IMG_1068

After passing these untrimmed hedges, I had the sudden urge to shave
That is a big pipe

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Morača and Tara Canyons

More nice windy drives. Super rainy and foggy.

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Looks stable


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Đurđevića Tara Bridge
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Tara Canyon – 2nd deepest in the world behind the Grand Canyon

Crno Jezero (Black Lake)

Didn’t bring my snow shoes so hiking potential was a bit limited.

Another tour group. They stopped here for 10 minutes.
While the picture is a bit deceiving, I couldn’t cross this stream because it was too wide and deep.

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  • 25,101– Words written on this blog so far (Animal Farm, A Christmas Carol, Of Mice and Men, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory all hover around 30,000 words)
  • 22 – UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Westminster, Tower of London, Kew Gardens, Sintra, Tower of Belem, Stonehenge, Bath, Serra de Tramuntana, Sevilla Cathedral and Alcazar, Toledo, Brú na Bóinne, Swiss Alps Jungfrau, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Skocjan Caves, Rila Monastery, Ohrid, Butrint, Gjirokastër, Kotor, Dubrovnik)
  • 9 – Personal phone numbers that I’ve used as my primary number on study abroad (+44 7598736659 [UK], +44 7404245455 [UK old], +1 310-809-2668 [USA], a +1 (661) number on Skype, +351 915-406-195 [Portugal], +34 602-695-139 [Spain old], +34 611-291-985 [Spain new], + 41 76-735-8909 [Switzerland], +39 3273549533 [Italy])
  • 8 – Football matches (Crystal Palace x2, West Ham, Tottenham, Sporting Lisbon, Arsenal, FC Luzern, England National Team)
  • 6 – Airlines flown (United, British Airways x5, Ryan Air x3, Air New Zealand x2, airberlin, Easy Jet)
  • 10 – Currencies used (British Pound, Euro, US Dollar, Swiss Franc, Croatian Kuna, Serbian dinar, Romanian leu, Bulgarian lev, Macedonian dinar, Albanian lek)
  • 16 – Countries (UK, Portugal, USA [it counts], Spain, Ireland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro)
  • 27 – Times crossing a national border
  • 11 of 20 – Passport pages used
  • 55 of 117 – Days of study abroad spent outside the UK (through May 3)

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