Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hiking in the Heather

     Classes started off with the Archaeology department first years going on a field trip. Our destinations? Creswell Crags, Stanton Moor and Arbor Low! Oh what funny English names they have here :)

     I would like to start with the lovely and very stereotypical English weather... it rained all day. We got into the coach and drove to Creswell Crags. There are multiple sets of caves but we only visited 2. The first cave held the earliest and I'm pretty sure only english cave drawings. It sounds really cool but there where only 3 that where distinguishable so they where a bit of a let down. The other cave was interesting because it was inhabited at one point. That is until the nice guide pointed out giant spiders that looked like this...

Our class in the spider infested cave

Hardhats with lights!

     Next we went to Stanton Moor to look at the nine ladies, a set of small standing stones from the Bronze Age. My professor started complaining about pagans (he called them nutters) when one student pointed out some dangly bits hanging from the trees. Apparently they make it hard for archaeologists to study certain sights because they go around placing small stones and other objects in or around the circles. It was a small hike to the circle and we saw a barrow that had been excavated by what people here call antiquarians (basically victorian age treasure hunters thinking they where archaeologists). Here are some photos from Stanton.

The Cork Stone: Huge naturally formed sandstone. The steps where carved into it to allow people to sit on top.

After this picture was taken I climbed half way up but the metal rings where freezing and made my hands burn.

My friends looking wet and cold... because they where hahaha!

The Nine Ladies

Then on to Arbor Low which is this really cool sight in some dudes cow field. It's a stone circle and barrow from the early Neolithic. Describing it is a bit hard so here are pictures :P

Monday, September 17, 2012

Back again!

Hey all sorry I keep missing months of posts. I've been a very busy bee!! I spent the whole of June in Italy with my boyfriend Zack. We went to Rome, Tuoro sul Trasimeno, Florence, Siena, Milan and Turin. The first two weeks of July was spent with my family in Apt France and then back to DC for the last bit of summer. We spent 4 days in NYC seeing family and getting my visa, then I headed back to DC while Zack went to Brockport NY to see his family. I flew up to see them all and we had the best Buffalo wings ever (in Buffalo at Duffs). Then on to the Dunes, my families summer house in Dune Acres, Indiana. Zack and I spent the weekend in Chicago doing touristy stuff as he had never been there before. We saw lots of my friends and had a blast. I'll upload pictures eventually but I'm still a but busy.

Why you ask?

I just arrived in Bradford, West Yorkshire England 6 days ago. I'm getting my undergraduate degree in Archaeology at The University of Bradford and classes start next week!!! I'm soooo excited!!! Zack was amazing and dropped me off at school. He spent 4 days with me hiding in my room as I live with 3 really religious girls from Oman. They didn't know he was here and I'm hopping they never find my blog because they would be pissed! I was thinking of deleting this bit but I thought you would find it funny picturing him tiptoeing down the hall to get a piece of pizza. I had to put him on the train today as he is going back to Croatia. He'll be writing his Master's thesis this semester back in Dubrovnik. I'll miss him like crazy but I'm determined to work hard in my classes and make friends so the time wont seem so long. This will be a very new experience for me as English universities work in a completely different way to US ones. I'm still an Expat so I'll keep you posted on all of the strange things that happen here in the north of England.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Croatia: North VS. South

I met Mum in Zagreb and we stayed for 4 days. Zagreb is Croatia's capital and has a distinctly Austro Hungarian feel. The difference between here in Dalmatia and the North is huge. The culture, architecture, food, and even the language is different. I think it has to do with the fact that down here in Dubrovnik we are so Mediterranean. There isn't a lot of land you can build on because the sea is on one side and the mountains are on the other.  I think the best thing to do is show you what it looks like so here are a few pictures:

Houses in Dubrovnik are made more or less the same way with little to no ornamentation. This picture is from my balcony because I live halfway up the mountain. This is just Ploče neighborhood and an extreme example of what I described (the land and see squish). The other parts of Dubrovnik are wider but with the same problem.

Up in Zagreb there is way more land so buildings can be larger and taller.

The other difference is that Zagreb is much greener and Dubrovnik is dry and rocky.
Here are aerial views of both:

Dubrovnik: The green is mostly cypress type trees and scrub brush. You can see Old Town and Lokrum on the bottom right and to the left and behind Old Town stretches the rest of the city. Most tourists don't go further then Old Town so the rest of the city has a very local feel.

Zagreb: You can see that the city is stretched out much farther and has lots and lots of space. That green is all lush grass, trees, and bushes. The kind that need lots of water and rich soil.

Here are some pictures of Zagreb's greenery from the ground.

Croatia is a funny shape...

Is it just me or does it look like Croatia is eating Bosnia-Herzegovina? Great now I can't unsee this.

If you look down towards the bottom of the country you will notice this odd bit of land stuck in-between the Croatian coastline.

Yes this bit...

That my friends is Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Herzegovina part is important to the Croatians so you can't leave it out when you're talking about the country. The difference between the two is that Herzegovina is where all of the Croatians in Bosnia live. Bosnia needed a sea port so they where given one.

The problem? It means to get to anywhere from Dubrovnik by car you have to go through two checkpoints. The hope is that once Croatia is officially part of the EU, sometime in the next year, they will build a huge bridge highway thing that will connect the country.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

We went for a walk and found a festival.

This is part of Zagreb's Time Machine. An event that takes over all of Upper town, the idea behind it being to show Zagreb's cultural history in a fun and interactive way. This is the Promenade Concert in Zrinjevac park, just a block off of Ban Josip Jelačić Square. I was glad to get such a good recording of the orchestra playing. The band was playing in the music pavilion which has been standing since 1891. The event will be every Saturday this spring with the last performance on the 7th or July.

This is a reenactment of the Croatian Light Cavalry from the 17th century. This was part of the Changing of the Guard, which takes place even Saturday and Sunday from 4/21-9/30 at 12p.m.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Back Logged

Hey everyone!! I'm 4 months behind so I'll try to make it up to you before I leave Croatia. Thats right, I have only one more month left in this beautiful country :(

But the good news is the blog will go on. I will still be and Expat as I will be in Italy all of June, France for two weeks in July, and back to the US for the end of July and all of August. Yet I stay an expat as I will finally park my butt in beautiful West Yorkshire, England. Thats right! I will be attending The University of Bradford for a degree in Archaeology!!!

Heres the link if you want to check out my new school: The University of Bradford

So I'm going to skip around just a bit. Its going to be this April as Mum came to visit me for 10 days. Then I'm going to do Jordan, Istanbul, Ljubljana and Budapest.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I'm Back!!!

Hey everyone!!! I'm sorry I was gone for so long. I have had the unique experience of being computer-less for almost 4 months. During my travels in January I left my computer in the Turkish airport. Luckily I was staying in Istanbul for a day between flights and I was able to get it back. A week later I had left Zagreb (Croatia) and was enjoying Ljubljana (Slovenia). My computer thought it would be fun to melt down and show me the gray screen of death. Sooo all of my pictures before the trip have been erased but luckily all of January was safe on my camera!!! Quite a lot has happened and now I can finally fill you all in on the various details.

Mum was visiting for 10 days and brought with her my brand new MacBook Pro!!!! It was so much fun to have you Mum and thank you sooooo much for for all my new presents (I got an external hard drive and other gadgets).