Sunday Morning at the El Alquián Mercadillo

The nearby village of El Alquián has a “mercadillo” every Sunday morning. That literally translates as a flea market and would be a tianguis in Mexico.

I didn’t realise that the clocks moved back yesterday, which explains why I was awake around 7:30 when I’d gone to bed around 12:30. Even the fact that the sun was up did not clue me into the time change!

I had a full eight hours of typing to do, but I still wanted to go out. So I had a quick breakfast, vaguely remembering my host saying I’d be able to have coffee at the market and so skipping that step, grabbed the grocery cart, and headed off around 8:30.

While I had less than 5KM to walk, I discovered that the road is absolutely not pedestrian friendly, having a high speed limit and no shoulders. I ended up coming home by the beach, which was lovely, but not grocery cart friendly. So I really doubt I’ll be going to El Alquián again, not when Almería downtown is about 15 minutes away by buses that run regularly.

Approaching the market. People were parked quite a distance away.


The market is just a very long row of stalls. It starts with clothing and accessories, then you get produce. I bought a ton of stuff from the guy running this stall (he’s in the red shirt) as he had everything I wanted veggie-wise and it all looked fresh. I think prices are way better than in Canada, but sad compared to the Balkans and Mexico.


The folks with the covered trays in front of that blue tarp had bulk goods so I was able to stock up on raisins. Mangos and avocado were very pricy and I did not get any.


I wandered up and down a few times, adding four apples and a loaf of bread to my haul. I had hoped to come home with cheese as well, but there was only one tiny vendor selling cheese and meat and he was doing business much too fast for me to feel comfortable shopping as I didn’t recognise any of his wares and would have had questions. The only stall that I lingered at was selling olives in bulk, but the containers were just flimsy plastic ones and I didn’t want to come home to olive juice all over my groceries!

There were only two food stalls. One had whole roasted chickens and the other one had coffee, hot chocolate, and churros (doughnuts). I got a coffee and that alone was worth my very long walk as it it was very strong without being bitter and the crema was almost like caramel. Yum!


Frankly, I was disappointed. It just didn’t have the lively community gathering feel that I’ve grown accustomed to at markets.

I’d had my fill within about an hour, right on schedule, so I headed off, pausing to dig one of my apples out of my bag. I found apples, certain types of which are a favourite food, disappointing in the Balkans (always mealy) and have been in withdrawal. This apple was perfect, so crisp and balancing tartness and sweetness.


I turned to the beach at this point, where you can see my neighbourhood in the distance. I live at the completely opposite end.


Found someone living the good life!


When I finally reached my neighbourhood, I was reminded that I’d been to this end of the malecón before with my host. So our malecón is really quite short and that’s why folks will run up and down it. I still had almost a full kilometre left to get home at this point!


I got in and put my purchases away. 16.52CAD had gotten me:

  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1 large bunch carrots
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium broccoli
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 medium onions
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 zucchini
  • 4 large apples
  • 1 small loaf bread
  • 1 coffee

Next, I did all my outdoor chores and then I finally plopped myself down at my desk and started typing.

Around four, I used some of my veggies and as well as leftover chicken broth and roasted chicken to make a quick chicken soup.

Even though I worked steadily and did not take many breaks, I wasn’t done with my jobs until almost 10PM. Phew. My eyes literally hurt by that point. I had a long hot shower, watched an episode of something, and then passed out.

Today will be a slightly easier work day. Depending on what time I finish, I may go to Almería, but I think I’m better off saving that for tomorrow and making a day off of it. We shall see. My clients have been surprising!

Exploring Alicante’s Santa Bárbara Castle

Yes, this post is a little late. I am feeling very run down and have a sore throat. I really need a few nights of interrupted sleep!

Like in Barcelona, it’s insanely loud in this building until just past 1AM, then quiet until about 10AM. I guess that’s just the normal Spanish rhythm… I didn’t even bother trying to sleep until it got quiet on Friday night/Saturday morning and then I slept like the dead since my room was surprisingly dark and quiet. I only woke up because I was cold and had to find another blanket.

I went out Friday night to get some breakfast stuff at a nearby supermarket, so I was all set to make peanut butter with banana and coffee on Saturday morning. I ended up buying a large bag of powdered milk for just 4 euros (6CAD). Twice what I’d pay in Mexico, half what I’d pay in Canada. It’ll last me for months and since I only have one more stop to make before I land for seven weeks, it made sense to get some last night so that I could make coffee here.

I dropped my groceries off and then went out again to look for a fast food supper around 8:30, eventually stumbling on a kebab shop that was opening up for the night. Thank goodness for the Turks! 😀 I could have kebab just about every night and, really, as long as you go easy on the sauce, there could be worse suppers. It’s a very popular late night fast food option all over Europe.

I then had to put in a couple of hours of work before bed. It’s very rare that I leave work for arrival on a traveling day because I’m always afraid of contingencies, but Thursday night was not conducive to working in the public spaces in my Barcelona flat. Since the job was super easy and not due till Friday night, it made sense to take a chance and finish once I’d landed in Alicante.

I pretty much picked Alicante as my stop this weekend by throwing the proverbial dart at a map of the Spanish coast. I couldn’t afford to stay in Barcelona any longer and I also did not want to have to travel straight to Almería in one day as it would have been something like 12 or 13 hours of traveling time. Alicante is about two-thirds of the way to Almería from Barcelona, meaning a shortish traveling day on Monday, and boasts a charming old town and a magnificent castle to explore. Sounded pretty good to me!

So it was a very, very, very late start Saturday morning. It was really nice to stumble into a super clean kitchen and put together coffee and breakfast. After that, I did a bit of my work for the weekend and then headed out to find a town map and the castle.

My flat is located on a public square and is making me realise I do not want to live right on a public square in Mexico!


My wonderful host here oriented me as to the main street in town and the pedestrian zone, so I had known where to go look for food Friday night and where to find the info centre Saturday afternoon.


I love how an interior wall became an exterior wall and that you can still see where the old staircase was.


I thought I’d found tacos on Friday night, but they want 10 euros/15CAD for two!!!


The tourist info centre was just past the Mexican restaurant. I came in and was sized up by the person at the desk who yelled towards the back, “We need your English skills!” Bemused, I shook my head and said in Spanish, “I just want a map and walking directions to the castle…” “Oh!” was the reply and then aid was forthcoming. The map I was given was pretty terrible in that it’s not particularly portable, being printed on heavy paper, but it is pretty detailed and colour coded. The instructions on how to walk to the castle seemed clear…

I headed UP into the old town.







I found this wonderful poem on a building. I photographed all of it, but am only sharing my favourite stanza, the one at the bottom: “How many days does a week have? Seven days, and no more. But I would give it eight days, one more to travel.”


The Santa Bárbara castle is a rather impressive. It started as an Islamic fortress in the 9th century, with the Christian castle built over top in the Middle Ages.


Getting to the walking path up to the castle was insanely frustrating. I will never again complain of the dearth of signage in the Balkans as Spain appears to be worse. I think that in this case, it is intentional. The castle is free to visit, but there is a new elevator to get to the top that costs about 3 Euro. I think that the walking path is hard to find so that people will choose the paid option. That had the opposite effect on me. The more I climbed up to a dead end and had to backtrack, the less inclined I was to pay the elevator fee! And, yes, I asked multiple people for directions.



One man finally gave me good directions, as opposed to a more vague, “It’s that way,” response. I started to climb.




Spoiler: I would end up higher than that little tower you see jutting out of the cliff at the top!





It became evident as I climbed that there are actually a few different walking paths of varying degrees of difficulty.



I ended up on what I would, at the descent, confirm as being the official walking path, and it was very difficult as the step risers were super high.







This is the part where I got really annoyed with the lack of signage. Right through that door.


From there, I could go up these very scary steps strewn with broken glass or move ahead on a dirt path.



There was a bunch of us who were confused and it took a local to tell us that the least obvious of the paths, the dirt one, would lead us to the paved access road to the entrance of the castle. On the way back, I came across a few different groups of tourists all as equally confused as I was at that point and I had to guide them to the entrance. What could have been a really lovely walk up was incredibly frustrating because I was expending a lot of effort to climb up things that seemed to lead to the castle but which ended up being dead ends. To meet other people who felt as frustrated as I was spoke volumes as to the validity of my feelings.




But I finally made it to the entrance!





Right through that arch, I saw this sign about a sci-fi exposition. Curious..


I went in and as soon as I started to look at the exhibits, I just gasped. I was looking at case after case of mostly original props from many science-fiction/fantasy movies, some of which I really love! This was such a random and unexpected part of my day! These are just a few of the original props that I enjoyed viewing.

Hydra’s cosmic energy battery from Captain America: the First Avenger.


Bruce Banner’s laptop and drink from The Incredible Hulk (2008).


Obadiah’s sonic taser earplugs from Ironman.


A piece from the Tumbler in Batman Begins!



I could not stop staring at this original mask, hat, and wig from V for Vendetta, one of my favourite movies of all time.


What a surreal exhibit, and free to boot!

Then, I wandered around the ruins. You can go almost anywhere.



At the top here, you can see the café. I didn’t plan my day well and got to the castle at about 2PM, lunchtime. I should have had lunch first and then gone exploring. So I decided to pay a premium for a mediocre burger with a great view and didn’t regret it one bit!





The castle complex is huge.














This is that little tower we saw earlier and I’m above it, at the very top of the castle. The view was so spectacular!







I would not want to be a bus driver having to go around that hair pin turn!









Here’s that archer again.




I haven’t had ice cream in ages and 2.50 euros was insane for gelato after an afternoon of wandering around flat Barcelona, but was a fair price for this treat after all that climbing!




The figures fighting in the background of this picture amuse me immensely.


Found the elevator. It’s free to go from the 1st to the 2nd level and to go down from the 2nd level to the beach.


The sci-fi expo is showing off some of the best sci-fi movies of recent years! *snickers*









As some of you know, I did my BA in medieval history and so I know a bit about the construction of these sorts of structures. What I’m seeing here is that there was some sort of wooden construction jutting out of the stone foundation.





The Mediterranean at Alicante is just…















Ruins of Saint Barbara’s Hermitage.
















I thought this was a weird coincidence in that at this time two years ago, I was near Arco, Idaho, wandering through an equally amazing space





It’s forbidden to feed the cats and the doves. Saw lots of gulls, but no doves…



The hike down was hard on the knees. Just like after the climb in Old Kotor, I’m shocked that I wasn’t sore the next day!




I may have yelled to this guy that he was doing a fine job with his painting…










Ah, a dove!



I was done by this point and just wanted to get in. I thought to stop at the market, but was disappointed to discover I’d missed my only chance as it closes at 2PM on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays.


I made two stops before coming in. The first was at a fruit and vegetable store for a tomato and small cucumber, the other at the grocery store for ham, cheese, and yoghurt so I could have dinner in when I was ready for it. I am surprised that Spanish grocery prices appear to be low. Four single-serve containers of yoghurt were about 0.75CAD (about four times cheaper than in Assiniboia). A package of good ham was about 1.50CAD. A cheese similar to Boursin, which was 8CAD last time I didn’t buy any in Assiniboia, was just under 2CAD.

I came in and did more work, then made dinner. I have access to not just the kitchen here, but a whole cupboard full of spices and condiments! I had a few things in Sarajevo, but nothing like this, and I had to build a pantry from scratch in Bulgaria with not much available to me locally. So being able to not only pull out oil and vinegar last night to make a dressing from scratch, but also sugar, salt, oregano, garlic powder, and a few other things to make the dressing extra special felt like an incredible luxury.

Even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep that early, I went to bed around nine, just as the noise level in here started. I managed to fall asleep around eleven, was woken around one, then slept from two to four, five to eight, and 8:30 to ten. Not a great night… I have to leave early tomorrow, so I don’t expect much sleep again. It will be a relief to land in Almería!

It’s 1:30 on Sunday now. Nothing’s open at this hour on a Sunday, so I’m just going to wander around, find a nice lunch, and enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine. 🙂

An Afternoon Wandering Around Sarajevo

It was a very late night and I didn’t get to sleep until around midnight. I woke up around 5:45AM to the sound of a muezzin leading the adhan (ezan in BiH), the call to prayer of the Muslims in the city. It was so beautiful!

I listened for a bit and it lulled me back to sleep. I managed to sleep until about nine when the child upstairs woke me up. I checked my emails and there was one from a client who has been very quiet the last few weeks asking if I’d mind “cleaning up” some files that came in late in the day so that they’d have them by their morning. There are advantages to my working during their night!

First, though, I had to figure out breakfast. I had buns from Belgrade and some of my Greek peanut butter from Bulgaria on me, so that was food sorted. Coffee was trickier since there wasn’t a single pot in the apartment!

This is what I ended up using to heat water!


Here’s a quick tour of the interior of the apartment. I don’t feel comfortable doing the exterior since I didn’t realise last night that this is a private residence (owners or long-term tenants are upstairs). It just feels too invasive.

I love the floor in the entrance and the pink wall, which is also in the living room. Almost the same colour as my dressing room at home!


From the entrance, you can access the kitchen and then the bathroom on the right, or turn left to go towards the other rooms.



Here’s the little kitchen. The table there makes it difficult to use the stove and it appears there are two fridges. But it’s functional and clean. There was an American lady living here for three months, so she left behind a lot of food, like pasta, still in the packages, as well as seasonings. So if I want to cook, I’m in better shape than I was in Belgrade, where I had to buy salt. Behind the door is a bank of drawers with utensils in them. Not the best layout, but it would be my dream to have a house with a kitchen like this in its own room with a door that shuts!


When I saw my driver this morning (I think that he is a tenant of my host) who lives upstairs, I asked about a pot to make hot water. There was a lot of miming involved because he did not understand me. Finally, he said that he got it and that he would put something in the kitchen. He understood! That’s a Turkish coffee pot at the top (what I used to make hot water in Belgrade), and a decent size pot if I want to make pasta. I don’t mind the discolouration, that’s old enamelware for you.


The pink wall in the hallway.


The bathroom is pretty good and has tons of storage, but the location of the shower head is really unfortunate. I was unable to avoid spraying the floor last night, so it was a very quick in and out shower!



I am going to ask if I can use this washing machine before I leave!


Looking down the hallway to the rooms. My bedroom is on the left, the dining/living/spare bedroom/office is at the end.


The bedroom has too much furniture, but that gives me some surfaces to spread out. 🙂 The bed is terrible, two hard single beds pushed together. It was cold last night, so I added the blue and white duvet, which I found in the armoire in the hallway, and was then comfy.


And here’s the last room. A table and hard back chair are actually not that great for long typing marathons, but fine for a couple of hours at a time. The futon is terrible. I think comfortable furniture is a Canadian/American concept…


The far wall of this room is hideous, but I love the bedding on the bunk beds! The two rooms have numbers and keys, so I think that they are sometimes rented separately with shared kitchen and bathroom space.


Needless to say, this place feel huge to me! I’m not crazy about having the family upstairs since the child cries a lot, but it’s fine for five days. The location isn’t as good as I would have hoped since I’m at the top of a super steep hill and there doesn’t appear to be any restaurants or shops immediately around me. Thankfully, I’m in great shape from all that Bulgarian hiking, so I shouldn’t have a problem going up and down a few times a day. I’ll be going back out later to find dinner.

So I put in about two hours of work this morning and have another two or so to do by the end of tomorrow my time. I was finally about to shut down and think about tourism around one. I did some research about tours and booked a walking tour for tomorrow morning and sent in a couple of requests for half-day driving tours. My first choice was booked solid for the week and I’m waiting for my second choice to get back to me.

Then, I set off to orientate myself and find some lunch. This is the first place I’ve stayed booked through Airbnb that had a map, which was really appreciated!

Here are some Bosnian Marks. The 5KM coin looks like the Canadian toonie! Some of you might recognise the change purse I bought in Mérida (I only showed it off on Facebook). Love it!


Looking down my street towards Old Town.


Sarajevo orientation tip: don’t bother using the minarets. They all start to look alike after a while!



One of many, many cemeteries in Sarajevo.



When I came home this afternoon, he was awake and very happy to have a bit of a scritch around the ears!



This is a main street in Sarajevo. Very busy and there are no sidewalks. Thankfully, the traffic is in just one direction. So I can always get home, just not always the most efficient route. Even with the map, it’s really difficult to orientate yourself since there isn’t a ton of signage and all the streets go off in odd directions.


Coming into the heart of Old Town, Baščaršija Square, Sarajevo’s old bazaar built in the 15th century.


Like in Belgrade, the pedestrian walk lights are not synchronized to get across a whole boulevard. You have to wait for one green light, cross to a median, then wait for another green light.


This car decided to park right on the tram line and the tram was only just able to stop in time!


This is a famous fountain in Sarajevo, Sebilj. There are replicas in Belgrade and St. Louis, MO. It was built in 1753 in a pseudo-Ottoman style. The pigeons took off just after I took this picture and it was like a scene in The Birds. I’m lucky that none of them crapped on me!




Walking around this square, it is easy to get disorientated as there are so many little alleyways. I wandered randomly, eventually taking out 100KM from an ATM and being rather annoyed that it came as a single 100KM note!








This little dog is paralysed and is still able to move easily thanks to this contraption. Can you imagine how much his parents love him?





I found this lovely fruit and vegetable market that reminded me of Mexico.


Here’s a fish shop. In this part of Sarajevo, the signage is all in Latin letters. Where I landed yesterday, near the airport, there is a lot of Cyrillic. My research tells me that using Latin letters is huge part of Bosnia’s identity as being European, as opposed to being aligned with the East (ie. cutting ties with a Communist past).




Outside this mosque, I found a restaurant called Two for Tea that had all my comfort foods on the menu, hummus, tabouleh, and falafel!


I ordered the Moroccan tea. So lovely! I loved the spicy (as in flavourful, not hot) tea with the sweet honey. The little cookie was really good too!


And lunch! The hummus and tabouleh were spot on and incredibly wonderful. A party for the tastebuds! I was disappointed that like Bulgarian falafel, these were a little flat considering how good the rest of my plate was! I would have preferred pita, of course, but that bread was delicious and I may have had a few bites drizzled with the honey from my tea as a dessert. No, I did not eat that entire basket of bread!


Lunch was 10.50KM, plus a 2KM tip. So reasonable! I asked the server if he could break my 100 note (I had 15KM left from yesterday, but didn’t want to give up my change if I had to!). He visibly blanched and said, “Euro?” I said, “No, marks!” and he laughed with relief and said it was absolutely not a problem.

I wandered some more and was impressed that Sarajevo does not shy away from its recent bloody history. I didn’t go in. I just wasn’t in the right head space for that yet.






Standing on the spot on the Latin Bridge where Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated, precipitating the First World War. Talk about feeling the weight of history!



Couples leave locks on the bridge.












Another bridge.


I headed up this pedestrian street towards a cemetery.



And emerged into a neighbourhood of recently built houses.


Terminating in a not so recently built house.


The tour of the cemetery was shattering. So many graves of so many lives that started in the early ’70s and ended in the early to mid-’90s. Such a waste. This was a war that happened in our lifetimes, not in some far off past so that we can pretend we are so much more civilised than our ancestors were.


There was music coming from a nearby mosque that really added to the ambiance. I’m not ashamed to say that I wept.




The first line says “from nest to the stars” and the second “wife and daughter.” Fuad is a man’s name (Arabic for heart), so I believe that second line is a signature rather a description of the person buried.




There was a sort of fortification at the top of the cemetery, with a lot of people heading up there, so I decided to check it out and found an astounding nearly 360 view of Sarajevo.




This is yet another cemetery.









These are the steps I took to come up to the viewpoint.





I was ready to head home after this and thought I could use my map to plot a route that would avoid my having to backtrack and go back downhill. That plan failed and, most of the way home, I realised I had to go back down to a shop anyway to get bread and coffee!

I love how the newer houses are built in the old style.



Old Vratnik Fort entrance.






These neglected tombstones are across from the cemetery I visited.




I finished my afternoon by finding a tiny shop where I was able to get the coffee and bread I need. Hopefully the coffee is good! I was disappointed I wasn’t able to find Tchibo in Belgrade.

My first impressions of Sarajevo are that it is really lovely and that the people are kind and welcoming (with many speaking good English!), but that its tragic recent history is still very present. I will have lots more after my walking tour tomorrow! Now, I’m off to find some dinner.

Last Market Day in Yablanitsa

I had a tight deadline today, but also a full weekend of work ahead of me, so I decided I was best off going to Yablanitsa today, for a final trip to the market, since I’d have a better chance of getting lifts.

I had just passed the village limits when I heard a vehicle come up behind me and honk. I thought it was my chauffeur because of the van type, but no. It was a couple in a similar vehicle, which is a two seater… Let’s just say I’m glad I don’t carry my excess weight in my hips because the three of us just barely squeezed in!

They dropped me off just within the town limits, so I had a short stroll to the market. I hoped to pick up another pair of capris, but the lady wasn’t there today, the only time this has happened in all my visits to the market. Am I glad I at least got the pair I had on!

Produce was pretty usual today, but I did see some folks had cauliflower. I found a vendor who had nice tomatoes, but he was the kind who doesn’t let you pick out your own. “Kolko?” he asked me. It literally means “how,” but I’ve heard it used for “how many?” and “how much?” I said four, then amended it to five. I was very happy with the ones he picked out! I also got onions and carrots from him. I got potatoes and zucchini from another vendor who looked at me like I was a moron when I thought he told me my total was 1.20, I handed him as much, and asked if that was okay. He shook his head (which is a nod in Bulgaria) and again repeated what I thought was 1.20 before moving on to the next customer. So I’m guessing I heard right!

I was happy to do my final shop at the supermarket since I am really tired of buying and eating the same foods from there every week! I had a bit of a stumble when they were out of the two different jam brands they normally carry and the brand they had not only didn’t have clear pictures, but the writing was in lower case, which I haven’t mastered yet, and in a super fancy font. I was looking for strawberry, “yagodi,” which looks like this in “normal” Cyrillic: яагоди. Look at what the label has instead!


If I squint, I can see the Ya letter (“backwards R”) and the o is, of course, clear. But the hard g is sort of like a backwards s, the d looks like a g, and the i looks like a u! I think they just want to confuse the tourists!

My shopping was particularly heavy today so I was glad I’d come on market day since, surely, I’d get a lift home. So certain of this was I that I didn’t pace myself heading up the hill out of town to the junction where I usually get lifts. Hmm. No cars today. Okay, maybe by the underpass. Nope… I got all the way to the village turnoff, with 2KM left to go, and thought surely I’d get a lift at this point. I even properly stuck out my thumb a few times, to no avail. By the time I limped into Malak Izvor, I was pretty annoyed with myself for having started off so fast since I had barely enough energy to get up the hill to home!

But I made it! I put my shopping away, then pulled out a tin of sardines I’d bought for the pets as a treat. Normally, Mechka and Penghu each go for a bowl and Sausage gets the tin. But today, Sausage went for a bowl. I put the tin down for Mechka and was very amused when she picked it up and carried it over to the far side of the yard to enjoy her treat in peace!

This was my last trip into Yablanitsa. If I need anything in the next week, I can get it at the village shop. I thought I was leaving next Friday, but it’s actually going to be Thursday (it was always going to be the 22nd, I just messed up the day of the week) and I have to be out of Bulgaria on Saturday. So this time next week, I could very well be in Serbia!

12 kilomètres à pied, ça use, ça use…

I really burned the midnight oil with work this past week, so when it was 10AM yesterday by the time I was up, had walked the dogs, and breakfasted, it really was too late to go to the market in Yablanitsa, never mind that I had another really full day of work ahead of me. I decided to postpone my trip to today, even if I knew I would very likely not get a lift.

I would have actually preferred to do a day trip to Sofia today, but I had an 11AM Skype interview about a possible house sit, so that changed my plans. I did the interview and then left for town around 11:45.

It was a pleasant walk, surprisingly hot, but increasingly overcast and with an odd breeze. I didn’t mind walking all the way in.


Coming into Yablanitsa.

I thought I was finally ready to try the “snack bar,” if only for a coffee, but there was a “ne raboti” sign out front, which I’ve come to understand means the business is closed. Dang!

Instead, I went to a cart place that’s set up across from the plaza, where I knew I could get a kebapche. It’s really not what I was in the mood for, but it was cheap and good, although I didn’t finish all the bread. This was my first time eating at the cart!

It was only then that I realised that a lot of businesses were closed. Crap! Had I ever come into town for groceries on a Saturday? Thankfully, the supermarket was open! I got what I needed, remembering coffee at the last minute, and was still insufferably pleased with myself that I can say, “I would like a big butter, please,” in Bulgarian. Of course, I treated myself to an orange-chocolate ice cream cone for part of my walk back!

One phrase I really should have learned earlier in my stay here is “I understand.” The lady at the cash spent way too much time trying to mime that I needed to pay a deposit for the beer bottles and that she was adding it manually to my total, despite my saying, “Yes, okay, very good, not a problem,” repeatedly. I appreciated her efforts!

I hoped to get the taxi home, but he wasn’t at the town plaza and when I called, he said it would be an hour wait! I could get home in an hour and it’s not like there’s anything to do in Yablanitsa to fill the time! So I declined and headed off on foot. Traffic was light, so I didn’t get a lift.

However, I ran into a man putting wood in his car about 1KM from home who chatted with me in English (!) for a bit and then said if I could wait a bit, he’d take me the rest of the way. At that point, I just wanted to be home, so I politely declined. It started to sprinkle rain as I left him.

The dogs still got their walk this afternoon, of course, but now I’m officially beat! I don’t have any work for tomorrow, so I think I will have breakfast before heading out on a much longer hike with them. I probably won’t have any work for Monday either (because it will still be Sunday for my clients), so I may do a run to Sofia then. I just want to make sure museums are open on Mondays.

Hard to believe I should coming into Belgrade about this time in two weeks. WHERE has the summer gone?!