On Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Ljubljana – pronounced lube-lyee-AH-nah

Ljubljana (population 2880,000) is the capital, cultural, educational, economic, political, and administrative center of independent Slovenia (since 1991).

Ljubljana – Like much of the region, under Habsburg rule for 500 years until the end of WW1. Following WW2, Ljubljana became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, which was part of Yugoslavia.

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Ljubljana – the city center built around Ljubljana Castle, a medieval castle sitting atop Castle Hill. Due to time constraints, we didn’t visit the castle, but the top of the Ljubljana Skyscraper’s 13th floor is a great place for a wonderful view and a drink.

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Ljubljana – whose city symbol is the Ljubljana Dragon symbolizes power, courage, and greatness. The dragon is found on the Ljubljana Castle’s tower, the city’s coat of arms, and at the Dragon Bridge.

 

Ljubljana – with Prešeren Square serving as the city’s main square and a popular meeting spot. Look at the beauty around the square.

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Ljubljana – bisected by the Ljubljanica River with numerous bridges, including the famous Triple Bridge (not pictured).

 

Ljubljana – with many pedestrian streets (some cobblestone) flanked with shops, restaurants, and cafes. Toss in Riverside Market, Old Town comfort is at hand. Even saw my first outdoor vending machine selling fresh milk. While strolling, stop by the cathedral (Church of St. Nicholas) whose doors tell a story about Slovenes. Recognize anyone on the door?

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Ljubljana is not big enough to feel overwhelmed, but it’s large enough to be cosmopolitan. Besides, I love Old World ambiance. To me, urban relaxation is a fitting description. To learn more about this hidden gem, below is almost-6-minute video from Rick Steves.

Next Stop: Lake Bled

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On Rovinj (Croatia)

Rovinj – (pronounced RO-veen) – or Rovigno in Italian – a Croatian city of about 14,000 located on the northern Adriatic coast.

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Off Rovinj’s coast is a 19-island archipelago. Actually, our hotel was on one the islands – well, the hotel is the only thing on the island – but we had access to a ferry trip to/from the mainland. Directly behind the hotel was a smaller island for sunning and walking. A walkway connected the two. Yes, a difficult place to stay.

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The Venetians settle Rovinj, which remained part of the Venetian Republic for 500 years. Although in Croatia, walking the town has a strong feel of being in Italy – that is given the narrow, winding pedestrian streets, hidden courtyards, and comfortable feel. Most of the streets lead to/from the church at the top. Some of the homes along the water define waterfront property.

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With a seaside setting and with culinary Italian roots, how is this setting for lunch? Yes, I had pasta.

 

Both evenings here, Rovinj treated us to super-outstanding sunsets.

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Our time in Rovinj was our vacation from vacation. Rovinj offers a beautiful setting and a chance to sit back and relax. To close this post about this seaside resort, here’s a 3-minute video from Rick Steves.

Next Stop: Ljubljana

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Pronouns 2: The Musical – Act 5: Your

The Story

Welcome to Pronouns 2: The Musical.

Some may ask, “Pronouns?”, but we at A Frank Angle say, “Why not pronouns!”

Why a sequel to Pronouns? Again, “Why not!”

Program

 

Act 1: My
Act 2: Mine
Act 3: Our
Act 4: Their

Act 5: Your

Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best. (St Jerome, theologian and historian)

Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace. (Christie Brinkley, model)

Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. (Swami Sivananda, philosopher)

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. (Albert Einstein, physicist)

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow. (Helen Keller, author)

People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude. (John C. Maxwell, clergyman)

If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older. (Tom Stoppard, dramatist)

Guidelines

Songs must have Your or Yours in the title

Cautions

  • No duplicates songs regardless of artists
  • Foreign language equivalents unacceptable

Production Note

  • To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please
    Include the song title and artist in your text, and
  • Paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement

Welcome to Act 5 of Pronouns 2: The Musical! A round of applause for your valiant effort with the difficult challenge in Act 4. With that in mind, a special announcement.

If you thought the last act was difficult, the next act is brutal. Given that songs with Its in the title are few, we are announcing a change. Some of you may have already noticed the change on the program cover.

The key word for Act 6 is Self, which opens up many possibilities.

  • Acceptable words will be Self, Itself, Herself, Himself, Myself, Ourselves, Yourselves, and Themselves
  • Special dispensation will be given to Its songs – but The Producer cautions because It’s is unacceptable
  • Suggestion: Don’t rely on the YouTube title

On to Act 5!

When in our research for the opening act, one immediately stood above the rest for personal reasons. Yes, many of us remember him as a star whose solo career exploded. Many years later, he married a Cincinnatian, so Cincinnati was his home for about 10 years. He frequently visit a casual restaurant near my house. Sorry to say, our paths never crossed. Ladies and gentlemen, a thunderous welcome for Peter Frampton with Baby I Love Your Way.

Act 6: Self

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 384

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Act 5 of Pronouns 2: The Musical goes live this weekend featuring songs with Your (or Yours) in the title. Curtain time is Saturday, 1 AM (Eastern US). FYI: For the advance planners, the will be a very important announcement!.

Recently finished Prague Winter (Madeleine Albright, 2012) about Czechoslovakia. After a short history, she focuses on the years 1930-1949. Chapter 18 about Terezin is a very good, but gut wrenching. Worth the read on its own. Also watched a 90-minute documentary about Terezin – Defiant Requiem. We found it on Amazon Prime, but it may be on Netflix.

Michelle Obama’s Note to Self for CBS This Morning made a lot of news – and deserving! On this link. visitors have a choice of reading the text or watching the video (after the text). Click here to watch on YouTube.

One of college basketball’s great non-conference rivalries happened last Saturday between two schools that are 2.4 miles (3.8 km) apart. Until one moved on, the Crosstown Shootout also involved two unique coaches – each from Cincinnati and each a grade of the school they coach. Well done Xavier and Cincinnati – plus cheers for a decisive Bearcats victory.

Last weekend was also America’s best college football rivalry. Army-Navy is what college football should be about.

My wife’s foot continues to recover – but slower than anticipated. She hasn’t danced since late October, but I try to get one day a week to not get too stale.

What a good laugh? Go to Amazon, then search for “Ugly Christmas Sweaters” – then search for “Make Christmas Great Again” – have fun! Alright – I did it for you and I linked the searches.

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If anyone noticed, nobody commented that I didn’t mention President Trump or the Republican party once in last week’s OITS.

Has anyone seen the entire Rex Tillerson-Bob Schieffer interview? I’ve seen snippets, but not the whole interview. If you find it, please let me know because my search was unsuccessful.

Remember the rumors that if Kelly, Tillerson, or Mattis would leave the Trump Administration, all would leave? Well, only one remains.

Should Congressional House Democrats consider impeachment in January when they take control? Based on what is known at this point, (in my opinion) unequivocally NO.

No matter what President Trump says or does, this statement (that I made long ago) still seems to be the most relevant: The man is a pathetic person and an even worse leader.

Embed from Getty Images

 

To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides a pro/con list about seeking out uncontacted peoples.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

  • Moon now overrun with cane toads after species accidentally introduced during Apollo 17 mission
  • Soldier back home from serving at Mexico border still having nightmares about being used as political prop
  • Woman trying to wean self off coffee by switching to Long Island Iced Tea
  • L.A. adds lanes for cyclists to recover from getting hit by cars
  • 4th grader panics upon realizing classmate giving presentation had exact same summer as he did
  • Petting zoo all goats

My Combo: Cane toads wean from 4th graders upon realizing goats with nightmares used Apollo 17

Interesting Reads

Thinking about Winston Churchill
Seven climate change charts
Evolution of human language
Why we sleep and why we can’t
How Cincinnati Jews changed how Americans ate
(Photos) Construction creativity
(Video) A 45-second look at unique art
(Infographic) Beer vs Coffee: Effects on the brain

To send you into the weekend, here’s another one from The Temptations. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Budapest (Hungary)

Click for some background music while you look and read, enjoy Hungarian Dance No. 5 (Johannes Brahms)

 

BUDA-pesht – is how they pronounce it – not BUDA-pest

Budapest – the capital of Hungary with a vibrant population approaching two million. It was also a co-capital of the Austria-Hungary Empire.

Although we hear about the Danube separating Buda and Pest, we forget that Óbuda was the third city joining in the union forming Budapest in 1873.

The Buda side of the river is hilly and Buda Castle (Royal Castle) sits atop a hill along with Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion. These structures and a few statues and monuments amplify the skyline. Buda’s streets are narrow and the buildings echo with history.

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The hills of Buda offers wonder views of the Danube and Pest.

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The Pest side of the river is flat, newer, vibrant, and a grand display of architecture of Art Nouveau, Baroque, Classical, Neo-classical, Romantic, and Renaissance providing a grand visual treat. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Parliament, Hero’s Square, Liberty Square, National Theater, Great Market Hall, parks, spas, shopping, entertainment, and more. Numerous pedestrian-only streets make Pest very walkable.

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Hero’s Square celebrates 1000 years of conquest by the Magyars. Whereas the other countries on the tour were Slavic, Hungary is not – and it’s language is more similar to Finnish and Estonian instead of being close to any of its neighbors. Before this tour, I had no clue about this. Hero’s Square celebrates the seven Magyar tribes of Central Asia that came to the region. The square includes statues to labor, war, knowledge, and glory along with a few early national heroes.

 

A short walk beyond Hero’s Square, Varosliget (a 302 acre city park) also celebrates the 1896 millennium with galleries, museums, a thermal spa, and more in a beautiful park setting.

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If you visit Budapest, make sure you take a night-time cruise on the Danube River because the city lights provide a great show.

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Of the places we visited on the tour, Budapest was the biggest and the grandest. It’s a vibrant, beautiful city and worth at least at least 3 days – if not more. The excellent 6-minute video below showing Budapest is done by a group of travelling friends. Enjoy

Next Stop: Plitvice National Park (posted)

Next Post: Rovinj

Click here for past posts of this tour.

 

On Eger (Hungary)

After our morning at Auschwitz, it was a long ride to Eger (EH-gher) – a city of about 53,000 in northern Hungary. The next day we had the morning to discover Eger on our own before two scheduled activities.

Nestled in the hills of the Bukk Mountains, humans have lived here since the Stone Age.

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Eger Castle sits above the town center – and this place is close to the Hungarians heart because here, the Hungarians defended the castle from the invading Ottomans in 1552. Istvan Dobo is a legendary hero for his leadership.

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During the 1600s, the Ottomans built a minaret in Eger, which is one of three minarets remaining in Hungary.

 

Eger has a variety of grand buildings, but the pedestrian street with Baroque architecture is a pleasant stroll and a good place to eat or enjoy a beverage.

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After our independent time, the group gathered together for an activity – attending a junior high school where we met with a teacher and her students in their English class – and then had lunch in the school cafeteria. (We were pleasantly surprised.)

 

Eger is the center of one of Hungary’s productive wine regions. One of the popular wines is known as Bull’s Blood – a dark red wine blend of three grapes. The legend is that the wine was dark because it was mixed with bull’s blood, which gave Dobo’s men strength. So after the school, it was a short trip to a winery where the wine flowed, the music played, learned a Hungarian dance, and who knows how many times we toasted in Hungarian – Egészségedre!

 

Eger is a charming small city. For us, it was a good stopover between the gut-wrenching in Auschwitz and the grandness of Budapest to come. Time at the school and the winery helped make the day wonderful. Below is a 4-minute video (set to appropriate music) showing many of the sites we saw in Eger. Enjoy.

 

Next Stop” Budapest

Click here for past posts of this tour.

 

Pronouns 2: The Musical – Act 4: Their

The Story

Welcome to Pronouns 2: The Musical.

Some may ask, “Pronouns?”, but we at A Frank Angle say, “Why not pronouns!”

Why a sequel to Pronouns? Again, “Why not!”

Program

Act 1: My
Act 2: Mine
Act 3: Our

Act 4: Their

Every country can be defined through their food, their music and their language. That’s the soul of a country. (Quincy Jones, musician)

Their kitchen is their shrine, the cook their priest, the table their altar, and their belly their god. (Charles Buck, writer)

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. (Oscar Wilde, dramatist)

Countries under foreign command quickly forget their history, their past, their tradition, their national symbols, their way of living, often their own literary language. (Slobodan Milosevic, criminal)

The pride people take in their work transcends to their homes, their education, families and communities. (Leonard Boswell, politician)

People have their complexities. They have their heroic moments and their villainous moments, too. (Ryan Reynolds, actor)

People tend to forget their duties but remember their rights. Indira Gandhi, statesman

Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds. (Albert Einstein, scientist)

Guidelines

Songs must have Their in the title

Cautions

  • No duplicates songs regardless of artists
  • Foreign language equivalents unacceptable
  • “They are” (they’re) are unquestionable unacceptable

Production Note

  1. To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please
  2. Include the song title and artist in your text, and
  3. Paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement

Welcome to Act 4! Only two more acts left in Pronouns 2: The Musical. We secured a big star for the opener. She’s won 10 Grammy Awards. She’s number 50 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She’s number 89 on Rolling Stone’s Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Singing Longing in Their Hearts, she is Bonnie Raitt!

 

Act 5: Your (next weekend)