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Trip to Serbia and Croatia–A Different World

Posted on | October 1, 2010 | 4 Comments

View of Dubrovnik from the ancient city wall

View of Dubrovnik from the ancient city wall

Visiting family, most of whom you haven’t seen in 40 years, was, in a word, moving. It was a feast of food, love, and a trek down memory lane. My father, Fritz Burbach (1922-2001), was the oldest of 9 siblings, and beloved by his 5 brothers and 3 sisters, as they told me again and again. There’s so much I could say about him, and I know how much he would have enjoyed being there, but this isn’t about Fritz, it’s just a bit about my journey.

If you haven’t made a pilgrimage to your place of origin, I highly recommend it. I couldn’t believe how welcoming and gracious they were. How different their lives are, and how much the same. We are after all humans first, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, fathers and mothers, second. We connected, re-connected, and our love for one another was renewed. In my honor each sibling (5 still live in Serbia) prepared a table groaning with platters of meat, salads, and side dishes. They prepared the most delicious food–fresh and out of the garden–and served the best wine–made from their own grapes–and created cakes and fruit delicacies that were finger-licking good. I ate and ate, yet somehow avoided gaining a pound, which I attribute to eating the main meal at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon!

The final delight was a visit to Dubrovnik, the “pearl of the Adriatic,” according to a famous British author (I can’t remember who). And that it was. The red-tiled houses rose into the hills and overlooked an incredibly dramatic view of the sea. The ancient city center hugs the water, and its protective wall features a walkway soaring above the structures’ roofs and is open to the public. It’s the most fantastic place from which to see the city, old and new.

Not that it matters, but John Malkovich stayed at “my” hotel and I happened to see him after dinner on the terrace. I realized with a name like that his roots must emanate from here or somewhere within the former Yugoslavia. It would be written Malkovic (without the “h” and a little accent over the “c”). So I wondered if he was visiting or making a film, or just enjoying this enchanting place.

Places that allow us to dream, get lost in the views, experience something new, give us ammunition to keep the quills scribbling. So, here’s to travel! Do it!

Dubrovnik--that's me in the Hotel Neptune restaurant.

Dubrovnik--that's me in the Hotel Neptune restaurant.


4 Responses to “Trip to Serbia and Croatia–A Different World”

  1. Amanda
    October 2nd, 2010 @ 7:27 am

    Even though I’ve heard about this in person, here it sounds fabulous all over again. Someday, I’ll have to make sure to visit my family’s “country of origin” for a real stay…perhaps after South America. Glad you were able to go, and that you had such a wonderful time! 🙂

  2. Herta
    October 4th, 2010 @ 9:35 am

    Maybe we’ll travel somewhere together some day. i want to go to Vietnam with you and perhaps you’ll let me show you parts of Europe…Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Czech Republic.

  3. » Trip to Serbia and Croatia–A Different World
    October 25th, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

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