October 3, 2010
My wife and I arrived with little sleep to meet friends from South Africa and England. We traveled together the next 48 hours to some of the most beautiful sites we had ever seen. The Julian Alps of western Slovenia are as spectacular as mountains can get. When I visited parts of this small, but scenic country two years earlier, I was impressed by the splendor, but there was more. Rivers, stone bridges, quaint villages, lakes, and waterfalls lined the routes we traveled by car and foot.
The natural beauty made an impression. It was the people, however, that made our recent visit complete. This trip confirmed what I learned some time ago: meetings and conferences are about personal interaction. Igor Drstvenšek of the University of Maribor (Maribor, Slovenia) led the organization of iCAT 2010, which set the stage for new business relationships and friendships. The three-day conference, held in Nova Gorica, Slovenia, was about as good as it gets. People from Africa, Asia, the former Eastern and Western Europe, and North America attended.
After five nights in Slovenia, we headed to Pag Island in Croatia along the Adriatic Sea. We stayed with some of the finest people you could meet, with home cooking that would rival the best restaurants anywhere. Better yet, we shared stories and laughs that could only occur with good friends and relatives. It was truly a special time with memories that will last a lifetime. We are grateful to those who made it possible.
We are also thankful to the individual that provided the motivation to visit Novigrad, Croatia. There are two places in Croatia named Novigrad and the one we visited is located about 30 km (19 miles) east of Zadar. This small, sleepy village, nestled along an inlet of the Adriatic Sea, is striking. It’s not a place you would stumble upon and that’s partly what makes it so interesting.
If you have not visited Slovenia or Croatia, add them to your “Bucket List.” They may be considered out of the way to some and it may take extra effort to organize and travel there, but it is absolutely worth it. And, have plenty of storage space on your camera because you’ll be taking scores of pictures. Click here to see 10 of the more than 300 that I shot.