Piles of tiles.

 Another ridiculously colorful aspect of Lisbon is the incredible ceramic tile that covers the buildings along the way. The tiles, or azulejo, are a centuries-old tradition that can be spotted on churches, shops, and even ordinary houses that line the streets. Can I just start adding tiles to some of the grey Chicago buildings? Or painting the doors? It would help brighten the winters so much!

Live colorfully.

Lisbon made my color-loving heart so happy -- even the rainy days were never grey.

Hello, Lisbon.

This city! It is hills and water, winding staircases and tree-lined avenues. Pastries, port, music, color! It is warm and rough around the edges and wonderfully lived-in. I am already dreading our departure.

In a fog.

Spring in Montenegro was generally perfection, weather-wise. It was a lot of pleasant, sunny days, wonderful for wandering. But when it was gloomy, it was gloomy -- pouring rain and spectacular fog on the mountains. Those days were just as welcome, and it made stopping under an awning for a warm drink a necessity. What a hardship!

Staying cozy in my fair-trade Mata Traders dress!

Pink cheeks from the chill! 

To the sea.

One last glance at Dubrovnik: the harbor at the southern end of town. You can keep walking around the main harbor and around the city wall, and though it looks like it comes to an abrupt end, you can sort of sidle around a corner and find a lovely spot for snoozing (if you're a cat) or swimming (if you're an older gentleman in speedos). I will only provide photographic evidence for one of those categories (you're welcome).

 Every single photo of me by the sea is sort of tense, ready to run from a wave at any moment...

Just hypothetically.

At some point while wandering around Dubrovnik, you might find yourself standing in front of this staircase:

And if you walk to the top of that staircase, you'll be rewarded with a lovely view:

You may be curious about what is just beyond the plaza at the top of those stairs, and you might walk past the cafe and down a stone passageway and be confronted by an intriguing sign:

You might follow the arrow and up another staircase and discover a hole in the stone wall and step through it:

And at that point, you'll find yourself on a small cliff-side bar. Take a seat (or walk down the steps to the sea for a swim) and marvel.

A Vida Portuguesa

I wanted one new blog post in 2017, with the promise to myself to document my travels in the new year, before I completely forget the a...