Archive | June, 2012

Unwind With a Walking Meditation Through Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington

The Path

 The path is really about the journey. Pause to breathe in the fragrant flowers. Beauty is in every detail of nature. Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington (Ontario, Canada) to discover landscaped treasures and nature.

Here are a few tips for a relaxing, walking meditation.

 I learned these techniques from meditation classes and two wonderful websites that are absolutely free to everyone

 (listed at bottom of page for all to enjoy). 

 Stay in the present, in an observant, witness state to get the curing benefits nature has to offer.

Every flower has it’s own fragrance, beauty and purpose.

Breathe in the fragrance of flowers to clear the root chakra or energy centre.

Admire the beauty of each flower…their beauty plays a role in clearing out the second chakra, or energy centre.

Practise listening for hints of wildlife and discover their habitats. Observe as if it is a divine play just for us.

                                                                                                 Let the sun warm the back of you head to clear the Agnya or 6th Chakra, forgive everyone and   everything from your past.

Mother Earth has the power to rejuvenate our spirit.

 Put one foot in front of the other and practice living completely in the moment.

Take time to sit on the earth or be barefoot in the grass.

 Keep your hands wide open towards the sky and rest them on your lap to receive. 

Observe the clear sky, rustling leaves, cool breeze and blades of grass.

 Notice how being in nature makes you feel better.

 Put your hands downward onto the grass and press down gently,  ask the earth to remove and clear any negativity.

Let the thoughts float away like clouds and to each gently say “not this thought” to stay in the present.

For more inspired meditation information and free classes visit, or

Croatia’s Vistas and Priceless Village Views

Cosmic Ocean Through Nectar

Strolling through the different alleys and paths at the top of Vrbnik, Croatia, I discovered beautiful blooming flowers thriving and enjoying the sea view. Fuschia flowers frame the cosmic, expansive blue sea in this vignette.

To discover Vrbnik you can take the ferry from the village of Selce, Croatia which departs daily. It includes a tour, or you can wander after the tour and take the last ferry home. Vrbnik can also be accessed by car but you will have to drive to Rijeka (known to Italians as Fume) about 30 minutes from Selce. The best view and way to go there is by boat. See the article “Curb Appeal” for proof. Vrbnik is built on a hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea. It is very unique, with valleys, and tiny corridors to pass through. It’s old style shutters, and unique doorways, winding stairs, easy to navigate village is truly a place I have visited repeatedly and enjoyed every time. Check out my other photos and reports on this village of Vrbnik and other Croatian treasures.

Croatian Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal

From Selce, Croatia, take the friendly ferry and take the short trip over to the village of Vrbnik on the island of Krk. Krk has many treasures! Although you can approach Vrbnik by bridge, by boat is the best view. This priceless view has lots of curb appeal with it’s village built on the cliff tops. Vrbnik boasts home-made wine, prosciutto, cheese, and many clergymen were born here. So if you are enjoying the wonderful, rocky beach in your watershoes, be sure to cover up when you head up the hill into town as a sign of respect and courtesy.

Curious About Where to Go in Croatia? Behold Paradise, Plitvice National Park

Behold Paradise

If you think the photo is spectacular, I can assure you that a live viewing of this paradise will take your breath away. Paradise is this earth and I encourage you all to explore and enjoy it!

where? Plitvice National Park, Croatia

how far is Plitvice Park from…Rijeka (Italians call Rijeka Fiume)? 180 km drive, the closest points on the coast being in the Primorje Region. Other cities in the vicinity which make a great coastal base for such a day trip include Selce, Crikvenica, Opatija and Novi. As an example, add 30 min to the trip between Selce and Rijeka. Entering into the Primorje region can be done from several places. Zagreb airport, by train and bus from Venice Airport or just by bus from Trieste, Italy airport, or Ljublana, Slovenia. Once you’ve booked a “home base” guest house, bus tours can be booked or renting a car is a great option. Karlovac is quite a bit closer since it is inland, and Plitvice is 80 km inland from Karlovac. The four beautiful rivers of Karlovac Korana, Kupa, Mreznica, Dobra. The magical, pristine Korana river that runs through Karlovac begins from Plitvice National Park. The distance from Zagreb to Plitvice is on par with Karlovac, both inland cities.

We really enjoyed overnighting in the tiny village of Rastoke, Slunj the day before the 5-6 hour boardwalk light hike around Plitvice Park. Rastoke is super close, is only 20 minutes away from Plitvice national park, if you blink, you might miss the tiny sign near a bridge “Rastoke” to descend on a steep hill to it’s valley. Check out my article about this wondrous village built on waterfalls. Do not miss out on spending at least a half day or overnight in Rastoke, it is heaven.  Karlovac is quite a bit closer since it is inland, and Plitvice is away from the coast.

This gives you the advantage of showing up early at the park to hopefully avoid the crowds! Europeans and Asians know to visit this park paradise. It is brand new and undiscovered to most North Americans until now! It is my mission to inform you of all the treasures Croatia has to offer that are off the beaten track.

how far is it from…Split? Split is halfway down the Croatian coastline on the the way to Dalmatia and is 230 km away from Plitvice.

how far is it from Dubrovnik? Dubrovnik is 446 km away on the Dalmatian Coast at the southern tip of Croatia.

Entrance Fee? 110 Kunas (as of August 2012, 6 kunas=$1)+25% tax of 22 kunas

Includes: Walking boardwalk trails with options to take shorter routes, a boat ride across one lake, a shuttle bus that brings you back to your parking lot (remember where you parked!)

the official website of the park is


Why do I need a home base guest house?

At the end of every week, saturday and sunday, tourists are knocking on doors desperate for accomodation to fill the extra day or two gap between guest houses. It is very difficult to get a guesthouse for a day or two since people who have already been through this experience book for one or two weeks solid, whether they stay every night at one guesthouse or not. You can always leave early. North America may not know much about Croatia, but now that Tom Cruise has been on the island of Hvar this summer, and Sharon Stone and many others have visited, it won’t be long now. Pre-book everything you can, then if you do a day trip and want to sleep over, do that too. And do yourself a favor. Don’t try to leave saturday or sunday towards the Italian border town of Trieste. It is jammed and there is one long, winding, highway full of vacationers on the same wavelength as you. When all else fails, knock on doors. There is always a Babushka (slavic grandmother type) somewhere that is in the know about gaps in reservations. This happens when a family books for a week, but leaves a day early to avoid the traffic and sometimes, you luck out.

What route did I take at the park? I followed the boardwalk marked “c” which was the longest and did it at my own pace. A view from the top of the park reveals a gorgeous lake spilling into another gorgeous lake as pictured above. When you see the first sign for path “c” which indicates left, GO RIGHT as a brief detour and go down the steps for the best photo opportunities of this vignette. A little further to your right and another photo opportunity with a massive waterfall. When you do all that, go back to where you turned, and follow route “c” for a full day of scenery. Halfway through the park, before you get on the boat, there is a resting area with food and washrooms. You can refill your water bottles, enjoy the picnic grounds with a pint, and take a break. After eating and resting here an hour, we hopped on the boat where you will need to show your entrance ticket and crossed one of the lakes. The tricky part is that there are not too many official washrooms after this dropoff point. Fortunately, we were dehydrated and in awe of the beauty. But the last stretch is a bit of a challenge. The final destination offers ice cream, washrooms, snacks and some incredible trees rooted in the flowing river and cascading waterfalls. From here you can catch the shuttle bus back to your parking lot.

Is it worth it? In my humble opinion, the entrance fee should be $Priceless! Castles and Coastlines aside, this is a real natural wonder and a UNESCO world heritage site. You can’t afford not to go. It will change your life.

What should I wear? I wore walking on a cloud supportive sandals, mephistos or birkenstocks will work, sport sandals are ideal because I found my feet got hot in running shoes (also good). I did see some people wearing flip flops, but I would never advise those. I have seen sundresses to shorts to capris. I opted for the capris and t-shirt. Check the weather before you go in case you have to add a layer or bring an umbrella.

Tip! Go early because I got stuck once arriving there in the afternoon and some of the waterfalls were in shadow which did not make for the best pictures! You want full on bright sun from morning, mid-afternoon is still good for photos, but after 3pm it will be challenging to find non-shady waterfalls. Still there were other bright spots with green reeds and turquoise waters that saved the photographic day.