I'm a Canadian girl from Vancouver who studied in Paris in 2011-2012. I did a lot of travelling in France and in Europe generally. These are my photos, my observations, and my stories.

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Je suis canadienne de Vancouver qui a étudié à Paris en 2011-2012. J'avais beaucoup voyagé en France et en Europe ; voici mes photos, mes remarques et mes histoires.

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Check the "Index of City Tags" page to browse my posts by city/country.

Regardez la page « Index of City Tags » si vous voulez trier mes postes par ville / pays d'origine.

January 31st
12:00

In Blagaj, a village in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there is an Sufi Muslim (Dervish) monastery built at the base of a cliff. It is considered one of the holiest Muslim sites in all of Bosnia because the Buna River flows from that cave under the cliff, allowing life to flourish in the valley.

The interior, as you can see from the photos, is very simple. There are copies of the Quran, plus a small stack of prayer rugs and prayer beads. Most people come here to pray and meditate.

I am not religious (and have no Muslim heritage), but this monastery was strongly recommended to me as an extremely relaxing place to rest and think. So, of course I went for a visit. As per Sufi customs, I had to remove my shoes and cover my head with a scarf, and a woman at the gate tied an ankle-length skirt around my waist.

I spent a few hours in the small monastery, and yes - they were among the most relaxing of my life. I might have even fallen asleep for part of it. I can only remember a couple of people coming in during that whole time, tourists that looked in each room and left after five minutes. Otherwise it was extremely peaceful. If even an atheist like me can be swept up in the spiritual atmosphere, I can only imagine how the Sufi “monks” and true believers would have felt.

In the spirit of hospitality, there is a small café in a building across the courtyard from the monastery. (Many tourists appear to spend more time in that café than in the monastery itself.) I sat down to have a Bosnian coffee and enjoy the beautiful setting before heading back to the hostel. I had been at the monastery all day… and I feel it was time well-spent.

January 29th
12:00
Blagaj, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Blagaj, Bosnia-Herzegovina

January 27th
12:01
Blagaj, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Blagaj, Bosnia-Herzegovina

January 26th
12:00
A horse I found hanging out in Blagaj, Herzegovina…

A horse I found hanging out in Blagaj, Herzegovina…

January 25th
12:01
"Street" in Blagaj, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"Street" in Blagaj, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

January 24th
12:01
Ottoman-era watchtower in the village of Počitelj, in southern Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Ottoman-era watchtower in the village of Počitelj, in southern Bosnia-Herzegovina.

January 23rd
12:00
Pond at the base of the Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Pond at the base of the Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

January 22nd
12:01

Počitelj, an Ottoman-era village built into the hillsides of southern Bosnia-Herzegovina.

January 21st
12:01
Počitelj, in Herzegovina (of Bosnia-Herzegovina).

Počitelj, in Herzegovina (of Bosnia-Herzegovina).

January 20th
12:00
Valley near Počitelj, in southern Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Valley near Počitelj, in southern Bosnia-Herzegovina.

January 19th
12:00
Me on a hilltop in Počitelj, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Me on a hilltop in Počitelj, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

January 18th
12:00
Počitelj, a village in southern Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Počitelj, a village in southern Bosnia-Herzegovina.