In case you missed it, I'm currently traveling through Europe, exploring hidden corners and must-see spots in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the UK. I've been posting daily updates from my adventures on Facebook and Twitter, but in case you missed some of those, I've also decided to put together a weekly round-up to update anyone who's interested on what I've been up to for the past 7-ish days.
Here we go with Week 5! (With the days being cumulative.)
On Day 29, I began the final leg of my Busabout trip — from Montenegro to Split, Croatia. We made a lunchtime stop in the walled city of Dubrovnik, where an Australian girl and I braved the heat to walk the city walls (SO worth it) and then grabbed some pizza and cold drinks before getting back on the bus. From Dubrovnik, we made our way to Split, where a big group of us had our own farewell dinner and then went out for drinks. Even though I loved my Busabout trip and group, I was pretty excited that this would be my last night in hostels/shared hotel rooms for a while!
I allowed myself one free day in Split in my itinerary, and am I ever glad I did! After checking into my posh hotel, I spent the morning/early afternoon exploring the city. I visited Docletian's Palace (including the basement), had lunch near the waterfront, and splurged on some hand-made jewelry. I then retreated indoors during the hottest part of the day, emerging in the evening to climb the bell tower within the palace walls, walk up to a lookout point, and meet up with some new friends for dinner.
Day 31 found me traveling via train from Split to Ljubljana, Slovenia. This consisted of 2 trains (the first of which was SUPER nice), and a 3-hour layover in Zagreb. Even though it was a Sunday afternoon, I decided to go out and explore Zagreb anyway. The city felt like a bit of a ghost town, but one museum WAS open — the Museum of Broken Relationships. This may be one of the most interesting museums I've ever been to (more on it later!).
My first day in Ljubljana was beautiful — mostly sunny with a cool breeze. It was one of the first days I didn't end up a sweaty mess on this trip! I started the morning off by meeting up with Michael for coffee, then spent the afternoon exploring the city. I went up to Ljubljana castle, and took dozens of photos around the colorful town. I could totally live here, I've decided. In the evening, I met up with Michael and Pete and Dalene for dinner.
I headed out to Postojna Caves today, roughly an hour away from Ljubljana. These caves are some of the most impressive I have ever seen — no wonder they are Slovenia's #1 tourist attraction! After the caves, I shared a taxi with some Aussies and went over to Predjama Castle, which was built on the side of a mountain partially inside a cave. It was SO cool-looking. Then it was back to Ljubljana to meet up with Ana from the Slovenian Tourist Board for dinner, which we had at Ljubljana Castle (where I ate cow tongue!).
I made my way to Bled on Day 34, which is a small town situated on the banks of a large lake. The lake has a castle on a hilltop and an island in the middle of it — making it look like something straight out of a fairy-tale. I was shown around by Maja of the Bled Tourist Board, and our day consisted of a visit to Bled Castle, a picnic lunch on the lakeshore, taking a pletna boat out to the island, and visiting Vila Bled. I could not have asked for a better introduction to this city. I finished off the night with dinner and a large slice of Bled's famous cream cake! Yum.
Day 35 was a day for adventure. I signed up for the highly-rated Emerald River Adventure with 3glav Adventures, and headed off early in the morning with 7 others, bound for Triglav National Park and the Julian Alps. We did a few easy hikes in the morning (including one to the mouth of a river which had us climbing around cliffs like mountain goats), went white water rafting on the Soca River in the afternoon, swam in a waterfall, and then watched the sun set over Lake Bohinj in the evening. It was a seriously epic day, and I can't wait to write more about it!
The Week in Numbers
Each week, I'll try to give you an idea of how I'm traveling, and what things generally cost.
- Number of flights: 0
- Number of trains: 4
- Number of buses: 4
- Number of mini buses: 1
- Number of times it's rained: 2
- Number of times I've nearly passed out from the heat: 2 (climbing things in Dubrovnik and Split)
- Walking the walls in Dubrovnik: $11.50 USD
- Entry to basement of Diocletian's Palace in Split: $5.70 USD adult/$4 USD student
- Entry to Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb: $4 USD adult/$3.25 USD student
- Entry to Ljubljana Castle with funicular: $6 USD (student price)
- Emerald River Adventure (with rafting option): $122.60 USD
- A meal in Bled: $15-$20 USD
*Note: I'm not quoting the price of accommodation, as it's mostly been included so far.
So there you have Week 5 of my European adventure! Come back next week for Week 6's round-up.
If there's anything more you want to know about my weeks, tell me in the comments!
If you missed previous weeks…
*Note: Busabout graciously provided me with a discounted Classic Balkan Trek tour, and the Slovenian and Bled tourist boards helped host me in both Ljubljana and Bled. But all opinions, as always, are entirely my own.