OUR 13 DAYS SUMMER ITINERARY (PART 1)
After endless hours of planning and anticipating, the big day had finally arrived! Of course we woke up before the alarm clock rings and of course we got to the airport several hours prior to our check in time.
Our first stop was Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia.
We arrived at around 9 in the morning and had the whole day free for explorations. Words can't describe our enthusiasm for being a new place, ready to explore as much of it as we could!
Ljubljana was too beautiful for words and would amaze us on every corner. From its impressive cathedral and the popular franciscan church, to the imposing caste and the city's peacful river, the slovenian capital felt like the ultimate fairytale european capital.
On our second day in Slovenia we got our rental car and drove till Lake Bled, which proved to be as scenic as we had imagined it to. Despite the crowds, Bled still managed to charm us.
Later that day, our restless feet (with the aid of our restless car) took us to Austria. Our aim was to spend our afternoon and evening in the Austrian town of Graz before going back to Ljubljana. After a quick stoppover at Klagenfurt, we finally made it to Graz and had the chance to explore it under the evening sky. Two hot dogs and lots of walking later we hit the road back to Ljubljana.
The third day of our adventures was devoted to Slovenia's second largest city, Maribor. Did you see the "watermelon" planted flowers in the picture below?
On the fourth day of our journey, we caught a train from Ljubljana to Zagreb, the croatian capital. The ride lasted about two and a half hours and costed us less than 20 euros per person.
After leaving our luggage in our Airbnb apartment, we got off and started exploring once again. Despite close to Ljubljana, Zagreb seemed to have a completely different charachter and vibe. Let's just say that its beauty was more hidden than Ljubljana's and that you had to look for it and discover it on every corner. But who are we anyway to compare places? That's the beauty of travelling; you never get bored and you always find out something new!
The next morning we got our second rental car for the journey (after some kind of an adventure, but we'll talk about that on another post soon) and started driving to the Istrian peninsula, the place which we had heard so much about!
Our first stop was the small town of Rovinj and this time our apartment was located a few kilometres outside the town, as we needed a place with parking space for our four-wheeled friend. Even though Rovinj was our first stop, we decided to spend that day at the historical city of Pula, with its roman remainants . Who said you can only find Colosseum in Rome? Here's Pula's arena in all of its charm...
Late in the evening we went back to Rovinj, where we spent the night, thinking of the days we had and dreaming of the ones that were to come.
When we woke up in the morning, we got ready for that day's adventure which would take us to...Trieste! Oh yes, Italy!!! From the moment we got there, it was easier than easy to feel the italian atmosphere everywhere around us. From the stunning architecture and the one of a kind italian way of driving, to the higher (compared to Croatia) prices and Trieste's 100% stylish people, we could tell that we were in Italy for sure. And yes, even the cappuccino was so much better than the ones we had the previous days.
Of course no day in Eataly...uuh sorry Italy would be complete without some pasta. It was though for some reason quite a task to find an open pasta place, as aparently not everything is open on Mondays in Trieste. It sounds odd, we know, but we came accross that "phenomenon" several times during our short stay in Trieste.
Anyway, two pasta plates, one tiramisu and one semifreddo later, we got back to our car and headed back to Slovenia. Our plan was to visit the tiny slovenian town of Piran, located on the Istrian peninsula. Its countless alleys and cute central square made us fall in love with it, in maybe one second. Oh, do we even have to mention that Piran is the place where we caught one of the most stunning sunsets of our lives?
Back home in Rovinj, we spent our last night there. In the morning, we got to explore Rovinj itself, at last! You know, better late than ever, right? Rovinj was beyond charming, in every sense. Although much more crowded than Piran, it would still show off and make us never want to leave! We were once again testing our camera's capacity and memory space on every chance!
Shortly after noon, we got back on the road again and drove to the croatian city of Zadar, where we spent two days in total. Zadar, which also happens to have been eleceted as Europe's Best destination for 2016, was full of life and managed to combine its roman, medieval and renaissance past perfectly! The city's ultimate attraction is said to be the "Greeting to the sun" point, situated on Zadar's seaside promenade. Each afternoon, people go there at golden hour, waiting for the sun to sink in the sea, offering a spectacular view. Even though wandering through the alleys of Zadar was too appealing and charming, we managed to be at the Greeting point on time for the sunset. And guess who else was there! Haha yes, pretty much everyone!
Our evening in Zadar ended the best way : dinner by the sea.
PS. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our 13 day summer itinerary, including Plitvice Lakes National Park, Split, Trogir and Bosnia Herzegovina!!!