Saturday, October 26, 2013

Roadtrip Review: Plitvice Lakes

Remember in my first roadtrip recap that I said I wouldn't be titling any posts "Don't Miss This Or You Will Regret It Forever"? Well, I won't be. But if I was going to, this would be it. Take note. 

Plitvice Lakes National Park (Plitvicka Jezera) might not be a place you know by name, but I guarantee that you've seen pictures of it before. If you haven't, it may be because you haven't encountered a travel magazine, top things to see before you die article, or are brand new to the internet. 

The stunning (and ubiquitous) images of this destination capture the imagination of almost anyone that sees them and lands it on many travelers' lists, including mine. But photographs, even those that are far superior to the many that I snapped, don't do this place justice. It is otherworldly.

And because of its location, farther north and inland than the popular islands and cruise ports, not everyone that travels to Croatia will go to Plitvice Lakes. But they should.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Roadtrip Review: Pula, Croatia

On the road again!

After overnights in Ferrara and Rovinj, we were headed to Plitvice Lakes but knew that we had time to make a stop in Pula to check out the Roman ruins.

I know that sometimes after people have spent a lot of time traveling in Europe, they can tire of seeing cathedrals, or castles, or ruins, or what Graham and I generally lump together into a category that we affectionately refer to as "old shit". Admittedly, it's everywhere - from small villages to grand cities, almost every town boasts its own visible (and visitable) connection to the ancient past. And sure, it can start to run together. Which town was that Moorish fortress in? Which pueblo blanco has the church at the top of the hill? (Answer: Almost all of them.)

But to be honest, I still love it. Maybe it's the American in me, but I'm still fascinated by the antiquities that are found around every corner. And Roman ruins are no exception.

We had previously visited the Roman ruins north of Sevilla, in Mérida, and it seemed like a great opportunity to see more, so much farther east, in Croatia.

So, we stopped in Pula, a Croatian seaside town in Istria that has Roman ruins strewn throughout, and woven within, its streets.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Roadtrip Review: Ferrara & Rovinj

The blog took a week (mas o menos) hiatus because I had friends in town from the States and spent my time with them instead of the computer - taking day trips, exploring pueblos blancos, seeing the sites, catching up during some late nights, and of course, wining and dining them with typical Spanish specialties. So, it was very quiet on the internet, but quite busy in real life. Which, if I have to choose between the two, is what I prefer, hands down.

Also, I've been struggling (mostly due to the epic number of photos that I took) to decide on the best way to share our end-of-summer, 12 day, big Balkan roadtrip, but after some thought, I'm just going to go through our destinations chronologically. I know, so boring, no Top 10s or 5 Musts or Don't Miss This Or You Will Regret It Forevers (actually, I do have one of those, but I'm sure the title will be something much more literal than that). 

Instead, I simply want to focus on the pretty pictures and share some of our favorite parts of the trip, sticking with the journaling style that I like. When that's all finished, I think I'll do a wrap-up post with more details, tips, and specific information for those who are interested in planning a similar vacation. What do you think? 

Great, here we go. 

Ferrara, Italy

We flew into Bologna in the evening, picked up our rental car, and had just enough time to get to Ferrara for a late dinner. While it was bustling and charming on a Friday night, it wasn't until the next morning that we really got a chance to see the city.