Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Through their Eyes - The Balkans Part II

Continuing on with our trip through the Balkans...

Next up, Montenegro. We went to Kotor, a gorgeous walled-off little town. But wow, was it packed with tourists. This was the only time I felt overwhelmed by the crowds (I'm sure it did not help that the cruise ship port was just outside the walls of Kotor). It was nice nonetheless, especially walking the medieval walls and checking out the views from the top


In my previous post, I talked a little bit about beating the crowds. I said it once and I'll say it again, I am so glad we went to this part of Europe in April. Croatia is growing in popularity (especially because of the show Game of Thrones). We took advantage of the low crowds every time we could. Unfortunately, not in Kotor... We enjoyed it, nonetheless

Day tripping to Croatia's most beloved National Park: Plitvice.

What a lovely way to spend the afternoon, having a picnic, walking around the easy paths, peppered by gorgeous waterfalls. The water was so stunning, it was hard to believe it was real (these pictures do not do them any justice)

Visiting lovely (and totally underrated) Zagreb. Croatia's capital city does not have the recognition it deserves. If you get the chance to visit, do yourself a favor and go! You won't be disappointed

Jelacic Square - The Times Square of Zagreb

We were there just before Palm Sunday, the city was buzzing with markets and people out enjoying the wonderful weather. The historic center is completely pedestrian which made it super easy for a relaxing stroll with the kids. And strolling we did...

This little street (Tkalciceva) is such a gem... Full of restaurants and coffee shops. Very lively, great for people watching
More walking, Strossmayer Promenade
St Mark's Square up ahead, beauty at every turn
Back to Tkalciceva because, it was just that much fun. We stopped many times for coffee and wine (or beer, whatever struck our fancy) while the kids hung out with the locals. Croatians are a friendly bunch

Zagreb is awesome! We just loved it there.

That concludes our little time in the Balkans. Needless to say, I want to go back and explore so much more. We totally lucked out on some great tickets that, I'm almost certain, will not be coming around anytime soon. However, I will keep looking because, this little area of our beautiful planet deserves to be explored some more...

I hope you like the pictures. More adventures are in the works for us here in La Casa de Sand so, come back soon!

For more pictures from the Balkans go here
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Monday, May 1, 2017

Through their Eyes - The Balkans Part I

For Spring Break we packed our backpacks and went to Croatia (and now I can check off another item from the - never ending - bucket list). Now that I have spent meaningful time there... I want to go back and see more!!! Not only did we visit Croatia though, we also visited Bosnia and Montenegro. Such a great time. Here are some pictures. Let's start, shall we?

First off, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Visiting beautiful Mostar

I cannot even, that was the views from our Airbnb place, just fantastic.
Here is the view at night

And our host? He was so helpful and friendly, check out the breakfast he prepared for us. Amazing!

More scenes from Mostar... So many pictures of the old bridge (Stari Most). It is just so stunning.
By the way, people jump from this bridge to the river... Crazy!

This little town was damaged and beautifully reconstructed after the war, it is well worth a visit

Coppersmiths' Street

Road tripping through Bosnia's countryside.

Stopping in Blagaj's Turkish dervishes monastery

A little bit of hiking in Pocitelj to check out some Turkish baths
This view! It reminded me of France's Dordogne Region

Continuing on to Croatia, one word... Dubrovnik...
So much to see in Dubrovnik

Entering the old city through Pile Gate

Walking the old city walls

And getting lost on the little streets

Want some advice if you are planning on visiting Croatia? Go in the Spring! The weather was just wonderful (a little chilly in the mornings - Nothing a sweater could not fix) and best of all, no crowds!!! Now, I know you don't believe me so check these pictures out... I cannot imagine going there in the Summer... You would miss out on all this charm with all the people around!
A strolling Stradun Promenade... 

This little guy was running like a maniac everywhere... Nothing stops him. Best time ever.
Of course, unless there is ice cream...
For mom and dad, we found this little gem (through a hole in the seaward wall - No kidding - perched on a cliff, right above the sea). We went there a couple of times (watching the sunset from here was incredible)
Walking the waterfront before dinner

Taking a boat to Lokrum for some hiking and exploring

Best picnic spot ever!
Lots of cute animals to pet

By the way, if you are a Game of Thrones' fan, you would love Lokrum and Dubrovnik. Many scenes are filmed there!

I have more pictures to share so, stay tuned.

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