Wild, Wacky Skopje (Macedonia). One of the Strangest Places we’ve been

Wild, Wacky Skope (Macedonia). One of the Strangest Places we've been

Skopje is not the most beautiful place we’ve visited. But it might just be the most interesting and weirdest place we’ve ever been. Everywhere we walked we had “WTF?” moments: “there’s a pirate ship in the middle of the river! WTF?”, “look, there’s a London double decker bus! WTF?”, “those colors all over the monuments! It’s like the Cat in the Hat went crazy. WTF?”. Crazy statues, over-the-top buildings, stunningly contrasting architectural styles, Christmas music playing over loudspeakers in the middle of July…It was just all very bizarre. We loved it. [Read more...]

Driving Spectacular Mt. Biokovo, Croatia

driving spectacular Mt. Biokovo, croatia

Mount Biokovo has some of the most stunning views I’ve seen anywhere. I’d seen photos before and wanted to visit – but when I went with Croatian friends Goran and Vedran (who had never been) we were all blown away by the natural beauty and incredible views in this Nature Park.

What makes Biokovo an easy place to visit is that you can drive to the very top of the massive, a 23 km drive that brings to Sv. Jure (the 3rd highest peak in Croatia). It is the highest road in Croatia. [Read more...]

Ziplining in Omis, Croatia

ziplining in omis, croatia

A year ago I made a deal with Vedran, our Croatian friend. “If we come back to Croatia next year we’re going to go ziplining”. We shook hands on it.

Why ziplining? We were standing at the top of the Starigrad fortress in Omiš, a little town in Croatia that is also the country’s adventure capital. The views are incredible and looking at the high cliffs I could imagine what an incredible experience it would be to zip along their edges and over the Cetina river below. Omiš has the longest ziplines in Croatia. Neither of us had ever ziplined. So what better place to do it for the first time? [Read more...]

Flying Split to Munich on Lufthansa

flying split to Munich on Lufthansa

I love plane views. When I bought the GoPro a couple of months ago I did it precisely because I wanted to capture views from mountains, towers and especially planes.

In mid-June I left Spanky behind in Split (Croatia) and flew to Mexico to visit my mom. This video captures the first leg of my trip from Split to Mexico City (via Munich). It’s about 3 ½ minutes long and captures some of the highlights from the 65 minute flight, including takeoff, popping through the clouds on the way up, popping through the clouds when descending, and landing. It also includes the beer I had while watching a football game in Munich Airport. You might have to be a plane geek like me to fully appreciate it :)
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Photo Essay on Rovinj. It’s beautiful – but there are even better reasons to visit

Photo Essay on Rovinj. It’s beautiful – but there are even better reasons to visit

Rovinj is a very pretty small town and for many people that’s reason enough to make it a place worth visiting. Many will spend 2-3 days and will most likely rave about its romantic charm, colorful streets and glorious sunsets.  People staying longer (like us – we used Rovinj as a base for 5 weeks) will need more. I’ll cover that further below. For now here are some photos of beautiful Rovinj.

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The Best Preserved Early Christian Complex in the World – Porec’s Euphrasian Basilica

The Best Preserved Early Christian Complex in the World – Porec’s Euphrasian Basilica

I had never heard of the Euphrasian Basilica, much less did I know that Porec had a UNESCO World Heritage Site (one of seven UNESCO sites in Croatia).

Porec is a small seaside town, similar to both Rovinj and Novigrad in size and geography (all are located on spits of land sticking out into the sea). It’s a pretty place with white limestone pavement and is a popular base for tourists who want a holiday of rest and relaxation on the Istrian coast. It’s a laid back town. What makes it spectacular is the Euphrasian Basilica. [Read more...]

Umbrellas and Fortifications in Novigrad, Croatia

Umbrellas and Fortifications in Novigrad, Croatia

You won’t see Novigrad on any Istrian “must see” list. It’s not as famous as romantic Rovinj and doesn’t have the incredible historical sights of either Pula or Porec.  What Novigrad does have are medieval fortifications (which I’ll cover further below) and a laid-back atmosphere.

What we didn’t expect was to see streets lined with suspended umbrellas.
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The Hilltowns of Istria

The Hilltowns of Istria

Many people think that Croatia is all rugged coastline and sea. The Istrian peninsula is an exception to that generalization, an region of green rolling hills that will remind many visitors of Tuscany (in Italy). One of the highlights of visiting the region is discovering some of its medieval hilltowns. This post covers 8 different hilltowns that we visited – all unique in different ways – with our recommendations on which to prioritize. [Read more...]

Rovinj – and the world’s – best Airbnb host. And a few photos of beautiful Rovinj.

Rovinj – and the world’s – best Airbnb host. And a few photos of beautiful Rovinj.

I’ll usually do a post on a city and at the bottom mention where we stayed. This time I’ll do it the other way around. Because how we felt about Rovinj was totally eclipsed by the incredible, fantastic, amazing and extraordinary Croatian family that hosted us.  I’ve never done a post uniquely addressing a place of accommodation so this is a first.

We stayed a total of 5 weeks in Marina’s apartment. On the first day we were treated to a full meal (made by Marina) served to us on our balcony. She’s a professional chef by the way. As we would find out, nothing you eat in Rovinj will compare to her cooking. Throughout our stay there were surprises: strawberries or salad left at our door, home-made crepes with (of course) home-made jam, home-made cakes, a large fish platter, seafood soup, a spinach dish, risotto…I could go on and on with all the food she plied us with over 5 weeks. [Read more...]

How Pula’s Amphitheatre stacks up against other Roman arenas. And the sad truth on Pula…

How Pula Arena stacks up against other Roman arenas. And the sad truth on Pula…

If you research the most famous Roman Arenas in the world you’ll usually find these four on the top of most lists: The Colosseum in Rome, the Amphitheatre of El Djem in Tunisia (where ‘Gladiator’ was filmed), the Arena in Verona…and the Amphitheatre in Pula.

We’ve been lucky enough to see 3 of the above over the last month (El Djem being the one we haven’t seen) and it’s interesting how each is different. Before I compare them, a few notes on the Amphitheatre in Pula: [Read more...]