14 Days with Peggy and Wayne in 14 Pictures: Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia Herzegovina

We wanted to share the best of our trip with Peggy and Wayne with you all. Here are 14 pictures from 14 days exploring Slovenia, Croatian, and Bosnia Herzegovina.

We met up with Peggy and Wayne in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. They took a long distance train from Vienna, we took one from Eger, Hungary. We met up easily and then spent a rainy day in Zagreb together. Here is our very first attempt at a family jelfie. Not bad for the first try!

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After one day and two nights in Zagreb, we headed into Slovenia. We knew we wanted to see the beautiful Lake Bled, so we wasted no time in getting there. What an amazing place! We enjoyed beautiful weather as we visited this lovely mountain lake. It is distinctive because it has an island in the middle with a church and a castle perched on a high cliff overlooking the region. We only wish we had remembered our swimming suits!

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After visiting Lake Bled, we headed back to Ljubljana. We had heard that this capital city of Slovenia was lovely. Not much to do per se, but perfect to enjoy the “Café Culture.” We did enjoy our day here!

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After one quick day in Ljubljana, we headed off to Skocjan Caves. This UNESCO Heritage site was a large cave in two parts. The first part was not super impressive if you’ve seen the likes of Carlsbad Caverns, but lovely all the same. The second part was magnificent. You are perched over a 47 meter drop to the rushing river below. You aren’t allowed to take pictures until you exit. Blargh.

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After the morning at the caves, we rushed back into Croatia. We stopped briefly at a small town called Opitija in the Istria region. We didn’t stay long, but we did stay long enough to enjoy our first views of the Adriatic and to allow our inner school children to emerge!

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After our brief stop on the coast, we went directly to the Plitvice Lakes region. Here we had the best dinner of the entire trip!

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After a bit of a rocky start, rainy and mist and clouds, we finally got a bit of sun and saw the beautiful lakes.

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After our day at Plitvice, we raced on to the lovely city of Zadar, Croatia. We’ve read blog posts that rank this city as having the best sunsets in the world. It definitely did not disappoint- though we have to say, it would be very hard to rank our top sunsets!

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After our evening in Zadar, we headed to our next destination: Split, Croatia. This amazing city is built inside the ruins of Diocletian’s Palace. It is hard to beat wandering around ancient Roman ruins.

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After enjoying a short trip in Split, we continued on down the Dalmatian Coast to the big event: Dubrovnik. We enjoyed the beautiful city but could have done without the high prices and huge cruise ship crowds. One of our favorite events was walking the walls of the city.

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One of Eric’s favorite things about having Peggy and Wayne along was that they brought along a Rick Steves guidebook. Eric’s new best friend and travel guru!

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After spending a day in Dubrovnik, we picked up rental car number 2. Everyone who knows Della should be exceedingly proud. She drove this one the entire time.. all by herself! After this trip, no one can hate on her driving stamina ever again!

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We arrived in the amazing, interesting city of Sarajevo. It was hard to explain our feelings about being here. We were relived to be away from the crazy tourist crowds, excited to see something completely different from what we had seen before, but in pain when viewing and hearing about the all too recent wars.

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Finally, we arrived in Mostar. A lovely city with a lovely bridge. It was fitting for our last evening together to dine here with an incredibly atmospheric (as Rick Steves would say) view.

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We are so fortunate to have both Peggy and Wayne, and earlier Donna and Steve, join us on our travels. We could hardly ask for anything better. Thank you parents!

 

Zagreb, Croatia

This is a guest post by Peggy, Della’s mom, who joined us, along with Wayne, for 14 days in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia Herzegovina.

On September 13, two trains converged on Zagreb, the capitol of Croatia. One, coming from Hungary, carried Della and Eric. The other came from Vienna and carried Peggy and Wayne. Both train rides ended up including one bus segment and a change of train due to washouts of the tracks.

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Transferring from the train to the bus, to go through town and then get back on the train!

Peg and Wayne were thrilled when they found Della and Eric waiting for them at the train station close to midnight. It was a happy reunion.

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Connecting at the train station!

The next day, we started our exploration of Zagreb in a park just south of Jelacic square. We stumbled onto some pan-Slavic festival with music and dance. Best of all there were booths representing regions /ethnic groups, each offering small plates of food or drink, all for free! We gathered this was a once a year event. The only bad thing was it poured rain much of the time.

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The rainy festival

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Wonderful festival with great food and drink from many different Slavic countries

From there, we embarked on a self guided walking tour, learning as we went from Rick Steves, well read by Eric. We started in Gradec, one of 2 medieval villages that combined to form Zagreb. The thing you see in all the guide books is St. Mark’s church with a great tile roof incorporating decorations including the Zagreb seal.

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We were happy to find the Mestrovic Atelier open. Our guide book said it would be closed for restoration. Mestrovic was a prolific sculptor whose works remind you of Rodin. He spent the end of his life in the US having fled Tito’s Yugoslavia. Peg especially loved his weird John the Baptist. His most famous work may be of Gregory of Nin, a bishop who was a hero to the Croatians. The huge statue is actually in Split, (which we saw later) it was mostly covered up undergoing extensive restoration.

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Peg’s favorite

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Study for Gregory of Nin. The real statue is in Split- though currently under renovation and covered by scaffolding

Della and Eric decided to climb the Lotrščak tower for some good views of the city and St. Mark’s. Peg and Wayne waited at the bottom with a small cup of coffee.

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Zagreb from on high

We also went to the Museum of Broken Relationships. Someone had a good idea: Ask people for a personal story and a memento from some relationship that has ended. The stories were mostly about romantic love, but some stories touched on parent-child relationships. Almost all had universal appeal, some funny, many very touching. Several stories came from Coloradans.

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It was a great idea!

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This was one of the smallest stories. Some were much longer and more meaningful!

We then went to the second medieval village called Kaptol. The main attraction was the Cathedral.

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We finished up with traditional Croatian food, including venison.

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Our big struggle the next day was figuring out how to get to our rental car. We had one reservation for the correct days, but it was 4 miles away and we couldn’t figure out any transit options. The other reservation was for wrong days but we could get to on the tram. We opted for the tram and luckily could change the days to match our needs.

One final note re transit. The old towns were pedestrian only. The main square had no cars but many, many trams running through.

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