It was the nine-day trip I’d been waiting all summer for; starting with two days in the old town of Ljublana, Slovenia. Of course, our first move is always to wander – to see what we stumble across on foot, with the map as a back up.
It turns out, you needn’t wander very far – in one afternoon we’d walked the length of the old town either side of the river, round the back streets, and up to the castle; we’d picked out a dinner place, clocked the highly recommended gelato place, and popped in to a few little shops on the highstreet.
Dinners were rich, and red wine was aplenty. I grew fond of polenta, and even enjoyed pork at the wonderful 5-6kg restaurant. There was also constant gelato at Cacao (fresh mint flavour – incredible) and I really liked the traditional poppy seed cake, gibinica.
For anyone solo travelling, I don’t think you could feel safer than Ljubljana; it’s friendly, close-knit (you see the same people every day) and all the locals take an interest in your travels. If you’re not going “out out” – and we weren’t, considering our cross-country train journey the next morning – you can order coffee (read: gelato) til late, and wander around to see the river lit up at night.
Day three, and I’d never seen trains like this… Head to toe, top to tail in graffiti – and looking so much better for it. I mean, if it was offensive, I couldn’t read it, but the colours looked great.
We were staying for two nights in Zagreb mainly as a stopover to get us to Plitvic national parks, which is worth every second of the bus ride. Only pictures needed here:
Day five brought with it our five-hour train journey to Split, where we then spent a sweltering (but not complaining!) hour and a half in search of more gelato whilst admiring the beautiful harbour and grounds of the fort. Then, we boarded the ferry to Bol for four blissful nights on this stunning Croatian island. Again, it was kind of homely to see so much of the same people; the waiters welcoming you out the front of the bars and restaurants, the market-sellers. We alternated between eating out (£20 each for two amazing courses and wine) and buying in, to eat on the balcony.
My favourite moment was sitting with our legs dangling over the edge of the island, at a cocktail bar on the front. The prettiest, and most peaceful pina colada you could ask for.
Do visit Llubjana even if you only have a weekend and want a relaxing break; it’s really quite romantic, with a slow pace to the day, lovely locals and fantastic food. I only wish we’d ventured out to Lake Bled… one for next time.
Do visit Zagreb if you want that small city vibe; we happened across a street food market with live music and beer tents. Oh and do visit Plitvic, whatever you do.
Do visit Bol for the dream that is being on a tiny, beautiful island. You can walk mostly everywhere if you settle near the Catamaran port like we did; a few minutes to a hidden beach, five minutes to a whole host of fantastic restaurants, and a leisurely 40 to Zlatni Rat through the tourist markets.