I have been fortunate enough to visit Europe a few times, but this last trip I finally made it to Eastern Europe. Having never been there before, I was a bit unsure of what to expect. It is hardly the Amazon Jungle, but I knew the food, languages and cultures would be a bit different than Western Europe, which felt familiar to me. I instantly fell in love with every place we visited and acclimated quickly. Although we went to many cities, these are some of my favorite gems.
I had only heard wonderful things about Croatia before visiting, so I was very excited to finally get there. Our first stop was the historic island of Trogir. I was instantly blown away by the beauty of the buildings, the color of the water and the charming locals. Trogir is a World Heritage Site, so the city felt very preserved and clean. On our second day we had a local fisherman take us out on a very small boat to a small lagoon with water that rivals the Caribbean.
No one wanted to leave so we spent the whole afternoon swimming and watching the other boats come and go. We eventually headed to shore and had the most incredible homemade lunch at a tiny restaurant (basically a family home) hidden by palm fronds.
A view of the small shoreline
Ljubljana is a city I knew very little about before visiting which I almost preferred. I had no real expectations, therefore I was pleasantly surprised by its beauty. It is the largest city and the capital of Slovenia. Talk about feeling far away from home, I felt like I was in a Medieval town set back in time complete with a castle and gargoyles atop a hill that looks upon the city center.
The narrow stone streets were flanked by pastel colored houses and shops with a series of thin alleyways that led to incredible restaurants with outdoor seating. The first night we had dinner at Julija Restaurant where I had one of the best dinners of my life. A creamy hearty truffle pasta! Besides the food the ambiance was wonderful, sitting outside drinking wine and watching people walk by.
LAKE BLED, SLOVENIA
We stayed in Ljubljana partially due to the city’s proximity to Lake Bled (about 45 minutes away) I was very anxious to get to the lake as I had fantasized about going there for a while leading up to the trip. Despite being a bit overcast and damp, it is in the Julian Alps close to the Austrian border, this place will stop you in your tracks for a minute. I had the best time walking around the lake and taking countless pictures. We also took a row rowboat to Bled Island in the center of the lake. Despite being a bit costly, it was worth it to see the view from a different angle.
Stayed tuned for more of my Eastern European vacation as I will be posting on Prague and Budapest shortly!