Sunday, August 31, 2008


August 26-28th 2008
The river walk has many resturants and an open air market!

Day 7 cont.

I made it to Slovenia without any problems. I didn’t even get a stamp leaving Croatia, lame!! I arrived in Ljubljana at 10:30am. I went to the ticket office to buy my ticket in advance to go to Monaco. After I had my ticket I got a map and took a bus to the hostel. The hostel was really easy to find. I checked in and set my stuff down. I asked some questions before going to explore the city. I walked the crap out of Ljubljana!! It is an amazing city. I walked toward the castle, but didn’t go all the way up to it. Instead I sat out in front of the church and enjoyed the view. Then I walked along the river until I hit an open air market. At the market they were selling everything, from clothes, souvenirs, pottery, to gadgets and food! I got some postcards, a gadget or two and then continued to walk through the city. I had a pita for lunch, not traditional Slovenian food, but dang good! I walked some more along the river, sat and read for a while, then walked back to the hostel. It was dark by this time and I decided to stay in for the night. So I read and hung out until I went to bed.

Day 8

I had planned trip to Lake Bled for the day. I woke up well before I had to leave, so I got ready, packed a day bag and went to get some breakfast. I had a croissant and then headed to the bus station. The bus left Ljubljana at 10am and arrived in Bled by 11:15. (See bled for the rest of the post.) I left Bled at 3:30 and was back in Ljubljana by 5. I went to the hostel to take a nap before my train. I woke up at 10:30pm, read for a while, got dressed, ate some food, and watched TV until I had to leave.

Day 9

I walked to the train station at 1:15am. My train was due to leave at 2am. The train was 20+minutes late and there were a lot of people waiting to take the same train. The train was packed, but I had a seat reservation so I was able to get some sleep! We were in Italy by 5am. I got to Monaco at 3:45pm, a 13 hour train ride!!! AHHH

Ljubljana is a 5. Amazing, in the EU, on the Euro, cheap, clean, almost everyone speaks english and it's extreamly pretty. I would live there. One of my top two favorite countries in Europe!

August 27th 2008
Itsn't it just breath taking?

Day 8 cont.

The ride from Ljubljana to Bled was short and nice. Once in Bled I headed straight for the lake! It was absolutely breath taking! I sat outside for a while, reading and getting some sun. I had some Ice cream that was delicious. Then I went for a little walk around the lake. At around 1pm, I decided to go into the recreational lake area. It is a section of the lake that has lockers, a food court, diving board, slide, docks, and grass to lie on. It was the prefect place to enjoy the lake and play in the water. I paid to get in, put my stuff in the locker and found a spot on the grass. It took me a long time to actually go into the water! I finally got the nerve to dive in and swim out to a dock. On the dock I enjoyed the sun and talked to some fellow travelers. They were Irish. After 30 minutes we decided to head back to shore. Once again it took me some time to get into the water! I didn’t really swim much after that. I just hung out and talk to the life guard for a while. Then I read and ate some French fries. I finally decided to leave at around 3pm. I walked back to the bus and caught the 3:30pm one. I had the most amazing time that day. I will definitely go back and I suggest everyone visit Slovenia.

Lake Bled is a 5. Its extremely pretty and relaxing. I wouldn't mind living there either!


August 24-26th 2008
You are looking at the train station! Isn't it pretty!

Day 5 cont.

I arrived in Zagreb at 1:30pm. I could have taken a tram to the hostel, but I didn’t have a map and didn’t feel like getting lost. So I took a taxi instead. It was a 20min taxi ride and it gave me a chance to see a lot of the city. I checked in, got settled, and went for a walk to find food. I didn’t want to go too far, but everything was closed because it was Sunday so I didn’t really have a choice. I found a grocery store and bought some stuff for later, you know just in case snacks. I settled on pizza for dinner and took a tram back to the hostel to eat it. At the hostel I watched Scrubs and ate my dinner. Then I read for a while and then went to bed.

Day 6

I woke up early, dressed and then walked to the tram station. I bought a ticket and took the number 2 tram to downtown. I ate breakfast at a bakery then walked around the city. I went to Zrinjevac Park, Stross Mayerov trg, Tomis Lavov trg, and ended up at the train station. I checked times for trains to the coast, but there weren’t any. So I explored the city more. I went to the Botanical Gardens, the National Theater House, Marulicev trg, and then back toward the big square. I walked to St. Francis Cathedral and sat out front and read for a while. I visited another church up the road and sat and read again. I then had lunch at a Chinese restaurant. After lunch I took that tram to Zrtava, a big white round building! I read there for a while, and then walked back to the square. I got ice-cream, sat on a bench and ate it. I took the tram back to the hostel and hung out there for the rest of the night.

Day 7

For this being my vacation I haven’t really slept all that much. I got up early, went to the train station, bought breakfast and then caught an earlier train to Ljubljana.

Croatia was a 3.5, a lot prettier and nicer than Serbia, but without the flare that Serbia had!


August 22-24th 2008
View from the Citadel.

Day 3 cont.

The bus from Sarajevo dropped us off at Belgrade bus station at 10pm. We had no Serbian Dinar so we got some money out, and then hailed a taxi. The plan was for me to go to her hostel and see if there were any cancellations. See I had booked a hostel for the next night but not tonight; because I was suppose to take an overnight bus, not the earlier one. When we got there the guy told us there were no rooms available so he called around and found a place for me to stay for the night. I took another taxi my hostel and my friend came with me, for moral support! I checked in dropped my stuff off, and then we went for a walk. We walked halfway toward her hostel and then parted for the night, with a plan to meet up the next day at 10am. I went back to the hostel and went to bed.

Day 4

I woke up, got dressed, left my keys, and took a cab to my pre-booked hostel. I checked in, dropped off my stuff and went to meet my friend. We had breakfast at McDonalds, before we walked around the city. We walked all day with a few things on our list of things to do. We went to Republic Square, had a drink in the bohemian quarter, and then at lunch at a nice restaurant. After our late lunch we walked back to my hostel to ask about a movie theater in English. We figured out the times, made a plan to meet back at my hostel and then walk to the movie theater in 2 hours. The walk to the movie theater wasn’t long and we were there 30min before the movie started. We bought our tickets and went for a walk. We took some pictures of the Parliament building and then headed back to the theater. After the movies we walked back toward our hostels, parted ways, promised to keep in touch and said good bye. Back at my hostel I went to bed.

Day 5

I woke up at 5:20am, got dressed, and had the hostel lady call a taxi for me. I arrived at the train station early, so I got some breakfast then sat on the train. In my cabin a German, Austrian, and Portuguese sat with me. We talked for a long time and laughed which made the ride go by quickly. I got off in Zagreb and they continued on!

Serbia was a 3.5. A lot more impressive, and bigger than I thought it would be.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

August 21-22nd 2008
A view from the "Turkish" side of the city!
Day 2 cont.
We arrived in Sarajevo, actually just outside the city, at 7:30pm. I was walking to a cab when a fellow traveler from Luxemburg asked me where I was staying. I told him that I had a place and that he could try and stay there too, so we shared a cab. We got to the hostel and they had room for him so we checked in. I was talking to this American Girl for like 30 minutes after arriving. My two new friends and I went out for some dinner. We walked through the city and found a bar/restaurant that was cheap so we ordered food. We talked and ate for a while then walked some more exploring the city by night. Then we went back to the hostel and watched TV for a while, then went to bed!

Day 3
I woke up around 9am and got dressed. My American friend and I went out to explore the city. We were planning on taking a 3pm bus together to Belgrade that day so we had time to kill. We were walking in no direction in particular and stumbled upon a breakfast place that served waffles! YUM, they were good, cheap and we were satisfied! So we continued to walk checking out the people and architecture while talking. Sarajevo is an interesting city. Half of the city looks like a typical Eastern European city, but the other half has mosques, markets and a lot of Turkish influence. We explored both sides of the city, talking all the while. At around 12:30pm we went back to the hostel, rested, called a cab, and then grabbed our bags heading for the bus station. At the bus station we bought our tickets and ate lunch while we waited for our departure. On the bus we slept a little until our first stop when were able to walk, use the restroom and stretch. Back on the bus they put on two movies in English and we watched them, which made the bus trip fly by! By the second movie we were already in Serbia!
Sarajevo was a 3. It was a lot bigger, cleaner and more interesting that I had anticipated!


August 20-21st 2008
A Thriving Metropolis!

Day 1
My solo trip in August started in Stuttgart. I took a train to Dusseldorf to catch a flight to Montenegro. While in Dusseldorf I visited with some old coworkers before my flight, since it wasn’t until after 3pm. At the airport I checked in and headed to my gate. The flight was only a few minutes behind schedule and we landed in Belgrade on time. I didn’t have my boarding pass for the connecting flight yet and I was a little worried about how to get it. Then I found a ticket counter, without having to leave security and go through again. Then I proceeded to my gate with 10 minutes to spare. The plane to Podgorica was a little propeller plane, holding maybe 60 people. The flight was short and we were in Montenegro in no time. It was about 10pm when I finally left the airport to get a taxi. I had to wait 10 minutes before the taxi would take me to my hotel, which was odd since he was just standing there smoking! The taxi ride was 15 Euros, and inexpensive considering the ride was like 25 minutes! My hotel was really nice and I was glad to finally be there. I watched TV and went to bed around midnight.

Day 2

I woke up earlier than I wanted to. I watched TV for a while, and then went down to eat breakfast. Breakfast was surprisingly good. It was a typical cold buffet in Europe with bread, boiled eggs, cold meats, cheese and jam. But they also had fruit and juice! Well, after eating I took a shower and slowly got ready for the day. I didn’t have to check out until 12 and I wanted to stretch it as long as possible. I checked out, paid and ordered a taxi. I had to wait for 15 minutes for the taxi so I chatted with the front desk guy. My taxi took me through downtown to the bus station and I bought my ticket to Sarajevo. I had time to kill so I went out to explore the city. It wasn’t really a city to explore; I can tell you that, there were no sights. After a few hours of not seeing much and carrying my bag around I had had enough of Podgorica! So I went to the train station, had some lunch and read my book until the bus came. The bus ride was nice. Montenegro’s country side reminded me a lot of Macedonia and Kosovo’s, a few trees here and there, with sprawling hills. But Montenegro’s was better because we drove around a beautiful lake for 30 minutes, and it was great. After the lake we were in Bosnia, so for more about the trip, read my next post!

Montenegro was a 2.5. I'm sure the coast of Montenegro is amazing, but since I only saw Podgorica and country side I have to give it a 2.5. The 2 is for the city and I added the .5 for the lake!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Interlaken, Switerland

August 15-18th 2008
The Swiss Alps are amazing.

Day 11 cont.
We arrived in Interlaken Switzerland around 2pm. I was extremely bitter because the weather was terrible. Out of all the cities and places for it to be raining, it had to be Switzerland! AHHH. Well we didn’t really know where our Bed and breakfast was so we had to take a taxi. I got out some Swiss Franc for us to use and we got into the taxi and headed for the B&B. We were a little pissed that we took the taxi because it was only a 10 min walk away from the train station. But since we had no idea where it was in the first place it didn’t matter, we had to take it. Anyway, we check in, dried off and relax a little before going to get something to eat. That task was very difficult, because everything was closed until after 4pm. So we ate at a bakery and then walked in the drizzling rain through city. My sister and I didn’t want to be out in the rain so we went back to the B&B. My dad continued to shop. Later that evening we took Nina to the hostel where she was staying since the B&B was full for the night. We dropped her off and told her that we would pick her up in the morning. We watched TV for a while before going to bed.

Day 12
As promised we met Nina at her hostel at 10am. Then we went next door to rent scooters. We rented two of them, Nina and I rode together and my dad on the other. We had so much fun riding them around. Granted I had done it a year before with my friend Brian, but it was fun showing them all my favorite places. We went to Beatenburg, around the lakes, and then to some water falls in the Alps. The four hours we had rented them for went buy really fast. We had a blast and it was great weather, a little on the chilly side, but sunny. We turned the scooters in then walked to Migros to get a cafeteria style lunch. We decided to go the movies in Bern to kill the rest of the afternoon. We went back to the B&B first to change and grab some stuff for the train. We took a 4:30 train and an hour later we were in Bern. We walked toward the movie theater and bought our tickets in advance, and then we just walked around the city and killed time until the movie started! After the movie we basically sprinted to the train station so that we could catch the next train perfectly. Back in Interlaken I stayed at the hostel this time and my sister stayed at the B&B. I got to the hostel and went to bed right away!

Day 13
After waking up at 9am, but sleeping better than I had at the B&B, I headed to the B&B to meet my sister and dad. We just hung out around the B&B for most of the day because we decided not to go to Jungfrau. It was really cold and we didn’t have the proper clothes to go up to that altitude! We did our own things, I was reading by the B&B, Nina went to the park and wrote, and lee went shopping. We all met back at the B&B when we were hungry for dinner. We had the best dinner at this hotel-restaurant than we had at any place so far on our trip. First we had cheese fondue, which wasn’t good at all, although it was suppose to be famous in Interlaken. For our main meal Nina and I split this breakfast type dish; it had potatoes, eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese and a gravy sauce all mixed together! YUM! Then for desert they had a chocolate fondue! We walked back to the B&B very satisfied after that meal. We hung out and watched TV for a while or read then went to bed.

Day 14
We woke up at the butt crack of dawn in order to catch our train. We caught our 7am train to Reutlingen, Germany! The end of our family trip!
Interlaken was a 3. I had a great time with the family, but the weather wasn't as good as last year!

Milan, Italy

August 13-15th 2008
Castello Sforzesco, Milan, Italy.

Day 9cont.
We arrived at Milano Centrale station at 3pm. We decided that we would get our tickets for the train ride to Switzerland; instead of waiting until the actual day of travel. After getting the tickets we got a map and asked which metro stop would take us closest to our hotel. We got off at the stop suggested and had to walk for 20 minutes, past two metro stops, until we actually found our hotel. Once there we got a room for 3 people and rested for a few minutes before going out to find food. We walked for a while before settling on this bar/restaurant. We paid 7 Euros for a drink, but got an all you can eat buffet with it! It was an extremely over priced drink but not considering you get the food to! Anyway, we stopped at a book store on the way back to your hotel and my sister and I bought some books. We went back to Hotel Ritter and watched TV or read. I went to bed around 11:30pm and my sister and dad didn’t come in until after 1am.

Day 10
Upon waking up we all thought that we had seen enough of Italy and were ready to be in another country. Unfortunately we still had another full day left in Italy! Anyway, we ate breakfast then headed out to explore the city. We ended up at a park where Castello Sforzesco was. We toured the castle by ourselves, taking pictures, and enjoying ourselves. We walked through a couple souvenir places and bought one gift. We walked further along the castle grounds and sat on a bench near a pond. We talked for a while. By this time it was after noon and we were getting hungry. So we walked toward some restaurants and settled on a little bistro with pizza. Of course my sister and I got pizza, since we were leaving Italy the next day, and it would be the last good pizza we would have for a long time! My dad got lasagna; he already had had enough pizza to last a year! After lunch we found where all the tourist were hanging out; by a grand cathedral on a large square, near the high-end shopping. We hung out there for a while, people watching, and then walked through the shopping district. We couldn’t afford any of the clothes in those stores but it was still fun to see all the latest summer fashion. At the end of the shopping district we found a McDonalds, went to the restroom and then headed toward our hotel. We stopped at an ice-cream parlor on the way back and got crepes and ice-cream. We hung out at the hotel for the rest of the night.

Day 11
We woke up and headed for the train station. With our tickets already purchased and in hand we boarded the train and took our seats. We were on our way to Interlaken by noon!
Milan was a 2.5. It was the wrong time of year to visit. All of the locals go on vacation in August!