Hi Everyone! I hope that you are all making the most of the summer holidays, as for me they are nearly over! A week today, I’ll be back at university, starting my life as a third year. Just yesterday I moved all my things back to my student house ready for all the fun to begin! Even though I’ve been back in the UK since the end of July, I’ve still managed to cram in lots of fun. From visiting uni friends, day tripping to London and even a couple of weddings to look forward to, I’ve done pretty well with my 96 days of summer.
But back to my interrailing adventure…
After a 10 hour journey from Budapest, we made it to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. (Thankfully European trains do have Wi-Fi!). Luckily by the time we reached Slovenia, central Europe began to cool down, meaning we could get back to our very touristy ways. While in the city we climbed up to see Ljubljana’s castle, which gives a beautiful view of the city, and on a clear day you can even make out the Julian Alps. While we were in the city, their annual food festival was also taking place, meaning we got to sample some local delicacies. I can 100% recommend deep-fried pancakes!
Just a one hour bus journey from the capital, we were in Lake Bled, which was by far my favourite place we visited. The lake and surroundings were that perfect that you couldn’t believe that they were real. With sadly only a day and half in Bled, as soon as we arrived we started our walk around the lake to find the best swimming spots. With Bled being famous for its water sports and outdoor pursuit activities, we hired paddleboards so we could get to the island in the middle of the lake, which is home to the fairy tale Bled castle. We ended our time in Bled with a fairly terrifying toboggan ride down the sides of the mountains, which if you could open your eyes, gave a beautiful view of the lake.
Once we had finished traveling around Slovenia, we crossed our last European border into Croatia’s capital, Zagreb. This little capital city is famous for its open air food markets and quirky museums. While in the city we visited the museum of optical illusions, which definitely blew all of our minds, and frustrated us all as we tried to solve all of the ‘impossible’ puzzles. Pretty sure we all left this place with a headache! But the best thing by far was the museum of broken relationships (sounds pretty sad, but trust me it was awesome!). With it being the winner of the most innovative museum in Europe. The museum of broken relationships displays personal belongings which symbolise people’s broken relationships. The objects are donated by people from all over the world, and are displayed with a story about how their relationship ended, written by the owner of the object. With the objects ranging from a wedding dress to a list of reasons to stay in the UK, I would definitely recommend you visit this museum if you can! Oh, and I also entered my twenties while in Zagreb, so cocktails and banoffee pie all round!
Plitvice National Park
After leaving Zagreb, we began our trip travelling down the coast of Croatia. To break up the journey from Zagreb to Split, we stopped off for a couple of days at Plitvice National Park, a World Heritage Site. The area is known for its breath taking waterfalls and adventure trails which take you around the whole of the park. However with it being one of the hottest days of the trip so far, it was especially cruel walking around such crystal clear water which we weren’t allowed to swim in!
I wish that I could say we did lots of really cultured day trips while we were in split… but in reality all we did was chase the water to cool down! We spent our few days in town lounging at the beach, swimming in the sea, and if you were me, picking sea urchin spines out of my feet! We are all still pretty convinced that one is still stuck in there! But while we were in Split, we did visit the Palace of Diocletian to see where Game of Thrones was filmed. Judging by the number of game of thrones merchandise I saw while in the city, coupled with the tours around the dungeons used for filming in the series. I feel like I really ought to start watching this programme!
The island of Hvar marked our final destination before our journey home back to the UK. But what a place to finish on! The island, which is an hour away by boat from split is perfect for beaching, dining and clubbing. During our time in Hvar, we rented a boat for the day so we could sail around the Pakleni islands, finding uninhabited beaches and exclusive bars and restaurants. I remember texting a friend the moment we got to Hvar saying no matter what you do you have to go to Hvar at some point, and I definitely stick by this!
But that takes me to the end of my travels! I hope that you have all had a wonderful bank holiday no matter what you’ve been doing. I’ve spent the day down at the beach, which despite the chilly (august) wind was lovely, and after hearing so much about dominos in the last few weeks, I’ve finally had my pizza cravings satisfied tonight at dinner!
See you soon!