Rovinj and Konoba Batelina

After parting with Gary we rented a car and drove up to Istria, Croatia’s northwestern peninsula.  Istria is widely regarded as having the best food in Croatia, so we were eager to try the famous local products, which include fish, olive oil, wine, truffles, prosciutto, cheese, and honey.  Basically, they have all of our favorite things.

Istria’s proximity to Italy is reflected in both its food and architecture.  We spent a day in Rovinj, a colorful seaside town that is popular with cruise ships but was pretty empty the day we visited.

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Split

After a few days in Dubrovnik we split for Split.  The city surpassed our expectations.  The old town is really cute and seems to have more businesses that cater to locals.  One of our first stops was To je to, a cafe and bar where we sampled different flavors of rakija, the Croatian fruit brandies.  Rakijas are popular throughout the Balkans as well as in Hungary.  These were great.  We tried plum, fig, cherry, honey, and herbs.

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Lokrum Island

On our second day with Gary, we took a day trip to Lokrum Island.  Lokrum is just a ten-minute ferry ride away from Dubrovnik, and it’s a nice place to escape the crowds and enjoy some nature.  The island is small enough to walk around in about an hour, though there is plenty to do there.  The contrast of forested paths and bright blue water makes the whole place feel a little magical.

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Dubrovnik City Walls

We’re back from our blog hiatus!  Our friend Gary came to visit us in Croatia for a week and we were having such a good time together that we forgot all about updating the blog.  Now Ian and I are back in our routine again and we can look back at the good times we had last week.

We met up with Gary in Dubrovnik and we wasted no time in setting out to explore the city together.  While hiking was an option, we had lots to see on our first day so we opted for the speedier cable car to take us up the hills behind Dubrovnik for views of the city and the bay.

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Sarajevo Bobsled Track

Our favorite thing we did in Sarajevo was visit the abandoned bobsled track on Mt. Trebevic.  The track was built for the 1984 Olympics and was damaged during the Bosnian war, when it was used as an artillery position for the Bosnian Serb forces.  Now it is covered in graffiti and is a pretty surreal, post-apocalyptic sight in the forest.

After lunch at the adorable Dveri restaurant, we started up the very steep hill toward the mountain.  This was a really strenuous hike where, whenever the road forked, the answer was always to take the steeper path.

Great decor at Dveri. There seems to be excellent interior design all over Sarajevo.

Great decor at Dveri. There seems to be excellent interior design all over Sarajevo.

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Eating Brussels

Ian and I had both been to Brussels before on separate trips over ten years ago.  We had already seen the major attractions so we felt like we could focus on food and beer and not get distracted by art, architecture, or history.  Stay out of our way, culture, we have things to eat!  (In truth, we visited one museum, which was great.)

Our first day, we started off right with omelettes and coffee.  I missed you, French cheese!

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