Just as two years ago I struggled for the right term to describe Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, and Iceland (I settled on “Nordic,” but that wasn’t really right), there isn’t a good term that describes the places I’m visiting on this trip.  I use “Balkan” reluctantly, and I acknowledge that it’s not technically accurate, but it’s better than saying “former Yugoslavian” or “eastern Adriatic.”  Usually when I’m telling people where I’m going, I just list the countries I’m visiting.  But “The Foods of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro” just doesn’t cut it as a title for a blog post.
Continue reading “Balkan Food”

Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going. (Paul Theroux)

I started this post writing about my enthusiasm for seeing Sarajevo because of the extraordinary history that city has experienced.  This is the centennial year of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, the touchstone for World War I.  It’s also 30 years since Sarajevo hosted the Winter Olympics. (I came across some photos of the facilities that were used in the 1984 games and have since gone to neglect or damage from the Yugoslav War.)  And it’s stunning to think about what was going on in Sarajevo and throughout the areas I’ll be visiting just 20 years ago.
Continue reading “A Balkan History Lesson”

You go to the mountains for scenery, right?  And I’m guessing that won’t disappoint.

One of the reasons for going to Kobarid is the drive there. We’ll had north out of Ljubljana on A2 (with stops around Bled if we haven’t had the chance to get there already). We’ll turn off A2 before we drive into Austria, heading west to Kranjska Gora, and then we’ll turn south and drive through Triglav National Park.
Continue reading “The Julian Alps”

It will probably be late afternoon or early evening before we arrive in Ljubljana on May 4, so I’m figuring just two full days before we move on to the west. Those two days may end up being perfect for seeing the sites in Ljubljana and having some time to relax, or we might find ourselves with time for an excursion outside the city.

The area around Bled is probably one of the most visited places in Slovenia. It’s just about 50 km from Ljubljana, so easily done as a day trip, and it’s also on the way to Kobarid, so it might make sense to do it as an extended stop en route.
Continue reading “Bled and Vicinity”

Ljubljana wasn’t even on my radar before I started seriously planning my trip.  But the more I read about it, the more excited I am to spend some time there.  It seems to be both a great city to see and a great base to explore from.  With three nights, that’s really just two days, so I’m figuring one day to see the city and one day to get out and see the surrounding area.

Here are some of the highlights I’ve read about in Ljubljana.  (I realize I’m including photographs that will later be duplicated by the photos I take when I’m actually there, but this is whetting my appetite, so I am okay with that.)
Continue reading “Ljubljana”

In preparation for my upcoming trip, I bought the Kindle edition of Rick Steves’ Croatia & Slovenia guide book today. It’s coauthored by Cameron Hewitt, who led the travel session I attended in Edmonds last spring, and I suspect it’s more authored than coauthored by Hewitt.

In reading various passages, I started second guessing the itinerary.  It’s already evolved a bit from what I posted earlier. Here’s the latest version from JayWay Travel, whom I’ve pretty much committed to hire to plan this trip for me:
Continue reading “Second guessing myself”

Two days until I leave on my Oregon road trip.

I’m planning to blog daily while I’m gone, posting experiences and photos.

Meanwhile, I’m continuing to think ahead to next May and my trip to the Balkans. I requested a private tour itinerary from JayWay, and I’m now seriously thinking of doing that instead of the Rick Steves tour.
Continue reading “More Balkan dreaming”