Posted by: lindsaygoes | August 28, 2017

Naracoorte to Warrnambool

Friday 25th August

We were leaving Victor Harbor today, and on our first stop was Old Tailem Town, a Pioneer Village which is full of historic buildings which have been moved to the site. There are over 100 buildings, and while it is getting a bit decrepid, I felt it added to the charm, making everything feel older and more authentic. It was a great place to wander around and take photographs, and the couple running it were very friendly.

On the drive to Naracoorte we had a couple of brief stops, seeing the Coonalpyn Silo Mural and the Landrover on a Pole in Keith – always good to stretch your legs on a long drive!

When we got to Naracoorte we visited The Sheep’s Back museum which was very well presented, and had some interesting exhibits, and then we headed for the Naracoorte Caves, which have World Heritage Status due to their fossil record.

We went through the Wonambi Fossil Center which had some animatronic exhibits, and then walked through the Stick-Tomato cave which had some fantastic rock formations as well as an open section which was full of ferns.

We then had a guided tour through the Victoria Fossil cave, which again had some amazing rock formations, as well as some fossils from where prehistoric animals had fallen into the cave. They also had some recreated fibreglass skeletons of some extinct megafauna whose bones have been found in the cave.

Saturday 26th August

From Naracoorte we drove to Mount Gambier and then had a bit of an explore. Our first stop was the Cave Gardens in the middle of town, which were some gardens in an old sink hole with a large cave at the bottom that you can look into.

Then we headed to another sink hole, Umpherston Sinkhole which was enormous and you can walk right down into it, amongst the lovely gardens.

Next we drove around the Blue Lake which is in one of the extinct volcanic craters of Mount Gambier. In the summer it turns a bright blue, so unfortunately we didn’t see that, but it was still a lovely spot.

After that we walked up to Centenery Tower which had a fantastic view over the area, although we couldn’t climb the tower as it wasn’t open yet. Although, I was still recovering from the steep climb up to the tower, so I wasn’t too upset!

By that time our next stop was nearly open, so we headed to Tantanoola Caves which is one of the most spectacular caves I have ever been in to. It’s very small, but you walk in and ‘Bam’ the beauty of all the rock formations just blows you away. Everywhere we turned there was something else to see.

Then it was a drive to our final stop for the trip, Warrnambool. We visited the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and had a walk around all the old buildings and exhibits which was very interesting. After a bit of a break, we headed back for the evening sound and light show there, which was really well done.

Sunday 27th August

Today we headed home. We made some brief stops at some of Warrnambool’s lookouts, and then the trip was over!

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Posted by: lindsaygoes | August 25, 2017

Port Pirie and Victor Harbor

Wednesday 23rd of August

It was an early start this morning, as we were aiming for Victor Harbor, about 463 kilometers away (if we were taking the fastest route, which we weren’t).

We had a couple of quick stops at Wilson and Kanyaka Ruins, old abandoned settlements that have been preserved, then headed for Port Pirie for a bit of a break from driving.

In Port Pirie our first stop was the Port Pirie Regional Tourism and Arts Center. The art gallery featured beanies from the Alice Springs Beanie Festival, and had some amazing creations! We also saw the Shakka the Shark exhibit with a fibreglass replica of a great white shark that had been caught in some nets in the area. She was enormous!

Then we visited the National Trust museum which was housed in the amazing old buildings of the Railway Station, Customs House and Police Station. The tower had a great view over town and there were some interesting old artefacts.

From Port Pirie we headed towards Victor Harbor, with a brief stop in Gumeracha to see the Giant Rocking Horse. It was raining at the time, so I just enjoyed the view from the car.

Once we got to Victor Harbor we had a look around the center of town and then walked to the top of Rosetta Head (the Bluff) which had some amazing views of Victor Harbor, Granite Island and the surrounding area.

After that it was getting late in the day, particularly after so much driving so we settled in for the night.

Thursday 24th August

We had a bit of a lazier start this morning as we were in no hurry to be anywhere.

Our first stop for the day was Granite Island. As we were walking across the causeway to the Island the horsedrawn tram was coming the other way, so it was good to see that. As it passed us, we could see the ‘L’ tag on the back! The walk around the island was really lovely, getting a good look at the island, and we even saw some whales in the distance! As my last two whale watching experiences in Monterey Bay (USA) and Kaikoura (NZ) involved no whales at all, it was good to finally see some!

After Granite Island we headed for Hindmarsh Island and saw the mouth of the Murray before having a bit of a drive around the Fleurieu Peninsula. We stopped at Hindmarsh Falls, Waitpinga Beach and Cape Jervis, where we got a look towards Kangaroo Island, as well as Glacier Rock.

Once we got back to Victor Harbour, we did some sections of the Hindmarsh River walks, just to make sure we ticked off all the attractions with Hindmarsh in the name!

Posted by: lindsaygoes | August 22, 2017

Flinders Ranges Rambles

Monday 21st August

We headed off early this morning, with a long drive to get to the Flinders Ranges. We weren’t far out of Broken Hill when we saw a Quarantine Sign for South Australia, with fruits, vegetables and plant matter restricted. We started scoffing down some of the bananas in the car before seeing another sign that the Quarantine bin was 220 km away. Apart from some lovely scenery, and lots of road kill, we didn’t see much until we reached the quarantine bin where we sadly got rid of our bananas and mandarins.

It wasn’t far from the bin to our next base point, the town of Hawker. In Hawker we grabbed some lunch, checked into the caravan park and headed off to see some of the local sites and view points.

The first stop we went to was Castle Rock, which was just a short walk from the road through some scrub. Unfortunately by the time we got there it was starting to rain a bit, so we didn’t stay long to take in the view, but did see some kangaroos.

Then we headed to the Jarvis Hill Lookout, which was a bit more of an uphill walk, but by this time the sun was out, and it was definitely worth the (fairly short) hike for the amazing view.

Our final viewpoint for the day was Camels Hump lookout. Initially we drove past it, so had to backtrack a bit, it was definitely more obvious driving into town than out of town. Again, it was a fairly short walk up to the rock formation, but lovely in the sunshine.

For dinner we had the option of the Hawker Hotel/Motel, or the Hawker Hotel/Motel, so we chose the Hawker Hotel/Motel, and had some pretty tasty fish and chips.

Tuesday 22nd August

This was our main day to see the Flinders Ranges so we headed out of Hawker early on to make the most of the day.

We stopped at a few viewpoints on the way to Wilpena Pound: Arkaba Lookout, Elder Range Lookout and Rawnsley Lookout, and then from the Wilpena Pound information center we started the Wangara Lookout hike.

The first part of the hike was also part of the Hills Homestead walk and was fairly flat and easy, heading to the Hills Homestead, which was built in the early 1900s but restored in 1995. The hike up to the Wangara lookouts was a little more intense, but definitely worth getting to both the lower and upper viewpoints for the amazing views over Wilpena pound. On the way back we saw an emu with a clutch of emu chicks – so cute! The walk was about a 7.8 kilometer round trip.

From Wilpena we headed north to Hucks and Stokes Hill lookouts and then on the way back headed to Bunyeroo Gorge. Again there was some amazing scenery and wildlife around with kangaroos, emus, lizards and birds.

Heading back we had a short hike to Arkaroo rock, which has some amazing 5000 year old Aboriginal cave art, which is really well preserved. It was definitely worth the walk (around 3km round trip).

Then we took the scenic route back to Hawker, taking the Moralana Scenic drive. Unfortunately it was getting a little late in the day to do the walk to Black Gap (the other entrance to Wilpena Pound) but it was still gorgeous scenery and we also stopped at Surveyors Lookout on the way home.

Then it was back to Hawker.

Posted by: lindsaygoes | August 21, 2017

Broken Hill

Friday 18th August

We’re travelling a bit closer to home this year, with a short road trip through parts of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

We both finished work a bit early so we could get out of Melbourne before the traffic got too bad. We managed to beat the traffic, but not the weather, but it’s better to get some rain on travel days.

Our first stop was Swan Hill, mainly to break up the journey. This was the only night of the trip we hadn’t pre-booked in case we got held up and didn’t make it to the accommodation on time. The first place we tried the staff had gone out for the evening and the next two had no vacancies. Fourth time lucky we got a room! At the reception they were telling us about the local restaurants, and then said “If you like the clubs, down this street you have the RSL and the Social Club.”. Not quite the clubs I was thinking about!

Saturday 19th August

We headed off early, but managed to see a couple of sites in Swan Hil before we left, the Giant Murray Cod and the Paddle Steamer Gem.

From Swan Hill we headed towards Mildura, on the way we stopped at Ouyen to see the Big Mallee Stump and the Big Wheat, and also made a quick detour and short walk to Warepil Lookout.

When we got to Mildura we visited the Mildura Art Center, where we saw the Rio Vista homestead and sculpture park. We missed the Kylie exhibit by a few hours as they were setting it up to open that evening. We also grabbed some lunch in town.

From Mildura we headed straight to Broken Hill, and thanks to the time difference we gained an extra half hour to do some more exploring!

The first stop was the information center where we got loaded up with brochures and ideas, and then we had a quick look around town.

We made a visit to the Silver City Art Center and Mint where we saw the world’s largest canvas painting, which was pretty amazing and then headed out of town to the Living Desert which had some amazing sculptures carved from enormous blocks of sandstone. We started off walking around the sculptures then headed down a walking track to the reserve. Once we got to the bottom of the track we realised we had mistimed it, and would not be able to walk around the reserve and make it back to the sculptures in time for sunset, so we walked back up again. It was a fantastic spot to see the sunset, the light bringing out the warmth in the sandstone sculptures. Then we headed back into town for dinner.

Sunday 20th August

The next day we headed out to Silverton, but before we did that we had a little time to check out a couple of things in Broken Hill. We went to Kintore Reserve which has an old wooden mining head frame from the 1800s as well as several large Pro Hart sculptures including the Big Ant. We also drove up to the Miners’ Memorial, which was closed but had a great view over Broken Hill, and the Big Bench.

Then we headed to Silverton, we had a bit of a drive around first and then went to the Historic Day Dream Mine, where we had an overground and underground tour. It was really interesting walking through the mine with its low ceilings and uneven steps, and the guides were real characters.

Then we headed back to Silverton and visited the Silverton Goal which has been converted into a museum, and is full of artefacts from the town’s history. The gaol cell full of dolls was particularly memorable. We also visited the Mad Max 2 museum which contains numerous props and vehicles from the filming of the second movie which was done locally.

From Silverton we headed back to Broken Hill and went to the Royal Flying Doctors Museum, which was fascinating and we also got to view the control center and planes in the hangar. They do some fantastic work and it was really worth visiting.

Our next stop was White’s Mine Mineral Art and Living Mining Museum, which we had received numerous recommendations for throughout the day. It’s run by Kevin and Betty White, and the main section is set up like the interior of a mine, and as well as having old mining equipment has an enormous collection of crushed mineral artwork made by Kevin, using local minerals and local and mining scenes. Kevin turned off all the lights and showed us the glinting of the galaene and zinc, the coveted local minerals, under candle light. We also saw Betty’s enormous doll and bear collection, many of them made or restored by her. One of the things I particularly like about local museums like this is the passion shown by the people running them.

For dinner we visited the Barrier Social Democratic Club (the Demo Club) where we had a tasty dinner.

Posted by: lindsaygoes | November 5, 2016

Seeing Qatar

Sunday 30th October 2016
Budapest, Hungary to Doha, Qatar

We flew out of Budapest this morning and flew to Qatar. The line to get through passport control was very slow, should have got my book out and done some reading!

Once we got to our hotel it was fairly late so we just had a bit of a walk to find some dinner and then went to bad.

Monday 31st October
Doha, Qatar

This morning we went out to do some sightseeing, but seriously underestimated some of the distances on the map. Turned out what we had assumed was a fairly short walk from our hotel to the Museum of Islamic Art, was around 5 kilometres, which was made more unpleasant by the heat and the fact that it isn’t a city that is designed for pedestrians. We reached the museum just before it opened and once we got in, it was really nice to get out of the heat. The museum was really interesting, there was a huge range of art, but it was also beautifully presented, with the artworks gently spotlit in darkened galleries. The building itself was also magnificent.


After the museum, we decided that taxis would be the best way to get around for the rest of the day, and caught one to Katara, a cultural village in Doha. There wasn’t much going on when we were there, and it’s still under construction, so most of the people we saw were construction workers. The area has reconstructions of traditional buildings, so it was fairly pleasant to walk around, if a bit surreal.

Once we had finished walking around Katara we decided we wanted some lunch, so got in another taxi and headed to the Villagio, a Venetian themed shopping mall. I’m not a huge shopper, but it was air conditioned, had a mock canal and an ice skating rink, so it was an interesting stop. I probably would have appreciated it more if it hadn’t taken over an hour to get there in Doha’s traffic.
Then we headed back to our hotel, had a bit of a rest and then took another taxi to Souk Wakif, the main market of Doha. It had lots of little alleyways to get lost in, and a high variety of clothes, handicrafts and souvenirs. Definitely worth a visit, and we also got some dinner while we were there.

Souq Wakif

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Tuesday 1st November 2016
Doha, Qatar to home

This morning we had a day tour booked around the North of Qatar. Our first stop (after getting out of the city) was Al Khor, an older city of Qatar which has a lot of fishing boats, a boat building yard and some mangroves. We had a few brief stops where we saw the fishing boats, the boat yard, some mangroves and a bit of a view along the waterfront.

Our next stop was the Jumail, a fishing village which was abandoned in the 1970s, and was reached via an unpaved rocky track. It is crumbling away, but an interesting spot, it was just a shame that there was so much rubbish around.

Jumail Village

Then we drove to Zubara Fort, which was built in 1938 and has just been renovated. There were some interesting exhibits on the local culture and archeological findings as well as a small (well air-conditioned) museum on the pearl diving industry next door. Once we were done we headed back to the car to find our guide/driver was looking under the car as there was a moderate volume of liquid dripping out of it. After a bit of a smell test we decided it wasn’t anything to worry about (hopefully) and headed back to Doha. We got back safe and sound and got dropped off at the City Center Mall, which also had an ice skating rink and some options for lunch.

Zubara Fort

Then it was back to our hotel, where we kindly had a late check out so we could ha be a shower and get changed before heading for the airport to go home.

Posted by: lindsaygoes | November 2, 2016

Sightseeing in Slovenia 

Thursday 27th October 2016
Zagreb, Croatia to Ljubljana, Slovenia

We caught an early morning train from Zagreb to Ljubljana in Slovenia. After dropping our bags at the hotel we had a walking tour around the city, which gave us some interesting stories. We also visited a few buildings like the town hall and St Nicholas’s Church, the Cathedral of Ljubljana. Unfortunately I had been overly optimistic about the weather, and I was freezing!

After the walking tour we went back to the hotel to check in and grab some extra layers. Then we grabbed some lunch and walked up Castle Hill to Ljubljana Castle. It had some wonderful views and interesting exhibits and walking up all the stairs definitely warmed me up! 

After the castle we walked back down to the river, crossed the dragon bridge and walked to Metelkova, an area of Ljubljana with some interesting street art. It took us a little bit of walking to find it because we only had a vague area circled on the map (which wasn’t completely accurate!) but we eventually found it and there was some cool street art and sculptures there. It was an old barracks which had now been turned into an autonomous culture zone (whatever that is) and was worth the walk from the center of town.

Then we did a bit of browsing and shopping in the town before going out for dinner.

Friday 28th October 2016
Ljubljana and Bled, Slovenia

This morning we caught the bus for a day trip to Lake Bled. We manage to catch the slow bus, which stopped fairly frequently, but there was some interesting scenery.

Once we got to Lake Bled we walked up to the castle, which had a lovely view over the lake, although it would have been nice if it was a bit less foggy. Can’t complain too much though, as it least it wasn’t raining. As well as the view, the castle itself was nice to walk through, perched on the hill above the lake looking like a fairy tale castle. It had a little museum and a few interesting souvenir shops, including a bee hive one and a forge. We also tried the Bled cream cake, the symbol of Bled. It was pretty tasty.

Once we had seen everything at the castle we headed back down, grabbed some lunch and then walked around the lake. It was about a 6 kilometre walk, but very flat, so it felt shorter. We had some great views of the castle and also of Bled Island, which had a cute little church on it, and we could see rowboats going to and fro.

Once we’d walked around the lake we caught the bus back to Ljubljana and then found a supermarket to grab some snacks.

For dinner we went to the Open Kitchen, an open air food market that is open on Fridays and has a range of different cuisines. I grabbed a Thai Red Curry which was delicious, but very spicy! I think my taste buds have lost some of their chilli tolerance after the food on this trip!

Saturday 29th October 2016
Ljubljana, Slovenia to Budapest, Hungary

Today was one of those unpleasant but necessary travel days as we had an eight hour train ride back to Budapest. Once we got into Budapest there wasn’t much time to do anything but get some dinner.

Posted by: lindsaygoes | October 31, 2016

Croatia, Part 2

Sunday 23rd October 2016
Hvar to Split, Croatia

From Hvar we had a ferry to split and then a short taxi ride to our hotel. After checking in we headed down to the waterfront and the Diocletian’s Palace. We grabbed some lunch and then had a walking tour through the palace. The palace is more of a walled fortress than a single building and was built in the fourth century AD by the Roman Emperor Diocletian (I’m assuming not by him personally, but on his behalf). A number of the original buildings have been destroyed over time, but there was still a fair bit of original architecture, and our guide was pretty informative.

After the palace we caught a bus to Trogir, another historic town in Croatia and had a wander through some of the alleyways. We also climbed to the top of Fortress Kamerlengo which had a great view over the city. On the way back we ended up on a very local bus which wound its way through the streets, stopping frequently, which gave us a nice relaxing journey back to our hotel.

Monday 24th October 2016
Split to Plitvice National Park, Croatia

From Split we had a private transfer to Plitvice National Park. We couldn’t check in straight away, so grabbed some lunch, checked in and then headed into the park.

We did the upper lakes first, catching the bus to the top and then walking down. The scenery was fantastic! We were surrounded by gorgeous orange and yellow trees as it was moving into Autumn, and walked past gorgeous lakes and waterfalls. I think the photos speak more for how stunning everything was than I can. Once we reached the bottom we caught the ferry back across the lake before a little rest before dinner.

Tuesday 25th October 2016
Plitvice National Park to Zagreb, Croatia

We had another walk in the park this morning, concentrating on the lower lake this time. We caught the bus to the top and then got some amazing views down to the lake, and then of Veliki Slap, a 78m high waterfall. The colours of the lakes were amazing, and again the beautiful Autumn colours were gorgeous. We managed to miss most of the other tourists this morning and for most of the walk it felt like we had the place to ourselves.

Then we caught the ferry back, had some lunch and then it was on to Zagreb.

Once we got to Zagreb we had a bit of a wander around the city, we visited Tunnel Gric, a World War II bunker which we walked through. It was very atmospheric, and enormous in one section! We went to the Museum of Broken Relationships, which was quite interesting. It had all sorts of donated items, each with a story of why they represented the particular broken relationship. Then we had a bit of an evening drink before dinner.

Wednesday 26th October 2016
Zagreb, Croatia

Our first stop this morning was the Zagreb Botanical Gardens, which had a lovely selection of plants and was really nice to walk through. It had rained before we came in, so all the plants were covered in tiny droplets.

After that we went on a walking tour which covered the two oldest parts of the city. Our guide was very entertaining and taught us the history of the city as well as sharing some interesting stories. One of my favourite was about the cathedral. One morning a woman was walking past when she saw someone doing handstands on one of the spires. She called the fire brigade and by the time they arrived there was a crowd cheering on the acrobatics of the man on the spire. They went up to see what he was doing, and it turned out he had been to the fire station a few days before to ask for a job but had been told he didn’t have the right skills. Rather than arresting him, they gave him a job and he worked for the fire brigade for the next few decades.

After our walking tour we wandered through the city a bit more and went up to the top of the Zagreb eye for a great view of the city. 

Then we headed back to catch up on laundry, the last load for the trip! Then it was out for dinner.

Posted by: lindsaygoes | October 28, 2016

Croatia, Part 1

Tuesday 18th October 2016 (continued)
Dubrovnik, Croatia

We arrived in Dubrovnik, got rid of our luggage and then caught the bus to the Old Town. After a bit of a wander through some of the streets we visited the Maritime Museum, which had some interesting exhibits and model ships, and then decided to walk along the city walls as it looked like the rain was going to hold off. Luckily for us it stayed nice and dry, although it did get a bit windy at times. There were some fantastic views from the walls, both into and out of the Old City.

After the city walls, we visited some more of the museums and galleries within Dubrovnik. First we went to the Rector’s Palace, which has had a bit of a turbulent history, being damaged by earthquakes, explosions, fires and lightning. It had some interesting exhibits on some of the history of the building and Dubrovnik. Next we went to the Pulitika Gallery, which had some nice artworks, and then manage to find our way to the Natural History Museum, which had some really interesting ways of presenting some of the exhibits. Next it was on to the Marin Drzica House, Croatia’s version of Shakespeare and the Franciscan Monastery Museum, which had a lovely, peaceful courtyard, and also was attached to one of the oldest pharmacies in the world.

After all that sightseeing, with lots of stairs, it was time for some ice-cream, and then we walked up some more stairs to Fort Lovrijenac. We walked up to the base of the actual fort and decided not to go in so we could save some money. It turned out that our city wall tickets included entry, so we shouldn’t have been so cheap!

At that point the sky was looking a bit gloomy, so we headed back to our hotel, and it did start raining a little later.

Wednesday 19th October 2016
Dubrovnik, Croatia

This morning we set off reasonably early so we could get started on sight seeing. We first headed to the cable car entrance and then got the cable car up to Fort Imperial. There were some great views over the Old Town, and along the coast. We bought the cheaper one way tickets on the cable car, so walked down, which we were really glad we did as some of the views on the walking track were even better as they didn’t a have all the cables in the way. It was also a sunny day, but not too hot, so perfect for a walk.

Once we got into the Old Town we headed for the Old Port and were just in time to get a panoramic cruise. It was on an old style boat, and gave us a view of the outside of the city walls but also went around Lokrum Island, which was nice, although I’m not sure how much the people at the nudist beach appreciated the sightseers on our boat!

After that we joined a walking tour of Dubrovnik, which was really good. Our guide was very knowledgeable and funny and took us into a couple of buildings as well as giving us some of the history of the city and tips and tricks for getting in (that’s how we found out about our city wall tickets giving us access to the fort the day before). Then we had a stroll through some of the side streets and alleys of the Old Town before catching the bus back to close to our hotel. Then we had a bit of a stroll along the waterfront near our hotel, and then when our feet got tired caught the bus back to our hotel.

After a bit of a rest we caught the bus back to the Old Town and had a bit of a walk around as the sun was setting. The light on the buildings was gorgeous and then it was great walking around the Old Town at dusk as the lights were starting to come on in all the alleyways and on the buildings.

Thursday 20th October 2016
Dubrovnik to Korcula, Croatia

This morning we had a bus ride before hopping on a small boat to Korcula, a Croatian Island where Marco Polo was apparently born. There were lots of gift shops where you could buy everything from Marco Polo branded ice-cream to incense. The normal hotel the tour uses was closed because it was the end of the season, so we got upgraded to a fancier hotel with two swimming pools and we got a suite to stay in which was nice. It would have been even nicer if the shower had hot water, but you can’t have everything.

We had a bit of a walk around the Old Town and climbed the bell tower of St Mark’s Cathedral to get a nice view of the town. We also visited the city museum which had some exhibits from the town’s history, including some old toys and outfits.

After that we headed back to our hotel and made the most of the indoor pool for a few hours before heading back into the Old Town. We took some photos of the buildings lit up before having a tasty dinner on a terrace. In a building near by there was a choir practicing, so we had some singing to accompany our food.

Friday 21st October 2016
Korcula to Hvar, Croatia

We had an early start this morning as there was only one ferry to Hvar Island, our next stop, and we didn’t want to miss it! Once we arrived we had quite a long walk, up lots of stairs to our guesthouse. Not my favourite activity when I’ve got a large backpack!

After dropping off all our gear it was time for breakfast at a cafe, and then, as most of the boat based activities weren’t running because it was the end of the season, we caught the local bus to the Old Town, Stari Grad. We had a bit of a wander through the town, seeing some of the monasteries and cathedrals, and also visited Fortress Trvdalj, the fortified summer residence of Croatian Poet Peter Hektorovic. It was a nice little spot to visit, with a sea-water fishpool, some nice gardens and a viewpoint over the town. Then we had a relaxing lunch before heading back to Hvar town.

Once back in Hvar we had a lazy afternoon relaxing in our accommodation before heading back into the town for dinner. We couldn’t remember where our tour lead had recommended so we wandering around being stunned by all the prices before eventually picking somewhere.
Saturday 22nd October 2016
Hvar, Croatia

This morning our first stop was the fortress. As is always the way, it was at the top of a hill, but we set off before it got too hot, and there were some nice gardens in between the town and the fortress. The view from around the fortress was lovely, looking over the town, bay and nearby islands, and the sky was very clear. When we reached the fortress there was no one in the ticket office, so we snuck into the fortress and had a bit of a look around. The gorgeous views over the bay continued and there was a little museum as well.

From the fortress we headed down to the waterfront, passing a few churches along the way, then walked along the waterfront. The water was very clear and inviting, but a little cold! After heading as far as we could in one direction, we walked back to the town and along the coastline the other way, before heading back to the town for some lunch.

After lunch there wasn’t much more to be seen, so we just relaxed for the rest of the afternoon before heading out for dinner.

Posted by: lindsaygoes | October 25, 2016

Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Saturday 15th October 2016
Kotor, Montenegro to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

We left Kotor in the morning and headed through Montenegro, stopping at some gorgeous viewpoints on the way. We crossed into Bosnia and Herzegovina a bit before lunch and then stopped for lunch before arriving in Sarajevo in the afternoon.

After checking in we had a bit of a walk around the old town of Sarajevo, visiting the Latin Bridge, where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, the Sacred Heart Cathedral, and we also wandered around some of the little alleyways in Bascarsija, the old Ottoman quarter. We also walked up to the Yellow Fortress, which gave us a fantastic view over Sarajevo as the day was drawing to a close.

Then we walked back into the town and went to the Galerija 11/07/95 which tells the story of the Srebrenica massacre through photographs and videos, as well as an audio guide, exploring the massacre itself and the aftermath. It was a very moving experience.

After that it was dinner time and we had a tasting menu which gave us a sample of a range of different Bosnian dishes.

Sunday 16th October 2016
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

This morning everyone from our group was heading to the Tunnel of Hope tour, but I had done it last time I was in Sarajevo, so I walked along the river to the National Museum. It was a nice walk, even when I went to far and had to come back!

The National Museum was pretty big, with three different buildings I went into (I skipped the library) and I felt like I was the only one there for most of the time I was walking around. The museum contains the Sarajevo Haggadah, an illuminated Jewish manuscript which has survived many close calls with destruction. It is now under high security so I could only look at it in its case from a few meters away. The rest of the museum also had some interesting exhibits, with a typical 19th century Bosnian house exhibit, as well as a large natural history wing. I particularly appreciated the interesting taxidermy specimens, with some rather unnatural expressions, the rows of rocks with no English labelling, and the beetles, which someone must have spent an enormous amount of time cataloging.

After the National Museum I went next door to the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It had a really moving exhibit on ‘Sarajevo under Seige’ which had everyday objects from the seige from 1992 to 1995. It also had a fantastic photographic exhibit which had photographs taken around the city in 1996 and again fifteen years later, which really highlighted all the destruction that had occurred within the city, and it’s recovery since then.

Then I walked back along the river, although unfortunately it had started raining, but I did have an umbrella with me, so I didn’t get too wet! After a bit of lunch and a walk around some of the streets and bazaars, we had a walking tour around the city, which was really interesting and gave some of the older history of Sarajevo. It was very interesting to see the different architectural styles between the Ottoman section of the city and the Austro-Hungarian sections.

After a bit of a rest we had some grilled chicken for dinner.

Monday 17th October 2016
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

From Sarajevo we drove to Mostar, a really lovely city. We arrived around lunchtime and checked out the Stari Most (the Old Bridge) from a number of different viewing points, walked across the bridge and through some of the streets filled with shops selling a range of souvenirs. We also went to the Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque, and climbed the minaret, which had a great view of the bridge and the town. It was a very narrow, winding staircase to get up and down though!

The town and bridge were a great place to visit, it was really nice walking around, and as it’s a fairly small place everything could be done at a relaxed pace. For dinner, I had a traditional Bosnian meal with fish cooked under the ashes, which was very tasty. After dinner we had a short extra walk around the town to see everything lit up at night.

Tuesday 18th October 2016
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina to Dubrovnik, Croatia

On our way out of Bosnia and Herzegovina we stopped off at the Kravice waterfalls, which was a nice stop. It was a bit cold for swimming, but we had the area to ourselves, so plenty of time to walk around and take some photographs.

After that we headed for Croatia, which I’ll talk about in the next post.

Posted by: lindsaygoes | October 22, 2016

Stunning Montenegro

Thursday 13th October 2016 (continued)
Budva, Montenegro

We arrived in Budva around 5pm, but still had a bit of time to explore the town. We headed for the waterfront, and then had a bit of an explore of Stari Grad, the medieval old town. There are lots of narrow, twisting alleys surrounded by high stone walls, and the fading light gave the town a lovely atmosphere, particularly when the streets opened out onto courtyards with lit up churches or other buildings. We also went up to the Citadel, which had some lovely views over the area.

Friday 14th October 2016
Budva and Kotor, Montenegro

This morning we caught a local bus from Budva to Kotor, which also has a medieval town. After a short stroll around the town we walked up the walls of Kotor Fortress up to the Castle of St John. It was quite a long way up, which involved manoeuvring around other travellers on their way up or down. Luckily it was a lovely sunny day, but not too hot, and there were some fantastic views all the way along to the top.

Once we had climbed up and down we had a bit more of a wander around the town. We even found a cat museum, although couldn’t find the actual entrance, which is a shame as it looked quite interesting.

We had a bit of lunch, had a look in some shops and then went to catch the bus back to Kotor. We think our bus either didn’t show up, or was so late it made the next time slot, but we eventually got on, and managed to get dropped off right outside our hotel, which was a bonus. After that we went back into Kotor and had an explore in the daylight and walked along a bit of a track to the next beach over. It was warm enough that I almost wished I had my swim suit with me.

Then we had a bit of a rest before heading out for dinner, fresh fish, yum! After dinner we wandered around the town a bit more. As it was the end of the season it had a slightly weird atmosphere, with half the stalls closed and others selling a mixture of winter and summer clothes, and just a few people wandering around like us.

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