Posts

Showing posts with the label Europe

Hitting the Road to Rijeka

Image
Lynn and I woke up in Istria for the last time. We had breakfast with the group and said as our rental car pulled up to the front of Hotel Lone in Rovinj. The Croatia Tourism Board had arranged for us to have this Audi as we hit the road to check out two more areas of the country neither of us had ever been: Rijeka and Split. Rijeka was first and we had a scenic ride along the Mediterranean Sea to our destination. It definitely looked more city-like than anywhere we had been in Istria, and Rijeka was in fact filled with plenty to. This has made it a very popular cruise port in the last few years. We would be staying overnight at the Hotel Bonavia . It was centrally located and looked quite “grand.” It was raining when Dominik Damis of the Rijeka Tourist Board and guide Alenka Šuljić Petrc picked us up to tour Rijeka, but we weren’t deterred from seeing the sites. As we went through the city, we saw the cruise terminal, and heard about how inexpensi

Truffles, Mines, and Mistletoe - Day Five in Istria

Image
My friend Lynn and I slept well in our last night at BiVillage in Fazana, Croatia. We were comfortable in our little cottage just a short walk from the Adriatic Sea. We could have easily just stayed there and enjoyed the beach, but we had plenty more to see in Istria . After a breakfast of fruit, cheese, yogurt, and croissants, we headed back to the house to get packed up and wait for Goran of the Visit Istria Tourism office to pick us. It was the fifth day we would be traveling in the familiar van with the other writers and guests, Rocky, Nicolas, Andras, and Gyorgy. It was a great group and we were all having lots of fun together on the Share Istria Adventure . Our first stop of the day was in Labin . I could never get tired of these small Istrian towns as they each had their own personality. Labin was once a mining town and we got to actually go through a replica of a mine. I don’t know how those men did it, my back was hurting from being hunched ove

Viking River Cruise Ends in Style with Budapest

Image
It had been quite a week on the Viking River Cruise through the Danube. My friend Tracy and I had been discovering places Christmas Markets and visiting places we had never been. There was only one more to go – Budapest, Hungary.  It was the largest capital city on the Danube and one of the most known. As had been the case with our other stops, the Viking Cruise line included all tours and there was a bus waiting to take us to the Buda district. Along the way our guide Nicholas told us about the city which is referred to as the “Jewel of the Danube.” We learned about the part this area played in World War II, and how it is now a tourist destination with a large zoo, public thermal baths, an amusement park, and large hotels. The bus let us off in the Buda Castle District. It was a bit chilly outside, but we braved the cold for a walking tour. The Square was amazing and each building was filled with history.  Tracy and I enjoyed looking around the area.  Befo

Discovering Slovakia with Viking River Cruises

Image
Our Viking River Cruise along the Danube was coming to the last two days and my friend Tracy and I were having a great time discovering a part of Europe neither one of us has previously been. It was time for Slovakia and we were bundled up and ready to see its capital. The ship docked right in the city of Bratislava so we could walk around ourselves, but we chose to first take the bus tour to Bratislava Castle and then on a downtown walking tour of the city. The Bratislava Castle was quite impressive and also had a great view of the city. Unfortunately, it was a cold and cloudy day so we didn’t get to fully appreciate it. In fact, I liked everything about Slovakia and the people we met were all very friendly. It represented a European city in perfection, with its architecture, cobblestone streets, and craft filled markets. Every building from the Opera House to the Court House looked like it was filled with history for me to spend a day exploring. We s

The Magic of Vienna on Viking Cruises

Image
Whether or not we’ve ever written it down, we all have a bucket list. Those lists consist of places we hope to go. Many of us dream about these places, while others make it their life’s mission to travel to them. I’ve actually got two lists, though neither one is on paper. One is of places I wish to explore and the other is of places I just need to get to in order to see if the magic is really there.  The latter list includes places such as Paris, Rome, and London, all of which I’ve been to. There’s one place I hadn’t visited until I arrived on my Viking River Cruise . That place is Vienna. It was cool and foggy when my friend Tracy and I arrived in Vienna, Austria . The buses were waiting to take us on a tour of this city that played such a major part in the world war.  Vienna had come out the other side and become a spot of history and culture, with former homes of Mozart, Beethoven, and even Sigmund Freud throughout the city. The tour took us to some