Kotor is an idyllic resort town nestled in a corner of a beautiful bay surrounded by fjords.
This time of year there aren’t crowds. Especially at night the town is peaceful and romantic.
The prices here are incredibly affordable. I’ve had my room upgraded for free twice simply because there aren’t that many people. My first room had windows on the ceiling that looked straight up to the mountains. There is a wall that dots the mountain with forts and churches along the path. At night it’s lit up and it looks like someone has strung Christmas lights up a mountainside.
Church bells ring several times a day.
I could stay here weeks and explore the mountains, fjords, and islands surrounding Kotor. It’s a majestic location that looks straight out of a European fairy tale.
I head into the old part of town and a waitress guides me through a maze of side paths and arches until we arrive at the seating area. It overlooks the old bridge. I order my food and the call to prayer begins. I’ve never heard it before. It’s beautiful. I’m brought the best bread I’ve tasted. Everything is incredibly delicious and affordable. Most meals are under $6.
I try Turkish coffee for the first time and am immediately addicted and drink it three more times that day. It’s served with sugar and sometimes a piece of Turkish delight.
The nature surrounding Mostar is lovely. Waterfalls, flowing rivers, mountains, and hills.
The road to Dubrovnik from Zadar hugs the high sea side cliffs. Curving in and out endlessly. I see bright aqua patches of water along the coast from the water being so clear.
I walk up hundreds of steep steps to get to the street I’m staying on. I’m within the ancient walls. When I hang my clothes out to dry I can see the people above me walking the walls. From my room, I overlook the entire old city and watch cats walk the walls in the evening when people have stopped.
Zadar is an university town with a great historic area. I enjoyed my time here.
The area is clean, pretty, bright, by the sea, has all the restaurants, stores, and bakeries to be desired.
There are paths to stroll along the sea and sights like the sea organ where the waves moving over the steps plays music.
All the food I’ve had has been really good. The best dessert I had was at Art Hotel Kalelarga. Make sure to stop there. Found a bakery that has Burek. It’s addicting. I’ve gotten it twice already with the cheese filling.
I had some great smoked salmon at the restaurant Bruschetta.
On the way from Karlovac to Zadar, the bus went through a tiny town in the mountains called Slunj. It was a beautiful area with waterfalls, rivers, mountains, and valleys. Neon green grass and Austrian styled homes. Someday when I come back to Croatia, this would be a nice place to stay when visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Karlovac was near the front lines of the war in the 1990s and many buildings still have damage from the fighting. The streets were mostly empty and not many stores were open.
The town had many Soviet styled block apartments.
I stayed in a room above ŠuŠu Pub which was a short walk from the bus stop.
I’ve been told it’s a great place for beer. There are little bars all over town.
In the neighborhoods in the countryside surrounding Karlovac many homes had even more damage visible from the war.
When the bus crossed over into Croatia, I knew I loved this country. No more congested cities, heavy traffic, or huge crowds of tourists.
Rovinj is my ideal place to be. The bus station is only a street away from the beautiful old part of town. I plan to come back and spend longer here. I could easily stay a few months in this area of Croatia. It would be really easy to get a bus to Venice, other parts of Croatia, and Slovenia from this town. And the surrounding area is very pretty with Pula close by as well.
My hosts were the nicest people I’ve meet on my travels so far. They met me at the bus station when I arrived and showed me around town on the way to my room.
I loved the food I tried here. Many of the restaurants were closed since it was April. It’d be fun to see how different this town is in the summer and fall. Many dishes on the menus around town feature truffles.
Not only is the town gorgeous but you can also bike for miles around the coast.
Cars aren’t allowed on many of the streets in the old part of town. Some paths smell like lavender and there are many cats and dogs walking around.
Between buildings there are steps that go down to the sea.
While I was in Italy I visited Naples, Capri, Anacapri, Rome, Verona, and Venice.
Of the places I went I’d visit Capri and Venice again someday.
If I come back to Italy I’d make sure to stay a week or two in Venice and then see the alps and lakes.
The main reason I loved Capri was because of the incredible desserts in Anacapri. I’ve never had desserts that good and haven’t found any that come close since.
I like Venice more than Capri because there is so much more to explore and I love Venice at night.
Venice is the most visually stunning place I’ve been. When I exited the train station and looked at the bridges, canals, and incredible buildings I couldn’t stop smiling.
Verona was the first place I’ve been that was calm and relaxed. It was a relief to arrive here after Southeast Asia, Rome, and Naples. Verona is the type of place you come to unwind, eat a nice meal, and sip wine. I was very happy to be here.
As the train approached Verona I could see the snow capped mountains and was happy to be away from busy cities like Naples and Rome.
The pace in Verona is much slower and seems to be a place for romance, relaxation, and pleasure.
I tried gelato for the first time in Italy and ate at a sit down restaurant for gnocchi.