For a year we planned our summer Euro trip, which included The Yacht Week and a road trip visiting five countries. Originally the road trip was only Claire and I…remember when we went to cutest hidden gem in Florida? (Click here to read more). But our duo quickly turned into a group of four. The more the merrier, right?
SPOILER ALERT!!! Video at the very bottom…scroll scroll scroll!!
NOTE: Because we visited so many places (and took way too many pictures), in this post I’ll share highlights. And in posts to follow, I’ll post about each city, country and, of course, my review on The Yacht Week 💕
As soon as we landed we got our rental car to get our road trip started. We didn’t get a picture of it, but that thing was MASSIVE. OK, for Texan standards it probably wasn’t…think soccer mom van, but for Europe, this was not going to be easy.
Driving in Europe (Read: Mostly Claire driving) wasn’t bad other than the sensor going off if we were within five feet of ANYTHING! Italy was a constant beep…and don’t get me started on parking garages. Don’t worry, on the second to last day, after pressing every button we could find, we found the button that turned off the sensor…we also found out we had GPS!! 🙊 Off we were…
Salzburg, Austria was adorable and rich in history. The Mirabell Palace and Gardens was definitely my favorite. Even with a large crowd, strolling through the garden was a very calming and relaxing way to spend our first day in Europe. The best part was basically getting a free walking tour from Claire who knows just about every scene of the Sound of Music. I still have yet to see the movie…one day. Of course, we also visited the Salzburg Cathedral where Mozart was born 🎼 …off to our next destination.
After swerving through gravel roads and hitting dead ends, we finally found our lodging for the night in Bled (Slovenia). Waking up at 7 a.m. was no easy task, but hiking up to the top of Bled Castle was totally worth it for the views. But we’re on a schedule so off to Ljubljana we went…
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia, so there were plenty of things to see and do in this busy city. I became a little obsessed with finding the Dragon Bridge after reading about it. I was expecting dragons everywhere…and there were plenty of dragon souvenirs, but sadly not too many dragon statues. Of course, the food festival was a nice stop before hiking up Castle Hill to…you guessed it…Ljubljana Castle. Country number three, here we come…
Zadar was a nice surprise – I really only wanted to stop here for the Sea Organ, which did not disappoint.
It felt a bit more modern compared to all the other places we had visited. Like any place that’s on the edge of a body of water, everyone flocked to the seafront…and we definitely weren’t an exception 🌊 Next stop…The Yacht Week…
The parties on The Yacht Week are fab; and meeting people from all over the world is fun…BUT I have to say my favorite thing about TYW was going off the beaten path (all thanks to the advice of our skipper). Getting away from the mass and doing a little exploring of our own like seeing Stiniva beach, or even doing some swimming in the middle of the sea away from everyone else, was the cherry on top for me. Of course, there’s a lot more to TYW…a total of four islands in a one-week time span. And I’ll be back soon with all the dirty details…
Plitvice Lakes National Park is UNBELIEVABLE. After a week at sea, I was having vertigo…perfect timing when we’re hiking up a mountain. But even though the world was moving side to side, the waterfalls were worth the possibility of falling in the lake. Plitvice Lakes National Park 1, vertigo 0.
We stayed in Trieste, Italy for the night and explored some in the morning. I’d recommend spending at least one full day to walk the city. The streets are too narrow to drive to some sites.
Of course, a stop in Italy is not a stop if you don’t go to Venice. St. Mark’s Square was fun, of course, but my favorite part of Venice was walking through the less crowded areas. Walking through each alley and crossing the canals was like a real-life maze, with quirky little stops along the way.
ALTHOUGH, if I had to pick just one city of all the ones we visited on this trip, Verona would be it. There are so many things to see, places to visit, and charm pours out of every corner. Visiting Juliet’s balcony and statue was a lot of fun…have you heard about her boob thing?? What can I say? I’m a sucker for romance. ❤
One more stop in Austria…
Ummm…wow. Innsbruck is straight out of a postcard with its lively building colors. And even though disaster struck that night when our original accommodations fell through, and we had to find last minute lodging 😬, at least we had a first-class view of the Alps everywhere we went.
The day in Munich was a cloudy, drizzly and cold one. But it provided the right scenery for the Rathaus. Munich was surprisingly difficult to find Wi-Fi so we definitely did a lot of walking. While the gothic style to the city was stunning, the people were not the friendliest. Maybe another visit to Germany later will prove this to be a one-time thing.
Overall, our 2016 Euro Trip was a success!! I hope to visit these places again one day after I mark off my travel bucket list, which is basically to visit every place on the planet…plus the moon 🌙 But Italy (at least southern Italy) will be moving up the list after getting a small taste of this charming country!!
READ MORE: Travel to Austria: The Sounds of Salzburg
Have you visited these cities/countries? Which one was your favorite? Let me know ❤
Safe travels, y’all!!