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european vacation

Europe 2015: Split

After packing up in Dubrovnik, the boyfriend and I packed up our (very crappy) rental car and headed up the Croatian coast to Split. The city of Split is much bigger and more urban than Dubrovnik, so it was a pretty different vibe than the previous two days. After checking into our AirBnB, we headed down to the Old Town and promenade.

Split, Croatia IMG_4155 Split, Croatia

To be completely honest, Split was my least favorite of the three Croatian cities we visited. It was a fun city with gorgeous ruins and some tasty food, but the promenade smelled like sulfur (not sure if it’s a permanent smell) and it was dirtier than Dubrovnik (I guess that’s what you get for being in a city). But with that said, we had a great two days and there were some serious highlights.

Split, Croatia Split, Croatia Split, Croatia Split, Croatia

The first thing we did after heading out was walk the promenade for as long as we could handle the smell and then head to the Old Town to walk the ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, which were so different than the in Dubrovnik. I didn’t realize in advance, but Split was built in the 4th century and is centered around Roman ruins. Exploring them felt like I was back in the time of gladiators.

Split, Croatia Split, Croatia Split, Croatia

After exploring the ruins and walking the alleys we had a late, delicious dinner at Uje Oil Bar. It’s fair to say that this was my first memorable meal in Croatia and my favorite in Split. I had marinated white fish, my boyfriend and lamb skewers and we split some bread and olive oil. Our waiter seemed confused why he had to deal with customers, but we had a great time aside from the iffy service. After dinner, we stumbled upon To Je To, a fabulous bar owned by an ex-pat from Michigan. We enjoyed the live music and drinks for a while before heading to bed.

The next day we woke up too late to catch the ferry to Hvar, which we regret, so instead we walked along the perimeter of the city and enjoyed a quick dip in the water each time we wanted to rest our tired feet. We started at the main city beach, Bacvice, but moved along to less populated areas quickly. Bacvice was fine, but it was over crowded and just not as nice as the other, more hidden areas.

Split, Croatia Split, Croatia Split, Croatia

After walking around for a bit more, relaxing and getting washed up back at the apartment, we headed out for our last meal and night out in Split. I had an amazing plate of green pasta with seafood for dinner at Restaurant Trattoria Tinel, a glass of local wine at Marcvs Marvlvs Spalatensis and then ended the night at To Je To again. Obviously it was our favorite spot in town. A little bit tipsy and tired from the heat, we headed back to bed to prepare ourselves for the early morning ahead of us.

Have you been to Split, Croatia before?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

european vacation dubrovnik

Europe 2015: Dubrovnik

The first day of our two-week European vacation started off on a fabulous foot in Dubrovnik. We landed at 2:30PM Dubrovnik time on the 26th and had to leave for our next stop at noon on the 28th, so we had a little more than a day and a half in Dubrovnik. It was a perfect amount of a time for an intro to the city, but I would love to go back and explore more of the surrounding area.

Day 1 – Exploring the Old City 

Our AirBnB host picked us up at the airport and drove us to our apartment for the next couple of days. While our room was very basic (that’s what you get for $23 USD a night), the view from our balcony was absolutely amazing. Being halfway up the hill looking over the city was such a treat, but walking back up to our apartment at the end of the day was a serious workout. I wouldn’t be surprised if we climbed over 1,000 steps during our time in Dubrovnik.

european vacation dubrovnikAfter we settled in and unpacked, we hightailed it over to the Old City to explore the alleys and walk the walls. My boyfriend watches Game of Thrones, so he enjoyed walking around and seeing where a bunch of different scenes were filmed. I can’t stand GOT, so I just enjoyed walking around and listening him explain the scenes.

european vacation dubrovnik european vacation dubrovnik european vacation dubrovnik IMG_3913 european vacation dubrovnikAfter walking a while, we stopped for dinner, which was underwhelming. To be completely honest, I wasn’t super impressed with much of the food we ate in Croatia. I blame part of it on myself for not doing more research on where to eat, but I also blame part of it on how touristy the areas we visited were. If we wen’t off the beaten path a bit, I think we would have found some delectable treats. Then, we headed to Cafe Buza for cliff-side drinks and walked around some more, stopping to listen to live Jazz, before heading back to our apartment for some sleep and to rest up for day two.

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Day 2 – Lokrum and Sunset Drinks

After sleeping in a bit, we made our way back down to the Old City for a light breakfast before hopping on a ferry to Lokrum. Just a 20ish minute boat ride from the coast, Lokrum is like a world of its own. No one lives on the island expect for the local peacocks who walk around like they own the place … which they basically do. After a stop at the very random and very hilarious outdoor gym area, we finally stopped at the cove for a leisurely swim in the Adriatic Sea.

european vacation dubrovnik european vacation dubrovnik european vacation dubrovnik european vacation dubrovnikAfter spending most of the day on the island, we headed back to the Old City and then our apartment to clean up for dinner and drinks on the other side of the island. We were hoping to catch a glimpse of that night’s lovely sunset. After getting spruced up, we headed over to the Hotel Palace for a couple of drinks along the water. Remember that sunset I mentioned two sentences ago? It didn’t disappoint. It was a bit cloudy, but the sunset was still breathtaking. Once the sun was gone for the night, we walked around the neighborhood to find some dinner and headed to Hotel More for a drink in their Cave Bar.

european vacation dubrovnik european vacation dubrovnikFeeling adventurous from a few too many drinks, we caught a cab back to Old City to explore more of the nightlife, but didn’t last long. We eventually hiked back up the millions of steps to our apartment to crash before packing up and driving to Split the next morning.

Have you been to Dubrovnik before?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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european vacation

Europe 2015: The Highlights

I just got back from the most amazing trip of my life. And by “just” I mean about a week ago, I’ve just been too busy pretending I’m still on vacation to get back to my normal routine and update you all. My boyfriend and I spent two weeks in Europe and it could not have been more perfect. We were gone from June 25th to July 11th and hit seven cities and 5 countries during that time:

  • Croatia (Dubrovnik, Split, Rovinj)
  • Italy (Venice)
  • Germany (Munich and the surrounding area)
  • Denmark (Copenhagen)
  • The Netherlands (Amsterdam)

The trip started because my dear friend from high school was getting married in her village outside of Munich. Knowing that we’d be traveling that far to begin with, we decided to make a full vacation out of it. What started as just a week somehow turned into two weeks, and I’m so glad it did. Our first week was in Croatia and Italy, which was a nice beach-style vacation allowing us to relax together and enjoy to sun and beach.

Then my younger sister joined us for the wedding in Germany and stayed until the bitter end in Amsterdam. Well technically she had to leave a day before us, but we’ll pretend she stayed to the bitter end. The second week after the wedding was much cooler and more urban, filled with racing around the respective cities and fitting in as many sites (and desserts) as possible. I fully intend to do a dedicated post on each stop during our trip, but I figured I’d start out with the highlights. It’s a good way to give you an overview of our trip without overloading you on pictures … that part is sure to follow in the next few weeks. I will only be posting photos cause they’re worth 1,000 words … so here’s bunches of thousands of words in photo form:

1. The View from our Balcony in Dubrovnik

european vacation

2. Swimming on Lokrum in Dubrovnik

european vacation

3. The square outside of Luxor in Split

european vacation

4. Plitvice Lakes Park 

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5. The Sunset in Rovinj

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6. The Glass Factory in Murano (Venice)

european vacation

7. My Friend’s Wedding Outside of Munich

european vacation

8. Eating like a local in Copenhagen 

european vacation

9. Eating like a local in Amsterdam

european vacation

10. Skins Cosmetics in Amsterdam 

european vacation

I hope you enjoyed the highlights and I can’t wait to tell you more about each city we visited! Also, I would like to be back on my European vacation, if anyone could make that happen. Ok, thanks!

What’s your favorite trip you’ve ever taken?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure