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Adriatic Adventures Croatia, montenegro, bosnia and Herzegovina, And Italy

Day 1: We arrived in Dubrovnik, Croatia on Sunday, September 23 after a long day of travel that included a four-hour stop at the Charles de Gualle airport in Paris, France.

Day 2: Monday, September 24 was our first full day was a day trip to Montenegro. After a bit of a drive and a quick coffee and breakfast snack, our first stop was at the Our Lady of the Rocks off the coast of Perast.

Our Lady of The Rocks
One of the more famous pieces of art in the church is this tapestry made of gold and silver fibers along with the hair of the artist.
Perast and the Bay of Kotor

We continued our tour of Montenegro with a longer stop in Kotor where we explored the city, visited the cat museum, climbed the ancient walls above the city, and ate lunch - finishing up just before a rainstorm arrived.

Walls above Kotor
Up close along the walls above Kotor
Kotor viewed from above
Looking down on Kotor as the rainstorm arrives

After Kotor, we drove to Budva, a coastal town experiencing an influx of Russian money and tourists. Just outside of Budva is the resort of Sveti Stefan

Sveti Stefan

After this, it was time to head back to Dubrovnik. The drive back included a ferry ride across the Bay of Kotor, conversations about driving tour buses through Europe (and what happens when a passenger dies on the trip), and some thoughts regarding Albanian tourists.

Day 3: Tuesday, September 25 was spent in Dubrovnik where we walked the city walls and visited Fort Lovrijenac.

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik
It's not all sightseeing. There was plenty of beer.
Tourists in Dubrovnik
Boats outside the walls of Dubrovnik
Fort Lovrijenac

Day 4: We scheduled a day trip to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina for Wednesday, September 26. This meant an early start to the day since it was about a three hour drive from Dubrovnik to Mostar. Our van driver wasn't the best drive we've ever had but we made it across the mountain roads to Mostar and met Alma, our guide for the day.

The Old Bridge in Mostar
Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque
The war is still fresh for residents of Mostar
Many buildings have yet to be fully repaired from wartime damage
Shopping in Mostar
Interior of Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque

After a long day in Mostar, we started the trip back to Dubrovnik at around 7:00 pm. Not long before crossing the border back into Croatia, we stopped for a bit of apple picking, well stealing really. It seems that our drivers routinely stopped along the side of the road to steal apples from a large orchard. As they told us, "It's not a trip to Bosnia until you steal something."

Stolen Bosnian apples

Day 5: Thursday, September 27 was the first travel day of our trip. We had a ferry trip scheduled from Dubrovnik to Split, but since that didn't leave until late afternoon, we had most of the day to have more fun in Dubrovnik.

Morning in Dubrovnik
The delivery trucks can only get inside the walls early in the morning before the tourists arrive.
The creepy bear was all over Croatia
Game of Thrones tourism is big in Croatia

After enjoying some delicious Börek before the ferry trip to Split, we departed Dubrovnik. The ferry ride was fairly long and not very exciting and only one of us got sick - probably too much Börek. We arrived late in Split, found our rooms, and got some sleep.

Day 6: Our only full day in Split was on Friday, September 28 and we a lot that we needed to see. Much of the old city, including our room, is within the walls of Diocletian's Palace. We started our day visiting the Statue of bishop Gregory of Nin, since this was just outside of the palace walls from our room. Rubbing the statue's big toe brings luck. After this we explored the lower levels of the palace, including a few Game of Thrones filming locations. Unfortunately, there were no dragons to be found. Then we took in Old Jupiter's Temple and the Saint Domnius Cathedral, climbing the bell tower for views of the city and the sea. We also took in another strange museum, Froggyland, featuring 507 stuffed frogs doing human things.

Statue of bishop Gregory of Nin
Lower levels of Diocletian's Palace
Saint Domnius Cathedral
Saint Domnius Cathedral
Saint Domnius Cathedral
Old Jupiter's Temple
Climbing the bell tower's creaky stairs
View from the bell tower
Froggyland
Palace walls at night
Window to our room in Split - right above the bar.

Day 7: We spent the first couple of hours of Saturday, September 29 relaxing and having breakfast in Split. Then we picked up our rental car for the drive north to Plitvice Lakes National Park. But first, there were adventures along the way.

Lots of traffic going over the mountains on the main highway forced us to take a long detour along the coast. The trip was longer, but we got to see a lot more of the Croatian coast and got to cross the mountains on the fun backroads.

Quick stop for coffee along the coast
View while crossing the mountains
A stop at the Nicola Tesla birthplace and memorial center
Nicola Tesla

Day 8: One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park on Sunday, September 30. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We started early so that we could beat some of the crowds and get on the road so we would arrive in Rovinj at a reasonable time.

Morning on the lakes
Waterfall on the upper lakes
Upper lakes
Walking path on lower lakes
Great Falls
Lower lakes

Day 9: After arriving in Rovinj the evening before, we spent Monday, October 1 on the road again trying to see as much of the Istrian Peninsula as possible in one day. We left Rovinj and drove north with our first stop in Završje, then made our way to Motovun - again with a detour for a road closure. After lunch in Motovun, we headed south to Pula to see the city's ancient Roman amphitheater.

Završje
Završje
Završje
Motovun
Truffle shopping in Motovun
Amphitheater in Pula
Pula

Day 10: Tuesday, October 2 was a fairly relaxing day in Rovinj. We spent the day walking around the town and climbing more tall things.

Rovinj just before sunrise
Morning in Rovinj
Climbing the bell tower in Rovinj
View from the bell tower in Rovinj
Sunset view from our balcony in Rovinj

Day 11: We started our day on Wednesday, October 3 very early in the morning. Our ferry to Venice left Rovinj before sunrise but it got us to Venice with almost an entire day left to explore. The VIP tickets on the ferry were well worth the extra cost as we got to go out on deck as we passed by the city on the way in - and we were first off the boat and first in line for the passport control.

Arriving in Venice
Filming the next Spiderman movie right outside our apartment window in Venice
Canals in Venice
Venice sunset

Day 12: I got out for a short early morning walk through Venice before we escaped the tourist crush on Thursday, October 4 and explored the islands of Burano and Murano. Burano is known for lace making, so we spent a bit of time in the Burano Lace Museum. Murano is famed for glass making, so there was a bit of shopping here.

Gondolas in Venice
St. Mark's Basilica in Venice
Streets of Burano
Canal in Burano
Canal in Murano
Canal in Murano

Day 13: Our last day in Venice was Friday, October 5. We braved the crowds in the morning to get inside St. Mark's Basilica and explored the markets before leaving for the airport in the afternoon for our flight to Paris and an overnight stay at the Charles de Gualle airport hotel.

Streets of Venice
St. Mark's Basilica in Venice
Grand Canal in Venice viewed from the Rialto Bridge
Venice market
Venice Market
Venice fish market
Venice fish market

Day 14: After arriving in Paris the night before, we got up for a big hotel breakfast on Saturday, October 6 before our flight from Paris to Raleigh-Durham.

The view for eight hours over the Atlantic

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