Due to Schengen visa requirements, I have been killing time in the non Schengen countries starting with Croatia. After my travel buddy left me for Spain, I decided to stay a few extra nights in Dubrovnik. I switched from a hostel in Old Town to a hostel just outside of town called Hostel Dubrovnik Sunset. I checked in for three nights and within two nights, I was offered a discount stay for a trade of entertaining people at the hostel. Needless to say, I think being a Social Coordinator at a hostel is right up my alley.
I will be in Croatia for the entire month of July and then zip off for a little tour of Paris, Budapest, Prague and Greece and then hopefully cover more of Eastern Europe. But as we know, one never knows where I will end up!
One of the things I love about traveling, is discovering various wines that I would never have had access to in the states. The wine region of Croatia is very small and thus, the wine is not exported. Obviously, I had to take myself for a little tasting and see what this wine was all about.
I found a great wine bar inside the city walls called D’vino Wine Bar Dubrovnik. My server was from Northern California but spent some time in Croatia for school and was working at the restaurant as his summer job. This meant he knew where Sonoma was and had an idea of what I would like based on wines I told him about.
I had a tasting flight of three wines all made from Plavac Mali which is the grape that is the father to the Zinfandel grape.
Plavac – Light & Fruity, Summer Wine (aged in steel)
Postup – Medium to full bodied wine with a smooth earthy mouthfeel (aged in steel)
Dingac – Heavy full bodied dry wine, smooth and well rounded (aged in oak)
I wanted to try another wine, and my lovely server suggested Kitokret from Sontacchi. Apparently the word means interracial. I will let the bottle do all the talking on this one.
I put my headphones in and walked around the town at night. The streets were beautiful and had a great shine to them. I met a few British firefighters and tagged along with them for a night out on the town. I thought since they were in their 30’s it would be a calm night, however, they seemed to be on a boys weekend and were doing tequila shots where you snort a line of salt, take the shot and then let someone squeeze the lime in your eye. I was tasked with videoing all this and chose not to participate.
Today was the day to explore the city walls of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is listed as one of the top 10 walled cities to visit in the world. It was 100 Kuna ($17.90 USD) and a 2 kilometer walk with 1,080 stairs on a very hot day. The views of the old town and the surrounding areas were worth every penny!
After a long day of walking, the logical thing to do is go cliff jumping. The cliff was about 40 feet high but still scared the crap out of me!
We finally branched out from eating pizza and pasta and had Mexican food for dinner last night and ate at an Irish Pub for lunch today. It was nice to have a little change in the food!
After 6 weeks of working in Rome, it was time to move on and become a backpacker again, and it was time to head to Croatia. A friend of mine and I decided that we would start in Split and then head to Dubrovnik. I must admit, we booked this trip without really knowing anything about the country or the cities we were heading to.
We had a 7:00am flight from Rome to Split and slept the entire way! Once we landed, we went straight to the Beach Hostel and checked in and went directly to the beach. We basically spent the entire day sleeping at the beach. The next two days consisted of the exact same thing!
Due to availability, we had to move hostels and went to the Adria to celebrate the 4th of July. This hostel had a bbq and I gathered the other 3 Americans that were there (and the Canadian I am traveling with) and made some delicious food!
We had to take a 8:00am bus into town to catch a 9:15am bus to Dubrovnik. We missed our stop and ended up having to walk about 15 minutes back to the bus station with our luggage. Needless to say, this was not a good start to the day. We made our bus and we were off for a 4 hour adventure south. What we didn’t know, is that the drive took us into Bosnia for a bit of a pit stop. Of course, we got an ice cream and took a selfie to prove we were there!
The long day of buses and more buses did not stop when we entered Dubrovnik. We had to take a local bus to get to our hostel called Hostel Marker Dubrovnik Old Town and we were greeted by the nicest man ever. We checked in and once again, went straight to the beach. We did a bit of the proper touristy walking around and I must say, Dubrovnik is one of my favorite cities thus far.
We didn’t plan on doing anything but our suite mate let us know that it was his birthday. Obviously, we had to partake in the festivities and keep our first day in Dubrovnik going. We went to an awesome restaurant called MOA and had a wonderful dinner. Then the evening really started. We decided to do our own little bar crawl and went to Nonenina for their specialty drinks, The Gaffe Irish Pub for some beers and then ended the night at Sky Bar for lots and lots of dancing! The day started at 7:30am and ended up 5:00am.
Vatican City. The Vatican. The Sistine Chapel. The amount of history and amazing art stored away in this little city is absolutely insane! I went a bit crazy with the pictures, but it has been a while since I was in a museum on this trip and we all know how much I love my art! I will let the pictures do the talking!
Pictured above: Vatican City
Pictured above: Entry into the Vatican Museum
Pictured above: I didn’t get the artist name but loved the piece
Pictured above: The Sistine Chapel The Creation by Michelangelo Pictured above: Part of the Vatican museum and the view. There really are no words to describe everything and I probably could have stayed here for days! This is a must see for everyone in Italy!!