The Update: Fourth Edition

Arc De Triomf in Barcelona

Arc De Triomf – Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to the fourth edition of ‘The Update’ – I am writing this post from BARCELONA, SPAIN! We arrived at our fourth housesit and will be spending the next two weeks with three sweet cats. We are looking after Lolo, Coco, and Gina and so far they are great.

Since I last updated you, we’ve been on a whirlwind tour of Croatia and Montenegro.

We started out by spending four days at a beautiful Airbnb in Zagreb, Croatia. Zagreb wasn’t originally in our plans, but after running into some transportation problems getting to another destination, we decided to go for it and booked a train from Slovenia. We were slightly nervous about the train as we heard theย border between Slovenia and Croatia was closed due to the Syrian refuge crisis. We saw refuge tents set up, but there were no people at the crossing when we arrived.ย In the end we were only delayed about 30 minutes or so.

Train from Ljubljana to Zagreb

Our train was old but spacious!

Zagreb Croatia Architecture

Zagreb, Croatia

While we didn’t have much of an idea about the city heading in, we ended up loving Zagreb! It’s super walkable, clean, and was cheaper than we anticipated. It isn’t a place many people talk about visiting, but we would highly recommend Zagreb if heading to Croatia. Another plus with Zagreb, is that it made a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park possible.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes is a beautiful area comprised of 16 connected lakes and was named a UNESCO Heritage site in 1979. It is situated near the border of Bosnia and is formed by converging rivers and subterranean karst rivers. We spent roughly three hours walking around one of the routes (Trail E), although you can easily spend multiple days at the site walking the various trails. Our biggest disappointment is that we didn’t have more time to spend here.

Sick but being a good sport and spending the day at Plitvice Lakes

Selfie!

It was pouring rain the morning we had to leave our Airbnb, but luckily our host drove us to the bus station. We were very grateful for the ride, since we had a seven hour layover that day and sitting around in wet clothes would have been a real drag. So, if you’re looking for accommodations in Zagreb, we know a great place!

Next stop – Dubrovnik, Croatia

We had been looking forward to visiting Dubrovnik for a long, long time. And I’m going to be honest, I had high expectations and came out a bit disappointed. Now, don’t get me wrong, it really is a beautiful city on the Adriatic. However, I found the Old Town to be overrun by junky souvenir shops and restaurant hosts constantly asking, “maybe lunch?”

We are still happy we visited, as it was pretty interesting seeing the walled city and reading about the bombings, fires, and war in the 1990s. Maybe if we were bigger Game of Thrones fans things would have been different.

Old Town Dubrovnik Croatia

Game of Thrones anyone?

Side note: We do have a restaurant recommendation in Dubrovnik: Pizzeria Mirakul.ย Great pizza, cold beer and friendly wait staff. We encountered the first server in weeks who asked us how our food was. Plus, we ordered the spicy pepper pizza and he brought out a great selection of hot sauces and chili oils.

Next stop – Kotor, Montenegro

Matt’s birthday was October 10th,ย so we decided to make a quick weekend trip to Montenegro. We took a bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor and rented a studio right in the middle of the old town walled city. Our main reason for visiting was to hike the outer wall up to St. John’s fortress and take in some amazing views like this.

View from Kotor Fortress

photo credit: IMG_0216 via photopin (license)

Unfortunately, Kotor had torrential rains during our visit and we only made it about 1/10th of the way up before giving in to mother nature. You can’t win them all and we have been pretty fortunte throughout our trip in terms of weather.

birthday in Kotor

Matt on his short birthday hike

We spent most of our time at the local restaurants and cafes drinking cappuccinos, Montenegrin beers and indulging in fresh seafood. We’ll have to revisit this place for sure!

After Kotor, we made our way back to the Dubrovnik area where we enjoyed a couple days of sunshine and relaxation in Cavtat. It was a great end to our time in the Balkans.

In front the old town city walls in Dubrovnik

View from Cafe Buza in Dubrovnik

View from Cafe Buza in Dubrovnik. The view nearly justifies the price of the drinks.

We hopped a flight from Dubrovnik to Barcelona a few days back and have since been getting to know the surrounding neighborhoods.

We’ve been busy with the kitties, making a plan for everything we want to see, and sampling the local cuisine. Thanks to In Pursuit of Adventure, we tried vermouth straight last night at a local bar. I didn’t have high hopes, since vermouth is a liquor that goes in martinis…and I don’t like martinis. But, we tried the white and red and liked both!

Vermouth in Barcelona

Vermouth on tap!

Our real exploring of Barcelona begins tomorrow, with an Ebike (electronic bicycle) tour of the Gaudi works around the city. We have a full week ahead and are ready to see all kinds of good stuff!

Lastly, are you looking for some travel inspiration? We were able to contribute to an article that might spark a case of wanderlust. ๐Ÿ™‚ Check out theย 55 Best Islands in the World!ย and start planning your next trip.ย Have a greatย week!

About Alana

Alana is one-half of Great Big Globe. She loves animals, the Wisconsin Badgers, exploring new countries and chasing the sun.

4 comments

  1. Love all the photos of you two and the terrific write up of your latest adventures! Love you, Mom

  2. Wow! Plitvice Lakes National Park looks amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ Is it possible to swim there?

    • Hello Sonal! Unfortunately, you can’t swim there. Plitvice Lakes is a protected UNESCO World Heritage site and prohibits swimming. You can swim at Krka National Park in Croatia though, it looks equally beautiful!

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