4 May 2016

piran, slovenia won our hearts!

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i am so, so glad we happened to hear about the seaside town of piran, slovenia and quite impulsively make the drive there from lake bled. piran oozes with all the charm and colour and cuteness of more well-known mediterranean villages and has some fantastic bonuses including: outrageous views across the ocean to the italian alps, the most incredulously clear water, hardly any crowds of tourists, and a special kind of slovenian charisma.

we decided to stay in piran for one night after we arrived in bratislava. because the boy is definitely a plan-ahead kind of guy, this was really unusal for us! we booked a (super cheap! shoulder season + slovenian prices = bargain!) sea-view room about twenty hours before we arrived in piran, and it worked out so great! we arrived when it was totally dark, and this is what we woke up to, looking out from our balcony:IMG_1603
we decided to go for a run along the path that led from this alcove where our hotel was located to the town centre of piran…and this is what we saw as we started along our route:
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photographs really can’t do the view across the adriatic to those majestic snow-capped peaks justice! it was seriously breathtaking. we ate breakfast, showered and changed, and headed into the the heart of piran along the same path, stopping to try to capture an itty bit of the spectacle along the way…
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and check out the insane clarity of that teal water! ^^

we went straight to the city walls, which the staff at our hotel suggested we visit. it was free to go up to the top and marvel at the views over piran’s red rooftops covering this little penninsula jutting into the sea. quite the sight!!

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we wandered through the village’s adorable, well-worn, narrow streets …

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… to the daaaaarling central square …

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… where (of course!) there was a fantastic little saturday farmer’s market going on. and, tucked in the corner, a beautiful small harbor full of boats stuffed with fishing nets.

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there was more lovliness around the next corner: a little seaside boulevard lined with cafes, gelaterias, and pasel facades leading to a lighthouse …

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and those distant mountains again around the next corner! yep, by that point piran had totally won our hearts.

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we meandered up a few more charming alleys - perfectly picturesque with their bright paint and pretty shutters and hanging laundry and/or flag banners – on our way out of town back to our car at the hotel.

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^^ can’t get over how clear the water is! ^^
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^^ our hotel across the bay ^^

piran is the pleasantest surprise! i’m so so happy we got to experience a taste of it, and on such a sunny day.

3 May 2016

dreamy lake bled

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we got home last night from a long weekend eastern european road trip. a significant part of why i love traveling is the wonderful, wonderful feeling of coming home. it’s going to be a good week in london!

the evolution of our planning of this trip is kind of a long and funny story that i’ll share in more detail soon …
for now i’ll say that our itinerary morphed a lot over the past six months:
from driving through ten different balkan countries
to making a loop through a few less balkan countries
to driving most of the croatian coast …
and just last week we settled on spending two days exploring some bits of slovenia and two days enjoying the city of budapest.
we are both so happy with how we decided to spend our long weekend. we were pretty blown away with the gorgeous scenes we saw in slovenia, (which is such a hidden gem among european countries!) and the awesomeness of budapest. we highly recommend a visit to this part of the world!

side note: the boy is such a road-tripper. he grew up taking 20+ hour drives with his family all over the usa, and he’s really good at enjoying the journey from place to place via motor vehicle. we've got a good groove going on with road-tripping, which we've been doing together in some capacity for over three years now!

we flew into bratislava, slovakia and picked up a rental car. the next morning we drove through stunning scenery in austria and down into slovenia.

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we saw so, so much gorgeous landscape on our way to our first slovenian destination: lake bled. it was hard to capture from the fast moving car! tons of bright yellow rapeseed fields and then outrageously pretty green hills, backgrounded by white-tipped mountains and dotted with the charmingest sprawling villages made up of red rooftops and tall church towers. the winning jewel of fantastic scenery came though when we arrived at lake bled – one of the dreamiest spots of earth i’ve ever laid eyes on.

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lake bled is a crystal-clear glacial pool surrounded by magnificent julian alps, dotted with a tiny, lush, church-topped island and watched over by a majestic, cliff-hanging castle. yep, it’s pretty spectacular.
we hung out along the shore while waiting for the next traditional pletna boat to row off toward the island. the weather was so, so kind and lovely!

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after the boat filled with fellow marvel-ers of lake bled’s beauty, we were rowed through that perfect water and our ride was just dreamy. we got to spend half an hour exploring the island and enjoying the views. can you even believe this place?!

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^^ on the boat ride back, i noticed this perrrrrrfect cabin right on the water. oh man, i want to bring all my favourite people to that exact spot and hang out in lake bled together for a while! ^^

we drove up to the castle as the daylight was starting to descend. the castle itself had some really cute corners and was fun to see up close, but the real joy of visiting the top of that cliff was certainly the sensational views over the lake!!


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thoroughly stunned by lake bled, we continued our drive to the little coastal town of piran, slovenia – where we were continually astonished by the wonders of slovenia. more from piran next!
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