5 May 2016
stopping by predjama castle & zagreb (+ some random travel tidbits)
on our drive from piran to budapest, we made two quick stops:
1) at a slovenian castle in a cave!
2) in croatia’s capital city, zagreb.
how stinking cool is predjama castle?!
^^ see the dungeon area down below the main building? and i love love love those striped shutters! ^^
the main thing we wanted to see in zagreb is the dazzling mosaic rooftop of st. mark’s church. it did not disappoint!
^^ notice all the confetti on the street … we walked to the church through throngs of people that looked like they were just leaving a wedding ceremony. seeing the bride and groom and leftover celebratory confetti confirmed that it was some couple’s wedding day! but then we saw about five other bride/groom sets! it must have been a special day to get married in zagreb!
and to make things even more exciting, there were people dressed up in medieval costumes all around st. mark’s square. ^^
^^ i wanted to take one thousand photographs of the mosaics! i tore myself away so we could go see the cathedral and the city center. on the way we happened upon this great viewpoint. ^^
we grabbed some food to bring on the road for the rest of the drive to budapest and wound through some charming (and some graffiti-decorated!) streets and alleys back to the car.
i love my travel companion so much. when we sit back and think about all the international adventures we’ve had in our short eighteen months of marriage, we are blown away. we’re so so so lucky to have been able to see so many beautiful, fascinating, different places and to learn so much from the wide diversity of this amazing earth and its people.
we have laughed together often remembering the worry i had before we got married that the boy wouldn’t want to travel or wouldn’t enjoy/appreciate it. he has totally caught the bug! and these days, ironically and kind of hilariously, i am the one saying we need to take less trips! it has been an enriching experience to learn to find the right balance for travel in our lives considering time off, ease of travel to europe, finances, etc. and although we definitely plan to continue our international adventures as our family grows, the arrival of baby boy will definitely alter our jet-setting pattern – so the end of an era is approaching :)
one quirky thing about ian is that he gets a lot of satisfaction out of achieving random numbers-related goals (well, he was a math major and now a doctor of economics, so maybe that makes sense!). he has always aspired to visit in all fifty states - he’s at forty nine and will check the last one off next summer when we go to alaska. once he started traveling internationally, he decided that visiting one hundred countries was his next feat…and since we are living in europe, he’s a little determined that we visit every country in this continent while we are here.
well…rather than using the word “visit,” i should probably say “step foot in.” we are in constant (playful) debate about if he can legitimately claim that he’s been to india, brazil and peru, since we just stopped through airports in those countries during our around the world trip (i am adamant that they don’t count, but he counts them! haha!). and the eastern european road trip i am chronicling now was originally planned purely with the purpose of checking off as many countries as possible.
you see, i made the mistake when we first moved to england to tell ian about these two guys who broke a world record by going to nineteen countries in one day (yes, nineteen!). the boy latched right on to that idea and planned a balkans road trip that would get us to at least ten countries in one day. and then he researched road conditions and rental car costs hugely heightened by driving across borders and decided yeaaaaaah, never mind! he settled for adding slovakia, slovenia and hungary to his list for now - which admittedly prompted a hallelujah from his (very supportive but not quite as numbers-crazy) wife! :) – but he is still totally planning a loop through most of the rest of the balkans countries later this year. i totally think it’s pretty ridiculous to go to a place just to say you’ve been there – but it’s just kind of his schtick! we’ll see what kind of numbers he can rack up in the next few years!
ian is just the right combination of curious, cautious, measured, spontaneous and fun – my perfect travel companion. love him so!