Balkans Travelogue 8: Postajna and Ljubljana, Slovenia

Our first stop of the day in Slovenia was Postajna Cave. Apparently, it is the most visited tourist cave in Europe! To enter the chambers, you need to take a short ride in (3.7km) on the cave railway, which has been in existence for 140 years.

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From there, it was about 1.5 hours of walking (5km) while observing the stalactites and stalagmites. Throughout the entire duration, you will be accompanied by a guide who would call out numbers at certain points for you to press on the audio guide.

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Balkans Travelogue 6: Mostar and Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

We visited the Old Town of Mostar and the famous Mostar Old Bridge on the river of Neretva in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The name Mostar was derived from medieval bridge keepers, mostari, who protected the bridge since the 16th century.

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(Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/travel/comments/4yox3u/taken_yesterday_stari_most_old_bridge_in_mostar/)

The country went through a war in 1993 and the bridge, which had stood strong for 427 years, was destroyed during that period. It took many years to rebuild the bridge, and it was finally reconstructed in 2004.

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Balkans Travelogue 5: Kotor, Montenegro

From Dubrovnik, we took a day tour to Kotor, which is a coastal town in Montenegro and the only town on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It is also one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic and hence, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

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The first thing you notice about the town is the fortifications, which are about 4.5km long and have been around for centuries.

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The Saint Tryphon Cathedral, which was built in 1166, but was damaged during two massive earthquakes, one in 1667 and another in 1979. It had to be rebuilt after both disasters.

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Balkans Travelogue 4: Ston and Dubrovnik

We travelled from Zadar to Split and finally to the town of Ston, which is located at the Southern tip of Croatia. The journey from Split to Ston took half of the day.

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To get to Ston, we had to go through immigration at Bosnia and back into Croatia again. The checkpoint was quite efficient.

As we got closer to Ston, we noticed a great wall. The inner Walls of Ston surrounding the town is about 890m in length and the one outside town was about 5km. The 14th-century wall was initially about 7km long, but there was some demolition work done by the government, and the stones were taken to build other facilities.

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We had fish for lunch (again).

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Balkans Travelogue 3: Zadar, Croatia

Our next stop was Zadar, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia.

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One of a kind Sea Organ, an architectural feat! It is hard to capture from this angle as this is the back of the organ, but what happens here is that music is created by the sea waves entering the tubes located underneath. You can see many people sitting along the organ, just admiring the view and the harmonic sounds.

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The Church of Saint Donatus, which is circular in shape and 27m high.

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The Landward Gate, with the Lion of Saint Mark, a symbol of the Republic of Venice. Zadar was conquered by Venice from 1202 to 1358 and 1409 to 1797, and the legacy is still evident.

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Balkans Travelogue 2: Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

I must state that December was definitely not the best month to visit the scenic national park of Plitvice Lakes. The trees were barren, and the colours turned out quite cold in pictures. As I was researching about the location, the best period seems to be Autumn when the leaves turn to various shades of yellow, orange and red.

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The national park is the oldest in Southeast Europe and the largest in Croatia. It boasts 16 lakes with 92 cascades and waterfalls, making it a World Heritage Site in 1979. dsc09796dsc09800dsc09805dsc09817

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Balkans Travelogue 1: Pula, Croatia

I apologise for the lack of posts as I was overseas! First to Europe and then to Thailand. Here is the first of my Balkans Travelogue series.

In the early part of December, I travelled to Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, before making a side trip to Venice. Our first stop in Croatia was Pula, a city known for its Romanesque architecture, located by the sea.

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Before reaching Pula, we stopped at a rest stop for lunch. There, we found a restaurant called Restavracij In Picerija, where we had pasta. The servings of the Carbonara and Bolognese were so huge that two people could share one plate. We spent 22 Euro on the meal and drinks.

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The Pula Arena, which was constructed between 27BC to 68AD and is one of the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the world. The exterior is still structurally intact, and now the well-preserved amphitheatre is now used as a venue for concerts.

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