Europe Trip Highlights Part 1
Hello everyone! This post has been a while coming- about a month ago, I got back from the most amazing trip ever- probably the best of my life! To back up a bit, Dan and I wanted to take a trip this spring (we usually like to travel during shoulder season and end up going somewhere at the end of April). Dan is very passionate about planning and loves his spreadsheets, so he decided it would be fun to plan an entire trip and have it be a complete surprise to me! In fact, I found out where we were going when we were at the airport of our layover. And our destination?
This is definitely a place I would never think to visit (and when he told me we were going to Ljubljana, embarrassingly enough I had to ask him where that was). When I think of Slovenia I think of the famous lake with the church on an island in the middle, lots of green fields, and mountains. Based on that alone, I was excited!
I have to break up these posts just because we did so much in the 15 days we were there. We ended up staying in Slovenia and Austria, and making trips to Croatia and Italy. We stayed in 5 different cities and did so many cool adventures! Today I'm going to start the posts by talking about our first leg, which was in Izola, a tiny city on the Adriatic coast.
This was such a cute little town and was the perfect way to kick off our trip. Most people stay in a nearby, bigger town called Piran (which we get to soon), but I liked how this was a little smaller and relaxed. We stayed at the Degrassi Boutique Garni Hotel, which is a converted mansion with just a few rooms and great service. We had breakfast there every morning and we really enjoyed the room we got!
Our first day was spent walking around town and along the water. There was a little beer festival happening at a square right by the marina, so we grabbed some beers and walked around (when we asked how far we could go with open containers, the guy pouring my beer kind of laughed and said "you can keep going to Kazakhstan") and eventually got dinner at Gostilna Sidro along the water and gelato for dessert! The food was great- we noticed a lot of Italian influences in this area with tons of pizzarias and pasta restaurants, and TONS of gelato. Pretty much everyone walking around had a cone!
Our final full day in Izola was a rainy one, so we changed our plans to spend our morning in a cave. We drove up to Grotto Gigante and had a guided tour (in Italian- so we just hung back and took in the sights). The cave was incredible and, like the name implies, gigantic! There were 500 steps down and 500 steps up, so it was a great morning workout!
It was still raining a bit when we got out, but we decided to brave the weather to visit Miramare Castle right outside of Trieste, Italy. The grounds were PACKED with a long line to get in, so we decided to stay outside and just visit the castle gardens (which are free). There were so many cool paths to explore with amazing views of the castle.