I had a great trip, but every trip has its ups and downs – no trip is perfect. Rovinj was my favorite “new” place of the trip – just lovely, everything I expected. The Istrian hill towns were OK. I can’t find fault with Zadar but still didn’t warm to it. Sibenik was much nicer than expected. Trogir was small and relaxing and pretty at night. Samobor was a cute little town and a nice alternative to Zagreb. I loved going back to Ljubljana, Plitvice Lakes, and Dubrovnik.
The Bay of Kotor is amazing – really worth at least a day trip to see it, I’d say. The city of Kotor itself didn’t quite ring my bell but staying there is convenient and practical. The walk above the town up the stairs along the walls is worth it for the view. The mountain drive toward Cetinje was amazingly scenic.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is full of beautiful countryside and intriguing towns, but I didn’t find any of them particularly charming. Jajce was probably the closest. I couldn’t imagine spending a lot of time in any of them, really, and I don’t have a great desire to go back and see more of Bosnia even though I saw only a few of the towns, but I’m glad I visited. Sarajevo was a disappointment if only because I had such high expectations – the city’s history is amazing, almost a must-see, but it felt more touristy than charming or exotic.
Driving in Bosnia was much easier than expected – the roads were usually good if not great, well marked, lighted tunnels, etc. There was less traffic than I expected. Road signs in Cyrillic (mostly in Republic of Srpska) didn’t deter m because there was almost always accompanying Latin text to go with it. Having a GPS helped, even though it was often unhelpful in finding specific destinations and sometimes wrong. I had studied the basic driving routes ahead of time, though, so I wasn’t relying on it blindly. I think a smartphone with GPS and a data SIM – very cheap in Bosnia – would be a better way to get more accurate maps and driving information.
I love the former Yugoslavia and imagine I will go back. I’d love to go back to Rovinj someday if the opportunity presents itself, just as I’d go back to Ljubljana yet again (and see even more of Slovenia). I didn’t visit any Croatian islands on this trip (I visited Korcula in 2009) and think a future trip might include a return to Dubrovnik and some of the islands along the Dalmatian Coast plus a return to Montenegro to see more there. I would like to visit other Balkan countries too.
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