Page 2 of Amanda S Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Azerbaijan » Baku June 10th 2018

BAKU - Capital of Azerbaijan After checking in to Centrum Hostel near Fountain Square we went straight to the old town Metro station for the 10:30 am daily walking tour run by Eldar. Started in old town, stopped outside Palace of the Shirvanshahs, but didn’t longer in old part. Interesting to see the layers of history through the buildings, clearly Eldar's main interest. Many ancient ones destroyed once oil money arrived. Some very grand early 20th century ones. Complicated history of being taken over by different regional players. Good introduction and a great thing to do after a night flight! Second day: Went with the other participant in yesterday's walking tour with a driver out for a day trip to Qobusta where there are mud volcanoes and the nearby Petroglyph reserve. Just under an hour out ... read more
A mud volcanoe
Zaha Hadid bulding
Baku old town

Europe » Slovenia » Styria » Maribor August 31st 2017

Advertised as the prettiest town in Slovenia, Ptuj (p-too-ee) is another town with a castle on the hill and pretty, old, red-roofed buildings around a few cobbled squares. It’s very quiet and was a pleasant place to wander around and have an easy and relaxing day.... read more
Ptuj from the bridge looking up to the castle

Europe » Slovenia » Upper Carniola » Ljubljana August 3rd 2017

Last destination of this trip is the capital of Sloveina, Ljubljana. The weather has become very hot and it’s around 33C during the day, this means perfect blue skies but meltingly hot to be walking around a city. This is a small and attractive city with a good feel to it. It’s easy to walk around, with lots of pedestrianized areas. There’s a castle on the hill with views over the old and new towns. The old town clustered below the castle and based around 3 squares, the river and a collection of bridges. During the day it’s quite quiet and then in the evening it becomes very lively with lots of people out in the street cafes and restaurants that line the river banks. A great place to go around sunset is the Nebotičnik skyscraper ... read more
Evening (castle on the hill in the background)
having fun with bubbles
View from Nebotičnik skyscraper

Europe » Slovenia » Kamnik July 30th 2017

The Logarska valley is a national park of beautiful green meadows and more alpine slopes, this time the Kamnik Alps, near the town of Solcava. The park ranger suggested a walk up to a view point above Rika Slap (waterfall), it was a steep climb up to the top of the waterfall and then following the dry riverbed up and up to a saddle. We stopped there, it looked as if the climb became even steeper and we’d had enough, the view was great down through the mountains. It was nothing like as good a hike as the other day but still enjoyable. We were there at the weekend which meant lots of locals there, particularly at the café near the waterfall (which you can drive up to). We stayed a few km outside of the ... read more
View of valley meadows
View of Logarska Valley from Panorama Road (evening)
Garden and view from guesthouse

Europe » Slovenia » Upper Carniola » Bled July 30th 2017

Having completed the walk we drove over the mountain scenic road that was super popular with cyclists and motor bikers, the views were not so special after our hike! Stayed for two nights in the town of Jessince which is near Lake Bled, on the other side of the Julian Alps. Spent a day driving and taking short walks around the area, starting with Vintgar Gorge and ending at Lake Bled. We had read that Vintgar Gorge was super touristy to the point of making a visit unpleasant. We arrived just before it opened at 8am and went straight in, the first people there, and for the hour or so it took us to walk the short 1.6km board walk from the entrance to the waterfall at the end we hardly saw anyone. It was very ... read more
Waterfall and Vintgar
Lake Bohinj
Lake Bled

Europe » Slovenia » Inner Carniola » Postojna July 26th 2017

Today was a super touristy day. Postojna is most known for its incredible cave system and nearby castle built into a cave. Because this is the most popular tourist sight in Slovenia we arrived at the ticket office early and took the 9am (first) tour into the famous caves. It’s a 24km long set of caves that are joined follow a river that drains into the Black Sea. The tour starts with a train ride, immediately we were impressed with the density of the stalactites and stalagmites (‘speleothems’ I learned today). The cave tour takes an hour and a half and the walk is around 1.2 km. Some of the cave spaces are huge all are covered in speleothems. There’s a free shuttle bus that takes you up to the castle, 10 km away. The castle ... read more
Predjama Castle
View from the castle

Europe » Slovenia » Istria » Piran July 25th 2017

We stayed just across the border from Croatia, right next to the salt-marshes where we started our tour of Slovenia. Initially disappointed by the 1km walk but ended up spending all morning there. The 1km walk was not very interesting as there were too few birds and those mainly gulls with a few egrets. The museum at the end was interesting, especially seeing locals still working the salt pans in traditional methods with their wooden sandals, wooden ‘rakes’ for gathering the salt and carts on tracks that run up the mud banks. We drove back over the border and turned off in no-man’s land to visit the other half of the park. This was wilder and we saw quite a lot of water birds and looked around another museum, including a renovated old salt workers cottage. ... read more
Traditional salt marsh worker
Piran from the marina

Europe » Croatia » Istria » Plitvicka Jezera July 20th 2017

Another lovely day walking around an area of great natural beauty. Plitvice lakes is also a UNESCO world heritage site for the huge number of waterfalls and the beech forested hills. It is beautiful here and is again super popular with visitors. We arrived at the ticket office as it opened at 7am and had to queue (unexpectedly). When we eventually left around 2:30, we were very pleased to have started early as not only were the main waterfalls in better light but we didn’t have to queue for the boat rides or to see the sights, the whole return walk was unpleasant due to the crowds, narrow walkways and people randomly stopping to take photos. Having walked in both directions the walk is best done from entrance 1 towards entrance 2. We did a combination ... read more
Waterfall 2
Waterfall 3
Waterfall 4

Europe » Croatia » Istria » Rab July 18th 2017

From Zadar it was a lovely journey along one island, across on two ferries then onto Rab Island, great coastline, very popular we discovered when we tried to find somewhere to stop and have a picnic. The old town of Rab is another pleasant one with a remarkable number of churches, narrow streets and great views of the sea. We did a walk from town out onto the peninsular, through a holm oak nature reserve and along the coast to pretty inlets, beautiful blue, blue sea. For some reason a popular thing to do is sunbathe on the public footpath along the sea-front by town, the sea does look nice there but not an appealing place to spend the day. The town is very quiet during the day and buzzing with suntanned people in the evenings. ... read more
So many churches

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Zadar July 16th 2017

En-route to Rab Island we stopped in two towns to see the sights. Sibenik is very close to Skradin, lovely old town centre to wander around, the big cathedral of St James is particularly impressive. It took around one hundred years to build starting in 1431 and is a UNESCO world heritage site for its architecture. St Michael’s fortress has amazing views and is worth a visit for this, it was recently renovated, originally built in the 15thcentury. Zadar is an old Roman town, ruins are scattered around the town, the forum being the most impressive area. The main reason to go was to hear the sea organ and sun salutation on the waterfront. The sea organ is an art installation designed by Nikola Bašić that uses the sea to make random organ-like noises, it sounds ... read more
Sibenik streets
Zadar, from 5 wells square
Zadar, Land Gate

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