Page 6 of Jay and Alex Travel Blog Posts


Europe » Bosnia & Herzegovina » South » Mostar November 25th 2008

We took a bus from Split to Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Upon crossing the border, we immediately noticed the damage done to this region in the fairly recent war. There were plenty of abandoned buildings covered in bullet and bomb holes. Mostar itself was one of the hardest hit cities in the country and was under siege for about 3 years. All of the medieval bridges were destroyed and many of the old buildings. Despite all of this happening only 15 years ago, the city and the people have bounced back remarkably well. The Bosnians are well known as being the friendliest people in the Balkans. This was immediately evident as we were unexpectedly welcomed by the hostel owner as we came off the bus. The hostel we had contacted was officially closed for the ... read more
Mostar
Mostar
Mostar

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Split November 24th 2008

The ride from Zadar to Split was one of the most beautiful I have ever experienced. Imagine the Big Sur in California with a much skinnier highway and the Mediterranean instead of the Pacific. Orange trees and vineyards abound. Split is a beautiful Roman city in the middle of the Dalmation coast. We were suprised by the intimacy of the place as the old town had many streets that were only wide enough for one person to walk along. It reminded me of Venice a bit, but much warmer! We were again approached by guesthouse owners as we got off the bus, but brushed them all off as we had planned to stay at a hostel called Al's Place. We walked into the place that was in the city walls only to find out that it ... read more
Split
Split
Split

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Zadar November 20th 2008

Zadar is an ancient Roman town and is still very well preserved to this day. We stayed at the only hostel, a soul-less, hospital-like YHA about a half hour walk out of town. We try to avoid the Youth Hostels but we were stuck this time. During the day we made the walk into town along the waterfront. It was a beautifully sunny day where we even took our coats off while walking around town. That's saying something for the middle of November. The old town is on a peninsula that makes it feel like an island. The city is still walled in by the ancient Roman wall and most of the streets are pedestrianized. There was a great market but we didn't have a kitchen at the hostel so we just sat and had a ... read more
Zadar
Zadar
Zadar

Europe » Croatia » Central Croatia » Zagreb November 18th 2008

The trip straight from Ljubljana to Zadar, Croatia was a long one so we split it up and stayed in the capital city, Zagreb. We'd heard that Zagreb was not known for it's beauty but it was a great surprise. We stayed on the outskirts of the old town. We were 2 of only 5 people staying at the hostel the entire two nights we were there. This is starting to become a theme as we are right in the middle of the low season. Nevertheless, they had wireless internet so we could watch BC lose to Calgary in the West Final. Yippee! We spent the only full day we had in the city wandering around in search of the old town. Much of it is surrounded by ugly communist block style apartements, but the preserved ... read more
Zagreb
Zagreb
Zagreb

Europe » Slovenia » Upper Carniola » Ljubljana November 16th 2008

We'd heard Ljubljana was a really cool town so we decided to spend a couple nights there and check it out. We stayed in the Metelkova area at the infamous Celica Hostel. This place used to be a Yugoslavian military jail and is now owned by the city and renovated into a really funky looking hostel. There are several former prison cells you can stay in and every room is decorated by different local artists. The only downside to travelling Slovenia was the banking system. Our RBC bank card (containing all of our money) is not accepted anywhere in the country. The bank machines said they worked on the system that our card uses and Royal Bank even recommended places for us to go to but after a full day of searching for cash, we were ... read more
Ljubljana
Ljubljana
Ljubljana

Europe » Slovenia » Upper Carniola » Bled November 13th 2008

It was an adventure getting to Bled. There was only one direct train leaving from Venice and it wasn't until 11 at night (as it was a Sunday) so we opted for the more confusing route. We took a train to Gorizia on the Italian border then took a bus to the edge of town and walked across a road to Nova Gorica in Slovenia. We'd crossed borders by bus, car, train, plane but this was the first time we'd walked over the line. We waited another few hours for the next train and finally arrived in Bled by 6 pm. The train station was on the opposite side of Lake Bled from the city so we hiked around the lake and checked into a hostel. Bled is our kind of town: small (around 5,000), quiet ... read more
Bled
Bled
Bled

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice November 8th 2008

We've made it to Venice. We can cross another 'must-see' city off our list. We booked a hotel room in the city of Mestre as cheap accommodation in the city can be hard to get. Mestre is just across the pond from the city and was only 15 minutes away by bus. By the time we checked into the hotel it was already dark (it's getting increasingly harder to arrive in a new city before nightfall) but after some food we were itching to explore Venice. The first thing you notice when you cross the big pedestrian bridge across the Canal Grande is the lack of vehicle noise which is always constant in big cities. It is remarkably quiet especially if you get off the main tourist routes. We're not usually the type to follow the ... read more
Venice
Venice
Venice

Europe » Vatican City » Vatican City November 6th 2008

Passport Canada e-mailed me and said that my passport was ready to pick up. So we caught the train from Florence into the train station in Rome (Termini). We decided to try a different hostel and were recommended the Yellow Hostel which was a lot cheaper than the Pop Inn we stayed in last time. The night we got in we toured around the ancient part of Rome armed with our camera this time. The Coliseum was tricky to get good photos of at night. There were a few genious venders there selling tripods. But (partly due to our cheapness again) we avoided the vendors by using some 2000 year old ruins as a tripod. Hey, it worked! On our way back to the hostel we saw a bit of a crowd gathering around some giant ... read more
Rome
Rome
Vatican City

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence November 4th 2008

We still haden't heard from Passport Canada and had a few days to kill. Some Aussies back in Rome recommended a hostel in Florence called Dany House that was cheap and served three squares a day. We got in late and it was full. But they booked us in for the next couple of days and sent us to a bed and breakfast upstairs so we didn't have to walk far. It rained in Florence most of the time we were there. But that didn't stop us from roaming the streets. Michelangelo's David is there, but it was surrounded by scaffolding so we didn't really get to see it. But judging by the scaffolding, it was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. The traffic in Florence was crazy, perhaps it's only rival in ... read more
Sorrento
Florence
Florence

Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento October 30th 2008

Our week on the Amalfi coast has been one of the top weeks of the trip. Definately what we needed after the troubles in Milan and the hectic life in Rome. It's not necessarily cheap so we camped the entire time. The first stop was a little village called Minori. We hiked up into the hills and camped at a lemon grove at the top of the hill. This was a significant hill mind you with over a thousand steps to get to the top (more than we climbed on the Eiffel Tower). There was a road that took you about half the way but the actual farm was only accessible by these steps. The lemon farmers there were pretty low key and let us do our own thing. The facilities included everything we needed for ... read more




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