2017 Destinations

Bosnia & Croatia, July 2017: Hvar Town, Croatia

Split is Croatia’s gateway to the country’s many islands, offering ferries of all shapes and sizes to the rocky chunks of land that dot the Adriatic Sea. While we enjoyed our three nights in the city, our end goal was to pick up a ferry to Hvar, one of Croatia’s largest and most populated islands. Friends of ours that had visited Hvar had only good things to say about it, so we went in with fairly high expectations. Within seconds of stepping off the ferry and taking in the view of the bobbing sailboats and yachts in the shimmering sea along the neat cobblestoned promenade up toward the imposing fortress perched on the hill above, we were in love! It is damn near impossible not to immediately fall in love with a place like this. Our Airbnb was a mere minute’s walk to the square and harbor, but tucked just enough away for peace and quiet in the evenings.

Bosnia & Croatia, July 2017: Hvar Town, Croatia

Bosnia & Croatia, July 2017: Split & Environs, Croatia

We dropped our car off in Mostar and hopped on an Autopoduzeće Imotskibus bus for the 5-hour ride to Split. (Most car rental agencies won’t allow you to pick up a car in Bosnia or Croatia and drop it off in the other.) The ride went by surprisingly quick, especially on the gorgeous seaside stretch from Makarska. On arrival in Split, we strolled from the bus stop to our Airbnb, walking the Riva Promenade along the way. After recharging with a banana split from BananaSplit in Split, we set off to see what the city had to offer.

Bosnia & Croatia, July 2017: Split & Environs, Croatia

Bosnia & Croatia, July 2017: Sarajevo, Bosnia

In preparation for our first trip to Croatia in 2015 we did some reading about the fall of Yugoslavia, and our interest in the causes of its breakup and the ensuing wars has only grown since then. Bosnia saw the worst of the conflict, from a years-long siege of its capital and the destruction of Mostar's beautiful Old Bridge to the Serb-Croat collusion to partition Bosnia for themselves and genocide at Srebrenica. The Western Balkans are not perfect today, and divisions in Bosnia linger, but what we find beautiful is that a country that in our lifetime was consumed by a brutal war has emerged full of life. We knew we needed to see it for ourselves, so along with our third visit to Croatia in as many years, we knew our first ever two-week trip had to include Bosnia.

Bosnia & Croatia, July 2017: Sarajevo, Bosnia

England, October 2017: Two Days In Bath

Bath had been on our list pretty much since we moved to London, but a visit had alluded us until we decided enough had been enough! The train ride from Paddington Station couldn’t have been easier and we were immediately greeted with an explosion of Georgian architecture in the golden color of the local Bath stone. Unfortunately, we were also greeted with some pretty heavy rain and we couldn’t yet check into our room at the Abbey Hotel. No fear! We rode out the worst of it at the cozy Foodie Bugle Shop where we indulged in hot chocolate and carrot cake (the shop section also had plenty of stuff to keep us busy browsing).

England, October 2017: Two Days In Bath

England, October 2017: A Day Trip To The Seven Sisters

After such a busy period of travel, we've been staying put in London the past few months and enjoying a slower pace lifestyle. While we still have some writing to catch up on for trips we took from July on (Bosnia/Croatia, Ireland, Portugal,...), we thought here would be a good point to pause on those to share what we have been up to more recently. Autumn has been a great time to catch up with friends and refocus on seeing more of what's right nearby us here in England. So, thanks to the help of a couple of those friends, we made it a mission back in October to make our way to The Seven Sisters— the most gorgeous white cliffs—in East Sussex, on the southern coast of England.

England, October 2017: A Day Trip To The Seven Sisters

Norway, June 2017: Bergen & Fjord Country Video Moments

Recapping our Norway trip has made me miss the peacefulness of the country. While we only had four days to soak it in (and we got soaked...), it made a lasting impact on us. Our souls always feel refreshed when we are removed from the hustle and bustle of city life and pushed into nature. Bergen offered us some charming streets to wander and get our first taste of Norwegian culture and adventuring into fjord country gave us that bit of nature I'm going on about here. It was the highlight of the trip—being able to take a boat right around such beautiful scenery and then again get to see even more up close with a kayaking trip. The weather wasn't the best we could have asked for (even the locals were complaining) but we made the most of our time and hope to return back sometime soon (with some sun!).

Norway, June 2017: Bergen & Fjord Country Video Moments

Norway, June 2017: Fjord Country

When one thinks of Norway, one thinks of fjords, and the area just north of Bergen is one of most accessible places to experience these natural wonders. Part of the allure is the convenience of the popular Norway in a Nutshell (NiaN) self-guided tour, a package of rail, bus, and ferry trips that sweeps visitors from Bergen or Oslo through fjord country. Some people do the loop from Bergen in one day, but that seemed rushed, so we completed the loop over two days.

Norway, June 2017: Fjord Country

Norway, June 2017: Bergen

What better way to spend the long summer days of late June than on the rocky and fjord-dotted west coast of Norway? We were lucky enough, in this case, to spend the four-day weekend with Britt’s sister, who joined us after attending a wedding in Sweden. We were not lucky, however, with the weather. Bergen is often cited as the rainiest city in Europe, and while we were mentally prepared for that, the weekend was even rainier than expected, as noted by the apologetic border patrol officer that stamped our passports on our way out. Oh well! We stayed in Bergen at Ole Bull Hotel & Apartments (mediocre, but relatively affordable rooms in the center of the city) on nights 1 and 3 and took the famous Norway in a Nutshell trip over the middle two days, staying overnight on night 2 in Flåm.

Norway, June 2017: Bergen

Italy, June 2017: Murano & Burano Video Moments

Last up on our Venice trip is our Murano and Burano Video Moments. These two islands were an absolute highlight of our trip. Their colorful homes, small canals, unique bridges, and artistry truly pulls you in. Murano and Burano are an easy trip from Venice making it no brainer to visit (a mistake we made on our first trip to Italy in 2013). We loved getting lost wandering around and discovering new nooks and crannies. I'm a bit at a loss of words to how to describe how beautiful these little islands were so you will just have to take my word for it and watch the video yourself!

Italy, June 2017: Murano & Burano Video Moments

Italy, June 2017: Venice (feat. The 57th Biennale di Venezia) Video Moments

Back in June we took a four-day weekend to head back to Venice, Italy. On our first trip to Venice in 2013, we were unsure of the city and a bit run down from our whirlwind of a trip. Since then, we always knew we needed to return to give it a second chance and this summer we finally went for it. I think it's safe to say we full in love quickly and didn't want to leave this time around. From wandering along the side canals to checking out the Peggy Guggenheim Collectio and enjoying the 57th Biennale di Venezi, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We can't stop scheming up ways to return to the wonderfully unique city. I can only hope a visit happens again soon!

Italy, June 2017: Venice (feat. The 57th Biennale di Venezia) Video Moments

Italy, June 2017: Murano & Burano Day Trips

As discussed in our first post, our trip to Venice included visits to some of the surrounding islands. We had always heard about and seen pictures of glassblowing on Murano and the impossibly colorful homes on Burano and this trip gave us a chance to see these things for ourselves.

Italy, June 2017: Murano & Burano Day Trips

Italy, June 2017: Four Days In Venice

We visited Venice at the end of our whirlwind first trip to Europe together in 2013 (read here). We were exhausted by that point in our trip and we were coming off the high from visiting Cinque Terre, which still today ranks as one of our favorite places on Earth. Suffice it to say, we weren’t in the best mindset to enjoy the city. We’ve always thought back to that and wondered how we’d feel if we gave it a second, more proper chance. When we were trying to think of what to do with a four-day weekend we had left over after planning all of our other trips for the year, Venice floated to the top of our list of choices and we knew we couldn’t give up the chance! This time around we stayed in an Airbnb on Rio di San Boldo in the Santa Croce district.

Italy, June 2017: Four Days In Venice

Switzerland, May 2017: The Lauterbrunnen Valley & Spiez

The train from Lucerne to Interlaken runs on a scenic path known as the GoldenPass route. We booked special tickets to reserve seats in one of the train’s panoramic cars which were nice but certainly not necessary to appreciate the views along the way. From Interlaken, we took a train to Lauterbrunnen, cable car to Grütschalp, and finally another [very scenic] train to Mürren.

Switzerland, May 2017: The Lauterbrunnen Valley & Spiez

The Czech Republic, April 2017: Prague Video Moments

Recapping our Prague trip has me wanting to return already. I feel like I haven't stopped gushing about the city since we got back to London. It was just one of those magical weekends that reminds us why we have chosen a life of travel and we are feeling so refreshed—alive. The three-day weekend in late April had us boarding a plane from London to Prague more excited than ever to finally check out the well known historic city.

The Czech Republic, April 2017: Prague Video Moments

The Czech Republic, April 2017: Three Days In Prague (Part 02)

While Prague’s Malá Strana neighborhood and castle are key spots in the city, the epicenter of activity lies on the other side of the Vltava. And the best way to cross from one side to the other is over the 15th century Charles Bridge, a pedestrianized stone bridge commissioned by King Charles IV. It’s difficult to enjoy the bridge’s beauty during the day as it’s packed with people—mostly distracted tourists walking at a snail’s pace in unpredictable zig-zags.

The Czech Republic, April 2017: Three Days In Prague (Part 02)

Portugal, March 2017: Lisbon Video Moments

On Monday I shared all about my recent girls trip to Lisbon back in March with my friend Steph (here). I managed to snag just a little bit of video during our three-day adventure around. I can't say enough how perfect of a getaway this was for this time of year. We spent our time wandering around the old city, taking in all the sights, soaking up the sun, and trying some authentic Portuguese dishes. It was so much fun escaping the gloomy London winter for an early taste of spring and summer.

Portugal, March 2017: Lisbon Video Moments

Portugal, March 2017: A Three Day (Girls) Weekend In Lisbon

At the end of February, I made plans with my good friend Steph to have a weekend away in Lisbon, Portugal. Steph is a fellow American expat (even from the same state!) that I met shortly after our move to London. Unfortunately, she'll be moving back home in April so it was really wonderful to get a weekend together—just the two of us—traveling and wandering around Lisbon. Having been here before I enjoyed being able to show Steph around the city for her first visit and even do some new things!

Portugal, March 2017: A Three Day (Girls) Weekend In Lisbon

Latvia, March 2017: Riga & Cesis Video Moments

This week I've been walking you through our recent three day weekend away to Riga & Cesis in Latvia. We spent our time wandering through Riga's old town admiring the beautifully historic buildings as well as taking a day to venture out to Cesis where a breath-taking castle sits amongst a quiet town. While we wish we had more time to explore further, getting to experience both a city and a smaller town gave us a good feel for the country.

Latvia, March 2017: Riga & Cesis Video Moments

Latvia, March 2017: A Winter Weekend Away In Riga

Neither Riga nor Latvia come first to mind when thinking about Europe, but one of the benefits of having visited many of the Western, Central and Southern European cities and regions we wanted to is that we can start to focus on less visited, and in some cases more interesting and authentic, corners of the continent.

Latvia, March 2017: A Winter Weekend Away In Riga

England, February 2017: A Day Trip To The White Cliffs of Dover

The other weekend we needed a little escape from the city and a friend invited us to tag along to Dover to see the White Cliffs. It had been something on our list for awhile so we were excited to join in. We hopped on a morning train from London to Dover Priory to take the two-hour ride down to the southern coast of England. Once we arrived we enjoyed some lunch and then headed out to walk along the edge of the country. The cliffs were as beautiful as I imagined with the crisp white edges contrasting the dark rocks below.

England, February 2017: A Day Trip To The White Cliffs of Dover