Coastline at Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Jajce, Bosnia... more castles and waterfalls

If you like castles and waterfalls as we do, Bosnia is definitely the place to be!

Saturday morning, we drove to the town of Jajce. It's situated in hilly terrain at the confluence of two rivers, with a waterfall and a castle overlooking it all. It's a really pretty area. As we arrived just outside of town, we stopped at Plivsko Lake where there are some walking paths and picnic sites.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Heading further south... and some good news!

We're in a bit of a race with the weather. We definitely don't want to be caught in any snow, so the idea is to keep heading further south! And we've got some mountainous areas to go through, so we want to beat the snow through those areas before we can get to the coast in Albania.

And, both Bosnia and Montenegro have snow tire laws that come into effect on November 15th, so we need to be in Albania by then.

Friday, October 29, 2021

An authentic Bosnia experience!

Once again it took a while for the morning fog to burn off. In fact, by the time it had cleared enough to make it worthwhile to go for a hike, it was almost lunchtime so we had something to eat before heading out.

Our destination was Ostrovica Castle, sitting high on a hill above the nearby town of Kulen Vakuf. In fact, we can see the castle from our campsite by the river.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

The fabulous Štrbački Waterfalls, and a really nice campsite by the river

It was a bit cold and quite foggy when we got up Wednesday morning. We had two goals for the day... the first one was to see the nearby Štrbački Waterfalls, and the second was to get some laundry done!

We headed to the waterfalls right away. Good thing we did too, because there is an 8 km (5 mile) narrow winding road in, with very little opportunity for someone to pass heading the opposite way.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Welcome to Bosnia & Herzegovina... country #48

Travel days are always interesting, especially when it involves crossing a border. You just don't know what to expect!

After we finished exploring Tito's abandoned Villa Izvor (you should click the link if you missed that post) we headed to the Bosnia & Herzegovina border. There was a lot of truck traffic, and I was surprised because it didn't look like a very major border crossing based on what the road looked like on the maps.

The abandoned summer residence of Yugoslavia's dictator Tito

Most people go to Plitvice Lakes National Park to see the waterfalls. But there is another hidden unique attraction that not many people know about. 

In the hills high above the lakes, but now located within the National Park itself is the abandoned summer residence of the former Yugoslavia's dictator Josip Broz Tito. It was very elaborate in its day, and in fact was the most expensive residence ever built in Yugoslavia at the time. 

Now, it's a crumbling ruin.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Heading into Bosnia & Herzegovina

We would like to explore more of Croatia, but we have a choice of which route we are going to take, and we have decided to go through Bosnia & Herzegovina instead. It's all new to us anyhow, so we would be missing something no matter which way we go.

But we think Bosnia is a little more our style. It's certainly more "off the beaten path" than Croatia is. As an example, for every fifteen tourists who go to Croatia, only one goes to Bosnia. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia - our frugality and research paid off!

Let's start by saying this... Plitvice Lakes National Park is stunning. There is no question that the unique geography and waterfalls deserve the UNESCO world heritage rating, and there is a reason it's so popular. It's a really pretty area.

But it's also ridiculously expensive. I don't blame them for charging what they do. If the masses are willing to pay it (and apparently they are) then the market dictates the price, as it should be.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Slunj, Croatia... the town with 23 different waterfalls!

We had arrived in Slunj late afternoon on Friday, so we didn't go out exploring at that time. And then Saturday morning it poured with rain all morning. They called for clearing skies around lunchtime, so as soon as the rain stopped around 11:30am, we headed out to see what there was to see.

And there was definitely stuff to see! It's hard to figure out why this area isn't more well known.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Castles and caves... that was a good day!

It rained on and off all day, but fortunately the "off" times were when we were out doing stuff. So it worked out okay. And even though there was a bit of rain, it wasn't cold and there was no wind to speak of. Highs of maybe 17C (63F) and overnight low around 11C (52F). We're fine with that.

We left our overnight spot at the restaurant parking lot, and it was only a short drive to our first stop... the abandoned castle at Bosiljevo.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Welcome to Croatia... country #47

We could easily have spent more time in Slovenia, but the incoming colder weather motivates us to continue heading further south. We knew this was going to happen, and it was part of the plan. But it's still frustrating not to be able to spend more time in these new-to-us countries.

And I don't think we're going to spend much time in Croatia either. The warmer weather is certainly along the coast, but wild camping (boondocking) is strictly against the law in Croatia, and the €400 fine is a bit of a turn off!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Interesting visit to a mercury mine

On Wednesday, we did the short 14 km (8 mile) drive from Ziri to the mining town of Idrija. It might have been a short drive, but it was long on excitement! Lots of curves and narrow sections, and a series of switchbacks going down the other side.

Idrija is a very different mining town. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the fact that it produced almost half of the world supply of mercury... or quicksilver as it is sometimes called.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Happiness is a great overnight spot

Once again, it took a few hours for the morning fog to burn off, and then it turned into a nice afternoon, with a high of about 14C (57F). Not bad.

Once the fog burned off, we set out to the nearest grocery store. Supplies were running low! We found a well stocked Lidl only 6 kms away where we spent €75 ($108 CAD, $87 USD) filling the fridge. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Hike to a castle ruins, and Ruth's bike is repaired!

It was really foggy again when we woke up Monday morning, and although it's light outside, the fog takes a long time to burn off. We wanted to go for a hike in the hills, but we wanted to see the views that would afford, so we waited until about 10:30am before setting off. 

And even then it was still a bit foggy.

Monday, October 18, 2021

To me, Ljubljana was just okay

Our friends Glen and Steve suggested that Sunday is the best day to do any city visiting, and we tend to agree with them. We are reminded that is certainly the case in Mexico and we used to make sure we went into Puebla on a Sunday because there was always a lot going on.

And so yesterday morning we drove into the Slovenia capital city of Ljubljana. We left our nice overnight spot by the river at about 7:30am and did the 20 kms (12 miles) or so drive in the fog!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Lake Bled Castle, and Škofja Loka at night

We went down to the bike shop for our 10:30am appointment, but unfortunately the guy didn't have the right tool with him to do the job. So we are still on the hunt for a bike shop that happens to be open when we happen to be there. 

But we left the bikes there locked up, and did the short hike up to Bled Castle. My mother had given us some birthday/Christmas spending money, and we like to use that money to do things that we wouldn't normally do. Things that we normally think are too expensive!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Lake Bled is as beautiful as we expected

Despite the fact that it's still a little chilly, it helps that we are waking up to blue skies and sunshine. It went up to about 12C (54F) yesterday, which was actually quite pleasant in the sun. And it's supposed to warm up a few degrees over the next couple of days.

And what a view we woke up to! We almost thought about staying a second night at the ski hill, but our Schengen Visa time is running low and there are still some things we want to see in Slovenia. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Starting our 15th year with Slovenia... country #46.

It was 14 years ago today that we set off with our new to us motorhome Sherman. It was also 14 years ago today that we published our very first blog post as we hit the road. You can read that very first blog post here...

We started writing this blog as a way for family and friends to know where we are and what we're doing. As time went on, it also became a valuable daily diary for us... we often look back at something to confirm a fact or a memory. We had no idea at the time that it would attract over 2,000 readers a day and that it would also contribute to our ability to continue traveling.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Lake Millstatt and the city of Villach, Austria

We took the narrow winding backroads from Gmund to Villach. So much more interesting than the autobahn. But yes, also so much more slower! We also did a detour around the north side of Lake Millstatt, and we're glad we did... such a scenic area.

We're not in a rush now, although we do want to continue south to warmer weather. We could take about 10 or 12 days to get through Slovenia if we wanted before our Schengen Visa time ran out, but we'll probably do it in about a week, and then we'll be in Croatia.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Austria is really a hiking paradise

We took a day off from driving on Tuesday, although we're going to have to get a move on simply to get to some warmer weather. Today, the forecast high here in Gmund is 8C (47F), although that's obviously below normal for this time of year because the long term forecast for next week shows highs of around 14C. (58F).

Oh, I have to mention how impressed we are with Max's heating system. The American manufacturers could learn a thing or two!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Hellbrunn Palace and the Trick Fountains, then drive to Gmund

We left the RV park in Salzburg by 8:00am. Used all the facilities so that Max has empty holding tanks and a full fresh water tank, and his batteries are fully charged. 

We still had one more attraction that we wanted to see that was included with our Salzburg tourist cards, and we had to make sure we gained admission before the cards expired at 10:40am. Hellbrunn Palace is located south of the city, so it was along our route heading south anyhow.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Playing tourist in Salzburg

There are a lot of touristy things to do in Salzburg, and of course many of them cost money. We had done most of the free stuff on Saturday, so on Sunday we did the paid stuff. The best way to take advantage of this is with the Salzburg Tourist Card. You can buy one for 24, 48, or 72 hours and it gives you admission and/or discounts to most of the areas attractions. 

We bought the 24 hour card (thanks Mom!) for €29 ($42 CAD, $34 USD) per adult.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Change of plans

Woke up yesterday morning and had to put the heat on. It's going to be the same thing for the next few mornings, I think. Winter is coming. 

One of the rigs parked near us is huge. You don't see them often, but you do see the occasional large motorhome here in Europe. It's not only the Americans who build large RVs. Anyhow, we were watching the owner yesterday morning, and at one point the entire rear panel of this big motorhome started sliding upwards.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Arrived in Austria! Country #45 for us...

We only had about a 20 minute drive to get to the RV park that we had chosen from which to base ourselves for exploring the city of Salzburg, Austria.

Located about 5 kms (3 miles) north of the city center, the Reisemobil Stellplatz Salzburg is really well thought out. You can tell it was designed by people who actually use motorhomes!

Friday, October 8, 2021

Today, we are off to Austria!

Thursday morning, we said goodbye to friends Glen and Steve. It was just a short visit, but they are headed for Turkey for three months, and they want to be able to cross the border on November 1st. We are also headed for Turkey, but we don't want to cross until January 1st, or thereabouts. 

So we hope to cross paths with them again in January in Turkey.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Exploring the alpine town of Bad Reichenhall, Germany

It rained much of Wednesday morning. After lunch, we drove the short distance down to the town of Bad Reichenhall, the rain had pretty much stopped. We found a busy free parking area where we were lucky to get a spot, but that's because it was only a short walk to the central area.

This whole area is a little on the touristy side, and it's easy to understand why. It turns out that Bad Reichenhall is a really pretty little town, and there's a lot to do around here. Including many beautiful hiking trails.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

A lot can change in 64 years!

I've mentioned before that my father did two fairly long trips to Europe in the 1950's. The first in 1954, and the second in 1957. He was an avid photographer and took a lot of slide photos from those trips. Ruth has scanned them all and we have them on our laptops. 

Regular readers might remember that we have in the past made a game out of trying to match up some of those photos by trying to stand in exactly the same spot that my dad might have stood many years ago. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Oktoberfest? Maybe next year...

We got on the road at around 9:00am. Not as far of a drive today... only 178 kms (110 miles) to get to the meeting point where friends Glen and Steve were waiting for us.

Our route would take us around the east side of Munich. What a shame to be this close to Munich in October and not go to Oktoberfest celebrations.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Almost at Austria

We did another 300 km (180 mile) drive yesterday. I know, that's not our normal style, but we are catching up to our friends Glen and Steve who are heading in the same direction as us, but they are ahead of our schedule. They have purposely slowed down a bit so that we can catch up. 

But yesterday, we took the back roads the whole way. Yes, it's slower going and probably uses a bit mre fuel. But it's so much more scenic and interesting.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Happy to be back on the road!

Saturday was a driving day with the goal of picking up our bicycles that had been stored at Frankfurt airport. We didn't get going until about 10:00am and we had to do about 300 kms (186 miles), which for us is a fairly long drive.

We took the main highway, which has a 130 km/h (81 mph) "suggested" speed limit on most sections. Of course Max isn't going anywhere near that speed. For the most part I had the cruise control set somewhere around 95 km/h (59 mph). 

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Made it back to Europe and our motorhome Max!

Well, the last 24 hours or so are a bit of a blur. Let me see if I can back us up a bit and try and remember all the details...

It started off Thursday morning around 11:00am when our daughter Lindsey came to pick us up and take us to the Ottawa airport. She arrived right on time and I loaded the bikes into the back of her van.