The Balkans, what a fantastic part of the world!
But how did we get here?
Last time we wrote we were in Krakow, Poland, about to head on a tour of Auschwitz. For those who haven’t been, it’s a heavy day but well worth it.
From here we jumped on a train to arguably the most beautiful city in the world, Prague. With its incredible old town, cobble stone streets and of course Charles bridge, it was great fun just getting lost here. Now there are a lot great street performers around Europe, but Sven from Sweden takes the cake.
We also tracked down the narrowest street in the world (apparently).
Budapest was our next destination, where we stayed a few days longer than originally planned, this was mainly because we met a great bunch of people who helped show us what Budapest was like at 4am! We did manage an early night to get up at 3am and watch the sunrise overlooking the parliament building . Even threw in a cheeky photo shoot with a Gi and rash guard.
A stop over in Pec (southern Hungary) we booked ourselves an apartment with no one else to influence us to party! Here we found a gym to do some open mat, was good to have another roll!
Two days later we are in Croatia! Zagreb, Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik (No spoilers you Game of Thrones fans… Katherine is half way through reading the books!!) Of course we made the most of being on the coast with as many swims as possible. The Croatian coast was a great place to chill out and get away from the heat.
Mostar, Bosnia was our next stop, where they are known for the famous Mostar bridge. This thing is 25 metres high and people are crazy enough to jump of it! I must admit that the idea entered my mind, then exited as soon as I saw a local make the jump! Mostar is a small but very pretty village, and home to the most difficult cobble stone street I have ever walked on. If you find yourself in Mostar, be sure to visit the sniper tower, this used to be an old bank that in the war- (1992-1995) was destroyed and became a sniper tower. From here and around town you still see bullet holes covering buildings.
Next stop, Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro. After an interesting taxi ride we found ourselves at Waterfall Niagara. This is a local swimming spot with a restaurant and a small water fall, perfect to get away from the heat!
It was in Podgorica that we began to realize the further south we went, the cheap things got. A pint of beer was now sitting around 1 Euro, and we found a large pizza (which was delicious) for 1.5 Euros. That’s a far cry from what we pay in New Zealand.
Albania was our next destination, and were we in for a culture shock. However, this place turned out to be one of the most amazing places I have ever been.
As we are still traveling through the Balkans, I will leave the rest of our story for Part 2.
One very exciting piece of news is that we are both going to the Heidelberg Camp at the end of August! Cant wait to see you all there!!
Jamie and Kathey