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The Tweesters take a trip to BiH, Croatia and Slovenia

The Tweesters take a trip to BiH, Croatia and Slovenia

Old Feb 28th, 2015, 06:33 PM
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The Tweesters take a trip to BiH, Croatia and Slovenia

It's official....my sister and I have booked flights for our Balkan trip! We are very excited.

We are flying from Toronto to Sarajevo and will spend 14 days in late April and early May in the region. After that our high level itinerary is:

4 nights in Sarajevo
2 nights in Mostar
4 nights in Split
3 nights in Ljubljana

We are using public transportation. Our primary goal is to enjoy the people in the region and our secondary goal is to enjoy the local food and drink.

The wonderful folks here on Fodors have provided so much wonderful information, enabling us to design an itinerary that suits us. Unfortunately we won't hit Serbia, Montenegro or Kosovo....perhaps next time.

Now, we get to work on the specifics....where to stay, what highlights to see, what tours to take.
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Old Feb 28th, 2015, 06:36 PM
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Ooops! my tags didn't reflect Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Croatia! Crap! I never get this stuff correct.

Should I start yet another thread?
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Old Feb 28th, 2015, 06:44 PM
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Email the editors, they can add tags. You can just report your own comment (yellow triangle with ! in it) and say you want them to add tags.

I think I will be covering the same ground as you at roughly the same time...except in the opposite direction! And in a car.
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Old Feb 28th, 2015, 06:51 PM
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Thanks Andrew. I've notified the moderators.

I've been following your thread as well. I wondered if we would cross paths, and as you've mentioned, it seems we will be going in opposite directions. It's wonderful that you are using the flexibility of using a car rental. I am looking forward to reading your trip report!

Wishing you great travels!
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Old Feb 28th, 2015, 07:09 PM
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Are you planning to day trip to Krka National Park from Split? I'm planning to stop there too - maybe that's where we'll cross paths!
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Old Feb 28th, 2015, 07:25 PM
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It's very likely we will go to Krka NP. We are also interested in stopping in at the BIBICh winery, which is in the Skandin area, while there.

Based on our itinerary, we are likely to be there on May 4 or 5. If you are interested in arranging a tasting at BIBICh, perhaps we could join forces.

Here are a couple of links referencing the winery:
http://girlonwine.com/2013/06/possib...t-ever-bibich/

http://myhiddencroatia.com/my-travel...ng-highlights/

Anyone game to join us??

Zivjeli!
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Old Feb 28th, 2015, 08:26 PM
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I think I'll pass on the wine tasting, thanks (I don't drink - sorry!), but I too expect to be at Krka around those days. Will you be online during your travels? I will. I don't know how difficult it would be to meet up at the park, but maybe we could meet if we are both there the same day. I may change my schedule based on the weather; if it's rainy, I might skip the park entirely. I've been to Plitvice in the past, and I plan to see other waterfalls on my journey.

I'm hoping Krka won't be too busy in May, as it seems that swimming is a big attraction, and it will probably be too cold to swim then.
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Old Feb 28th, 2015, 09:22 PM
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"what highlights to see"

Of the half-dozen guidebooks I used to plan my time in the area, I found the Rough Guide BY FAR the best.

"what tours to take."

If you have any interest in it, I thought seeing the Tunel in Sarajevo well worth it, and thought the Tourist Information desk offered a particularly informative and sensitive tour.

I'm not sure you will need a tour anywhere else, but of course, it depends on what you want to see / experience.
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 06:49 AM
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Make sure you go see a little town called Trogir which is only half an hour car drive from Split.
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 08:15 PM
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@Andrew our activities will also depend on the weather. I understand that early May is fairly rainy on the Croatian coast.

@kja, I have looked for the Rough guide for Bosnia, but it seems a bit difficult to find. I guess I can find it on Amazon. Did you get more than one guide (I.e Bosnia and Croatia and Slovenia)?

@Klarion, Trogir is definitely on our list. It's too bad that the ferry won't be running when we're there.
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 08:30 PM
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I used separate Rough Guides for Croatia and Slovenia. For Sarajevo and Mostar, I found the most useful information in Bradt guides. Sorry to have been unclear!

BTW, you don't need a ferry for Trogir -- it's a 1/2 hour bus ride from Split.
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Old Mar 1st, 2015, 08:34 PM
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I'm expecting some rain in Croatia for sure but hopefully not for the whole trip!

I don't think there is a Rough Guide for BiH. I believe kja is talking about the Rough Guide for Croatia.

I think one of the few guidebooks for BiH out there is the Bradt guide:

http://www.bradtguides.com/shop/euro...rzegovina.html

I have picked up this book and am consulting it as needed.

Rick Steves also covers Sarajevo and Mostar in his Croatia and Slovenia book (which I found very helpful in planning my previous trips to the region), so perhaps that's all you would need. I am stopping in some other towns in Bosnia so I needed another guide with more details.

FYI, have you read the recent book "The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War" by Tim Butcher? I thought it a fascinating read. The author retraced - on foot, often hiking and hitchhiking days at a time - the journey of eventual assassin Gavrilo Princip from his rural Bosnian village to Sarajevo and his rendezvous with destiny and changing world history. It's also a reflection on more recent history in this war-ravaged reason. I am re-reading the sections on Sarajevo and plan to follow Butcher's descriptions of where Princip was in Sarajevo, if I can.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2015, 04:15 AM
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I used Lonely planet western Balkans for our trip - no Slovenia in it though.
I'm going to try to get that book about Princip from the library ,Andrew. On a trip to Prague we saw the place where he was imprisoned - Thereinstat- there's a plaque on his cell.
Geenance - the train from Sarejevo to Mostar has the most fabulous scenery- we did find the smoking conductors and passengers strange even though signs say no smoking.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2015, 04:20 AM
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@kja @Andrew ....ah, that clarifies the guide book situation a lot. I'm sure I've read in previous threads about the various guide books, but my memory is terrible!

I will definitely add The Trigger to my reading list. It sounds really interesting and will be near the top. I've already watched a number of the documentaries and movies mentioned in other threads, but the only book I've read so far is The Cellist, and that was a few years back.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2015, 05:26 PM
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IMO, the Lonely Planet would be an excellent alternative to the Rough Guide.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2015, 04:43 AM
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For guide books, I personally like Rough Guide. Some information gets outdated very quickly so current guides may be best option.
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 02:59 PM
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Adding a bit more colour ("color" for my American friends) to our itinerary options....

In BiH: We have 4 nights in Sarajevo (3 1/2 days, including recovery from jet lag). We thought a day trip to Travnik or Jajce via public transportation would be a nice diversion, a bit of the regular tourist track. Which would you choose if you were traveling by bus? Travnik is closer, but would Jajce provide more contrast to Sarajevo and Mostar? Will we have language difficulties in either of these cities? (I'm presuming that English isn't as common as in the more touristed places.)

In Croatia: We have 4 nights in Split. One day we would like to go to Hvar. The Krilo fast ferry starts up while we are in Split, so that should work out well for a day trip. Since it's a bit before beach season, I think we would like to check out the island a bit, rather than boating/beach activity. A half-day trip to a winery in the Jelsa area sounds good, and then have late afternoon to wander around Hvar Town before the 7:45 ferry back to Split. Does anyone know how we can visit wineries economically?

We still have to figure out how we are going to do a day trip to Krka NP and Sibinek. I had it in my mind that we could stop in at Bibich winery while we were at Krka, but since we won't have a car, I don't really think that is feasible. Perhaps we will meet a really nice local in Split who we could pay to drive us there!

In Slovenia: We plan to fly from Split to Zagreb (only CAD70!) and then catch a lovely train to Ljubljana, arriving in the evening. We will have 3 nights in LJU. That gives us a full day to explore and then another day for a daytrip. We are torn between going SW vs N/NW. If we go SW we would likely to the cave/castle stop and possibly go further (winery stop in xx valley or carry on to Piran). Our alternative is to go to Lake Bled (naturally). While we are there, however, there is a World Cup rowing event on at Lake Bled. I'm not sure if this is good or bad! (i.e. crowds vs. exciting activity to watch). What would your advice be to two older middle-aged women?

I would love to hear your opinions.
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 04:23 PM
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"We still have to figure out how we are going to do a day trip to Krka NP and Sibinek"

Bus from Split to Sibenik, bus from Sibenik to Skradin, boat from Skradin to the Krka National Park.
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 04:32 PM
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Piran and Lake Bled are both really nice. If you don't have time to do both, I'd do Lake Bled. You will already have been on the coast in Croatia, and Lake Bled, with the church-on-the-island, is truly unique. Plus, I think by public transportation, Bled is easier to get to (quicker, more frequent buses or trains) than Piran.

Look at the travel times as well between Ljubljana and Piran - is there really time to include a cave? I think it's about five hours round trip by bus just to/from Piran.

I can't comment on the World Cup event at Lake Bled, though; on one hand, it might be interesting/exciting to watch, but on the other hand, it might crimp your experience exploring the area (walking around the lake and taking a boat out to the island are common activities). Maybe google for pictures of past events there, to see what it might look like?
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Old Mar 14th, 2015, 04:52 PM
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Looks like there are direct buses starting in April from Split to Skradin that take 90 minutes each way. Check www.buscroatia.com . (Some buses run only weekdays.)

In fact, it looks like that same buses continue on to Zagreb. If you could find a place to store your luggage in Skradin for the day, you could take the first bus from Split to Skradin, leave your bags somewhere, explore the park for a few hours, and take a bus on the Zagreb (3.5 hours) and skip the flight, instead of taking the 1.5 hour bus back to Split and then flying the next day.

For example: get to Skradin by 9:30 and leave at 13:45 or 18:30 if you want more time in the park. That probably means an overnight in Zagreb if you get that late arrival on the last bus, but it would get you to Ljubljana a few hours earlier the next day or give you a few hours to explore Zagreb. And it assumes you skip the winery.
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