Photography by Brianne Lee

Photography by Brianne Lee

Hidden Gems of Europe

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Because traveling in Europe is such a vast place, many end up hopping between the most well-known cities (London, Barcelona, Paris, Munich, Amsterdam, Rome – sound familiar?) but never explore beneath the surface into what this continent, particularly the Eastern fringes, really has to offer.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to discover two of Europe's hidden gems: Split, Croatia and Mostar, Bosnia. To be honest, neither of these two countries were on my radar of places to visit while here. But when a couple friends and I were searching for places to visit, we stumbled upon Croatia and eagerly jumped at the chance to explore an entirely different kind of country. I found excitement in the fact that I had no idea what I would encounter!

Getting to Croatia consisted of a lengthy, overnight, 12 hour bus ride that we were quite happy to get off of by the time we arrived the following morning. After freshening up, we set out to discover all that Croatia had to offer. 

Split, Croatia is a charming old town made up mostly of a giant old Roman Palace. The buildings were all made of ancient stone with orange clay roofs and the streets were small, winding, and seemed to offer endless new discoveries. 

Our day was well spent walking along the water, dining on local cuisine and basking in the sun. (When there were breaks from the rain that is!) What I loved most about Split was its' proximity to the coast, as well as being surrounded by a small mountain range. 

The next morning, we awoke early, hopped on another bus, and headed to Mostar, Bosnia!

We spent our time walking down the friendly pedestrianized street full of mosques and markets and  eventually found ourselves in front of Mostar’s most famous monument, the old bridge.

On our final day in Croatia, we headed for Krka National Park, about 2 hours away from Split. I didn't know much about where we were going, but was pleasantly surprised to discover the majestic scenery before me. Wooden paths, waterfalls, clear green-blue waters, greenery and nature everywhere you look. It was nice to spend time in such an incredibly serene setting. 

After our time at Krka was up, it was back on the bus for another 12 hour bus ride back home to Florence!


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