Thursday, 5 November 2015


In August we went on holiday with my family, on a cruise for my parents' retirement. The cruise started in Dubrovnik and travelled to Olympia, Athens, Delphi, Corfu and Kotor in Montenegro. Originally we had been planning to fly from England but when are plans changed and we found ourselves living in France over the summer we decided we should drive to Dubrovnik and take in some places on the way. It's only a 4000k round trip through five countries, easy! We gave ourselves three days to drive there and three back, which looking back may have been a tad optimistic! But we saw some amazing scenery, stayed in some beautiful locations and got to see three new countries so it was definitely worth it.

Sunrise as we set off from France. 

A view of the French Alps at the service station at lunch.

The cobbled streets of Nonio on Lake Orta at night.

San Guilio island in the middle of Lake Orta.

And again.
Piazza Unita d'Italia in Trieste

There was a lot of singing in the car...a lot!

In Britain and France there are warning signs for deer but in Croatia you are warned about bears and wolves! Unfortunately we didn't see any.

When we first planned the trip from France we thought we would go through Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. We didn't realise that to travel down to the south of Croatia where Dubrovnik is, you have to pass through Bosnia and Herzegovina as the country has a small part of the coast so that it is not landlocked. This involves having to buy special car insurance which can only be bought from certain border crossings. We had to make a bit of a detour to do this so we decided to drive a little further into the country and visit Medjugorje a site of Catholic pilgrimage. My mum had read about it and suggested we might find it interesting. 

In 1981 there were reports that six local children had seen visions of the Virgin Mary and they are said to continue to receive messages from her today. There is a church and huge bandstand where they deliver outdoor ceremonies. It was quite a strange place to visit and slightly eerie as we drove through deserted roads with houses in rubble to get there and then we were suddenly in a bustling little town. I'm glad we went as the parts of Bosnia that we saw that day were so different to anywhere we drove through on the rest of the trip.

The Croatian coast. We drove right along next to the sea for the last 2 hours of the journey to Dubrovnik. It was a long drive but amazing scenery.

The bridge into Dubrovnik

 Dubrobnik at night, the night before we boarded the cruise.

On our way back we stopped in Ljubljana. 

 I loved Ljubljana, I think it was my favourite of all the places we visited. It was so beautiful, everyone was really friendly and it had a lovely feel to it. We are planning to return again for a city break as we didn't get to explore as much as we would have liked. 

A beautiful carved door of St. Nicholas' Cathedral in Ljubljana.
And the ornate ceiling inside.

An amazing breakfast from the food market in Ljubljana. Wish we could have stayed longer to have lunch here as well, all the stalls looked amazing! But we needed to drive back to Italy and Lake Como.

Dusk when we arrived in Lake Como.

The next morning in Lake Como.We decided to stay for two nights so that we could explore properly and were really glad we did.

The scenery driving up to the Mont Blanc tunnel on our way home.

It was the first time the journey had been a real part of my holiday and I really enjoyed it. I was worried I would find all the driving too much but going through new places kept it interesting and fresh. I am looking forward to planning another roadtrip soon.

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