What a surprise! The NexTour International Mystery group spent three days in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and three more in Zagreb, Croatia. We toured both capital cities as well as castles, a cave, national parks, and some charming towns.
Day One: Our hotel in Ljubljana, the Grand Hotel Union, was close to the town square and within walking distance of restaurants, stores & markets, landmarks, and cathedrals.
The famous Triple Bridge, because one bridge just isn't enough.
Day Two: a walking tour of the old/new town of Ljubljana
Ljubljana Castle is seen above the city; to reach it, we rode an old funicular to the top.
A symbol of the Slovenian capital, a dragon (times four) adorns this medieval-style bridge.
Postojna Cave - We took a train into the cave for two miles then walked about 1.5 miles through the cave. Every twist and turn was a remarkable sight!
A white limestone stalagmite, about 16 feet tall, is called Brilliant. Standing next to it is a baroque-like pillar.
Predjama Castle - the largest cave castle in the world according to Guinness. The man-made castle walls are interwoven with the natural cave. We loved hearing about the legend of the famous and notorious owner, Erazem of Predjama.
Day Three: One-mile long Vintgar Gorge carved its way though the Hom and Borst hills and is graced by the Radovna River with its waterfalls, pools, and rapids.
A Pletna boat took us to Bled Island.
Climb the stairs (or a walking path) on Bled Island to the Church of the Assumption, a museum, and a gift shop (of course!).
After climbing 99 stairs to the top, you deserve ice cream!
Bled Castle, our next stop...
...offered incredible views.
Day Four: a walking tour of Zagreb.
Zagreb at night
Day Five: Rastoke Village is a watermill village where the blue-green Slunjcica River flows into the Korana River.
Plitvice National Park in central Croatia is known for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon. NexTourists hiked as much as they felt they could handle.
We took the boardwalk to the bottom of the falls...
...and then continued our hike through the park.
"Plitvice looks like a fairy forest. When you walk through the park you’ll be constantly amazed by its emerald-green and sapphire blue waters, the beauty of the waterfalls, the amount of fish, the sound of the birds and the water, the greens of the trees and plants, the different fauna, and the breathtaking views at the lookout points."
We did it! Back to the top of the falls!
Some NexTourists stayed behind and worked on a puzzle of the Falls. Thanks, George, for the puzzle and the picture!
Day Six: Veliki Tabor is a castle and museum, dating from the middle 15th century.
The impressive view from Veliki Tabor stretches over the entire Hrvatsko Zagorje area and part of Slovenia.
One more town to visit: Varazdin, known for its baroque architecture.
One last shopping opportunity - local honey products.
Keep Calm and Travel On! See you on our next Mystery Tour!