Touring the Adriatic Coast in 10 Days

We take you through another Gate1 trip, this time along the Adriatic Coast. We provide tips for exploring this part of Europe, currency exchange while visiting multiple countries, national parks, freakouts, and packing for varying weather throughout the tour. We cover A LOT of ground on this 10 day tour through the Adriatic Coast.

You know we absolutely love Gate1 Travel and have taken many trips with them. We highly recommend this as one of the top Adriatic Coast cultural tours for the number of countries it visits, the best bang for your buck, and how great Gate1 takes care of you.

One this 10 day trip along the Adriatic Sea we visit:

  • Tirana, Albania
  • Shkodra, Albania
  • Kolasin, Montenegro 
  • Podgorica, Montenegro
  • Kotor, Montenegro
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Split, Croatia
  • Trogir, Croatia and Plitvice National Park & UNESCO World Heritage site 
  • Postojana Caves in Slovenia
  • Bled, Slovenia

Touring the Adriatic Coast – Episode Transcript

6 (37s):
Hello, fellow travelers, listening to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad Podcast, get ready for another guided tour, exploring the Adriatic coast today.

3 (1m 1s):
And we’re so excited to be together because we haven’t recorded in a month. They’ve been gone on this trip and we’ve been doing our own thing. And so we’re so excited to hear about this trip.

4 (1m 11s):
Yeah, I’m excited to get back into the groove of things. And in this episode, we’re going to be taking you with us from Albania to Montenegro Croatia before ending our travels in Sylvania, and hopefully giving you guys inside tips and obviously discussing our day to day of our trip.

2 (1m 27s):
Yes. And this is the first time that Kim and I are hearing about this trip. I personally picked up Jamal and Brittany from the airport and they wouldn’t tell me anything because we wanted it all to be captured on the podcast. So you can hear our authentic reactions to the craziness of their trip.

6 (1m 42s):
So this trip was a guided tour and we chose it because it had the most bang for your buck. There is no advanced railway system in this part of the Adriatic coast or in Europe. You know, it’s very easy to get from France to Italy, into other countries, but to get to Croatia, to Albania, it’s much more difficult. So that was one of the reasons why we picked a guided tour. The tour also included our flights, transportation entrance fees into activities or national parks or hotels and some meals.

3 (2m 13s):
So you guys just got back from this trip. It was about 10 days, right?

4 (2m 17s):
It was technically a 12 day trip, but two of those days are traveling. And so realistically 10 of activities, but we extended the day to do Venice on our own because Venice wasn’t part of the guided tour. We were actually ending in Slovenia. However, the largest international airport close to that area where they have kind of like direct flights back to the states was Venice. So Brittany and I said, well, if we’re going to be in Venice, why are we not just going to spend a day there ourselves? So we opted to do that

3 (2m 45s):
Might as well. So for the whole 12 days, what are the must know tips for this kind of a trip?

6 (2m 50s):
Okay. So the biggest one is we went to several different countries. We hit five altogether. And so it’s really good to know that a lot of these countries use different currencies. So be mindful of the logistics before you book a trip like this, for example, Albania used the lek, and once you exchange money to lek, you cannot exchange it back to us dollars or euros. They will not exchange money back. So once you have it in lek, you can only then spend it.

2 (3m 18s):
Well. What about like once you come back to the United States,

4 (3m 20s):
It’s just, no one wants that.

6 (3m 21s):
No one wants that currency.

4 (3m 23s):
It’s not powerful enough for them to want to give it back to dollars or euros or anything like that.

6 (3m 28s):
You have to be very mindful of how much you either pull from the ATM or how much you exchange in person, because they will not take it back.

2 (3m 36s):
That’s the first thing I thought was is Albanian debt. If they don’t want to give the money back,

4 (3m 39s):
No, it’s just, you know, they’re their own currency. And the major currencies and Europe is obviously like the Euro and they’re a small country in comparison to other countries in Europe that don’t use the Euro such as England using the pound or some of the Scandinavian countries that use their own currency and not the Euro. So since they have a little bit more power and prestige, you know, their currency is easier to change, but Albania, you know,

2 (4m 4s):
That’s an interesting one. Yeah.

6 (4m 5s):
Yeah. And then Croatia uses Akuna and supposedly they’re supposed to change the Euro soon, but we didn’t go directly from Albania to Croatia. We went to Montenegro first, which uses the Euro. So we were switching back and forth between currencies, much Negro, Slovenian, Italy, all use a Euro. So it’s kind of, it was kind of a back and forth between all of the currencies that we were using the entire time that we were there. What

2 (4m 28s):
We’ll Croatia except heroes.

6 (4m 31s):
No overall, no

4 (4m 32s):
One of the places we were at listed prices in euros, but for the most part in just a lot of general transactions, no, they’re not accepting it, but they are part of the European union. So they are going to be switching to the Euro soon. They just haven’t yet. So they still have their own currency. But to answer the question, Kim, one of the must knows. So the last time Brittany and I were in Europe was in September of 2017, obviously minus this trip right here. And one thing that we always do when we go to other countries that need foreign currencies, I don’t exchange it here and then take it with me. I pull money from the ATM because the ATM gives you an even exchange rate. Yes, you have ATM fees, but I usually get my bank to reverse them.

4 (5m 14s):
So it costs me usually nothing in terms of trading money. Yeah.

3 (5m 19s):
You said something really interesting right there, your bank usually reverses them. He

6 (5m 24s):
Asks for

3 (5m 24s):
It. So take us through your process for getting this travel fee removed from your account

4 (5m 31s):
In my bank quite often. So I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I am a friendly person. I strike a conversation with anybody. So even like the tellers who I’m going to be seeing on regular basis, I like to have a friendly relation with them. So it just, when I go in, I’m obviously always asking how they’re doing. It’s not just like a general transaction. So I actually strike general conversations with them all the time. So when I come back from a trip, I usually ask them, Hey, I have an ATM fee. It was from out of country. Is there any way that we can potentially get a courtesy reversal of the fee? And that’ll say, oh, well, let me see what I could do. And they’ll put in a request and 95% of the time, it’s always been reversed for me. Nice. You just got to ask, but before you got onto that, though, what I was going to say, yes, I usually pull money from the ATM.

4 (6m 13s):
So the last time we were there, they didn’t have these Euro net ATM’s. Now these are like private. ATM’s not from banks. And so when we were in the airport in Rome, before we went to Albania, that my plan was okay, I’m going to pull out euros from here and then just exchange the euros to the local currency, as opposed to having multiple ATM withdrawals and Albania Croatia, since they have their own currency. Whereas everywhere else we were going was going to be used in the Europe. And I put in my card into a Euro net one didn’t think anything of it. I thought it was just a normal ATM. And then they were going to charge me a 12% surcharge fee and the private ATM.

4 (6m 53s):
So they’re not banks. You can’t talk to anybody to potentially get that reverse. So one thing I want to say to anybody now going to Europe is, do not use a Euro net ATM beyond normal fees. They charge you a surcharge of 12% to use the ATM

2 (7m 7s):
Out of the five countries that you went to. Which would you say that you got the best exchange rate or like, like your money went? The farthest, like, I can’t believe how cheap this country is.

4 (7m 16s):
I would say Albania.

6 (7m 17s):
Yeah. Albania was definitely very cheap. And because it’s the farthest south on the Adriatic coast, they were saying the farther north that you get closer, you get to Italy, the more European prices you’ll see.

2 (7m 28s):
Wow, gotcha. Goes a long way. Yeah.

4 (7m 30s):
And they have their own, you know, random currency and whatnot. Obviously, you know, we were in a touristy, like hotel in the center of downtown. So I mean a little bit of markup because of that, but just in general, I would say definitely Albania was the cheapest country where your money’s going to go a long way. And Montenegro, I would say Montenegro just as well.

6 (7m 48s):
So another tip was water was safe to drink from every tap, except for Albania. You couldn’t drink the water and I’ll be in here. You had to go out and purchase water bottles, but everywhere else, it was safe to drink the water. And it was

3 (7m 59s):
Okay. Even, was it in Albania that you could brush your teeth with the water? Yes. Okay.

6 (8m 5s):
Strategic shower, but you can not just physically drink the water.

2 (8m 8s):
So when you’re going to the supermarkets to buy water and Albania, did you buy the mosque? Rhonda?

4 (8m 15s):
No know did not. We weren’t there that long. So we just bought one liter size bottles for each of us. And obviously on the tour, they give us bottled waters each day as part of the tour, like when you’re on it doing activities. So we have that. But you know, when we’re in our hotel room and or anything like that, obviously we have the bottles.

2 (8m 32s):
And if you’re wondering what the mosque ground was, it’s episode one in Mexico city, go back and listen to it. That’s a good one.

3 (8m 38s):
What else do we need to know about this?

6 (8m 40s):
So I was expecting, okay, we’re on the Adriatic coast for the entire time. I mean, how different and all of these are small countries, how different could the weather be in all of them? And I did look up the weather and it seemed to be pretty hot in every single place, but different weather, different terrain be to pack for different climates because the weather and Albania was very, very hot. And in Slovenia it was cold. It was,

3 (9m 2s):
You guys is outfits or on point in your pictures, I love

2 (9m 7s):
Good Jamal. And your t-shirts

4 (9m 9s):
Well, no, not the t-shirts my button ups.

3 (9m 13s):
Yeah. You weren’t button up every day. And then your little cold weather clothes, you guys were looking so cute.

6 (9m 18s):
And so what we didn’t expect was mosquitoes was so we did not pack mosquito repellent. And so we got torn up.

3 (9m 28s):
That happens to me on every trip I take. Cause in San Diego, we don’t have mosquitoes and you forget how brutal they are.

4 (9m 34s):
You forget. And not only that, I mean, even in Woodland, you know our hometown, obviously. Yes, they’re there, but I still don’t even remember them being as prevalent anytime of the year, as it was when we were in Europe, I was like shocked by it. We were waking up each day with bites all over the place.

6 (9m 52s):

2 (9m 53s):
I mean, I remember even like being in Zimbabwe and the head, they had the mosquito nets. So when you go to bed, you don’t get bitten by the mosquitoes, but I didn’t even see any mosquitoes.

4 (10m 2s):

2 (10m 2s):
Wow. So

4 (10m 4s):
There, along the Adriatic coast, let me tell you that

2 (10m 7s):

6 (10m 8s):

4 (10m 9s):
Yeah. So definitely brings some bug repellent. I mean, if you think and go into Europe and you think like, oh, I’m not going to need mosquitoes repellent or there’s not going to be any, you’d be very wrong. Like we were

2 (10m 19s):
Question for you guys, what’s their coffee. Like

4 (10m 21s):
Interestingly enough, there’s a lot of Italian influence on that side because the Adriatic coast, just so people are aware is actually part of the Mediterranean sea. It’s just a little inlet of the Mediterranean. So if you just imagine the bootleg of Italy coming down, you would be looking at Eastern Italy all the way, obviously to Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, which are on the coast. So it’s just a small little inlet up of the Mediterranean. And since it scope close to Italy, if you actually get coffee from a machine, it’s either going to be an espresso cappuccino latte. Those are delicious. But if you’re just looking for black coffee or just regular coffee with cream, they use like the nest cafe powdered stuff, which really took me aback.

6 (11m 4s):
Yeah. Almost every single country we went to, I

3 (11m 7s):
Heard a cough.

4 (11m 8s):
Like you would think just like brewed coffee. That’s not happening. You have to get it like as an espresso or cappuccino. If you want like real coffee,

2 (11m 15s):
Do they have Starbucks?

6 (11m 16s):
We didn’t come across the one Starbucks in our entire trip.

2 (11m 20s):
How about like any kind of American influence stuff like McDonald’s or

6 (11m 24s):
So we did see a McDonald’s but no, very far. And few between on the fast food chains that are here in Amir,

4 (11m 32s):
I feel like we only saw two McDonald’s,

6 (11m 35s):
One burger king.

4 (11m 36s):
Yeah. One burger king. And one of the two McDonald’s was in Venice and the burger king was in Venice. And that’s another reason why we were excited about this trip is we knew that this area of Europe isn’t as westernized as Western Europe, if you will. So it’s kind of a little bit more authentic in their culture and everything like that without a lot of kind of Western influence. Cool.

2 (12m 0s):
Well, before we get into the trip, anything else that we must know? Yeah.

6 (12m 4s):
Yes. There is one last thing. When you are traveling in general, you should bring some pack toilet paper, because we went through so many gas stations that we’re out of toilet paper. I even came across a Squatty potty, which I was not

4 (12m 19s):

6 (12m 21s):
Yeah, it was,

3 (12m 22s):

6 (12m 22s):
Used one. Yeah. It was in the same country, but I wasn’t intention. It was Montenegro. It really took me off guard and I was not prepared. And so I wish I had known that one, we would come across the Squatty potty and to that, I would also need my own toilet paper in that. And also in some of the gas stations we came across.

2 (12m 40s):
But did you like grab a shitload of toilet paper from your hotel and like make your own little travel TP bag after that, after

6 (12m 48s):
That? Yes.

3 (12m 49s):
You know, we can’t get through one episode without talking about the bathroom. So

4 (12m 54s):
Vitally important to your vacation.

6 (12m 55s):

2 (12m 56s):

3 (12m 56s):
Well, let’s, let’s get into the vacation. I want to hear about it.

4 (12m 59s):
Yeah. So I mean, day one, obviously we did some traveling with our guided tour. The flight package was San Diego to Atlanta, Atlanta to Rome, Rome to Albania. So when, by the time we landed in Albania, we lost a day and then it was mid-afternoon at that point. So the first day we just got picked up with pretty much everybody who was on our tour and they took us to the hotel, gave us a little bit of downtime before we had our orientation meeting, kind of where we meet everybody. Who’s part of the tour, meet our tour guide. And then we had our group dinner at the hotel that dinner was included that night. And it was actually really, really delicious.

4 (13m 40s):
They cooked us a nice veal chop. That was pretty good.

6 (13m 44s):
It was really good. Yeah. There was also a vegetarian option

4 (13m 48s):
Feels delicious.

6 (13m 49s):
And so we had probably spent about 24 hours traveling. So we really were exhausted when we got to Albania. So that was just a pretty much a mellow day. But day two, we started the day with a city tour of Albania. And I actually, I’m not like a history person because I feel like it’s a lot of memorization, but I did learn a lot about the Albanian history. And we started our day at a place called scattered Berg square, which is kind of in the middle of Toronto, which is

4 (14m 16s):
The capital, the

6 (14m 16s):
Capital of Albania and Albania is actually a Muslim country. Did you guys know that?

3 (14m 22s):
I did not.

2 (14m 23s):
I don’t know if I knew it, but I also don’t feel like I’m surprised when you say that

4 (14m 27s):
Muslim majority country. Yeah.

6 (14m 29s):
Yeah. And so this country was under communism for a long time. And so because of that, they built atomic bunkers all around the city. So they’ve actually turned an atomic bunker into a museum, but you can still see them throughout the city.

3 (14m 44s):
So they were afraid of atomic bombs and they built bunkers.

4 (14m 47s):
It wasn’t even really for the citizens. It was the communist leaders. They were afraid of kind of some sort of retaliatory attack, you know, just because they were communists, they aligned with Russia potentially coming from the United States or other European non-communist countries. So the leaders themselves would build bunkers and they would only fit like five to 10 people. But there is a ton of them all around the main downtown area. And even as we were driving kind of in the outskirts, in the villages, you can actually see little domes where they built them to as

3 (15m 19s):
Bonkers. Yeah.

2 (15m 20s):
Yeah. It’s fascinating. But by the time it goes off, it’s too late to go take shelter.

4 (15m 24s):
Well, if you know what’s coming. Yeah.

3 (15m 26s):
When one bomb hits, other bombs could come right after. It’s crazy.

4 (15m 31s):
Yeah. And you got to think like when they built these two, like the amount of power in the bombs aren’t as what they are now, you know what I mean? So the type of fallout, not that it wasn’t severe, but it’s not like it is now, but nonetheless, they were built just like people here in the states built little bunkers under their homes. The communist leaders built themselves. So even in the middle of downtown, you can see, and like Brittany said, they had a museum, so you could go into an entrance and kind of walk underground. And it had its own separate exit. It was really,

3 (15m 59s):
Really nice.

6 (15m 60s):
And we went into the entrance, we didn’t go through the entire museum, but the entrance is separate from the exit. So there’s two ways to enter the bunker if needed. So in that square, around that area, we could see the atomic bunker. We also saw a mosque and then there was also a natural history museum there as well.

4 (16m 17s):
It was a national history museum am not natural history.

6 (16m 21s):

4 (16m 21s):
So it was Albania’s history museum, like in the big, big square that they have. And I found it to be really interesting before their communist times they only had one Monarch who was elected president or prime minister and declared himself king. So they have a little section in there where they talk about the monarchy of Albania, which I found to be quite interesting if you will, but it was, yeah,

2 (16m 45s):
Just I’m going to

4 (16m 46s):
Be king. But you know, that place that Brittany said, we went, which was scanned Berg square. It’s named after like their national hero. Obviously we’re talking well before the 19 hundreds, he was a general of sorts, but I mean, we’re talking, you know, several hundred years back. Right. But the square that it’s named after it, wasn’t used to be called that I forgot what they said it was called. But instead of a statue of Scandia Berg, they had a big statue of Joseph Stalin, you know, cause it was communist. So they’ve since torn that down after the fall of communism, interestingly enough, they have that statue in the back of a building. So if you saw any of our Instagram photos that we posted and Brittany posted one of her standing next to the torn down statue of Stalin, just hiding in the back,

3 (17m 33s):
It was the food in Albania. I have no idea what Albania food is. Like.

6 (17m 37s):
I felt like there was like goulashes and a lot of like Stu

4 (17m 42s):
I forgot what it was called, but again, a lot of Italian influence in that region. So believe it or not, there was even a lot of like pizza pasta, but kind of more ethnic local cuisine with the day of our city tour dinner was not included. So we did dinner on our own. We ate at our hotel because we saw their menu and it looked quite delicious, but we got something that was specifically an Albanian dish. I forgot what it was called, but it was a lamb dish that had rice cook kind of like in a yogurt sauce. It was actually really, really delicious. But like she said, I, I wouldn’t equate kind of like a yogurt sauce meal to be like a stew, but a lot of it’s like kind of stews goulashes, things like that is what you could say is more ethnic cuisine for them.

6 (18m 26s):
Interesting. Also walking back to our hotel, there was a park and in the park, there was a piece of the Berlin wall that was gifted to the Albanians after they came out of communism

4 (18m 37s):
After the turndown of the Berlin wall. Yeah. It’s standing in front of another bunker so that like a city park that was in front of our hotel. And then they have like a little piece of the Berlin wall and then that standing in front of another nuclear bunker for one of the communist leader, high ups.

3 (18m 53s):
Interesting. I got to hear about the massages because Brittany texted me several times while you guys were on this trip, talking about all these massages that she’s getting. So I’ve got to hear it. Was it

4 (19m 5s):
Well this time without interrupting though, Kim that’s where it ties back to what Zaina was saying was where does your money go? The furthest, it actually went the furthest in Albania. So the massages were very, very cheap. So Brittany and I both partook in a massage out there,

3 (19m 17s):
Tell me this, was it better or worse than the Peru massage?

6 (19m 21s):
It’s better than the Peru massage. It was a 60 minute Swedish massage. And we actually got it at the same price for a couple. We were expecting to be separated. And we weren’t, it was like a couples massage. We were in the same room. They gave us detox water to start. Then they gave the 60 minute massage. And then afterwards they told us to get dressed in robes and they gave us a tea to enjoy. At the very end it was

4 (19m 44s):
Spa. It was,

6 (19m 46s):
And it was only $45 per person.

3 (19m 49s):
Wow. That is a steal it.

4 (19m 52s):
So we pulled out a little too much Lex. So we were sure to pay for our massages with that.

6 (19m 58s):
Yeah. When we find out that we didn’t really need that much LEC, because most of our meals were going to be included with the tour. We were like, oh crap, what are we going to do with this? Well, I guess we’re going to use this to pay for the massages.

3 (20m 11s):
Wonderful. Everything works out for a reason.

6 (20m 13s):
Yeah. So after the massages, we had dinner at the hotel, like Jamal said, we had some authentic Albanian and cuisine. And then we went out for dessert. I had been looking for dessert place and I had found one online. And our server that night, she said, do you want dessert here? And we said, no, we’re actually going out to dessert. And she said, I actually hope you guys go to de Angelo. Cause it’s the best place. And that was the place that had been pulled up. So we did go there.

3 (20m 39s):
Did you get

4 (20m 39s):
Chocolate covered waffle Tuitions? I remember delicious.

2 (20m 46s):
When I was in Belgium, I ate a shit load of chocolate covered waffles and they were so good. They even made cookie chocolate covered waffles.

3 (20m 52s):

4 (20m 53s):
Like a dollar 50 Chocolate covered waffle like a full-size waffle too. It was really good.

6 (20m 59s):
Amazing. Yeah. It had ice cream on top,

4 (21m 2s):
But other than that, we really didn’t do too much in Albania except for sea Tirana again, which is the capital. So after that day, the next day we woke up and we were going to be going on to Montenegro

3 (21m 14s):
Question before we get too far into this, I know that gate one usually provides a breakfast buffet and every hotel that they put you up at, how was Albania’s breakfast buffet?

6 (21m 24s):
The best one. Really?

4 (21m 26s):
I wouldn’t say second best. I would say second best. I would give Dubrovnik number one.

6 (21m 30s):
Okay. I mean debatable, but I did think that the breakfast buffet was really good and Albania

3 (21m 36s):
And they had most Sealy. Right, right.

6 (21m 37s):

2 (21m 39s):
What else did they have? You walk us through the,

6 (21m 42s):
Okay. You walk in and there’s like a toaster and a breadbasket. Then you go down the line and then there’s cold meats and cheeses. Then you can even get a cold salad if you want. If you go to the other side, it’s all of your hot stuff. So your bacon, your sausages, your eggs, your pancakes, your potatoes. He had an omelet station.

3 (22m 6s):
It sounds very American.

2 (22m 8s):

4 (22m 8s):
And this is where I learned that the coffee was shit because the first day I ordered just a regular coffee and when it came, I drank it. I was like, man, this isn’t even that good. And it tastes like powdered mix. And Britain’s like, no, it definitely is. And then the table next to us, we saw them get really nice, real craft, lattes and cappuccinos. So then I asked her serve. I was like, what’s that? It’s like, oh, it’s the latte. So we knew the next day to get that. And since then we knew like, okay, this is how you have to branch out at all. The other places was to get latte or cappuccino or an espresso.

3 (22m 40s):
Good to know

2 (22m 40s):
It makes me want to coffee so bad.

6 (22m 42s):
And then to round out the breakfast buffet, there was a whole fruit station as well. They had whole fruits, they had cut fruits, they had yogurt. They had like jams to put on top honeys. So it was a whole full

3 (22m 55s):
Sounds. Really good.

4 (22m 56s):
Interestingly enough, like Brittany said, it was her number one, it was my number two, but Albania’s breakfast buffet at the hotel. Really surprised. As a matter of fact, honestly, the hotel we were at in Albania, might’ve been even the best. It

6 (23m 6s):
Was really nice.

2 (23m 7s):
It makes me want to go on a gate one toward just to go to a buffet, spread love,

4 (23m 12s):
But they were good there. I mean, we’ll talk later on which one I think was just kind of, eh, I didn’t hate it. It just compared to other gate ones, it wasn’t special. Let’s put it that way. But like I said, you know, minus the breakfast buffet and everything else in Albania, we didn’t do too much other than in Tirana. So then we headed on out to Montenegro, but before we went to Montenegro, we had one last stop in Albania, which was kind of right on the border where they gave us a little stop to have lunch where Brittany and I actually had our first pizza along the way.

2 (23m 44s):
How was

6 (23m 44s):
It? It was okay. It was okay. Just okay. It was not just special about it, but

4 (23m 48s):
It only cost $5 for a big pizza pie. So for

6 (23m 51s):
An entire, for both of us, it cost $5 for lunch.

2 (23m 55s):
Are we talking like Costco

6 (23m 56s):
Size, a little smaller than that, but

2 (23m 59s):
Still that’s really good.

4 (23m 60s):
Yeah. For $5. So like I said, money goes a long way in Albania.

6 (24m 4s):
One other interesting fact is did you guys know mother Teresa is from Albania. Oh no shit. Yes. There were statues of mother Teresa all over the country and in Shkodra

2 (24m 14s):

4 (24m 15s):
Shkodra that was the last city in Albania. I was like right at the border that was went to

6 (24m 20s):
So in Shkodra there was a statue of her standing kind of like in the middle square that you can go up and take your picture with her if you

2 (24m 27s):
Wanted. Oh, that’s so sweet.

4 (24m 28s):
Yeah, we really didn’t do much there. Like I said, it was a stop really for lunch. They had a couple like streets that had bazaars on them, if you will, with kind of shopping and whatnot. So just kind of more, a little break, nothing that we really did. No tour was included while we were there again, just to stop. But then we crossed the border into Montenegro and we’re traveling by bus on the tour. So this was actually the longest border crossing that we had to wait out. We got lucky with the other ones, but this one took quite a while.

6 (24m 55s):
We’re almost there for two hours, I think, crossing the border.

2 (24m 58s):
How many people were on the tour?

6 (24m 60s):

2 (25m 1s):
Okay. So that’s not too bad, but yeah. Okay.

4 (25m 3s):
But it wasn’t even like, it took so long once we got off the bus or looking at passports or anything, just the line. It took a really, really long time because Albania is not part of the European union. Montenegro’s not even part of the European union. So they have like no agreements. So you have to go through like customs and border checking and things like that when you go through. Yeah.

2 (25m 23s):
So basically you walk over the border and the bus drives through and then he picks you up on the other

6 (25m 27s):
Side. It’s not like that at all. We

4 (25m 30s):
All like we did in Africa. No,

6 (25m 31s):
Not like we did in Africa. So they would collect all of our passports. And then I think at the first one they said we were okay,

2 (25m 38s):
What do you mean? Like they’re getting on the bus.

4 (25m 41s):
’cause Al Albania’s people. Cause since we’re leaving Albania, they need to, Marcus is leaving. So their customs guide came onto the bus, grabbed our passports, took it for a long time. Did whatever they needed to do, gave it back. But that’s just Albania. Then we have to give it to Montenegro Montenegro. So then they got to scan it through. And our tour guide was telling us, it just really depends on who you catch and what day sometimes they want you to come out. Sometimes they’ll just take your passports and be fine. If they see that the majority of people are Americans it’s okay. But if they see that it’s like a European tour, they’re more inclined to have you get off, but it just really depends on the day.

2 (26m 17s):
So, and I’m so sorry for asking so many questions. It’s just fascinating. Like when the guy comes on to the bus and takes your passports or is your bus in line to cross or at this point, do you guys have to park to the side or,

6 (26m 28s):
And that’s what takes so long is because there’s a lot of different tour guides that are going through. So they’re doing this for every single bus. So if there’s a bus in front of us or a bus behind us, this is what’s causing all of this traffic.

4 (26m 41s):
And like I said, I mean, our experience can be completely different from somebody else doing it just depends on the day and who you get

2 (26m 46s):

4 (26m 47s):
So we made our way to Montenegro and we actually were going to a mountainous resort town called Clawson, which was actually really, really nice. It was high up in the mountains, really clean air, beautiful. But along the way, both Brittany and I were pleasantly surprised with how beautiful Montenegro was like, I wasn’t expecting that. So

3 (27m 9s):

4 (27m 11s):
So green, a lot of mountain gorgeous.

6 (27m 14s):
Oh my God. A lot of trees, a lot of trees after being in Toronto. And it was so, so hot in Toronto when we got to Monday Negro, the weather changed a little bit and the scenery was just undeniably beautiful. It was so nice.

4 (27m 28s):
Yeah. Really mountainous and kind of a lot of like mountain gorgeous. So the road that we were driving to get to the town of Colossae and where we were going, it follows a cliff Gorge. And so you could just kind of see over really beautiful. But before we got to the mountain resort town that we were going to be sleeping at, they stopped us at the maraca monastery, which is actually the largest medieval Orthodox monument. That’s still in Montenegro. And it’s been an act of monastery since the year 1252. I mean, it’s like 800

3 (27m 59s):
Years old.

4 (27m 60s):
When you went inside of the little church or chapel that they had there. It definitely did. But in terms of the actual building of the monastery itself, not so much, it’s a small little one because it’s in a remote mountainous town. It’s not like it was in a big city, so it’s relatively small. But when you went into the chapel, you could see the paintings and the paintings definitely look medieval. Okay.

6 (28m 21s):
And this is where I came across my first Squatty potty experience.

3 (28m 27s):
Take us through. Where were you? How were you feeling?

6 (28m 31s):
So we were at the monastery and Montenegro. It fooled me. Right? Cause we’re there, it’s a beautiful tourist destination and our bus parks. And you have to walk down this long road, leading up to this monastery and it’s beautiful. You can see the monastery in the background and behind the monastery or all of the mountains. So it’s just a perfect backdrop. So I’m like, all right, I gotta pee before we head on to the hotel. So I go to use the bathroom and I walk in and there is a ton of mosquitoes, number one, inside the bathroom. And two, I have to squat and there’s no toilet paper. Oh. So these strikes, I was like, oh man, this is rough.

4 (29m 10s):
In all fairness, this place was built in 1252. Huh?

2 (29m 14s):
Was the, I, you know, I can handle the squat, but like no toilet paper and mosquitoes just swarming all around you.

6 (29m 20s):
I was like, okay, okay. How much do I really like Montenegro? Just kidding. But I just wasn’t expecting it. So we left the monastery and I kind of forgot about the Squatty potty. We ended up going to Colossae, which is where we stayed for the night, which this hotel, most gate one tours do get really nice hotels. And the hotel was beautiful. It was gorgeous. I think I posted the hotel on my Instagram, but they didn’t have AC because it’s located in the mountains and it’s not supposed to get hot,

3 (29m 47s):
But it was hot the day you were there. It’s

6 (29m 49s):
Hot. And so when

3 (29m 50s):
All this happened,

4 (29m 51s):
It was warmer, but they have windows that can open obviously. And they give you a fan inside. But our windows didn’t open enough to get like a really big breeze. So you step outside, it’s beautiful. It wasn’t like hot, but just because it’s a building and it’s going to warm up, it definitely got warm for sure.

2 (30m 7s):
Well, do you have screen on the windows? So,

6 (30m 11s):
So I don’t remember getting bet their stay, but one of our tour mates, they had the windows open and he said he got torn up that night. Just keep that in mind, mosquitoes are in Montenegro.

4 (30m 22s):
But like Brittany said too, this hotel was really nice. Like I said, it’s in a mountainous resort town. So the hotel itself was really nice. It had a really rustic mountainous feel to it. But in a good way, when I say rustic on top of that, it was also like a little mini spa. It’s the largest indoor pool I’ve ever seen of any hotel I’ve stayed at seriously like Olympic

3 (30m 41s):

4 (30m 42s):
Yeah. I went into the hot tub also, but Brittany got a massage. We were both going to get massages there because again, they also had a spa, so we’re like, okay, they’re cheap. Let’s do some more massages. So we go down to schedule it and then they tell us, oh, and we were hoping to do it kind of at the same time. Cause we were on a time constraint because it was for the next day after we got back from tour, then they have the dinner we’re supposed to wake up early. So they said, oh, well we can do one at this time. And then the other at the next time, we’re like, well, we can’t do it at the same time. There’s not two openings. They’re like, oh there’s only one visit misuse. So I tell Brittany, I’m like, all right, well you can have the massage because Brittany just loves massages. And they had a Turkish bath, like steam room as well as the sauna.

4 (31m 22s):
So I decided, all right, well where are you getting the massage? I will actually do those. So I did that. Okay.

3 (31m 27s):
I have a couple of questions here. How much was the massage?

6 (31m 31s):
So I just got a 30 minute back neck and shoulder massage and we were in Montenegro. So we went up the coast a little bit. So for that, I believe it was 35 years.

4 (31m 41s):
Montenegro’s on the Euro even though they’re not part of the European union.

3 (31m 44s):
Okay. And then what’s a Turkish bath. I’ve heard it. I don’t know exactly.

4 (31m 48s):
I equate it to kind of like a steam room, but beyond it just being

3 (31m 51s):
Big steam room,

4 (31m 52s):
It was large. It was quite large. And on top of that, it was really interesting. I’ve been in a couple and both of them have done the same thing. So I don’t know if it’s just like an aesthetic look or if it just really needs to have it, but the roof is lit up and they have like a fluorescent kind of like moon and lights with stars that were in there. It was really, really interesting. But if you equate it to a sauna where it’s hot, but it’s dry a steam room, it’s hot, but obviously there’s steam. So it’s like humidity wet in there.

3 (32m 19s):
Okay. And are there a bunch of naked men walking around

4 (32m 23s):
There was not, but it’s funny that you should mention that because we forgot to mention when we were in Albania, I want to circle back around to this. They also had a sauna that we went into and it was like a unisex. Yeah. And then there was a dude, just, it was

6 (32m 37s):
A unisex site

4 (32m 38s):
Rocking it in there.

6 (32m 40s):
And so when we tour, we went to tour the hotel. And so we were checking out the sauna and there was like a picture of like a man and woman wearing a bathing suit. So Jamal and I go downstairs and our bathing suits,

4 (32m 52s):
Well the sign even said, you must have bathing suit or towel on. It did say that.

6 (32m 56s):
Yeah, it did say that. So after our massage, we’re like, okay, we’re all relaxed. Let’s go get in the sauna together. And we had worn our bathing suits down to the massage area with other clothes on top, of course. And we get into the sauna room and there’s a nude man, European man with his Dick hanging out. And I was like, I opened up the door and I was like, oh, I’m so sorry.

4 (33m 14s):
He didn’t

6 (33m 16s):
Like, didn’t even care. And then he gets back into the sauna and Jamal and I get back into the sauna and he is just chilling nude in there.

4 (33m 23s):
Not only was it big?

6 (33m 25s):
No, it wasn’t

3 (33m 26s):
A Placid.

6 (33m 27s):
Oh, he’s dead. Yes. It was blasted. No,

4 (33m 32s):
He just had a raging bone.

7 (33m 35s):

6 (33m 35s):
Saw Jamal and he just got a rack.

3 (33m 39s):
Oh my God. Weird things happening.

4 (33m 41s):
He was just chilling. He was just laying back like

2 (33m 48s):
To like feel inspired Jamal and rip your fucking shorts off.

4 (33m 51s):
Absolutely not.

3 (33m 53s):
Brittany did text me about this. And I said, well, did you get any good?

6 (33m 57s):
No, I didn’t. I didn’t get naked. So what was really nice is in Albania, we did get to work out, but in other countries, the gyms didn’t open early enough for us to take advantage of them. So Jamal and I kind of would say, let’s go on an early morning, walk around the cities. And so in Colossae and we did get to go on early morning walks.

4 (34m 14s):
It was nice and cold, like good brisk morning walk. And the cold is really, really nice.

6 (34m 18s):
Yeah. So day four, it was a really, really beautiful day. We had a local guide in Montenegro and we went to two national parks. The first one was called national park and it’s one of the last Virgin forests in Europe and home to glacial lakes, meaning glaciers have melted and have formed lakes. Oh,

4 (34m 37s):
It was really pretty late. They even had like a dock, some rowboats that were out there really, really picture, but we didn’t spend too much time there. Cause we were going to another national park. How

3 (34m 47s):
Long did gate one allow you guys to stay there?

4 (34m 50s):
They gave us 45 minutes.

2 (34m 53s):
I just gathered that it was long enough to get the Instagram where the pictures that you

6 (34m 57s):
Posted. Yes. Pretty much

3 (34m 59s):

6 (34m 60s):
We were the youngest people on our tour by far. So every time we got on a stop, we would book it. We would just like book it off the bus and be like, all right, we’re going to take our pictures. And then like, by the time, like everyone else got off the bus, they were starting to line up.

4 (35m 11s):
I see. But that spot that we were at, like I said, there’s lots of glacial lakes, but they only took us to one in particular, which was third largest. But even though it’s the largest, it’s not very big. We could have walked around it in 15 minutes, but we had to like use the restroom. They had like a gift shop, you know, Brittany and I like to find ornaments. So we were looking to see, okay, can we find an ornament here? So we did not, not there unfortunately, but we could have walked around. So they did allow enough time. If someone wanted to do that, you definitely could have, but this is another spot where we came across a Squatty potty in their national parks. They had Squatty potties, no toilet paper. But I guess this is something that we should have mentioned in the tip section at the beginning, just as well is obviously I know every one of us here has been to Europe, but for any of our other listeners, public restrooms in Europe, they charge money for them.

4 (36m 2s):
You know what I mean? So this one was a free one and in their national park Squatty. But if you didn’t want to do that, they had a cafe. The cafe was quite nice and you could get coffee or do something, not the part, but you could only use their bathroom if you actually purchase something. So if you get like a coffee, one amongst a couple people, you know, you can go use the restrooms there. And those restrooms were not Squatty potties. They were legitimate, real toilets that were accustomed to had toilet paper just as well. But yes, in the national parks in Montenegro, Squatty potties.

6 (36m 33s):
And then our next stop was to actually see a bridge called the Tara bridge. And it’s a famous bridge in Montenegro and it crosses over the tar river and the river has carved into the rock to make a really large Gorge. They actually call it the grand canyon of Europe. It’s so deep. It’s the second deepest canyon. They

3 (36m 52s):
Call it the grand canyon of Europe. Yes.

6 (36m 55s):

4 (36m 55s):
It’s not, it’s not as wide across, but it is equally as deep. That river has like the deepest Gorge in Europe. Oh,

3 (37m 4s):
Oh. I just pulled up a picture of the tar bridge and it is, it’s very beautiful. It reminds me of the big surf bridge.

4 (37m 10s):
I even, I even told that to Brittany, when that we were there. I said, it’s kind of like Bigsby bridge off of a California highway one. So it was really nice that bridge actually has a really interesting history without going too much into it. You know, during world war II, they were trying to fight off. I believe they said it was an Italian advance of Montenegro. And so they got in touch with the engineer who designed it and they said, this is the only way that they can advance on us. Where can we blow just a portion of the bridge to not destroy the whole thing, but just so that they can advance their tanks or anything like that. So he told them they blew it up. Eventually the Italians came, captured the engineer and they executed him on the bridge.

4 (37m 52s):
Kind of like a sad story. But I found it to be very, very interesting, obviously since then they’ve reconnected the bridge, but I thought that was a really unique thing. Okay.

3 (38m 2s):
There’s a lot of Savage stories from my trip to Europe this year, too. A lot of crazy shit happened.

4 (38m 7s):
That’s one thing I want to say that I’ve loved circling back around about guided tours. You know, when you go places on your own, you see things and the really pretty and beautiful, but on these guided tours, your tour guides are so knowledgeable. They give you the in-depth history that makes it that much more intriguing and exciting to be like, wow, I’m actually here. Yeah.

3 (38m 27s):
Yeah. It’s their job to know all about it and share it with you because you learn.

4 (38m 31s):
I just want to say one thing last about that bridge. They do have zip lining over the Gorge to the other side, but do no, he didn’t do it. She wore a dress that day.

6 (38m 39s):
Yeah. I did wear a dress that day. And so I wasn’t prepared for it. But then we saw the peoples that blaming and it wasn’t like our experience Santa in Honduras, where you have to stop the plane itself. This one you just literally sit on and you go across and they catch you on the other side.

4 (38m 54s):
So it was flying hammock.

6 (38m 55s):
Yeah. It was like a hammock. Really?

4 (38m 57s):
Yeah. But we didn’t know that by the time we figured that out, seeing people go across, we knew if we started waiting in line, it would take too long from the timeframe they told us that we’re going to be ready to leave by because we still were going to do national park, which was another one of Montenegro’s national parks, which was really, really pretty.

6 (39m 16s):
And it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site. This park has 18 glacial lakes. And we went to a lake called black lake, which is the largest and best known lake in the park. Wow. And the lake got its name because of all of the Alpine trees surrounding it have created a reflection in the water to make the water appear black. And that’s why the name of the lake is black lake.

4 (39m 38s):
Hence the name Montenegro too, if you think about it, black mountains, Montenegro. So they were saying that that’s one of the history of how it got its name. As I think they said, when the Venetians, if not the Venetian, someone else from areas of Europe were coming and they said, wow, the trees are so green. They almost look like black from a distance. So the black lake, how the trees were reflecting on it for the color. So even though it’s a glacial lake and they’re usually clear, it looks dark because of the reflection. Very, very interesting.

2 (40m 6s):
I know. Right. So which one did you like better? The bio grad school, national park or dermatology national park?

4 (40m 13s):

6 (40m 13s):

2 (40m 13s):
Agree. It sounds nice. Yeah.

4 (40m 16s):
And it was more in the, I don’t want to say it was more in the mountains, but you can actually see the mountain when you were there versus when you were at the first one,

6 (40m 24s):
It was pretty enclosed and the trees were surrounding you so much that you couldn’t see much more than just the tree surrounding you.

3 (40m 30s):
Did you do any hiking at either one?

4 (40m 32s):
We did not, but we did some grounding.

2 (40m 33s):
Yeah, we did. I was wondering about that

3 (40m 36s):
Early in the trees.

4 (40m 38s):
Not at, well, not necessarily hugging, but touching. We took off our shoes, put our feet in the water. If not in the water, just on the rocks and did some spiritual grounding. Yeah. It was really, really nice.

6 (40m 48s):
And at dormer tour we asked the tour guide, are we following the path? Do, can we go off on our own? Because our tour group was 37 and walked slow as a group. So she was like, oh no, it’s just a straight path. We’re just going to hit the lakes, just like straight up front. And then we’re going to be back at the bus at this time. So Jamal and I took off and we got to spend extra time at the lake.

3 (41m 5s):
Did you guys meet anyone on this tour group that you connected with and became friends with? Like, like it wasn’t China?

6 (41m 12s):
No, we did not. I mean, there was only one person probably younger than 50, other than Jamal and I, and he was traveling with his mom and dad who was an only child, but we made like runs

4 (41m 24s):
And along with everybody, no doubt. But in terms of making like legitimate friends, people our age, like Casha and Ryan, like we did in China, not necessarily so much, but everybody on our tour got along.

6 (41m 36s):
So then the next day it was our last day exiting Montenegro before we insured Croatia. So our last stop in Montenegro was in pod Gorka, which in this spot we only stopped to tour the last king of Montenegro’s palace. He had a lot of children. He followed him play, I think 12.

4 (41m 53s):
Wow. I forgot how many kids they said he had. It was definitely a lot though.

6 (41m 58s):
And he married each of his children off to like people that were high up. And so he was

4 (42m 5s):
Known higher up European royalty.

6 (42m 7s):
Yeah. So he was known as the father-in-law of Europe because he had so many children and kept marrying them off to like royalty.

4 (42m 14s):
One of his daughters was queen of Italy at one point. Yeah. So even though interestingly enough, how I said about the Albanians, the, how they had one king first and last same thing with Montenegro, just as well. So where we went was actually the palace of the first and last king of Montenegro. But as small as his monarchy was, if you consider first and last, he married his children off well into other royalty of Europe. Right.

2 (42m 42s):
I just say to the king of Montenegro did it. Right. Yeah. You know, who probably had more children than him though? The king of Swazi land.

3 (42m 50s):
So many, did he have,

6 (42m 52s):
We had so many wives, so I don’t know how many children

4 (42m 55s):
He had, like 20 something wives. I think it was. Yeah. So that was one of the stops that we did. One of our last ones in Montenegro was seeing the palace of the king. But the coolest thing that we did on that day as we were driving to Croatia, cause we were on our way to Dubrovnik. One of the last stops was in the Montenegrin city of Coture and it’s along the Adriatic beautiful seaside bay town. And this was actually one of the first times I feel like we got to go in ancient ruins that they had there. It was a walled off city. That was really, really interesting in nice.

6 (43m 31s):
And by Waldorf city, we mean like from the base, from where the port is all the way up into the mountains, the entire city is walled off.

3 (43m 39s):
Yeah. I’m looking at a picture right now. That’s very cool.

6 (43m 42s):
And so we didn’t have enough time to hike up the wall, but let me tell you if it hadn’t been a little bit cooler and we had more time, you know, it would have been an easy day. You

2 (43m 52s):
Shouldn’t have ran it.

4 (43m 53s):
We didn’t have time.

2 (43m 54s):
I’m teasing.

4 (43m 56s):
I know, I know, but we stopped there for lunch. And obviously we had time to kind of roam around. I think they gave us two, two and a half hours and we wanted to definitely eat. Cause we hadn’t eaten since breakfast. This was our designated stopping point. We still had a few hours or longer to drive to get to Dubrovnik before dinner. So we definitely ate, but it was a really cool kind of medieval town. And I found it to be really, really interesting. I wish we had time to hike. So

6 (44m 21s):
We did hike. Well, we did climb portions of the wall. So in the city there were staircases where you can go up and explore around a little bit. So we did do that and do some lookouts, but we didn’t climb all the way up cause he could climb to the top if you want it to.

3 (44m 35s):
Yeah. I really love these like medieval type of cities right on the water.

6 (44m 39s):

3 (44m 40s):
Super old and right on the wall.

4 (44m 42s):
And this is another UNESCO World Heritage site as well. We came across many of them on this trip, which I was really, really nice. I love always coming across UNESCO. And just for anyone who’s listening who doesn’t know UNESCO stands for United nations educational, scientific cultural organization. And so basically they’re sites that the UN and countries designate as having historical human importance and significance. So this one is one of them just as well as really, really interesting to see

6 (45m 12s):
Because if you guys go, I would definitely recommend hiking the wall. It’s something I regret not being able to have time to do. So definitely do it. Let us know how it is.

4 (45m 21s):
And it definitely goes higher up the mountain. It’s a steep mountain, you know, where you enter a kind of in a bay level to the city is nothing in comparison to how high that mountain goes up. And I think there was a church at the top wasn’t there or something or was it a Ford at the very top

6 (45m 34s):
I think afford at the top.

4 (45m 35s):
Yeah. But it goes higher up the mountain.

6 (45m 37s):
Cool. And that was our last stop in Montenegro. So then we moved on and we drove to Croatia specifically, we went to Dubrovnik and we had heard a few recommendations on what to do in Dubrovnik. And so one thing we were recommended to do was go to the beach. Another was to go to a bar called booza bar. And so we actually asked a local, Hey, what do you recommend?

4 (46m 1s):
Sorry. We actually asked our driver cause their driver was Croatia. And so we asked him like, should we go to booze a bar? Or what would you recommend?

6 (46m 9s):
And he said, neither go to the cave bar. And he’s like, yeah, it’s really close to the hotel too. So we get into the hotel and we look it up on our map and it was walking distance. Okay.

3 (46m 22s):
I knew I would love Croatia at the top of my

4 (46m 26s):

3 (46m 26s):
List. And you guys went right? Yeah.

6 (46m 28s):
Yes. And it was probably no more than a 10 minute walk from our hotel. So we go down and you can’t even really tell us that there is a cave bar, it’s in a hone

3 (46m 38s):
In the cave. I

6 (46m 39s):
Mean it’s a hotel and restaurant area. And then they have like a small sign for the Cape bar. And you have to take all of these elevators down because you’re up on a cliff, you take an elevator all the way

4 (46m 50s):

6 (46m 50s):
And you enter and you walk out and total cave inside and they have like one area where there is a glass bottom inside the cave as

3 (47m 0s):
Well. And you can see the water, you can’t

6 (47m 2s):
See, you can’t see the water from inside the cave until you go to the cave entrance. But this was like a part where they had carved out a section where they put glass over the flooring. So you could see the natural flooring

4 (47m 13s):
Because when we say a cave, so I mean, it’s on a seaside cliff. They found this accidentally as they were doing construction of the hotel. So when they did, they said, well, let’s just turn this into a bar. But when we see a cave, it’s a real cave. There seems to lag mites and stalactites in there. So that’s where Brittany seemed to have the floor bottom where you can actually see that. So we went there, had a drink, but they also have an entrance that they made out to the water.

3 (47m 37s):
So looking at the pictures, it’s so cool. Yeah.

6 (47m 40s):
Yeah. And so we went there specifically for sunset and one thing to know, and I didn’t know this going in there is you can bring your bathing suit and from the deck where the cave entrance is, they haven’t sectioned off area where you can go swimming. So

3 (47m 54s):

2 (47m 55s):
Years ago I went to Dubrovnik and I missed this. I had no idea it existed. I don’t even know if it existed when

4 (48m 2s):
Yeah. He said it’s like a year, year and a half old.

2 (48m 4s):
Fuck me,

4 (48m 6s):
You hear a booze, a bar,

2 (48m 8s):
You guys know this. So like 2010,

4 (48m 12s):
Who’s a bar where we heard a recommendation to go from somebody else again, who was a tourist, not a local, it’s a bar within the city walls of Dubrovnik that overlooks into the ocean. But it’s really expensive because it’s super touristy. I mean, I think it’s going to be like $15 for drinking. They’re like super, super expensive. Whereas Kate bar didn’t have those type of prices. So that was like our first night in Croatia. We just went to cave bar, watched the sunset. It was really, really beautiful. But before we get onto the next day, were there any bets on a freak out?

3 (48m 46s):
We always bet on a freak out because it always happens.

4 (48m 49s):
This is one really wasn’t one, but I’m just curious.

3 (48m 53s):
Was there any specific

4 (48m 55s):

2 (48m 55s):
It wasn’t one, but still it’s classified as one because you’re going to talk about it. Right?

4 (49m 1s):
Well, Brittany is under the impression that it is one. So that’s really what it

2 (49m 5s):
Is. Well, without further ado, tell

3 (49m 7s):

6 (49m 8s):
So this is our first morning in Dubrovnik and we are at the breakfast buffet.

2 (49m 16s):
Take us through the spread. This

4 (49m 17s):
One was my favorite.

3 (49m 18s):
Okay. Let’s let’s hear what made it better than Albania.

4 (49m 21s):
I just think that there was more granted. We were at a larger hotel in a more touristy city, so they had more stations, but I would say the bacon was better. The potatoes were better. I would say the omelet station in my opinion was better. They did have a lot of good fruit. I will say this Albania’s coffee was a lot better than the Dubrovnik one that they had. We had to ask for decaf for Brittany several times. It took them a while. So in terms of service, but

3 (49m 47s):
That’s your fault for drinking decaf?

2 (49m 51s):
What is this girl talking about? How they

4 (49m 52s):
Had to go make some in the bathroom? Yes.

2 (49m 54s):
When you say better, what do you mean by better? Like they have more options or the flavor wise it’s better.

4 (50m 2s):
I think a combination of both. And again, that’s just my opinion, but they kind of had a lot of the same stuffs. I mean, in Europe, breakfast is really common, like deli meats and cheeses and breads. So they obviously had that section. They had fruits. So cut melons, watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, bananas, you name it. They had grapes. One thing I really enjoyed about is all their stuff over there is pretty much grown organically. So you could actually kind of taste the difference, but that’s getting on another subject altogether.

6 (50m 29s):
So I feel like the breakfast was pretty much the same, except for the coffee was better in Albania. So for a more complete breakfast, I liked the Albanian breakfast buffet better, but that’s just my personal opinion. They were very similar.

4 (50m 41s):
And as much as I love the breakfast buffet, this is what kind of caused the freak out to some sort of extent. We were sitting down eating and using a fork and let’s not kid ourselves. I feel like we’ve all had an instance where we’re using our fork and everything’s not really on the fork, but you know, we’re too lazy to kind of like readjust it to make sure that

3 (51m 2s):
Just like dangling there.

4 (51m 5s):
I mean, or you know, you try to stick it and what you tried to stick, didn’t really stick, but it’s on almost as a spoon, but not, and just kind of too lazy to rustic it and get it in there. So anyway, I’m putting the fork kind of in my mouth, I would say maybe in an awkward position, didn’t realize how far into my mouth. It was, like took a bite and one of the prompts, the Fort chip, my fricking tooth. So like I took a bite belted chip, started to freak out a little bit.

3 (51m 35s):

2 (51m 35s):
I don’t even see, I don’t know where,

4 (51m 37s):
Oh, I feel it on my tongue

3 (51m 39s):
To start to freak out a little bit

4 (51m 41s):
Bottom right here.

2 (51m 42s):
Oh, it’s the bottom of the top. Well, you know what? I chipped my tooth on a sugar daddy, that candy, not a man. When I first, when I first moved to San Diego and I remember when I was younger, mom told me that she chipped her tooth on a sugar daddy and years later I did as well.

4 (51m 60s):
But you

2 (52m 0s):
Chipped in on a Ford.

4 (52m 1s):
I been chipped it and obviously it felt it was Jagen it was sharp. And the way I bit down on it, I felt like, okay, clearly it’s chipped. But I thought I cracked more of my tooth. And I thought like, shit, is this thing going to like crumble on me throughout the day? Did the only the top part come off. And so, yeah, I would say like, I got really, really pissed when he wants to check the tooth on the,

6 (52m 24s):
What does that look like when you start to freak out? What are some things that you

3 (52m 27s):
Say yelling?

2 (52m 28s):
Oh, I know this one. I know this. Why did you say we’re going home?

3 (52m 32s):
Did you say you want to go home?

4 (52m 34s):
I did not say I want to go home. I did not say I want to go home. I only say that if we’re close enough to home, to be a real possibility, I don’t even remember.

2 (52m 44s):
Okay. I was about to say Jamal’s version, Brittany let’s hear the truth. What happened?

6 (52m 51s):
So I see him sitting across from me, but it’s working with mouth bites down and he’s like, oh my God, my tooth is just chipped. It’s going to crumble on me in this vacation. What am I going to do? And then he’s like, I’m just going to go back to the room right now. I don’t even want to eat anything else. What if something else just makes my teeth worse and he’s having a meltdown. He was going to see if there was any day because we bought travel insurance to see if he could get his tooth fixed, but he didn’t want to take any time off of our tour to go get it fixed.

4 (53m 22s):
Chipped your tooth for a trip.

2 (53m 23s):
Not during a

4 (53m 24s):
Trip until let’s reserve judgment Day

2 (53m 30s):
Is really noticeable too.

4 (53m 31s):
Yeah, I know. But I mean, when you’re on vacation, but

3 (53m 33s):
Did you ever get it fixed? Oh, not yet. I can’t tell. I still can.

4 (53m 37s):
Yeah. I can feel it

6 (53m 39s):
After Jamal’s freak out. We had our day in Dubrovnik and again, we started with a walking tour of the city and Dubrovnik is also another walled city. It was built over 800 years ago. It’s a UNESCO World, Heritage site. And people still live within the city. Additionally, our tour guide for our city tour. She grew up in the walled city during the war. And so she remembers playing in the streets. She remembers what it was like to be walled in and having no access to water or access to anything

3 (54m 8s):
You couldn’t get through the wall.

6 (54m 10s):
No, because they were like being invaded.

4 (54m 13s):
Well, it wasn’t invaded all the countries that we went to minus Albania were part of the former Federation of Yugoslavia. And they’ve all broken up now on our separate countries. So Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, we even drove through Bosnia at one point, even though we didn’t go to Bosnia, that’s part of it. So as they were breaking up, some of the now independent countries wanted to still be one. So they were shelling at one point Dubrovnik, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is also illegal to do, to ruin those things in acts of war. So people were pissed. They’re like, whoa, you’re not only bombing civilians on the inside.

4 (54m 54s):
You’re bombing the UNESCO World Heritage site to get people out. Yeah. So she was talking about being there during the war, like in the early nineties when they were doing that.

6 (55m 2s):
Wow. Yeah. And so the wall goes up to 83 feet in height. And so you can actually walk the walls of the city as well.

4 (55m 11s):
Almost exactly a mile to lock the top of the wall.

2 (55m 14s):
Yeah. When I was looking online to see the distance, I think it’s like around 6,300 or something.

6 (55m 19s):
Yeah. And this is just a small area off of the coast. And so there was like an entrance where there was previously a moat and they had like a Drawbridge to go over. And then once you enter that, that would be all blocked off on the walls is where they would station for military and like for watch. So it was previously an active wall and people lived inside of it. And so now they use it for like restaurants, but people do still live inside as well.

4 (55m 42s):
Also they film a lot of game of Thrones here in Dubrovnik. Actually, as a matter of fact, one of the famous scenes shame, shame was filled here. Like one of the steps that they have within the city.

2 (55m 56s):

4 (55m 56s):
So we weren’t able to hide the wall and Coture, but we were able to do it here in Dubrovnik.

6 (56m 2s):
And we did the entire wall. We did a

3 (56m 5s):
Easy day, huh?

6 (56m 6s):

4 (56m 6s):
Circle actually, to an extent it is easy because there’s not a lot of elevation game, but it was hard for one reason

2 (56m 13s):
You had a chip tooth,

4 (56m 15s):
Two reasons. It was humid as shit, man.

6 (56m 19s):
And there’s no shade along the wall. There’s absolutely no shade. Your 100% sun exposure to get up to the walls, you have to climb all this stuff. And then along the wall, there are some steps involved, but the hardest part was just the no shade. But you know, we say it’s an easy day. When we were buying our entrance to hike the walls. I saw that it included going up to the Fort. And I was like,

4 (56m 41s):
Because they have a separate fork on a little rock peninsula headed out to also filmed for game of Thrones, FYI, to anybody listening

6 (56m 47s):
The right key. And the Fort keeps. So I was like, Jamal, look, we got to go hike to up to the Fort because it’s already included in our price. And we don’t want to waste our money because to hike the walls, it was 200 Cuno which equated to about 30 us dollars

3 (57m 2s):
Per person,

6 (57m 3s):
Per person

3 (57m 4s):
Not included with gateway.

6 (57m 5s):
No, they included the tour of the city. You can get into the city for free, but if you want to go up and hike the walls or the Fort, they charge you for that.

2 (57m 14s):
How long did you have in Dubrovnik?

4 (57m 16s):
We had the whole day so guided tour, which was done by again, a local who actually lives within the city walls, not just lives in Dubrovnik on the outside. She literally lives within the walls. That was only half a day. And we were spending the night there that night as well. So we had all the time in the world to do what we wanted to afterwards for the rest of the day.

6 (57m 35s):
And our guide actually told us how to get back to the hotel by taking the local bus, if we didn’t want to go back with the tour. So that’s what we did. Yeah.

4 (57m 42s):
Because where they have the old city of Dubrovnik, the walled off area, there’s only one hotel in the area, which I think is like a Hilton. So if anybody’s going to be going on their own or even with a guided tour company, you’re going to be about five to six miles away from the city center of the walls itself. So we stayed behind hiked the walls, took a bus back to the hotel. Okay,

6 (58m 5s):
Can we hike the Fort? And so on my Instagram, I posted a video of Jamal walking up the steps saying, I thought this was going to be an easy day as we’re hiking up the

4 (58m 14s):
’cause. That was harder than the walls itself. Because like Brittany said, the walls are only at a tire’s point 83 feet high. So yes, it does make a square, but it’s not like an even square. So there is some uptown, but really 83 feet is not bad, but hiking from water level up several hundred feet of stairs into the, a four that Brittany said was included in the ticket price. That was more of the hard part, but it was so humid without being too gross. When we got back to the hotel, like

6 (58m 43s):
Yes, more than that

4 (58m 45s):
Beyond just me, like Brittany’s romper was soaked Soap. All of her clothing was wet. Right.

2 (58m 52s):
I was there in April, 2010 and it was beautiful, But I didn’t walk though.

6 (58m 57s):
But the walls in the Fort gave panoramic views of the city of the coastline of just everything. And it was so worth it, it was one of my favorite days, even though it was so hot,

3 (59m 7s):
Those views that are so hard to get to are always worth it.

6 (59m 10s):
Yeah. And then

4 (59m 11s):
After the

2 (59m 12s):

4 (59m 13s):
Anyone who goes definitely through the walls, they, they definitely do charge a lot for it, but you can definitely see more of the view, like seeing into the city, seeing the coast, it’s really nice and worth it.

6 (59m 24s):
And then after we went back to our hotel, we got ready for dinner and we took a boat on the Adriatic looking at Dubrovnik. And so it took us to a beach that looked out to the city, the old city, the old city. And so it was really nice.

4 (59m 39s):
Yeah. So this was actually with gate one and the guided tours, you know, the tours are included, but sometimes they have additional ad-ons that you pay for. So we paid for this, it was a sunset cruise that took us to a beach that was maybe a couple of miles away from the old city, but we had a view of it. So we got to watch sunset on the beach at a restaurant and having dinner, which was really, really nice. And by that time it had definitely cooled down a lot and the mosquitoes were out and about

6 (1h 0m 5s):
After dinner, we did get into the water at that beach. And it was really nice. Again,

3 (1h 0m 10s):
You brought your swim suits with you?

4 (1h 0m 11s):
No, we got up to our knees. We didn’t get in

3 (1h 0m 15s):
The water warm or cold.

4 (1h 0m 16s):
It was perfect. I mean, it’s met it’s Mediterranean water. It’s perfect.

2 (1h 0m 20s):

6 (1h 0m 21s):
So then that was our last day in Dubrovnik. We were still in Croatia, but we had to drive to split. And so Jamal did say that we did have to cross into Bosnia. We did have to drive through Bosnia because Croatia is actually a split country where there’s a divide where there’s eight miles of the coast. That’s Bosnia before it becomes Croatia. Again,

2 (1h 0m 42s):
Really? I did that.

3 (1h 0m 44s):
I can see that I’m a map,

2 (1h 0m 46s):
But I drove from split to Dubrovnik on an overnight train. And they came like ravaging through the train, waking everyone up and scaring the shit out of everyone.

4 (1h 0m 58s):
Yeah. Because he needed a passport passport.

6 (1h 1m 1s):
So even though you’re in the same country, you have to cross over and then go through like a border control.

2 (1h 1m 6s):

4 (1h 1m 6s):
I mean, it, it is odd, but you know, I equate it to thinking of the rest of the United States and Alaska granted, it’s not that short of a distance, but it’s still part of the United States that doesn’t touch the Crow. It’s just kind of the same thing. But Bosnia only has that like eight miles of

3 (1h 1m 21s):
Like the whole thing. Just, just a tiny little smidge. Yeah.

6 (1h 1m 25s):
So we drove to split and in split, we did a tour of old town and Diocletian’s palace. And this was actually my favorite tour that we took. So I’m going to give you guys Information about it. So splits on the water, there’s a water promenade and then there’s a big palace. And so the ruler of the palace actually had killed people to get to the very top

4 (1h 1m 46s):
Diocletian was a Roman emperor, but he retired. But in Rome, there really is no retirement. Even if you retire, people think you’re going to come back, take over. So he was paranoid for his life. So he built this palette,

6 (1h 1m 59s):
He built this palace and it’s two stories and he builds the bottom floor to replicate the top floor and the bottom floor, no one lives there. There’s nothing there. And part of it is flooded by the ocean. So he lives on the top floor, which exactly mimics the bottom floor. And he is so paranoid because he’s retired. He thinks people are going to kill him. So he killing people around him in the village that are questioning his status, declared himself a mortal. So people are saying like, is he really immortal? He’s questioning them and executing them. And he’s pretty much like has an entire village hating him. And it’s just him, his wife, his daughter, and then like a hundred guards that are guarding this palace

4 (1h 2m 40s):
Within the palace itself.

6 (1h 2m 42s):
Okay. And so he gets so paranoid to the point that he ends up executing his wife and daughter outside of the palace on the square. And he even builds himself a crypt on the palace grounds. So he ends up dying about two weeks later and they don’t know what happened. They don’t know if the guards just were like, well, if he’s willing to execute his wife and daughter, then he’s willing to do this to us. So he ends up dying. They put his body in the crypt and people from the village come they’re like, how did this happen? He said, he’s a mortal. So they say, okay, we’re gonna check his pulse to check his pulse. They realize he’s dead. And they throw his body out to sea. And so everyone in the surrounding village that hates him, goes to live in the palace.

6 (1h 3m 25s):
And as kind of like a fuck you like, fuck you. So now that so

3 (1h 3m 29s):

4 (1h 3m 31s):
Really interesting.

6 (1h 3m 32s):
So now 700 people have moved into this palace. So what did they do about toilets? Well, what they did before was they would poop on the second floor and it would drop into the first floor.

4 (1h 3m 46s):
There was water that was supposed to love that area. Anyway,

6 (1h 3m 51s):
I’m hoping for the ocean current to take in and out the urine feces. Well, what happens when there’s 100 people living and then 700 people move in

3 (1h 4m 0s):
A lot more shit.

6 (1h 4m 1s):
There’s a lot more shit. So The entire bottom floor fills to the brim up to the second story with shit. And they realize they can’t shit in it anymore. So they stopped shitting it. And no one does anything about it. So the

3 (1h 4m 18s):
Current couldn’t get

6 (1h 4m 19s):

4 (1h 4m 20s):
Like water has since receded where the water used to come up in the palace and the flood, the bottom purposely by design, just the C-level line has actually changed. So it’s not at that point anymore. They have like a street prominent on the outside. So no water is coming to wash it or anything like that.

3 (1h 4m 35s):
One smelling this.

6 (1h 4m 36s):
I mean, I don’t know what they were doing or

3 (1h 4m 39s):
How long it takes to fill up.

6 (1h 4m 41s):
It’s built, it’s 100% filled. And now they declare this a UNESCO World Heritage site. So they start

4 (1h 4m 49s):
Cause people still live in there to this day. So they

6 (1h 4m 52s):

3 (1h 4m 52s):
Still shit

6 (1h 4m 54s):
Will not like that anymore. So they realize that there’s a problem. And before it’s a world heritage site, they get little kids to start piling out pounds of the shit, but then UNESCO hears about it. And like the university I think of

4 (1h 5m 8s):
Minnesota and soda,

6 (1h 5m 9s):
Excavates tons and tons and tons of shit out of there. There’s petrified shit all over.

4 (1h 5m 16s):

6 (1h 5m 17s):
Means like it’s been frozen and solid and it’s preserving. It’s actually preserving the ruins. So people that actually live there are unwilling to get all of this crap removed. Because if you own the top, you own everything underneath it.

4 (1h 5m 33s):
According to Croatia and law,

6 (1h 5m 34s):
And they’re unwilling to get it removed because they’re afraid if they remove all of this crap that their bottom floor is going to fall in.

4 (1h 5m 41s):
So a lot of universities, university of Michigan, obviously UNESCO, they’ve actually done some of the excavation of it. So our tour guide was telling us, do you notice how good these walls look down here compared to like up there? It’s because we’re standing up until maybe 60 years ago. This was really all filled with solidified feces shit and whatnot. They’ve since taken it out. But she took us to one area where there’s actually still a little tucked in area that’s roped off. And she said, did you see this rope right here? She said, this is actually a borderline of somebody’s house. You put this rope here and you can see everything that’s back here.

4 (1h 6m 21s):
She’s like, this is actually what some of the petrified VCs look like. The people above, under Croatian law, they own what’s below their home. So they don’t want anybody digging this because they think if they dig it, their top is going to crumble down. So there’s an area in the bottom level where you can actually like still see it

6 (1h 6m 41s):
Smell. No, we asked why it smelled. And then she feels like we’re sponsored by Glade. They do like spray it. So it doesn’t smell.

4 (1h 6m 50s):
No, not at all. And the people that still live in it are direct descendants of the original people that moved into the palace when Diocletian died, they’ve since passed this down generation

6 (1h 6m 59s):
To generation.

4 (1h 7m 0s):
So they didn’t have all these rooms. People have built it up. It really, really interesting story. But side know they filmed some scenes from game of Thrones here just as well for any game of Thrones fans. It’s a matter of fact, the scene where she keeps the dragons in the dark, kind of tied up and cheery and goes in and is like, don’t eat the help. Does anyone remember that?

3 (1h 7m 19s):
No, I wasn’t a watcher. Oh,

4 (1h 7m 20s):
Okay. Well they filmed that scene there and several other things, but split was actually really cool, especially the palace. Very interesting.

6 (1h 7m 27s):
We went out for dinner that night after Jamal and I did the city tour. We went back to our hotel and then we walked back out to the city and we went to a place. It was called Buka Maura for pizza. And all they sell is pizza. We had the best pizza I’ve ever had. It was a white sauce with mushrooms and truffles and it was so good. And while we were there for lunch, we actually added an authentic place called FIFA for lunch.

3 (1h 7m 48s):
And what kind of food was on the menu at FIFA?

6 (1h 7m 51s):
So a lot of goulashes, I had some gnocchi with goulash sauce almost. And so you

3 (1h 7m 57s):
Have a goulash,

4 (1h 7m 58s):
Like a thick stew, but just really like meat and then the sauce.

6 (1h 8m 3s):
And then Jamal had some Escalade for dinner. So for

4 (1h 8m 8s):
Escalade it’s pounded out like either chicken, pork, or beef really thin I had pork and it would had to like a sauce with it. And what did it come with on the side? Oh, I got French fries on the side with it. Yeah. Sounds good. So that is some of the local cuisine. So we did have that for lunch on the recommendation of our tour guide. But like Brittany said, Boca, Maura, honestly, some of the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life.

3 (1h 8m 30s):
How about any middle Eastern food or Greek food? Falafel. Shawarma

4 (1h 8m 35s):
Saw a lot of it there. We just didn’t try it.

3 (1h 8m 38s):
Okay. So it was prevalent.

6 (1h 8m 41s):
So outside of the golden gates of Diocletian’s palace, there was a big statue and it was of Gregory of Nin. And he was a Croatian Bishop who strongly opposed the Pope because during this time that he was alive, mass was only offered in Latin and he believed that the services should be offered in their native language.

4 (1h 9m 0s):
Most people didn’t understand Latin just as

6 (1h 9m 2s):
Well. He got it. So that services were in their native Croatian language. And so people loved him so much. They started rubbing his toe for good luck. And so his toe on the statue is now gold. And eventually I think when the Italians took over, they cut his statue into five and buried it and took it down.

3 (1h 9m 22s):
Is it just the toe?

6 (1h 9m 24s):
No. And then

4 (1h 9m 25s):
Statue of him still, but

6 (1h 9m 27s):
So then they dug it back up and they put it together and they put the golden toe right outside of the golden gates of Diocletian palace. So we went and rubbed the toe.

4 (1h 9m 36s):
So it’s a statute format and it’s yeah, it’s believed to bring good luck. So we rubbed his toe for good buck.

3 (1h 9m 42s):
How big was it?

4 (1h 9m 43s):
Big toe. It’s a big statue. So after split, we were still going to be in Croatia, but we actually drove to the pizza national park and I didn’t even know how to pronounce this. I’m still going to probably not pronouncing it. Right. But I’ve known of this place. If you Google Croatian lakes, this is going to come up. I guarantee you anyone who’s on Instagram has seen it before. And it’s also UNESCO World Heritage site. And again, still in Croatia. Do you want to tell them what the lakes are? Brittany?

6 (1h 10m 12s):
Yeah. There is 16 lakes and they’re all interconnected by cascading waterfalls. So it’s

3 (1h 10m 18s):
So beautiful.

4 (1h 10m 21s):

3 (1h 10m 22s):
That’s gorgeous.

6 (1h 10m 23s):
Once we got there, they said that we could have like a tour with our guide and we asked if we could just go alone because it just so happened that our hotel was inside the national park and very easy to get to. And we weren’t going anywhere for the night. So Jamal and I just took off on our own. And our tour group was only going to explore one section of the park and Jamal and I wanted to explore all of the sections. So we went off on our own. And when you first walked down, so the lakes are far down and you have to hike down to get down there, which means you also have to hike out as well. You get the first glimpse of the lakes and everyone’s piling up for those first pictures. Everyone’s piling up to like see the biggest waterfall and Jamal and I were like, the waterfall doesn’t really look super impressive during the season that we went.

6 (1h 11m 8s):
So we took a quick look at it, but we pass by and the farther and farther that we went, the more impressive it became and the less people were on the trail. So there were parts that we had alone as well. The water was tinges of blue, turquoise, green, some parts even look a little bit darker. So they’re like blue, almost gray, but overall. So

4 (1h 11m 29s):
I mean really clear. You could see the fish in there. You could see the fall and foliage of the trees really clear and beautiful, but one of the reasons why Brittany and I did it alone is because when we were about to start our tour again, our local tour guide stood us in front of a map and said, okay, this is what the park looked like. This is what we’re going to explore. And we were only going to explore the two lower lakes, which are the largest. And yes, you could see like a few waterfalls, but the more you go up the levels of the 16 interconnecting lakes, that’s when you can actually see more of the waterfalls themselves And the smaller lakes. So it was really cool because the entire pathway that’s there is made with like a little wooden bridge. That’s just a few feet above the water.

4 (1h 12m 9s):
So really, really, really, really nice.

6 (1h 12m 12s):
No, there’s not a lot of railing. So if you wanted to reach over and feel the water, you can and be careful because if you’re walking fast and want to fall off,

4 (1h 12m 22s):
But know that this might have been my favorite day, I’m still unsure what I would say, but this one was really nice.

6 (1h 12m 29s):
And then if you hike up from entrance one to entrance three, there is a shuttle bus that will take you back to the front, or you can hike the entire loop if you want it to yourself. So you have different options of how far you want to go and where you can end our last stop. And Croatia was in for ice cream. And it was just a little seaside town with resorts. It was on the north end of the Adriatic coast. And this town is actually famous for its beaches and picturesque surroundings. And that was all we did before. We’re crossing the border into Slovenia.

4 (1h 12m 59s):
When we went into Slovenia, the first stop that we were going to do was the Postojana Caves. So the Postojana Caves are the largest showcase in Europe. And by showcase, that means that just available for the public to go in and see, explore et cetera. The largest caves in Europe are still actually in Slovenia, just as well. They’re just not available to the,

6 (1h 13m 20s):
And it’s so big that you actually have to get on a train and you’re on a 10 minute train ride through the Cape system to get to where the cave tour.

4 (1h 13m 29s):
I actually felt like I was on a Disneyland ride or something like big thunder mountain. Like we were in the cave on a train. It takes you literally 10 minutes driving in and obviously see stalagmites stalactites along the way.

6 (1h 13m 41s):
And Jamal and I have done several caves in the past and we’re like, okay, how different can this be? But every time we go into a new cave system, we’re like, wow, this is impressive. And that was exactly how we felt. It also had a salamander called an own. It’s an aquatic salamander that’s only found in European caves and it sleeps, eats and breeds underwater. It was crazy to see two,

2 (1h 14m 2s):
You had to take a 10 minute train ride just to get there. Imagine the man who walked there to figure out that that was even there. Like at what point do you just keep going?

4 (1h 14m 15s):
Is that on the train ride? You can still see stalagmites to lactides a lot of interesting formation. So it was just a big opening. Like it does go the cave systems, 15 miles long. So,

6 (1h 14m 25s):
So funny that you say that they know the guy that found it became their first tour guide of the cave system

2 (1h 14m 31s):
Before he got the funds to build the train.

3 (1h 14m 34s):
And how did these cave systems first get created?

4 (1h 14m 38s):
There’s a river that’s right by it. I forgot the name of the river, but it’s right by the Cape system. And they are limestone rock and limestone. Obviously the water will come through as it comes through. It builds calcium deposits and other types of minerals. And so when it drips through the rocks, that’s what over time creates the buildup for the stalagmites to lag tight. So, I mean, these have taken obviously hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years to form.

6 (1h 15m 6s):
So from the caves we drove to bled and our hotel was located on lake blood and on link blood, there’s an island in the middle, which houses a church. And then on the cliffs, there is a castle. So it was just very, very beautiful. We had a views from our hotel, the breakfast buffet, there was views. And then

3 (1h 15m 26s):
The food though,

2 (1h 15m 27s):
Walk us through the spread.

4 (1h 15m 29s):
This one was just okay.

6 (1h 15m 30s):
It was just okay, but the views made it beautiful and perfect. And then,

4 (1h 15m 35s):
Sorry, before you continue on bled is actually in the Alps. So it’s an Alpine lake, really foresty, really green. You know, we said Montenegro was really green. So was Slovenia. What we saw Slovenia was really, really pretty in that sense, just as

6 (1h 15m 49s):
Well. And so once we got to blood, it was later in the afternoon and we had been having tons of authentic cuisine, the entire trip. So we actually went out to Chinese food for dinner,

3 (1h 16m 0s):
Chinese food in bled Slovenia.

6 (1h 16m 4s):
And it was run by an authentic Chinese family. And I wouldn’t say it was the best Chinese food I’ve ever had, but for that area, it was really good

4 (1h 16m 13s):
For being in Slovenia and the, probably the ingredients that they have access to out there. Like Brittany said, it’s not the best Chinese food, but for what it was there, it was delicious.

3 (1h 16m 23s):
Was there a lot of Chinese food or was that just random? It’s just

6 (1h 16m 27s):

4 (1h 16m 27s):
It was kind of random. Yeah. We loved it so much. We ate there twice. As a matter of fact,

3 (1h 16m 32s):
What did you order

4 (1h 16m 33s):
The first night

6 (1h 16m 34s):
We got egg rolls and then we ended up getting a noodle and veggie dish as well. And then we got some sweet and sour pork. Yeah.

4 (1h 16m 44s):
We’ve got sweet and sour pork the second night. And I guess what we got

2 (1h 16m 48s):
Duck duck, what would be so surprised? Yeah.

4 (1h 16m 52s):
Well, we looked for other places to eat and we were going to do a different pizza place that was there without getting too far off on the subject of blood right now. But that place we went to for lunch. And then we got there and reorder the pizza and it’s not just a pizza party. They told us, oh, we don’t do pizza today. I’m like, okay. So we left and we’re like, what else are we going to eat? So we went back to Chinese and we got the duck that day.

6 (1h 17m 13s):
So the hotel we stayed at was actually called park hotel and it’s famous for its cream cake. And they sell like in the high season up to like 3,500 slices per day.

3 (1h 17m 25s):

6 (1h 17m 26s):

3 (1h 17m 26s):
Like, is it describe it? It’s

6 (1h 17m 28s):
Four layers. It’s a flaky bottom crust

3 (1h 17m 32s):
And like a pillow dough kind of thing,

4 (1h 17m 34s):
But a little bit thicker. I don’t want to call it a Graham cracker, but it definitely had a little bit more of that thickness and texture, not necessarily of that, of a filo.

6 (1h 17m 41s):
And then it had like a layer of one type of cream and then it had a smaller layer of another type of cream. And then it had the same crust on the top as well. So it was delicious.

4 (1h 17m 56s):
So we ate that overlooking the lake. It was just really beautiful. We had that at night. It was nice. Yeah.

6 (1h 18m 1s):
At night the castle and the cliff is lit up. So it was a great view.

2 (1h 18m 5s):
It’s awesome. It’s just making me so excited for Thanksgiving. And when I hear you talking about that stuff,

6 (1h 18m 11s):
And that was all we did the first day in blood, but then the second day, this was actually a free day. And we decided to do the optional tour because there’s no Disneyland in Slovenia Bummer. So we did the city tour and the island that I talked about in the middle of the lake, we took a boat out there called a Platina. And this guy literally wrote with us himself. He just had both arms out with the oars and he’s just rowing for a win. And he looks so intense doing

2 (1h 18m 45s):
I was like, what did his biceps look

6 (1h 18m 47s):
Like by having them, one of the guys on the boat who was just sitting there was like, guess you don’t got to go to the gym,

4 (1h 18m 54s):
What a witty remarks.

2 (1h 18m 55s):

6 (1h 18m 56s):
So we get to the island. And once you get to the island, there’s 99 steps that you have to climb up to get to the church it’s there. So immediately, if you don’t like, okay,

4 (1h 19m 8s):
It wasn’t that bad at all, actually. But the lake is really nice, beautiful blue color, just as well. And again, it has the island on it that has the church. The church is actually called the pilgrimage church of the assumption of Mary. So it’s a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and within the church, you can actually ring the bell. So at the altar, they have the rope for the bell and you can ring it. So if you ring it three times and make a wish, it’s supposed to obviously make it true. So we got to ring the bell.

3 (1h 19m 39s):
And what do you guys wish for? I

4 (1h 19m 40s):
Can’t tell you won’t come true. Kim.

2 (1h 19m 43s):
I think that in Spain, they had something where you get to ring the bell.

6 (1h 19m 46s):
So there’s a tradition. This church is still working, so they use it for mass and they also use it for a wedding. So it’s good luck. If the groom carries his bride all the way up, all of the steps and they go and make a wish,

2 (1h 19m 58s):
You know, who wouldn’t have a problem carrying his bright up,

6 (1h 20m 1s):
The guy ruined the boat. Yes,

2 (1h 20m 4s):

4 (1h 20m 5s):
He’s got the muscles. Yes, he does. Yeah. So after we did the island and the church there, the tour continued on, we went to lake . I can’t pronounce it. I’m going to spell it for everybody. It’s spelled B O H I N J. And again, it’s just another Alpine resort town. It has a glacial lake in front of it, but it’s located it within a Slovenian national park. The Park’s name is tree glove, and it’s the largest permanent lake in Slovenia. And they have a lot of skiing around in that area too is really, really nice Alpine town, just as well, real scenic beauty and Slovenia

6 (1h 20m 41s):

4 (1h 20m 42s):
Bogin. Thank you. Thank you, Wikipedia. Yes.

6 (1h 20m 46s):
And I took off my shoes and I put my feet in the water and it was really nice. The water was cold,

4 (1h 20m 51s):
But at that point too, yeah,

6 (1h 20m 53s):
We did get hit a little rain, but it was so beautiful. And so S and then Jamal, and actually I had actually wanted to eat at the castle because there’s a restaurant on the top. And we hadn’t, the reason we didn’t was because the final night there was a farewell reception at the blood castle. So we went up for that and it had views from the castle down onto the lake. You could see our hotel and everything, and it was,

3 (1h 21m 17s):
Was this put on by gate one? This was, and what was it like, did they have booze?

6 (1h 21m 22s):
You can get a glass of wine. Yeah.

4 (1h 21m 25s):
I mean, you’ve been on a gateway, Kim, you know, like the booze is included for one, if you want more, it’s kind of like

3 (1h 21m 30s):
In Africa, it was a lot different.

4 (1h 21m 32s):
Well, we did some booze cruises that were part of the tours that were a little bit different that weren’t included with the dinners

3 (1h 21m 38s):

4 (1h 21m 39s):
So that’s where the difference comes into play.

6 (1h 21m 41s):
It’s a 400 foot cliff, and that’s what the castles on top of

4 (1h 21m 46s):
The lake.

6 (1h 21m 46s):
And it was a perfectly to end our tour. Very nice. So that pretty much sums up our trip. But the last portion I want to talk about is cost. So

3 (1h 21m 56s):
That’s a long trip, 12 days. So how much does a 12 day trip on a guided tour?

6 (1h 22m 1s):
Okay, so I’m going to break it down with how much we paid for the tour itself. Again, our tour includes flights, hotels, transportation entrance, to the national parks and activities like the city tours, all breakfast, some lunches, few dinners. And this also included what we paid for the optional tours as well. For the both of us, we paid $4,739. And for everything else, who’d been ears meals that were not included. We even included our Lyft and taxis to, and from our airports buses, tips, or guides, drinks, and massages. We spent $1,235 and 92 cents. So for a grand total, we spent for the both of us, $5,974 and 92 cents.

3 (1h 22m 47s):
Nice about little less than three grand each for a 12 day adventure, all expenses paid.

4 (1h 22m 53s):
And a lot of the expenses that work on our own was, yes, you’re on vacation. You want to spoil yourself, but we had those massages, which kind of added up. You guys are aware. We love to buy Christmas ornaments and each city that we’re at. And sometimes the good ones are 20 to $30. So I mean, a lot of people could hear that. And I don’t think it’s that bad. I know for some people, they may think like, oh, that’s expensive. But in terms of what we chose to spend out of pocket outside of the guided tour, we could have definitely eaten that cheaper places and not gotten those souvenirs. And it’s definitely a lot more manageable for people.

3 (1h 23m 26s):
Yeah, absolutely. That’s a pretty good deal to me, especially, I don’t know if we ever mentioned this on our last one, but with gate one, if you buy your trip in advance, you can make payments on it. So that lightens the burden of the cost. And you guys got this one on sale, didn’t you?

6 (1h 23m 42s):
We did get it on sale. It was buy one, get one half off. But that half off only included the land portion, not the airfare portion of it.

2 (1h 23m 51s):
The other thing about eight one is if you pay cash, they give you like a cash discount.

6 (1h 23m 56s):
Yeah. We also paid cash. So we had a 5% cash discount.

2 (1h 23m 59s):
The rate that you give does that include the 5% discount? Yes, it

6 (1h 24m 1s):

3 (1h 24m 2s):
Keep your eye on those sales paying cash.

2 (1h 24m 5s):
All right. Any last minute thoughts?

6 (1h 24m 7s):
My last thought is everyone spoke English in every single country. We went to

3 (1h 24m 13s):
Good English,

6 (1h 24m 14s):
Decent, really good at English. And so that wasn’t something I was necessarily expecting actually in Montenegro. They say that English is taught as their second language and they’re required to learn three languages in Montenegro, Montenegro, Montenegrin English, and then one language of their choice.

2 (1h 24m 29s):
Oh, wow. All right, guys.

3 (1h 24m 31s):
Thank you guys so much for listening to this week’s episode. I hope you enjoyed touring along the Adriatic coast with Jamal and Brittany.

4 (1h 24m 39s):
Please subscribe to our podcast, leave a review, tell us what you’d like and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes.

2 (1h 24m 46s):
And if you aren’t already make sure you’re following us on Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast,

6 (1h 24m 51s):
Pack your bags because next week we are exploring Denver, Colorado

3 (1h 24m 57s):
Miles’ birthday trip.

4 (1h 24m 58s):

6 (1h 24m 58s):

2 (1h 24m 59s):

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