Tuesday, 16 September 2014

War Zones and Sunsets: Bosnia & Herzegovina || Travel

For our October trip we headed even further South to the Capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Sarajevo. With a population of just under 400,000 the cultural and religious difference within the city is incredible, Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Catholicism coexist within the valley. Despite the fact that not too long ago in the 1990's the city was on the edge of annihilation, today it is a vibrant and attractive city.




Above is the spot where Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia were assassinated in 1914 and the wall plaque dedicated to it.





Sarajevo is a beautiful city to walk around and take in the various different religious buildings and places. As well as visiting all the top tourist sites and destinations within the city we also paid to go on a trip outside the city to the Sarajevo War Tunnel which is the tunnel that was used throughout the war to help civilians escape the city and to import materials and food into the city to help the soldiers; at this time there was no other way in or out of the city due to it being surrounded by the Serbians. It was there that I saw this...



After partying it up in the city's best nightclub the next morning we awoke with some foggy heads but despite this we were rearing to get going to our next destination; Mostar.





Mostar is located to the south west of Sarajevo and is definitely worth a visit, we spent our Sunday morning there. It is a very small town but has great cultural and historic importance due to the magnificent bridge photographed above. 
Stari Most, which in English means 'Old Bridge' is a reconstruction of the 16th Century Ottoman bridge that crosses the river Neretva and connects the two sides of the town. The previous bridge stood in place for 427 years, until it was destroyed in 1993 by the Croat forces during the war. This reconstruction opened in July 2004.



We then found a spot for our picnic lunch and headed back to the car for our journey to Split in Croatia, the drive was around 180km but we were sure to stop off a take some snaps of the beautiful scenery. 


Although we arrived to Split quite late into the evening it was totally worth it as we all gazed out to such an incredibly, beautiful sunset and wandered around the old town. 



Elle xxx

Friday, 5 September 2014

Sea Organs and Waterfalls: Croatia || Travel

To continue on from my post on my little trip to Lake Bled in Slovenia, today's post is going to be about my first long trip whilst on my erasmus year abroad. At the end of September, I was lucky enough to travel from Slovenia to Croatia for a total of 3 days. In that short time, I managed to visit a total of 5 places in Croatia! So if you're looking for somewhere to escape to (even through a computer screen!) keep on reading :)

Our first stop was Rijeka, in the northern part of Croatia, the third largest city of the country, at first glance, Rijeka can just seem like a gritty port town which most people dash through en route to the picturesque Croatian islands. However, if you open your eyes wide enough, you will notice the pretty Austro-Hungarian buildings that stand  within the concrete based coastal city. We arrived in the evening and only had time for a short walk around before dinner.

The next day we woke up early and got going, the next stop was Krk island, only 50 km away. We spent the morning exploring and even taking a dip in the glistening blue sea!

Rijeka






Road to Zadar (sorry for bad quality.. moving car issues)


That afternoon we headed down towards the city of Zadar, which is 250km all the way down the coast line of Croatia. The journey took around 4 hours but there was never a moment of boredom, we were all fascinated with the views from our coastal road. As we rolled along, the sun was setting on the beautiful Adriatic sea, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

Birdseye view of Zadar (image taken from Google)
We arrived in Zadar early evening, the weather was still warm and we strolled around the beautiful ancient walled city. As you can see from the picture above (stolen from google) the city is situated on a sort of separate piece of land which is attached to mainland Croatia at just one end. We ate some beautiful food and then walked to the most popular attractions in Zadar; the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation - these are two artistic installations which utilise the power of nature to create beautiful sounds and sights. It was one of the most magnificent performances I have ever seen, if you are ever anywhere near Zadar, it is definitely worth it to visit purely for the Sea Organ and Sun Salutation. To end our beautiful day we got lost in the outskirts of Zadar trying to find our hostel, which actually turned out to be an apartment in the basement of someones house! However skeptical I was, the family were very lovely and we enjoyed our night there.
Sun Salutation (image taken from Google) 

The next day was going home day but we weren't departing without a fun day full of activities! We asked the owner of the house we stayed in if there was anywhere near that we weren't to miss before leaving. The lady of the house recommended a small town close by called Nin. The lady stated that this is the oldest town in the whole of Croatia and therefore has significant historical importance. We decided to take her advice and give little Nin a visit.

Nin, Croatia
Nin was a beautiful little fishing village. After a short walk in the rain, we decided to carry on to the National Park.




It was an incredible trip and I would recommend Croatia to everyone! Have you ever been? Any tips to share?

Elle xxx

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Hello September

September is the month for cosy nights in, hot chocolates, oversized blankets and vegetable soup. I spend my whole summer wishing it will never end until it gets to September 1st and I'm suddenly ecstatic about Autumn. 

weheartit.com
This September I plan on filling each day with happiness, spending each day doing something I love to make it the best September yet.  I've decided to share with you 10 of these lovely thoughts and things. 

1. Family time. I'm going to Scotland for 4 days to spend time with my family who live there, I don't see them very often so I'm sure we are going to have some lovely cute outings in the autumn weather, with hot chocolate stops at the local cafes!

2. Cooking. I've been really enjoying letting my creativity run wild in the kitchen lately. With the colder months approaching, I would really like to try a few new dishes to enjoy in the winter.

3. Reading. With all this spare time I've had over the summer months, I have been reading a lot more books, crime novels in particular, I'd like to be able to keep this up even when I have a slightly busier schedule! 

4. Me time. I'm thinking, candles, bubble baths, beautifully painted nails, face masks and rose scented spritzers, yes please. 

5. Focus. I need to be organised to enter into my final year at uni (eeeeek). Finding a structured routine for myself is key if I want to achieve all that I aim to this coming academic year. 

6. Beauty. No longer exposed to the sun, sea and sand, my healthy tan will begin to fade and therefore I want to make sure my skin stays in top condition. I often get lazy after the summer, but I am to keep moisturising daily and make my tan last as long as possible!

7. Glamour. A bit of lippie and a party now and again is never a bad thing. Heading back down to uni is a great excuse for a get together and I can't wait to get my heels on and have a good old boogie. 

8. Creativity. I know that I have a lot of creativity bursting out of me however I'm often one to ignore it because theres always an easier and quicker way to get things done. But, this September I'm determined to do things a little differently and let my creative vibes flow oooooo!

9. Confidence. We all have those times, you're feeling down, tired, unmotivated and just not very confident with who you are right now. Well, September is my new month to be confident again, be proud of who I am and what I achieving because you can never do better than you're best.

10. Smile. Just smile :)

What do you want to achieve this September? Are you as excited for autumn or are you a summer baby? 

Elle xxx