Ashley is one of my oldest friends from our days in the military, and it’s been especially fun to keep in touch with her over the years with all the different stages of life we have gone through on different sides of the continent or planet! Finally, after many years, we were able to reconnect in exciting fashion right here overseas.
Ashley & David traveled all through Croatia for a week before they enjoyed an incredible anniversary meal made by Ana Roš and her team at the acclaimed Hiša Franko in Kobarid, Slovenia. The photos below (all taken by David) are from Hvar beaches and Plitvice National Park. It is absolutely stunning to see these places in the shoulder seasons. They even got to see the blue cave on one of the last boat tours of the season! Magical!
After their special trip I met up with them and we headed toward Triglav National Park in Slovenia to a lovely little town called Radovljica, near Lake Bled. We were so lucky to have incredible weather, enjoying a full day in Lake Bled! We hiked up Mala Osojnica, had a delicious lunch in Castle Bled and did a little shopping before enjoying a delicious Bled cream cake while the lights glittered around the lake.
Fun forest finds on the hike down…
We spent a beautiful afternoon exploring Castle Bled and enjoying a gourmet meal overlooking Lake Bled! Such a unique and magical place…
The next day was supposed to be rainy and dreary, but we took our chances and headed to Lake Bohinj anyway. It rained on our way there, but Dave bravely decided to hit up Slap Savica anyway. Ashley and I shared one of many cappuccinos in the cafe near the waterfall while David made swift work of the hike up to the waterfall. He said it was low visibility at the waterfall, but miraculously, as he returned from the hike, the skies began to open up and we saw BLUE! We made a split second decision to explore the shore of Lake Bohinj at our favorite swimming spot (it was way too cold to swim) and then hike up the Vogar viewpoints while the weather cooperated!
We made it around Lake Bohinj and navigated a couple of roadblocks to make it to both Vogar view points just as the sprinkles started again. A gift indeed!
What’s a trip to Lake Bled without a classic sLOVEnia shot? After it began raining in Bohinj we headed back to Lake Bled for a cozy dinner at a tried and true restaurant, Sova (which means owl – just for you, Willow!). The famous Lake Bled swans were showing off again for us on our walk to dinner. It’s worth noting that David was being a really good sport, nursing a cold the whole time. Talk about a trooper! He didn’t let it stop him one bit!
After our fill of Triglav majesty, we headed to Hungary to hang out with the fam. The kids couldn’t get enough of Ash & Dave, and I was so happy for them all to have a chance to really connect! We walked around the town square and shared doner kebabs and gelato – classic!
While the kids were at school one fine day, we took a little trip down towards Lake Balaton for a hike up to Sümeg castle and a late lunch at Echo restaurant in Tihany overlooking Lake Balaton. It was a great chance for us to explore – but also just take things in, be present, and connect. It was a truly beautiful, special day together!
The Abbey at Tihany, and a goulash lunch in Pápa! The kids had a random Wednesday off during the week, so we took them to one of our favorite thermal baths nearby in Sárvár for the day. It was lots of fun! They got to try chicken paprikash and more delicious gelato while seeing how Eastern Europeans “do” thermals. Later that night we had a bonfire and played some corn hole and watched the shooting stars together. Beau will always remember the games of chess he played with Dave and the girls loved showing off their artwork to Ashley! What a memorable time!
Below are beautiful photos David took in Budapest on their three days touring the town. They were able to eat all kinds of great food, see the city from every vantage point and check out the famous thermal baths! After Budapest, they traveled to Vienna before flying home. They saw some of the highlights of Vienna together and even got to catch a show! It was a wild whirlwind three weeks in Eastern Europe that I know will be one for the memory books. We can’t wait to connect again on the other side of the pond. Thanks for a beautiful visit, Ashley & David!