Beach days on the Opatija Riviera

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Medveja beach

For the grand finale of this holiday, we ended with beach days on the Opatija Riviera. It was the best way to end this trip. No sights to see, no hikes or nature trails, just lying on the beach and swimming every day.

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I really wanted to bring back as many Croatian memories from our honeymoon as possible. Things like this are always difficult now that we have two kids traveling with us. Our trip to Croatia seven years ago is still my favorite holiday and it’s when I fell in love with this region. That being said, I think we succeeded in recreating these memories that made me fall in love with Croatia. Lots of swimming, an apartment with a beautiful view of the Adriatic sea, and some relaxed time.

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It was the perfect ending to our Slovenia & Croatian adventure. Til next time! The Balkans are amazing and we will be returning again and again to the this region to explore and fall in love with it all over again.

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Natural Swimming in Slovenia

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The recurrent theme on this vacation was swimming. Swimming in pools, thermal baths, a waterpark, lakes, rivers, and the Adriatic sea. Now that I typed that out it’s hard to believe all the different locations we swam in and how each one had a different and fun experience. Jaap and I got into a pretty good routine of packing the swim gear before breakfast or the night before.

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Our picturesque farm stay in Dolenci had a pool— it’s greatest selling point when I booked the place. It was so refreshing to take a dip after two hot days of activities. One day Thibault took a nap upstairs while the three of us were having fun at the pool and the owner brought us some drinks to enjoy poolside. That was a win!

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On our first full day in Lake Bled we spent almost the entire day at the public lido swimming area. I was surprised at how touristy Lake Bled was. We heard from friends that this was the case, but the sure volume and traffic surprised me. But I must admit, the swimming area felt relaxing, calm, and not crowded through to the early afternoon. We got their at 9:30 and had many hours of beautiful swimming, the greatest moment being swimming out to the buoy with Flora and admiring the beauty of this lake together.

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shallow swimming area at Lake Bled

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The next day we took the cable car up to Vogel at Lake Bohinj and ended the day with a swim at the southern side of the lake. Crystal clear water, good swimming temperature (still a little too cold for Mr. T), and some SPECTACULAR views.

DSC09551I feel like our pictures don’t even do it justice. The view of the mountains of the lake was massive. Flora was swimming around like a little fish. Thibault was throwing rocks and collecting pieces on the side. There was a full hour of zen there for me interrupted by Thibault almost drowning. Yes—I was watching him 100% of the time not distracted and I was watching him wading into the water to pick up a floating stick and boom. He fell right under and I sprang up to save him. It was only a second of being submerged, but it scared the crap out of me and I could not stop thinking about it for 48 hours.

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Lake Jasna

Our third full day in the Bled region was near Kranjska Gorja at Lake Jasna. The water was cold though, but it was hot out, so I’m sure to these fishies it was refreshing. I was so impressed by Flora. She jumped in and out, in and out, and finally took a leap and just went for it. The water was chilly and she was loving it. Jaap went for a full swim out into the lake! Thibault opted for stone and shoe throwing on the side.

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Lake Jasna

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Nadiža river

When we were in the Soča Valley was a trip quick trip to the Nadiža river. It’s warm enough to swim there and unfortunately we arrived just before a huge thunder and rainstorm, which actually made for a very fun run back (soaking wet) to the car. It was a beautiful little spot there.

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Nadiža river

 

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Medveja Beach

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And even though this was not part of Slovenia, I will add swimming in Croatia. My favorite swimming spot was at Medjeva beach. We got there early (with some resistance from our kids who were getting tired from travel) and found a great spot with some shade.

DSC09837I love this picture of Flora. It pretty much sums up her mood the entire trip. She said repeatedly that she loved Slovenia. That was a relief to hear. There was a lot of planning that goes behind something like this. Making sure we have kid friendly swimming opportunities, a balance between parent and adult fun, and frankly— Jaap and I always are thinking with the children in mine, so I don’t need her seal of approval. But, I loved hearing her say how much she was enjoying this vacation. The sights, the sounds, and most of all, the swimming!

Travel Gratitude: Slovenia & Croatia

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Our Slovenian holiday is one for the books! I am full of gratitude that I am living a life that enables me to travel with my loved ones to all these spectacular places. I have been wanting to go to Slovenia for several years now and this trip was built up a lot in my head. Our experience exploring Slovenia by far exceeded my expectations. I have nothing but incredible and amazing memories from this place.

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Before I forget, I wanted to jot down some of the incredible highlights and experiences. I am going to write more in details posts with pictures this week. But for now, I wanted to type these out so I never forget them.

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Swimming to the buoy in Lake Bled with Flora. Looking out at the clear emerald lake, resting on the buoy and looking up at the castle right above us. I will never forget sharing that with her.

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Swimming in the shallow end at Lake Bohinj. Bohinj was picturesque. I could have spent a week there. Getting to swim there and sit in the shallow end watching Flora swim about and Thibault play with rocks was my zen moment of the trip.

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Here are some other moments that have stood out:

  • Our incredible farm stay out in rural Slovenia near the Hungarian border. Mali Raj was fantastic!
  • Morning yoga on the balcony
  • The train ride into the caves at Postojna caves
  • Dinner at Lectar
  • Visiting the open air museum in Hungary
  • Jaap describing the thrill of one of the daring water slides at Terme 3000
  • Admiring the Julian Alps at Lake Jasna
  • Swimming in the Adriatic
  • The balcony views from our apartment out on the Opatija Riviera

These were some of the highlights and somehow we were able to create magical moments every single day by simply walking to a lake or hiking down a gorge. I’m incredibly grateful for this holiday of a lifetime.

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