After a long weekend in Hvar we took the ferry back to Split and rented a car to drive up to Istria, the largest (and a super beautiful!) peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. We decided to break up the 6h way from Split to Pula by visiting the waterfalls in the Krka National Park that is located approx. 70 mins from Split.

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

Bring your bikini…

The Krka National Park offers a range of sights from beautiful waterfalls to a tiny island (Visovac) in the Krka river that was settled by Franciscan monks in 1445. If the weather is hot you can also swim in some parts of the waterfalls :) We didn’t have enough time to visit the island as we had to continue our drive up to Pula so there are no photos of it in this post. The Visovac island is supposed to be very pretty and quaint though, so if you have a bit more time in the Krka National Park, make sure to check it out.

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

.. and comfy shoes!

It takes around 20-30 mins to walk from the visitor centre to the waterfalls. It’s a hiking path though, so you’d need some comfy shoes. There is also a shuttle bus that takes you from the visitor centre to the waterfalls and back. We decided to hike to the waterfalls and take the bus back :)

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

There is a pathway that leads through all the different little and bigger waterfalls in this part of the Krka National Park. It took us around one hour for the whole way but we stopped a lot of times and we also had a break for swimming.

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips
Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

Krka National Park - Waterfalls | Croatia Travel Tips

Aren’t the Krka waterfalls super stunning? The entire area looks like an enchanted forest from a fairytale! To see for yourself, book your trip to Croatia! It’s such a beautiful country with extremely friendly people. I will post more about my Croatia trip soon! X

Ghent on a rainy day Belgium Travel Blog

There is not always a ‘real’ summer in Northern & Western Europe, so sometimes you just have to do deal with rain. I personally like summer rain but only if the temperature stays hot like in tropical destinations. This generally is not the case in Europe. Quite the opposite. A rainy day usually means that it’s a good idea to bring that jumper or light jacket with you. And an umbrella, of course.

Yet, rain doesn’t mean that the day is not beautiful. I spent a rainy summer day in Ghent and it was gorgeous. I love sitting in cafes, having a cappuccino or a glass of wine and reading in my kindle. What else is there to do when it’s raining haha. If you are not a fan of wine, did you know that Belgium has some really amazing beer?!

Architecture Ghent on a rainy day Belgium Travel Blog

Ghent makes a great weekend trip if you are based in Europe. Here are some of the must-see sights in Ghent: Gravensteen Castle, Saint Nicholas Church, Graslei and Korenlei, St. Michael’s Bridge, St. Bavo’s Cathedral, The Belfry, Vismarkt. Check out the Ghent tourism website for much more info and more suggestions for things to do in Ghent: Visit Ghent

Saint Nicholas Church

Graslei and Korenlei & St. Michael’s Bridge

Ghent on a rainy day Belgium Travel Blog

Ghent on a rainy day Belgium Travel Blog

Ghent on a rainy day Belgium Travel Blog

 

Ghent on a rainy day Belgium Travel Blog

The Belfry & Vismarkt

Vrijdagmarkt

Ghent on a rainy day Belgium Travel Blog

 

12th Century castle Gravensteen

Ghent City Centre

There is so much to see in the city centre! Don’t forget to walk through a few of the quaint streets that will lead you to lots of hidden sights :)

Ghent on a rainy day Belgium Travel Blog

Ghent on a rainy day Belgium Travel Blog

.. and if you are lucky, after rain, there will be sun :)

So after all, the sun did decide to make an appearance. Perfect to walk through Ghent’s beautiful alleys and see the city’s stunning historic architecture. And if you like, hop on and have a little tour on the coach. FYI, I’m just pretending – I’m super allergic against horses. This kind of city tour would be such a nightmare for me haha

 

Ghent on a rainy day Belgium Travel Blog

Ghent on a rainy day Belgium Travel Blog

 

Ghent is such a beautiful city with lots of stunning historic architecture and quaint little alleys and shops. If you are doing an extended Western Europe trip, make sure to add a couple of days in Ghent to your agenda. And if you are a fan of little coastal towns, check out these 7 reasons why you should visit Belgium’s Ostend.

 

 

Warsaw Poland Weekend Trip

Have you been to Krakow or Warsaw in Poland? Both cities are gorgeous and highly underrated in the usual Europe trip. Rather than only heading to Western Europe, every Europe trip should also have at least one destinations in Eastern Europe. So far I have been to Budapest, Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw and Krakow. The architecture is stunning and the people are incredibly friendly. So do add at least one Eastern European city to your trip!

I visited Krakow because of a friend’s wedding. And, I am not sure how, I managed to book the flights to Warsaw instead of Krakow and only figured it out in train on the way to the airport in London haha. I will just blame in on task juggling during an incredibly busy day in the office when the flight-booking-to-do slipped entirely down the priority list. So while I was doing three things at the same time the task of book-flights-for-dates-XY-to-Poland seemed somehow completed with tickets to Warsaw…after all, Warsaw is right next to Krakow, isn’t it :)?

It’s not!

Right after accepting the ‘situation’ we booked a rental car to drive straight from Krakow to Warsaw. It was actually a nice drive. The freeway in Poland was quite new and they did take the speeding limits that seriously. Well, at least nobody stopped us ;)

Three hours and some coffee later, we arrived happily in Krakow, checked into the hotel, got changed and headed over to the pre-wedding party. We did miss dinner but arrived perfectly in time for the after-party!

The rest of the wedding week was relatively issue-free and lots of fun with a beautiful bride and wedding celebration :) The only issue we had was explaining to the non-English speaking taxi driver that he should bring us to the church where the ceremony was held. The word church did not ring a bell at all. He apparently assumed I had just introduced myself to him and responded with a smile, pointing at himself and saying his name. Awesome. And we were in a bit of a hurry as we didn’t know exactly where the church was (obviously..) and wanted to arrive well ahead of time. My phone didn’t have any internet so I wasn’t able to check google maps. Next I tried to explain our destination by making praying gestures and repeating ‘Amen’ several times. Well, not sure he got that either. Probably not as he didn’t look like he just had an ‘a-ha-moment’. He just smiled at me. In the end nothing helped and we had to run back to the hotel room to get the wedding invitation with the name of the church on it. At least that worked out. He got it. And 15 mins after entering the taxi for the first time, we finally were on our way. And also arrived in time for the ceremony. Just in time :)

Krakow

Krakow is such a beautiful city with so many things to explore. And even if you just decide to spend your day having coffee and reading a good book in the market square (Rynek Glówny) of the city’s old town, Krakow’s vibe is unique.

Rynek Glówny

The market square is incredibly beautiful and is surrounded by beautiful townhouses  and churches. The square dates back to the 13th century and is one of the largest medieval market squares in Europe.

Krakow Poland Weekend Trip

The building dominating the main square’s centre is the Cloth Hall (pictured below) with its Town Hall Tower on one side and the Church of St. Adalbert on the other side.  On the eastern corner of Krakow’s market square is the St. Mary’s Basilica. The basilica was originally built in the 13th century and, after destruction, rebuilt in the 14th century. St. Mary’s Basilica is open until 6pm and one of the must-sees when visiting the market square.

Krakow Weekend Trip to Poland Krakow Poland Weekend Trip

Plan at least a full day for Krakow’s main square as you might want to have brunch and relax in one of the coffee places between your sightseeing excursions. Also venture off the main square and explore the surrounding streets. Another highlight of Krakow is the Wawel Cathedral. We didn’t get the chance to visit this one as we opted to drive to Auschwitz-Birkenau instead.

Auschwitz-Birkenau

The memorial is located 1.5 h away from Krakow by car and there are several organised tours from Krakow to Auschwitz per day. As you probably know, Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest of the Nazi German concentration camps where 1.1 m men, women and children lost their lives. The museum shows former prisoner rooms and lots of documentary photography, prisoner garments and personal items taken from the Jewish deportees. Though you don’t need much more visual help to understand the terror that happened in the camp, there are also sculptures and models showing how prisoners lived in the camp and how they were treated. It is a horrible and shocking place that should be a must-see for everyone visiting Krakow – just so that we never forget what men are capable of and that this part of history will never repeat itself. After returning back to Krakow we didn’t feel like doing much anymore that evening and just went for dinner. I suggest you don’t make lots of plans for the rest of the day after vising Auschwitz-Birkenau as you will probably not be in the mood for anything.

Warsaw

On the way back from Krakow to the airport we stopped in Warsaw. So at least we got some sightseeing out of flying to the wrong airport.. Warsaw is really pretty, especially the old town (first photo of the blog post). So if you pass by Warsaw, definitely take some time to explore the old town, sit in beautiful coffee shops and enjoy the beautiful ambiance.  Head up the St. Anne’s Church to have a stunning view over the old town of Warsaw. If you have a full day of sightseeing in Warsaw, also visit the Royal Castle. For classic music lovers, the museum of Chopin is a must-see. And to learn about an important aspect the history of Warsaw, visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum. I was not able to take many photos in Warsaw as I forgot to charge my camera in the morning. So just type ‘Warsaw Old Town’ into google and you will see exactly what I mean with beautiful ambiance :)