By now I've already written posts about most of the teeny tiny nations in Europe that I've visited - Andorra, Monaco, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein & Vatican State. But there's one little country left and that's The Republic of San Marino.
A 30 minute drive south-west of Rimini in Italy you'll find yet another independent country! With barely over 33,200 inhabitants San Marino is rather cosy and if you go by total area this is also the third smallest country in Europe (just behind the Vatican & Monaco). Its capital is the City of San Marino and the national language is Italian.
Random fact: San Marino already became independent from the Roman Empire in 301 which makes it the oldest republic in the world!
The coolest part of visiting San Marino is that its beautiful walled old town is perched high up on a hill and you can take a cable car to get up there!
If you collect passport stamps - there is the option to get the souvenir stamp in the tourist office for a small fee. Granted, it's not the real thing but still pretty cool to have.
So if you're thinking of visiting Italy and chilling out at the beach in Rimini, why not check out San Marino for a day or two as well? I promise you it will be worth it! :)
I'm not even sure how much of an introduction Dubrovnik really needs... Almost all of the travelers I know have either been or have it firmly planted on their bucket lists. Dubrovnik is one of the most stunning places you can easily visit along Croatia's Adriatic coast line! This is the place where southern and eastern European cultures truly meet. Think seas of red roofs, delicious gelato, beautiful architecture and lots of recent history to catch up on! Take the boat out to Lokrum island to stroll around and go for a swim (or jump off the cliffs if you dare!). Wander around Dubrovnik's beautiful old town or if you have enough time even take the bus down to Kotor in Montenegro along the scenic coastal route! Alternatively, Dubrovnik is also a beautiful place to just chill for a couple of days with not much of an itinerary besides eating yummie food and sunbathing if that's your thing.
So without further ado, here are my favorite shots of Dubrovnik! :)
And Dubrovnik was also the location where this photo was shot which I use here on the Home page & as my profile pic on Instagram :)
In summer 2011 during my Balkan backpacking adventure I also spent some time in Bulgaria. Since I entered the country by bus from Macedonia, my first stop was the capital city of Sofia. My highlight: the incredibly beautiful Alexander Nevsky Cathedral!
Sofia - the capital of Bulgaria
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
After a couple of nights in Sofia I went on to Plovdiv. All I knew about this place was that it was a neat little town which would make a perfect stop-over for a couple of nights before I was heading on to the Black Sea Coast.
What I didn't know was that Plovdiv would totally surprise me with all its archaeological treasures! In the middle of the city, right next to the restaurant where I had dinner, there was a huge cut-off area which looked much like a building site. But when I peeked through the barriers I could actually see that they were in the middle of unearthing a Roman Amphitheater! I mean, how cool is that?!