Balkan Adventure (2013) - Trip to Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, &
Prior to departing from LAX for Frankfurt, Germany, I just chilled in
the United Club to pass the few hours before my connecting
flight. I flew from Sacramento to LAX since Sacramento does not
have any flights to Europe.
Lufthansa used a Boeing 747-800 for the flight from LAX to Frankfurt.
The inflight entertainment monitor was OK, but the country selections
were not as good as other airlines. One can program their own
audio program from a large selection of CDs. There were many
movies and TV shows also to pass the time during the 10 hour flight.
Here is a good picture of the coast of Greenland from the air.
One can see the icebergs floating in the ocean.
In Frankfurt, I connected to a Lufthansa Boeing 737 for my flight to
Zagreb, Croatia. I was surprised that they served food on this
short 1 hour and 25 minute flight.
This was my hotel in Zagreb, Croatia - the Doubletree by Hilton.
There are only two Hilton properties in all of Croatia. The
building was very modern.
The Doubletree in Zagreb had a nice rooftop indoor pool and health
club. The views of Zagreb were pretty amazing from up there.
Since I am a Hilton Honors Diamond member, the hotel left a bottle of
Croatian wine and snacks in my room along with a bottle of Jana Spring
Water. The service at the hotel was very good!
Zagreb has McDonald's also!
I am standing in the main square in Zagreb, Croatia. Zagreb is
the capital of Croatia.
One of Zagreb's trams are behind me.
This is the Croatian Parliament Building.
Zagreb Cathedral is in the background in this photo. Zagreb looks
like a little Vienna.
These are some apartment buildings from the communist era in Yugoslavia.
This is a popular Croatian beer that I tried. Beer is called Pivo
Zagreb was a mix of old Communist style buildings and ultra modern
buildings. It reminded me of old James Bond movies where Bond was
in places like Bratislava or Prague.
This is the tollway that connects Zagreb to the Croatian coast. I
was quite impressed with it. The roads were nicer than the
This is an old Croatian castle as seen from the tollway.
The Croatian countryside has lots of cornfields. Croatians love
We rented a penthouse condo (apartmani) in Podgora for 9 nights.
Our unit was the top unit up there. It was two story.
For the most part, people rent Apartmani (apartments) or Sobe (rooms)
from local innkeepers on the Croatian coast. There were not too
They had some grapes growing in courtyard of the apartmani that we
This was the view from the balcony of our apartmani. The Adriatic
is very beautiful.
This is some monument or attaction that we saw in Podgora.
Here is one of the beaches in Podgora.
The Adriatic Sea is pretty calm and clear. They have lots of palm
trees on the Dalmation Coast of Croatia.
I bought one of these floaters so I could just lay in the sun out in
the sea. Many people just lay on the floaters in the sea all
day. The Croatian beaches are rocky instead of sandy so one needs
to get water shoes.
The Croatian coastline is really nice!
The ice cream in Croatia was amazing! They made each of these
flavors by hand at the ice cream shops in Podgora. My favorite
flavors were Nutella, Coconut, and Kinder's Biscuits. It was a
great way to cool off from the heat and humidy.
Konzum is like the "Wal-Mart" of Croatia. They have them all
over, and it is a huge super market that sells food, clothing, and
I did some shopping for snacks at the Konzum in Makarska, which is near
Podgora. I got some German chips, Austrian cookies, and Croatia
cereal and bottled water.
This is the Nerteva River Valley in Croatia. It is the main
agricultural area of Croatia.
We had to drive through about 6 miles of Bosnian territory near the
city of Neum to get from Podgora to Dubrovnik. The former
Yugoslavia gave Bosnia a small piece of coastline so they would have
access to the sea. That split up Croatia into two parts.
The speed limits in Bosnia are posted here. I guess one can not
use their cell phone while driving here too.
The street signs in Bosnia are also in Cyrllic since there are Serbians
that live here too.
This is a cool bridge that one crosses to get over to Dubrovnik.
I am standing outside the Stari Grad (Old Town) of Dubrovnik.
They were once an independent Republic.
Here is one of the entrances to the Old Town of Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik is hundreds of years old.
The inside of the Old Town is amazing! I was in total awe of this
This is another entrance to the Old Town of Dubrovnik.
Here is the old harbor of Dubrovnik.
An old cannon is shown here.
This is the harbor in Dubrovnik again.
This is a traditional Croatian dish also called Cevapi. It is
minced meat sausage with Ayjar (spicy ketchup) and fries.
Dubrovnik was once an independent city-state known as Ragusa.
Here is another shot of the old walled city from the mountains above.
Pocitelj was my first stop on my tour of Hercegovina in
Bosnia-Hercegovina. It is an old Ottoman Fortress.
Pocitelj was originally built by a Hungarian King, but the Ottomans
used it as a fortress once they conquered this area.
This the belfrey of the Franciscan Church in Mostar. It is the
tallest stucture in Bosnia-Hercegovina (BIH).
The Stari Most (Old Bridge) is pictured above. This bridge was
built in 1566 by the Ottomans in Mostar, but it was destroyed in the
war during the 1990s. They rebuilt it later.
Here is a good picture of the Stari Grad (Old Town) of Mostar.
One of those mosques was built in the 1600s.
This is part of the Old Town of Mostar.
I am near the Nerteva River and under the Stari Most in Mostar.
Local divers dive off that bridge for donations.
This cross was built after the war in the 1990s. It is 33 meters
tall which symbolizes the age at which Jesus died. The three
factions in the war would shell each other from these mountains.
Here is some interesting graffiti in Mostar. I believe this
references the war in the 1990s.
This is an old building which has signs of the damage caused by the war.
This is a Bosnian Cevapi meal consisting of minced meat sausages inside
an oily pita bread. It is served with fries, onions, and a type
of cheese. I also had a Cockta cola which is a cola of the former
I took a cruise to the Croatian islands of Hvar and Brac on the MB
David from Podgora. This boat docked across from the place we
were staying at.
This is me chilling on the MB David.
Here is a good picture of what the Croatian coastline looks like.
It is really nice!
This is the old town of Vrboska on the island of Hvar.
Vrboska is like a mini Venice with the canal and old stone bridges.
This is the coastline of Bol on the island of Brac.
The architecture in Brac is typical of Dalamatia. They use a lot
of stone in their buildings.
The beach in Bol is supposed to the nicest beach in all of Croatia.
This is an old Roman Aqueduct that we saw in Split on the way back to
Zagreb. It was really cool!
In Zagreb, there are no jetways so we boarded the flight to Munich via
stairs. They take the passengers on a bus from the terminal to
Lufthansa served us a sandwich even on this regional 50 minute flight
from Zagreb to Munich!
Munich Airport was quite large. I took the S-Bahn Train from the
airport into Central Munich.
This is one of the entrance gates from the Middle Ages.
The famous Hofbrauhaus is a most see when visiting Bavaria.
I am enjoying a large stein of beer at the Hofbrauhaus.
This is another entrance gate from the Middle Ages.
The buildings are so gothic looking.
This is Marienplatz. I thought it looked like Excalibur in Las
I went on an expedition
to some of the former Yugoslav Republics in 2013. My next door
neighbor is from Croatia, and he was going there with his family.
So, I decided to tag along and tour Croatia along with
Bosnia-Hercegovina and Munich in Germany. My two week trek
throughout Croatia including the capital city of Zagreb, the Makarska
Riveria, Dubrovnik, and the islands of Hvar and Brac. I also saw
some old Roman aqueducts in Split. Croatian food is very similiar
to Italian. They have pizza, pastas, and risotto. The ice
cream in Croatia was very good! They have a lot of local brands
for soda and snacks. One of the popular sodas is known as Cockta
Cola. Sky Cola is another local soda. For ice cream, Ledo
is a popular brand. Cevapi is a popular Croatian dish. It
is minced meat sausages made out of beef, veal, and/or lamb. The
dish is served with fries and a spicy ketchup known as Ayar.
Last Updated: May 27, 2013 3:42 PM