My Euro Trip to the Balkans (Croatia & Bosnia) Along With Germany


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 in Croatia.

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 California highways.

This is an old Croatian castle as seen from the tollway.

The Croatian countryside has lots of cornfields.  Croatians love corn!

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 many hotels.

They had some grapes growing in courtyard of the apartmani that we rented.

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 other supplies.

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 place.

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 Yugoslavia.

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 the aircraft.

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 Vegas!  LOL.

    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