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14 thoughts on “GoatLife TV Episode 64 – Our 2016 Travel Announcement

  1. Excited for you guys! I haven’t been to the countries you mentioned, other than Poland. If you’re in the right city at the right time though, you might catch the Lajkonik Festival or even a re-enactment of the Siege of Malbork.

  2. Eastern Europe is phenomenal, you won’t be disappointed!! The cities are gorgeous and very cheap, and the good hostels are outstanding – hosts are friendly, warm and often go beyond the call of duty to help you. I’m surprised you’re planning to train it around the Balkans though – the trains there are either unbelievably slow or non-existent; buses are far more efficient and cheap. The only exception is between Belgrade and Sarajevo, where I believe the only convenient option is getting the daily GEA minibus between the two. Watch out though; it’s a very chaotic service, and you may find your driver spends 3 hours driving around Belgrade to pick people up from their doorstep before he actually leaves the city…

    My lesser-known/visited city recommendations would be:

    Sarajevo – I absolutely fell in love with Sarajevo. So pretty and vibrant! Definitely check out the Baščaršija (bazaar), old men playing giant chess in the park by the Serbian church and, if it’s still there, the Srebrenica exhibition (not sure which building it’s in, but it’s near the Sacred Heart Cathedral). Apparently the tunnels under the airport and the abandoned bobsled track in the forest surrounding the city are great too, but I didn’t get the chance to go 🙁 Make sure you don’t wander too far off the beaten track in the forest as there are still unexploded landmines in there. As for food and drink, try klepe, burek, cevapi, and rakija (Barhana in the bazaar does a great selection of rakija – the plum flavour is hideous but blueberry is great).

    Mostar – Also beautiful! If you can sneak into the abandoned sniper tower then definitely do that (although be careful), watching the sun go down from the rooftop is amazing. Also go to the mosques, the Old Town, and the famous bridge. Less obvious stuff to do is checking out all the ruined buildings and street art around the sniper tower.

    Plovdiv – Look at the Roman ruins (there are the remains of a stadium and amphitheatre), mish-mash of different era’s architectures around the stadium, and the amazing street art down Nayden Gerov street (between the stadium street and the hill with the clock tower on it)

    Kotor – Nice for a couple of days, although I wouldn’t stay here for 5 nights as was super bored after three days! It’s pretty and the walk up to St John’s Fortress is worth doing, but there’s not much to see or do in the town once you’ve exhausted those options.

    Ohrid – So much history! Take the boat across the lake to Sveti Naum monastery (it takes about 45 minutes and is very cold on the deck, so wrap up warm), go to Saint Panteleimon monastery (it’s gorgeous) and chill on the beach. There are loads of neglected buildings near the lakefront away from the hills.

    Thessaloniki – Roman and Greek ruins here along with loads of museums, but the food is the real draw here…

    I’m happy to elaborate on anything more regarding the Balkans if you wanted any further info. Can’t wait to read about your trip!

    1. Hi Jen,

      Thanks very much for this incredibly detailed comment, we really appreciate it 🙂

      Regarding the trains, you are surprised that we’re taking them through the Balkans, and Im’ surprised that you say not to! lol. From what I can tell with Eurail, there are trains all through that region? But if you say they are slow / unreliable, we may have to rethink our plan.

      We will have the Global Pass – which is for 15 days of travel, over a period of 2 months. The reason we were starting it in the Balkans, is because we plan to stop in Hungary for a month, and the pass it valid for 2 months, so we figured we would use it up before arriving in Hungary…

      did you have a favourite country in Eastern Europe? hard to choose, I know!

      Thanks again 🙂

      1. Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary all have good, relatively quick train connections, so the rail pass will definitely come in handy the further north you go. (Not sure about Romania or Croatia.) But the train links in the other Balkan countries are pretty negligible (both domestically and internationally), slow and often involve obscenely early starts. It really depends where you’re going – it may be that your route will be a better fit for the train network – but from what I remember, Dubrovnik, Kotor and Ohrid have no train station at all, and Kosovo only has international train connections with Macedonia. It’s also far more difficult to find train information online than it is bus information – this website is the holy grail of bus transport in the area: http://www.balkanviator.com/en/bus

        I’ve liked every Eastern European country I’ve been to, but Bosnia is definitely my favourite. Bulgaria is second – Eastern Europeans are always portrayed in the UK as being cold and unhelpful, but I found the people exceptionally helpful and kind.

        1. Thanks for this solid information 🙂

          We’re had to rethink our plans, and think we’ve come up with a better itinerary – for now, it may change again!

          We have Bosnia and Bulgaria on the list 🙂

          Thanks so much!

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