Leaving Tomorrow

Monday, November 19, 2018
Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States
I'm trading turkey and stuffing this year for some scenery and delicacies in the Balkans. I have never taken a trip during this time, but it's the "low season" in Europe. I also have the Friday after Thanksgiving off from work, so...why not?  The itinerary is as follows, with links to articles and videos that explain things better than I ever could: 
Tuesday, Nov. 20: Depart O'Hare at 9:30 p.m. to Istanbul.
Wednesday afternoon: Arrive in Istanbul, connection to Zagreb, Croatia. Spend the night here. (This was not originally planned, but a snaffew with my Turkish airlines flight forced this. It's ok, Zagreb is lovely).
Thursday afternoon: Depart from Zagreb to Dubrovnik (1 hour flight).
Spend 3 nights in Dubrovnik. Plan to walk the City Walls, receive a walking tour in the Old Town, eat lots of seafood, like black risotto (made with squid ink), and other foods. 
Sunday morning: Take the bus 3-4 hours to Mostar, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. (Yes, this is one country with two names). Spend two nights here. Check out Stari Most, the Kravice Waterfalls, and the old fortress city of Pocitelj. 
Tuesday, Nov. 27: Take the early train 1.5 hours to Sarajevo. The scenery is supposed to be stunning on the ride. Spend 3 nights in Sarajevo. Will receive a guided tour. Eat cevapi, grilled, minced meat with lots of pita bread, and drink strong Bosnian coffee. 
Friday: Take the bus back to Dubrovnik, and then another local bus 30 minutes to Cavtat, a coastal town lesser known than Dubrovnik, but closer to the airport. 
Saturday, Dec. 1: Depart early from Dubrovnik, to Zagreb, to Istanbul, to O'Hare. Arrive at O'Hare at 6 pm, bus up to Milwaukee, drive to Sheboygan to pick up Bailey, drive to Green Bay.
 Sunday: REST.
Before I go any further: Yes, these places are safe. I'll have to take the same precautions that I would in London, Paris, Brussels, etc. The Yugoslav Wars did a number on these countries in the early 90s, and there are still reminders of that, which I will see. Dubrovnik is VERY touristy. So touristy, that the amount of people in the Old Town are limited each day. Bosnia isn't as touristy as Dubrovnik, but travelers who have been there have raved about it. 
 It will be a full trip, but I didn't commit to too many things. I'll have plenty of time to relax and do things as I wish, which will work well for me. I'm also not going to mess around too much with public transit, unless it's straight-forward. Taxis or Uber will be the way to go. I'm not some back-packer just out of college, spending 6 month overseas, who needs to pinch pennies, after all. Ha! I will share things in more detail as I go. I'm excited!
- Jamie

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