The Cape Maidens – our group of three sisters from Cape Town, South Africa – were on our glorious At Leisure trip, Highlights of Austria, Slovenia and Croatia. First evening, we had our meet and greet with our fellow travellers and our Travel Director, Jasmina. She is Slovenian and a really lovely person, with an astonishing knowledge of the history of the area. We enjoyed our evening orientation drive around Vienna and the Welcome Reception in a revolving restaurant.
Next morning we saw the major sights on an orientation tour and later revisited the areas around Hofburg Palace and St. Stephen’s Cathedral during our free time. We got back to the hotel in time to dress up and join the optional Viennese Concert. We enjoyed every moment of that!
From Vienna we headed to Lake Bled, our home for the next two nights. We walked along the lakeside and drank in the beautiful views. We loved all of Slovenia – it really was beautiful beyond our expectations. And the Bled Cream Cake is just divine!
Crossing into Croatia, we picked up our guide on the way into Plitvice and had a beautiful tour through the lakes. Stunning! Next day it was on to Split – this was where we belong! This was our kinda weather too! What a beautiful promenade. It reminded us of being in Capri, all the beautiful people.
We opted out of the Diocletian Palace tour, although we did pass through it several times, doing alleys and markets, and bumping into our fellow travellers a few times. We enjoyed a beer on the prom and at 5pm we all sailed away on the ferry to the Island of Hvar.
We loved every single thing about Hvar. We are water babies and if I had one euro for every boat, ferry, cruise liner, yacht and canoe that we photographed, we would all be able to go right back and do the holiday all over again!
Today was our Be My Guest dinner. The meal was exceptional, and yes, it is the first time we’ve seen octopus prepared like that, but no, we didn’t try it. Then surprise, surprise, when the ginger biscuits came out, so did the birthday candles and the birthday hats too! We each received a lavender gift pack from Trafalgar and everyone joined in singing and wishing us! When we made our wish, it was to return here one day. Another absolute highlight of our trip. Thank you Trafalgar!
Off to Dubrovnik on a spectacular coach drive along the coastline – and we were lucky enough to be in the front seat! We thought the rest had been beautiful, but they saved the best for last. Dubrovnik is enchanting. The hotel was gorgeous and we immediately had a swim in the sea below it.
Next morning we walked the city walls and then really enjoyed a swim in the hot weather. The water was so incredibly blue and clear and so refreshing. Later, we went up Mt Srd by cable car, with its stunning views of the walled city. Tonight was the Highlight Dinner, which was delicious with panna cotta and berry coulis for dessert. Yum!
On the drive to Zagreb, Jasmina sent around a list and we could ask any question about anything and she would try to answer it. Very interesting. Her general knowledge is astounding. Next day, our local guide joined the coach at the hotel and took us on an interesting orientation, including St. Michael’s Church and past the Museum of Broken Relationships, and back down to the Cathedral.
That night at our Farewell Dinner speeches were made and thank-yous were offered to our fantastic driver, Dalibor, and our wonderful Travel Director, who distributed group photographs and presents. So, our advice for this trip is ‘JUST DO IT!’ If you’ve enjoyed Italy, then you will simply love Austria, Slovenia and Croatia, welcoming you with open arms to enjoy their simple life and natural beauty.
The Cape Maidens, South Africa
Read the original Travel Tale here: Cape Maidens Travel Tale