Dear Parents of Backpack Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, and Czech Republic,
We apologize it has been a few days since we last wrote you – we have been very busy! When we last wrote you, we were on our way to beautiful Slovenia, and I think we are the first to say it certainly did not disappoint!
We began our Slovenian adventure with a short walk around Lake Bled to the beach club and everyone jumped right in to the perfectly clean and clear blue lake! We had fun swimming, jumping off the diving board, and many of the boys even tried their luck on the waterslide. Everyone really enjoyed the chance to be together in one of the most beautiful natural lakes we had ever seen. After our swim, it was time for an ice cream treat that we enjoyed on our walk back to our hotel. That evening we had our first bit of rain on our trip, but it certainly did not dampen our spirits! We headed to the ice skating rink around the corner and we were impressed with some of our fellow trip members’ skills on the ice. For the rest of us, we had fun slipping and sliding and getting a bit of help from friends who were more comfortable on the ice! Afterwards we had a big group dinner and then it was early to bed to get plenty of rest for our big next day.
Many of us were excited to begin our day of canoeing, rock climbing, and canyoning! In the morning we went canoeing on the beautiful Bohinj Lake and our guides taught us some canoeing skills with plenty of humor added. The staff were incredibly proud of all the trip members for putting their absolute best effort forward when it came to rock climbing. We all cheered each other on from the ground and many of us made it to the top (and rang a celebratory bell!). I think the afternoon, however, was a true highlight. We were outfitted with full body wetsuits which left us all bent over laughing watching each other try to get them on! After a few struggles, we were ready for our canyoning adventure! We had a great time repelling down waterfalls, sliding down natural rock slides, and swimming through the river. We all encouraged each other the whole way down and it was an amazing bonding experience for the group! That night we had the chance to explore the town of Bled for dinner, and then we had a pool party at our hotel, complete with waterslides and waterfalls! After the pool, we all sang Happy Birthday and ate cake for Harrison’s 16th Birthday! (the chocolate was the clear winner in our group!)
The next morning we explored the Skocjan caves, a beautiful UNESCO world heritage site. The caves were massive and many of the trip members exclaimed that they could not believe these caves were found by accident! After the caves, it was off to the capital of Slovenia, the beautiful city of Lubljana, and everyone enjoyed time to walk around the outdoor market to explore and of course, we couldn’t pass up some ice cream! We had an outdoor group dinner on a quiet street in the city, complete with waiters in traditional Slovenian dress!
After an amazing time in Slovenia, we were off to Split, Croatia! We were all excited to explore as soon as we arrived, so we walked down to the River Waterfront for dinner and had a great time getting to know our final country! Many of us watched the amazing street performers and got to know the local culture. The next morning we had a walking tour of the Old City – I think we all enjoyed the chance to learn about the history from our guide, and he also managed to point out where the popular television show Game of Thrones was filmed! That afternoon we relaxed at the beach to cool off and enjoy ourselves! That night we headed to Trogir for another group dinner at Capo Tavern. Many of us had the chance to try mussels for the first time – and what a better place than Croatia to do so!
We write to you on our way back from the beautiful island of Vis where we had a private boat tour of the island. Our group was incredibly lucky to have the chance to enter the Blue Cave, which is a small cave with beautiful turquoise water (believe it or not, it was found by accident as well!). We were all careful to duck our heads on the way in as it was a very small entry way! Then we had the chance to jump off our boat into the beautiful ocean as we visited a number of different beaches. Everyone had a great time relaxing on the boat and listening to all kinds of music. Our captain even made us a Croatian treat (similar to fried dough with sugar) that his grandmother used to make him every morning! The sun and salt certainly tired us out and we are all enjoying the cool breeze on our ferry ride back and taking in the views.
That’s all for now,
The Westcoast Blogger
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