Stoked to visit a country I never heard of!

So do you remember that epic vacation I was rambling about? Be honest please.  If you don’t recall, then go read all about it here and return as soon as you are done. 🙂  If you do know what I am talking about then keep reading.

So our epic vacation to kick off the epic vacations is coming up in a few weeks.  Funny how everything is set up but I still can’t believe it is going to happen.  Do you ever get the feeling something is just not real?  The most surreal feelings start to kick in about the destination until you are about to board the plane…then you arrive and it is like OMG! We are standing right in the middle of a daydream.  Yes, I will admit I am freaking out a bit but super excited so I will try to remain as calm as possible until we actually head out.  Not making any promises but I will try and that should count for something. Give me some credit here.  I am trying.

So I am going to Greece.  The land that inspired countless tales of Mythology, tales and fantasies. I know I will not be stepping into the mythological Greece we have all envisioned but I just can’t wait to step into a country with so much history.  Just the thought of all the boats that sailed to and from their epic shores is enough to make my head spin but I will keep cool. Crushing on the magical days ahead of exploring Greece and the waterfront that has seen countless journeys of our ancestors.  Let’s face it, by this day in age we are all connected and will most likely have some connection to this place aside from reading out it in a book.

Next stop is Kotor. Have you ever heard of Kotor? Neither had I until recently. I can only tell you I will going there soon.  Never had I felt so ignorant until hearing about Kotor so I did what some of us would do naturally.  Positive it will not be the last time I feel a tad ignorant in my life but going to keep it real. Looked it up and I was very surprised to learn about this city I had never heard of is a town that dates back from the Medieval ages, between the 12th and 14th century to be exact.

Montenegro, aptly named the Black Mountain for it’s rugged terrain, majestic cliffs and breathtaking shoreline, is a country that is full of history dating back to 1000 BC.  It has seen it’s share of colorful characters and empires come and go from the Illyrians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Turks and the Ottomans to name a few.  Their shoreline has witnessed the travels of many maritime sailors, cultures and traditions.  Montenegro has been independent country since 2006 and gaining ground by joining NATO’s Partnership for Peace program and is in the process of joining the European Union to solidify their unique culture in Europe.  It is a vigorous process but Montenegro has created and passed key reforms to become a member of the EU.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has listed Kotor as a “World Natural and Historical Heritage Site” because of it’s medieval architecture and many monuments that have stood the test of time.   I can’t wait to contemplate the artistic and commercial history due to the maritime importance off the limestone cliffs that offset the world renowned harbor.

Lonely planet selected Kotor as the best city to travel to in 2016 and I can’t wait to explore the surreal environment.  Seems like the city has been preserved in time from all the pictures I have seen online.  A beautiful mix of the past and the present living in harmony. I am curious to see how the past coexists with the present on the long and winding maze cobblestones streets.  I wonder if it will be similar to Old San Juan in Puerto Rico.  The old town still boasts the original bricks that were made and imported from Spain. A charming city where time seems to have stood still until you see a car drive the street.

Italy will be the country that follows Montenegro.  No need for an introduction considering we have heard about Italy.  Many share the love of their cuisine or our version of their cuisine.  Because food is a priority, duh! Seriously, Italy is known for art, museums, fashion, sports cars and handsome folks aside from the food and the wine.

Naples is known as the birthplace for some of my favorite dishes.  I just can’t wait to indulge in Pizza and Pasta once I am there. Yes, I LOVE pizza and could easily be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Most if if fit, except the teenage part even though that I am well past my teenage years. Pasta is also another fave due to the numerous combinations that can be created.  They range from simple to complex and will just vary on ingredients on hand, time and creativity.

Well this has just boiled down to food and I am ok with that.  Food to fuel our adventures because we all need to eat so we might as well enjoy it.  I have already kicked off a regime of exercise and made improvements to my diet for this trip. I am well aware that there will be a lot of cardio involved on this trip.  Walking around the ship, getting around the ports and exploring the cities but I am taking that up a notch.  The plan is to enjoy the completely so I am committed to my routine to make this happen without any guilt.

Curious to know about the other country on our itinerary? Tune in for the last installment of our epic cruise because you may be surprised.  I definitely was but happy to check out another country on my bucket list.

Join me on my journey!

#CUinEurope

 

Image courtesy of Evelyn París via UnSplash

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