neuschwanstein castle, germany

neuschwanstein castle, germany

Like so many Americans, we get excited about a good castle.  Sure, there's some in the U.S., but they're pretty different than what you can find in Europe, and they just don't feel like the real deal to me.  When we visited Munich, a day trip to arguably the world's most famous castle was a priority for me - after all, it's not all that tricky to reach, and we'd certainly be in good company: 1.4 million people visit a year, so we pretty much just had to follow the crowds. 

dachau, germany

dachau, germany

We began our two-week central European trip in Munich, Germany, and after spending time in Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia, we returned to Germany for a few days before flying back to Madrid.  Aside from one day, which we spent celebrating our wedding anniversary (see more here!), we used the other two to take day trips out of the city. 

eating lately

eating lately

Last summer I did two posts on recipes that we'd tried out and had especially liked over the past school year.  I broke it into two parts, breakfast and dinner and dessert, and shared photos, reviews, and links to the recipes.  This year we've continued eating those recipes I talked about last summer (in fact, all of the dinner recipes from last July are still in our current rotation!), but I haven't stopped adding new ones to the mix either.  Here's a roundup of our latest and greatest (we've tried at least 15+ others that I'm not listing here, although you can find them and a short review I wrote about them on this Pinterest board - it's where I collect every recipe we've tried out - at least if it has an internet home!), grouped by breakfast, dinner, and dessert.  Sorry the dessert category is extra light this time - I guess we've really taken it easy in that area, or else we've just been repeating old favorites (probably the latter!).

varazdin, croatia

varazdin, croatia

Visiting Varaždin was never on our itinerary, in fact, I'd never even heard of it until the day before we went.  We stopped at the tourist information office inside of the bus station after we arrived in Zagreb and asked for advice on easy day trips from the city, and we were given a great little softcover book full of ideas.  My initial thought had been Trakošćan Castle, but after finding out that it was indeed pretty tricky to reach via public transit (I'd heard similar things online, which is why I wanted to check in person), we looked into other options like Plitvice Lakes National Park but nixed that after seeing how limited and pricey transport options were. 

zagreb, croatia

zagreb, croatia

We visited Zagreb for two days at the end of our Christmas and New Year's trip around central Europe.  Our trip began in Munich, continued on to Salzburg, Ljubljana, and then to Zagreb, and from there we spent another few days in Munich before heading back to Madrid.  Zagreb is the capital of Croatia, and it was our first time in both the city and the country, so although we didn't get lots of time in either, we were excited!  

why you're missing out if you're not using airbnb

why you're missing out if you're not using airbnb

If there's one thing I'm not, it's an early adopter.  It's not that I think I am, but I'm not, I know I'm not on the edge of all things new, cool, and hip.  

When Danny and I first started using Airbnb, I felt like we were among the first of our friends and family to give it a shot, and however true that may be, we certainly weren't among its first users - after all, Airbnb got its start in 2008, but we didn't book our first stay until the summer of 2014. 

lake bled, slovenia

lake bled, slovenia

We stayed in (and spent most of our time in) four different cities while we made a circle around central Europe over Christmas and New Year's, beginning and ending in Munich, Germany.  From each of those cities, we took at least one day trip - from Munich we went to Neuschwanstein, from Salzburg we went to Hallstatt, from Ljubljana we went to Lake Bled, and so on. 

ljubljana, slovenia

ljubljana, slovenia

If you looked at the title of this post and thought, "Huh? Ljub- what?"...you're not alone.  Ljubljana (pronounced lyoo-BLYAH-nah) isn't somewhere that was ever on our list of places to visit, or to be really honest, somewhere we even knew existed prior to a few months ago.