September brings us to the last leg of our European adventure: Croatia, Slovenia and a return to Germany. Europe has been incredible, but I think we will be ready for Asia by the end of the month. It's an expensive place to travel for 4 months and at times it feels too familiar. We're both yearning to venture into parts unknown without knowing where we're going to sleep next and let things get a little weird. Our last month here plans to be a great one, though. Soak up even more sun at the gorgeous beaches in Croatia, hike to some of the most scenic European views in Slovenia, and finishing off strong with Oktoberfest in Munich.
The hardest part about planning for Croatia is determining which cities you actually want to spend time in. We had heard so many positive things about Split from friends and fellow travelers we knew that it would be on the list, but all of the other options seemed daunting. Hvar, Dubrovnik, Pula, Makarska, Zadar, the list goes on and on. Since we added Montenegro to our itinerary in August, our time allotted for the country shrunk to 8 days, so we opted to only make two stops. It's a difficult choice to say no to fantastic places you will be so close to, but we know ourselves. We want to stop and smell the roses and not be moving around every 2 days right after we're finally settled in. We ended up choosing Makarska as our second stop. Less touristy than Dubrovnik, but smaller and quainter than Split.
Slovenia took almost no planning at all. We both only had any real interest in Ljubljana and Bled, mainly due to how beautiful these places are. Doesn't get much better than a giant castle in the middle of a lake, right? I'm sure there are some gems throughout the rest of Slovenia, but we knew we had to be in Munich for Oktoberfest by the 18th, so it was easy to just slot these two stops in on the way.
Finally, our return to Germany promises to be quite different from our visit to Cologne and Berlin earlier in the summer. Oktoberfest required us to book accommodations months ago. We decided it would be best to use some hotel points; even booking well in advance, everything is vastly overpriced and points tend to not be so inflated for events like these. We absolutely want to conserve some points for strategic spots in Asia where we are going to need a break from hostels and guesthouses, but this expenditure seems well worth it. After Oktoberfest our itinerary is wide open. We have a car rental for a week that needs to eventually make its way to Frankfurt Airport so we can fly to Nepal, but we are free to go wherever we want with it. We have been toying around with the idea of checking out Salzburg in Austria, and we know we want to spend some time exploring Bavaria and the Black Forest, but really anything could happen. That's the best kind of feeling and I can't wait for more of it.