Back in Europe again after our side trip to Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia, Angela and I spent several days in Athens, Greece, before boarding a train to Thessaloniki in the northeastern corner of the country. From there, we traveled by train to Sofia, Bulgaria, and then began a series of torturous bus rides through the Balkan States.
We stopped first in Nis, Serbia, before arriving Skopje, North Macedonia. Next, we ventured to the wonderful capital of Tirana in Albania and turned north through Montenegro, finally arriving in the beautiful city of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Needing to take a break from the endless bus rides, we caught a short flight from Sarajevo to Zagreb, Croatia, where we explored the city and relaxed for a couple of days.
Then it was back on the bus through Ljubljana, Slovenia, and on to the Adriatic coastal city of Trieste, Italy. From there, we took a series of efficient trains to Rimini, Italy, and managed to work in a day trip to the tiny country of San Marino.
One more train ride to Rome, Italy, where Angela and I stayed just outside the walls of Vatican City. We made our way to the coast at Civitavecchia where we embarked on a Mediterranean cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary. With ports of call including Mykonos, Athens, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Sicily, and Naples, we were most excited about stopping in Valletta, Malta, making the tiny island nation our 44th and final UN country to visit in Europe.
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