A Travellerspoint blog

Dubrovnik

Croatia


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So we got our shit together and decided that we'd go back to Dubrovnik because we didn't really do any exploring when we were there with the cruise. We found an apartment for €12 each which was awesome! Plus some complimentary moonshine. Yummo! We found our apartment and then worked out that the hospital was just down the road so Brad decided to go see a doctor to get some antibiotics to get rid of a nasty cough that has been hanging around for about 2 months... This is where we learnt that taking risks in these countries should be avoided because it made Aussie hospitals look like a 5star hotel, and I now appreciate that disinfectant smell and the clinical feel. 

Katie is a chef so we did a vegetable load up with vegetable soup, followed by Ratattoui. We've never been happier to eat veges! Thanks Katie :o)
We only had two nights here so we cruised into town and went for a walk on top of the old city walls. Well..... Katie and I walked, Brad and Mark ran!! Crazy boys. It was the middle of the day and soooo hot. Its about 2km long and they almost made it round two times by the time they caught up. People were saying things like 'are you on a suicide mission!' etc. Lol!

After a swim and the boys doing some cliff jumps, we got tarted up and went back to the pub crawl, for the second round as we did the same pub crawl with the cruise Madona Crew. This was no less loose and resulted in us all feeling pretty terrible when we had to get up at 8am for the 10am bus, which was 2.5hours late anyways. When we were waiting at the bus terminal, we noticed a guy who we had met on the Split pub crawl, Thomas. He had no recollection of meeting us and he was rather surprised when we showed him photos of us all partying. This is when Thomas joined our crew as we were all bound for Budva, Montenegro. To say the bus ride was painful would be an understatement. Brad and I were really not in a good way with the combination of hangover, bus sickness, the heat, stuff all leg room, and generally feeling sorry for ourselves.

Here's the photos

Posted by KPad 12:40 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Sail Croatia

From Split 7 nights return


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Our trip from Budapest to Split was heinous to say the least. We headed out from Budapest at 1pm in the hottest imaginable train. Everyone was hanging out the windows to try and not die from heat stroke. We got into Croatias capital, Zagreb, at about 830pm feeling like shite. The next train was at 1120pm over night, arriving at Split at 810am. Surely it couldn't be as bad as the last train?? The thing we didn't realize was that there was a national public holiday that weekend so everyone was catching a train to the coast. The thing is that they don't stop selling tickets when the run out of seats. The train was over capacity and we had 7 people in our 6 person carriage. We both got almost no sleep on the train. When we got into split, we left our bags at the hostel and went straight to the beach and fell asleep in the shade for a few hours. 

Saturday: SPLIT - HVAR
We set sail at 1pm after making the precarious hop skip and a jump over the two vessels to get to ours... We definitely had a solid hold on our bags. Dropping them in the water would have not been ideal.  We had lunch upon departure which was a chance for us to get to know our fellow travellers, then stopped for a swim at one of the hidden bays heading towards Hvar. Hvar is the longest island in the Adriatic and one of the best known, and a party island! We went for a walk along the waterfront, admiring the crystal clear water and browsing the waterfront restaurants... and bars which we would later bless with our presents. After watching the sunset and dinner at the pumping Hula Hula Hvar bar (where people would sip their cocktails and then go jump off the pier into the water and then return to their drink), we met the Madona Crew back at the boat and headed out for our free shots at the Nautica Bar... Oh and copious amounts of Long Island Ice Tea. 

Sunday: HVAR - TRSTENIK
Early in the morning we continued our trip south. Our first stop was in one of the bays near Loviste, on the Peljesac peninsula. After a refreshing swim we continued towards Trstenik considered to be one of the most beautiful and unspoilt traditional villages along the Croatian coast. Trstenik is set along a deep south facing bay which is lined by a pebble beach. The sea here is crystal clear, and is rich in underwater life. 

We grabbed our lilo's and floated around the shore while the Captain and Crew fired up the BBQ for tea. Most of the Madona Crew caught a boat to a beach party, but Brad was feeling a little dusty so we just stayed near the boat and went ashore with our new friends, Adam and Jayne for some cocktails... The bars were closing so we managed to con them into making us some take away cocktails before they closed up. 

Monday: TRSTENIK – DUBROVNIK
After brekkie we departed for Dubrovnik, with a short swin stop before arriving in Dubrovnik in early afternoon. The old town was completed in the 13th century and remains virtually unchanged to the present day. We went for a walk into the Old Town and made our way straight to the beach. We decided to bail on any sight seeing because we would be coming back after the cruise. The boys decided that they would like to head to Cafe Buza which sits on the cliff face along the walls where you can sit back and watch the cliff divers (about 10m) jumping off the walls with the sun falling in the background. This is Brads current Facebook picture! Amazing. 

Later in the evening, we joined the Pub Crawl where we smashed through the 'hour of power' where you drink as much as you possibly can for free for one hour... After this hour, drinking slows down dramatically because everyone is sufficiently boozed for the remainer of the evening...and morning. Hehe
 
Tuesday: DUBROVNIK - MLJET
After a night of debortary in Dubrovnik, we leave this magnificent town early morning. Some only just make it back to the boat in the mornings before it departs :o/ We continued our cruise north through the Elephite islands where we stopped for a refreshing swim before heading onto Mljet National Park.
We arrived late afternoon so we all made our way, with our lilo's and beers in tow, to the amazing blue salt lakes in the National Park for a few hours of relaxation and further Madona Crew bonding. We all grabbed a few drinks and sat by the water to watch the amazing sunset before going out for dinner - reservation for 28 please!

Wednesday: MLJET – KORCULA
After the night in Mljet we left this magnificent island later in the morning and continue our cruise towards the island of Korcula stopping to swim for much of the day. Later in the afternoon we continued onto Korcula, the birthplace of MARCO POLO. We hit up the lovely beach...again sporting our lilo's, and the boys played a game of basketball in the hot afternoon sun... Crazy. A few of us did the Buggy Safari which was reasonably disappointing compared to our previous Lagos four wheeler experience. We drove the buggies for about 15mins to a not so nice beach, where we all played a game of beach volleyball in the 'sand' which was mixed with concrete, rocks and prickles.. Then 15mins back. You could only go as fast as the people in front, so it was fairly lame. In the evening, we hit the town where we found a bar with a projecter showing the soccer. We had a great time here until we were made aware of all the huge Croatian guys who feel the need to try and pick fights with the tourists... We were really disappointed by this because we were having a great time, but it left a bad taste in our mouth. We then moved onto the club and had a good dance, once again till the wee hours.

Thursday: KORCULA – MAKARSKA
The next morning we will sailed back up the Dalmatian coast up to the Makarska Riviera. We spent the afternoon swimming at one of the beautiful bays before arriving into Makarska later in the afternoon. Makarska is the most attractive coastlines on the Dalmatian coast nestled under the massive peaks of the Biokovo mountain range with Mt Jure the highest seaside peak on the Mediterranean. We stroll through the markets searching for costumes for our nautical theme party. Then lazed on the beach while some of the guys hired slippery slide paddle boats, which was very entertaining to watch big rugby players slip and slide like little kids. 
There was another cliff jump here too, and it was pretty high! 17m this one, which was definitely at test of courage - or stupidity... Katie really wanted to do it as she hadn't done it before but was terrified. She buildup the guts and jumped, unfortunately not landing so well. She had instant bruises from knee to bum on both legs and a sore back. 
We all got ready for our Nautical party before heading to the infamous club “Deep”, a natural cave set into the cliff next to the sea which booms till the sun comes up. The outfits were all awesome and the photos pretty much explain the fun that was had....

Friday: MAKARSKA – SPLIT
We stopped for a swim at Makarska where we left the boat to go white water rafting. There wasn't a lot of white water....but the scenery was stunning and the water was beautiful and clear so we had a great time miandering down the Cetina River for 3 hours. We caught a bus back to Split later in the afternoon where we rejoined the boat.
Friday night was the last night of the whole crew together. Most people were weary by this time, but everyone rose to the occasion for our farewell party.

Saturdays: SPLIT
We had to say goodbye to the crew and all your new friends... It was a struggle as most of us were still drunk, and some hadn't even been to bed! We were unceremoniously woken and booted off by 9am so they could load the next weeks passengers. The port was littered with very hungover sail Croatia people and their luggage. It was quite the sight. Katie and Mark from the cruise were spending more time around eastern Europe so we decided to spend the next few weeks traveling together and all go to EXIT Festival. 
The boys carried all the luggage to our hostel, while I passed out under a tree... And then spent the next few days getting our plan together, whilst still drinking and attending pub crawls...

Our photos...

Katies photos...

Posted by KPad 12:21 Archived in Croatia Comments (1)

Budapest

Hungary


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We arrived in Budapest (pronounced Budapesht) and walked 1.7km from the train station to the hostel which doesn't sound far but with our bags in 30 degree heat... Eventually we found our hostel and turns out they had a 'technical glitch' and we had to be upgraded from the twin room with a shared bathroom to their luxury private apartment! Score! Pretty happy considering we're paying €13 per night each!

Our next mission was to take the laptop to get looked at. Looks like the motherboard will need to be replaced which will take from 3-5 days. We're not here for that long and nor do we want to. We sat down and had an early dinner and went through all the options and decided that we'd get an iPad because not having a computer was making our life very hard, particularly when trying to book train tickets. We'll be eating bread and drinking water for the next two weeks. Haha 

On our first full day in Budapest we joined the free walking tour which went for 2.5 hours. It was in the middle of the day and 30degree heat but luckily Budapest is very rich in water so there are no shortage of water fountains to fill up the water bottle. Budapest is split in two with the river Danube running through the middle. One side is Buda and the other Pest. The tour on the Pest side included walking by St Stephens Cathedral; St Stephen was the first President of Hungary from the year 1000 and his hand is kept in a little box within the cathedral....weird.... And buried next to St Stephens hand is Hungary's only famous soccer player. Haha We also checked out Castle Hill and from a distance, the Status of Liberty from the communist days, which Budapest is no longer but the statue is so pretty, they didn't want to take her down so they covered her in a white sheet for 3 days and then had a big celebration and unveiling of the 'new' statue.... which is actually the same statue... 
The Buda side is very hilly so we climbed up some stairs for a great view of the city and Parliament House. The tour guides here were fantastic! The best we've had. They gave us so many tips and a newsletter on surviving Budapest.

After this tour we grabbed some traditional Hungarian food for lunch and then cruised back to the tour meeting point to joint the next tour called 'The Jewish Tour'. This was through the Jewish quarter and about 194 when the Germans came and killed 600,000 of the 720,000  Jews that lives in Budapest in the space of one year. It was then turned into a locked ghetto for the survivors over the next year and a half by the occupying Germans until they were 'liberated' by the Soviets! Very sad. This tour was also 2.5 hours so we were well buggered by the end when we go to a Ruins Bar called Szimpla, which is an old building decorated with a whole heap of random stuff I.e. pushbikes, bed springs, old cars made in to seats, bathtubs, buckets for light fittings, etc, and lots of vine plants. Looked awesome!! 

The next day we hit up the airconned shopping centre! And then spent the evening rejuvenating in the thermal pools which range from 26 to 37 degrees. The following day, which is now... We're sitting on the hottest train in the world making out way to Split in Croatia.  It's going to be a very long long long train ride. Everyone is hanging out the window to get some of the cooler air. 

Pics are here

Posted by KPad 15:24 Archived in Hungary Comments (1)

Vienna

Austria


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We arrived in Vienna just after lunch and because it was Saturday, we thought we should go out that night! So we decided that we'd see the monuments that afternoon because we may be too tired the next day. We started the long walk into the city centre and along the way commented on how dead it was! There was no one around and we were very surprised at this. Until we heard loud music from a distance and thought there must be a concert in the park or something. Nope... Marci Gras celebrations! There were float after float with the music cracking and people dancing. It was so exciting! All our plans went out the window but we didn't mind because this was super fun anyways. After following the party float for ages, we cruised into the city mall and did some people watching whilst enjoying some refreshing Spritz. P.s. this drink is an Aperol Spritz, not a white wine spritzer... 

We got ready to go out and had a drinks at the hostel bar. The cover charge was a bit rude but we ate our cover charge in complimentary pretzels anyways. We had a tonne of fun and were so happy to be out enjoying some good music instead of being kicked out at 2am like everywhere else. The club was pretty ritzy, the guys all dressed to the hilt and the girls all tarted up in their best dresses. Very nice modern decor and cool lighting...oh and don't forget the HOTDOG STAND in the middle! Yep a hotdog stand in the club. Kebab mission not required. They were really good too, nice gourmet fancy pants hotdogs. Of course... 

On the last day we hired some bikes, which seemed to take forever. Got to admire the guy for being thorough, but seriously, they're pushbikes! Anyways, single pushies are stacks easier than tandom... And stacks stacks better than walking. We rode to a huge park and stopped to lay down in the beautiful green grass for a little while and watch guys play soccer, then went to the local swimming area in the Danube  river. We didn't swim but we did ride around the lake and then sat down for a beer and strawberry daiquiri. Cruised over the other side to share our business around for a bite to eat for lunch. Then rode home via the city mall to get our souvenir shot glass. 

We loved Vienna! Didn't learn anything about Viennas history but that's cool. It reminded us a little of Brisbane so I think that's why we enjoyed just being there and taking it in.

Photos finally uploaded

Posted by KPad 15:22 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Salzberg

Austria


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The train ride to Salzburg wasn't super awesome because we were feeling a little dusty from the night before, but scenery was amazing so the time past quickly. This was the first hostel in ages that we had a kitchen so we went straight to the supermarket to grab some meat and veges to make a stir fry. We only had one full day here so we caught the bus to the Mirabell Park and admired the fountain where Julie Andrews performed a scene from The Sound Of Music. I must see that movie.... 
We then went to where Mosart grew up and had an audio tour guide which is really interesting! Got to hear a piece that he composed when he was 8 and see the piano that he recorded it on. Very very talented! Obviously... 
We walked through the Catacombs which had nothin' on the Catacombs in Paris. We caught the funicular (cog train that goes directly up the side of a mountain) up to the fortress and went on another audio tour which was really cool and had lovely views of the city. We did start making our way to the brewery but after starting the long walk to the brewery, which included a tunnel, we ended up back where we started 20mins earlier... so we retired at a beer garden which was kindly located right in front of us. 

Photos

Posted by KPad 15:20 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

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