A Travellerspoint blog

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Venice

Day 2 - June 7th 2009

sunny 26 °C

Gondola. Should we or shouldn’t we? Upon arrival in Venice, the idea of taking a Gondola ride was cemented on our to-do list but to be honest, the idea faded after a while. Venice is so incredibly beautiful and the Gondola ride would not really have enhanced it much. If the facial expressions of the people that were in the gondolas was anything to go by then we made the right decision. They all looked bored and it was clearly a bit of a tourist trap. Instead we pottered around the back streets, popping in and out of shops and explored greater Venice using the waterbus system. We don’t regret our decision in the slightest but instead feel overjoyed that we decided to come here.

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Chickity China, a Chinese Chicken. Last day in Venice and Italy for that matter. How could we? Chinese food in Venice on our last night in Italy? Vicki was disgusted with my decision but I really needed some Hot and Sour soup. She enjoyed it in the end but that didn’t mean she gave me any less of a hard time about it.

Sleeper train. Venice to Zagreb. Not what we expected after the comfort we had experienced in the first class cabins elsewhere. It was cool though. We had our own room and could safely store our luggage while we slept or should I say while Vicki slept. Too noisy for me, didn’t sleep a wink. The service was good but the train was rather clunky and it seemed to stop every 10 minutes. Not the most suitable sleeping conditions.

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Smoking. Vic asked the guy on board if he was Hungarian. The train stopped in Zagreb on the way to Budapest so the majority of staff onboard were in fact Hungarian. “Will we stop anywhere long enough to have a cigarette?” Vic asked. “One moment.” He led her to the toilet and said, “This train is non-smoking but open the window…” with a cheeky grin. I think Nora would have liked this train.

Checkpoint. A knock at the door. “Passport control!” “Verr are you going? Vyy are you going there? He may as well have gone onto say “Voo said you could pass through Slovenia?” Not the friendliest bunch and certainly not entirely responsive to humour. “Sorry if vee have inconvenienced you and your countrymen, next time vee vill fly!”

Posted by samandvic 15:18 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Zagreb

Day 1 - June 8th 2009

overcast 18 °C

Zagreb. Arrived in Zagreb at about 5am. The sun was rising over the city. Lovely. We didn’t have much time to explore as we were heading to Split in an hour then on to the Island of Hvar.

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Gypsies. We still had that busted up suitcase, we’ll dump it and buy a new one soon but there was no way I was going to cart it all around the Dalmatian coast. We found storage lockers for about $4 a day. Sensational. We unpacked and repacked our bags on the floor of the station like Gypsies and left that piece of Antler rubbish in a locker with all our heavy stuff in it. Liberating. On a side note, “gypsy” has become my favourite word reserved mainly for obnoxious Euros. I’ve had to bust it out a few times.

Posted by samandvic 15:33 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Split

Day 1 - June 8th 2009

sunny 33 °C

Train. The train ride from Zagreb to Split took 5 and a bit hours but there was plenty to see. The countryside of Croatia is stunning. Who would have thought there was a war here only 14 or so years ago?

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Split. Great little coastal town. Reminded me a bit of Cannes in France but with a slightly more regional feel. Very nice. We explored the main centre and had a snack before boarding the catamaran to Hvar.

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Posted by samandvic 15:39 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Hvar

Day 1 - June 8th 2009

sunny 33 °C

Slice of Heaven. Breathtaking. The town was filled with old buildings, the water was crystal clear and you could see the ocean floor! The marina was lined with extravagant yachts which made for an even prettier sea scape. We’d made an impulsive decision to come here and all signs so far led to that being one of the best decisions made all holiday. We needed a few days relief from all the sightseeing and this looked like the perfect place.

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Resort. Vic again found an absolute cracker of a deal on the net. We were staying in one of the premier resorts with all the spoils including our own private beach. The transfer shuttle picked us up at the dock and the drive to the resort seemed to go forever. We almost puked or pooed or both with excitement when we got there. Talk about lush. Amazing pool, great facilities and the view of the ocean was mesmerising.

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Gym. The gym was massive with all the free weights and equipment you could ask for but it was again the view that had me in awe. It was located on the top floor of the hotel overlooking the pool, beach and distant islands. I immediately put on my gym gear and went hard (pardon the pun) for about 90 minutes. I would have stayed longer but Vic would have killed me. I’ll be back, maybe even twice a day.

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Sun. A couple of hours of sunlight left. Where best to spend it than poolside? Great pool with plenty of sun beds. We’re definitely going to enjoy our time here.

Dinner. After an abundance of Pasta, it was time for some serious seafood overindulgence. Seafood platter, please. We knew what we were having even before choosing a restaurant. Great array of fine local seafood. The Riblja Juha (fish soup) was delectable and I assure you it won’t be the last.

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Happy Birthday, Greggles.net!

Posted by samandvic 15:54 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Hvar

Day 2 - June 9th 2009

sunny 31 °C

Breakfast. They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I totally agree but only because I didn’t want to roll my lazy butt off the lounge once out in the sun.

Private Beach. No sand, just pebbles. It was hilarious watching Vicki negotiate gravity on her way to the water’s edge. They were slippery little suckers and if your footing wasn’t entirely right then rather painful too. The Adriatic sea apparently has a higher salt concentration than the oceans we’re more familiar with down under. More salt equals greater buoyancy and the bonus antiseptic qualities should have killed off any nasties that attached themselves when wading through the floodwaters of Venice. So easy to float away both physically and mentally.

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Beached. A Fauna rescue helicopter began circling the air around us. We must have been mistaken for beached sea mammals in need of assistance. We were disgustingly sloth like ever so occasionally dipping ourselves in the clear water purely for survival when the sun’s radiance became a bit much. The Pina Colada alert was intermittently raised when sustenance was required during the 6 or so hours of baking in the Mediterranean sun.

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Pool. Time for a change of scenery. The 20 metre walk back to the pool left us in a state of exhaustion (it could have been dehydration but I’m not a doctor). The only remedy available was an old fashioned one, more cocktails. Alcohol re-hydrates you, right? There’s ice in the glass. It has to.

Dinner. More seafood. Really, in a setting like this nothing else comes to mind. Tuna steak for me (I like mine rare. Slightly overcooked but still nice) and Vicki had a plate of Scampi (she has a knack for ordering the most expensive thing on the menu). The region is famous for it’s Scampi. Delectable.

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Drinks. Back to the hotel bar for a stiff drink and a coffee whilst surfing the net. Nice way to wrap up a fine day.

Posted by samandvic 17:34 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

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