We left the hotel early this morning and arrived in Venice shortly after noon. After parking the car we hopped onto a water bus and were shuttled along the main canal. It was much different than I had expected, lots of tourists and it wasn’t quite as picturesque as I had imagined. But once we arrived to the St. Marco square, not only did I start to recognize it – the grandeur of it all was very apparent. We are now walking through the city and booking a hotel for tonight in Milan! The fun never stops!
Continue reading Ahh, Venice!
Ancient Roman ruins – one of the most complete in the world. The Sphinx that can been seen in this picture was taken from Egypt and is authentic!
Our time in Croatia was up – so we headed out into the night. The drive ended up taking longer than we expected and we decided to wing it as far as accommodations. We ended up finding a hotel in Slovenia just off the motorway. Neither of us was very confident in the place – but the price was right at $40 euro for the both of us… and we were both quite pleasantly surprised at how nice the room was! It ended up being perfect for our needs and the breakfast included this morning was an additional bonus! Who knew! 🙂
Korcula from the balcony at the home we stayed in.
Another change of plans! Matt and I realized that our time is getting very short here – so we opted to leave the islands today and forgoe the trek into Hvar. So we are back in Split right now and heading towards Italy! Im currently writing from an internet cafe deep within the city palace – a Roman palace in very good condition for its age! Its quite odd being here in this basement and wondering what it was used for ages ago – torture chamber perhaps?? Who knows… after exploring a bit more its off to Italy for us!
More pictures of Korcula below!
Continue reading Change of plans…
Ok – so if one is to be stranded anywhere, let it be on an island in the Adriatic with perfect weather and a means of getting around! Due to a misunderstanding of the ferry schedule, we were not able to get to Hvar (another island) today as planned. We ended up running around all morning trying to find a solution to this “problem” – then we realized that it was not a problem at all! We headed back to the same home as the day before and asked if we could use the room again, got some supplies (snorkel kits etc…) and headed to the beach! Both beaches were incredible in their own right. We had to traverse miles after miles of vineyards to get to the first beach – but it actually had sand!! The others have been pebble beaches. After a few failed attempts at snorkeling (my training at the Epcot Center didn’t seem to help much) I finally started to get the hang of it! It was amazing seeing this different world come alive in front of my eyes. I was following a few fish for a while, then when I turned around I realized that there were another 20 following me! The water was so clear, it was amazing! But, by far, the best find was when I was just about to head back in to hit the next beach. I saw this large brown object floating in the water – I had no idea what it was. As I approached the details started to emerge – the unmistakable movements got me excited about what I was about to see! As I approached, a beautiful specimen of jellyfish lay before my eyes, with its own entourage of fish keeping it company! I watched it with amazement for at least 10 minutes until I ran out of the water like a little school kid to tell Matt where it was so he could see it. It was quite amazing – yet another reminder of the wonders of the world that continue living and breathing as we struggle through our busy days and crazy schedules…
The second beach was even harder to get to – harder on the car especially! Probably the worst road we had been on yet – in my travels it is tied only with the road to the volcano Cotopaxi in Ecuador! But as was the case in Ecuador, what laid at the end of the road made the annoyance of the voyage a distant memory. The beach was coddled in a large bay at the foot of the mountains of the island. Very isolated, and very few people that could find it as well as put up with the road! It was beautiful and quite relaxing! I think Matt and I have had more than our share of sun for the day though – as my nose has done its Rudolf thing again. Ah well – I’m not going to complain! Tomorrow morning we plan to go on a boat tour and then head to Hvar! Cant wait to share pictures!
After two full days in Dubrovnik we have headed off to the islands of Croatia. We drove about an hour and a half north from Dubrovnik and took a ferry to our first island Korcula (pronounced Korchula). Although it is a walled city on the ocean, just as Dubrovnik, it has a charm all of its own. It is much more difficult for a traveler to reach this island. If not driving, one has to take a combination of bus and ferry and it can get quite complicated. Although it isn’t quite as magnificent as Dubrovnik – the pace is much slower and the lack of the hundreds of tourists is quite welcome. We have only just arrived and I have just returned from exploring the city a bit. The pace reminds me a lot of Fuenterrabia in Spain, although I’ll have to confirm which city is older. Unfortunately this computer doesn’t want to work with my memory card so pictures will have to wait. But I will try to upload them as soon as possible. Until then, we have some time at the beach planned as well as snorkeling, wine tasting and hiking! Quite a change of pace from the rest of the trip, but a welcome one.
Driving along the Croatian coast we are treated to a spectacular view around every corner. The Adriatic sea is crystal blue while the dark green of the island and coastal vegetation provide the perfect contrast. The further south we drive the clearer the sky becomes until not a single cloud is in sight. While rounding the last bend before Dubrovnik the details of the fabled city emerge. Each home has a stark white face with orange tiled roofs, anywhere else they might seem plain, but here they enhance the beauty of the scene. We enter into the town without a plan or even a decent map. Yet the lure of the ocean seems to bring us to the right place. We find a pedestrian street bustling with life. Shacks with trinkets and souvenirs, boat tours, clothing and any other memorabilia that will reel the tourist in. The scent of saltwater penetrates the air as we descend upon the beach. The sun has already set, but the people still linger on the beach holding out for the last bit of light, or their last moment of peaceful bliss – the air is still, the moment timeless. It is now that my understanding of these people – this place, begins.
Continue reading Dubrovnik
We have arrived in Zagreb! Croatia has far exceeded our expectations
as the highway was super-smooth and the city seems teeming with life!
Just finished dinner and off to explore a bit more! Off to the south
of Croatia early tomorrow morning. More updates to come!
The view from Buda side at night.
One the Danube this morning.
Continue reading On the Danube
Although it rained most of the day on Tueday when we had the “getting the Puma fixed” extraviganza – we were able to make it out to the Danube that night to take some pictures and wander around. We are staying on the Pest side – so the pictures you see are of the Buda side. The view was spectacular!
Continue reading Rain in Budapest
The bustling Market Square in Krakow! We were told it is the largest in Europe. Home to St. Marys cathedral – a beautiful church whose two towers differ because they were completed hundreds of years apart. The interior is amazing – because it was 5 euro for each camera – Matt took all the interior pictures.
Continue reading To Budapest