We took a long windy road from Split to Dubrovnik. The coastal towns and views were breathtaking. I think I took about 400 photos the way down! We reached Dubrovnik late at night and were greeted by Emica as we were staying at the Emi apartments. Our wedding planners had organised our accommodation which was fantastic as we were located right across our wedding venue and only a 3 minute walk to the Old Town. We quickly put our bags away and headed off to the Old Town to find a suitable restaurant for dinner. As it is not tourist season, we only had a few options available to us. We explored the steps and alleyways of the Old Town and stumbled across a restaurant which serves Michael’s favourite meal, ligne na zaru (grilled squid with potatoes and spinach). The meal was very tasty as it was my first time to experience this Croatian dish. Highly recommended!
As we left the comfort of being “home” we headed off on our Croatian adventure. 1st stop, Split! Split is part of the Dalmatian coast and is roughly the half-way point between Zagreb and Dubrovnik. We booked accommodation on Airbnb for an apartment in Split. The problem with airbnb is that the host has 24 hours to respond to you. As we requested the apartment the morning that we wanted to stay there, we were not guaranteed the apt.
We were off on our 3.5 hour car ride to split and took the A1 motorway. There were parts of the drive which were absolutely beautiful and other parts that were sooooooooooo boring! Haha. It felt like a long drive, however once we could see the city lights of Split our excitement grew! We headed towards the apartment that we booked for the night and quickly realised that we didn’t have the street number. We found a free WiFi that we could use on our phone and noticed that the host still had not responded to our apartment request. We were not able to get in contact with them so instead found a nearby hotel which was the Best Western and bargained for a good deal for the night. We managed to cancel our Airbnb request and booked into the Best Western. This was a probably a blessing in disguise as we had a large comfortable room, great shower and delicious breakfast. It was a bit more than we were going to pay, however these are obstacles that we will probably face frequently as we are looking for accommodation on the go.
We ventured from Slovenia to Croatia by car and had to pass through border checkpoints as we exited the EU and entered Croatia. This will all change when Croatia becomes part of the EU on July 1st, 2013.
Grice is a village where Michael’s Dad grew up. It is roughly 20 minutes from the border of Slovenia. We arrived at the family home on Wednesday, March 13th in time for Damir’s (Michael’s Cousins) birthday! Little did I know that I was going to meet 20 members of Michael’s family for Damir’s birthday celebration. I was welcomed with shots of rakija and visnja which quickly made me feel comfortable. Prior to arriving into Croatia I have been learning the language, however sitting around the table I quickly realised that I understood nothing! At least Michael could translate some of the conversation. It was apparent that his family is very close, enjoys a good laugh and a good drink. Celebrations continued into the night!
As we noted in our previous blog, Michael surprised me and took me to Lake Bled, Slovenia for our 2 year anniversary. It was absolutely stunning and he organised a room at B&B Carmen with a lakeside view. We arrived in the afternoon of the 12th of March and quickly fell in love with the beauty of the small town. There was a large calm lake with a Church situated on an island and a cliff-side castle. It was very cold which added to the beauty of the village.
We left at 9:30am for the long trek south towards Lake Bled in Slovenia. We began in heavy fog and the temperature dropped as low as 0c and would get up to 7c depending on how high in the mountains we went. What we weren’t expecting was the unbelievable scenery we encountered along this trip. Snow-capped mountains, castles on the edge of cliffs & long tunnels that lead right under a mountain were what we experienced and what made our trip take that much longer. We stopped numerous times to capture the beauty and even though we took many photos, we could not believe how beautiful the scenery is here.
Continue reading The Long Road ahead!!
We decided that it was time to visit Andechs, a very old Monastery of Bavaria dating back to the 10th century. Of course in Bavaria, no Monastery is complete without a brewery. We took advantage of this and indulged in pork knuckle, sauerkraut, potato salad and of course BIER! We were made aware of the fact that Bavarian bier has only 3 or 4 ingredients. This is pure bier which consists of water, hops, malt and wheat. We were also advised that in Bavaria, bier is considered a necessity in life and thus only gets taxed at 7%. Bier is in the same tax category as water, eggs and bread as it is a need for survival. This varies from other areas in Germany where any alcohol beverage is taxed at 19% as it is considered a luxury item.
It’s our 3rd day in Munich and we decided to venture out of the city a bit. Our lovely friend Kai (Munchen local) recommended that we go and see a nearby castle. It was only when he showed us an image of it on google that I realised we were about to see the Disney inspired castle called Neuschwanstein Castle!
We drove about 1.5 hours out of Munich in our new car and tested how fast we could go on the Autobahn. We reached speeds of 180km which was the fastest I have ever gone! It literally felt like a plane about to take off but for Kai, this was just part of everyday life.
After our long 28 hour journey, we finally arrived in cold but sunny Munich. Our friend Kai picked us up from the airport and we made our way through the cool streets of Munich to Berg Am Laim. We had one important task to do before we could explore Munich, and this was to pick up our car. The owner had an authentic house which included an outdoor sun room. So German!
We are on the plane about to take off! We are going from Sydney to Hong Kong to Finland to MUNICH! We will be flying for over 24 hours. Lets hope it goes smoothly!
With a 12 month trip planned and just getting engaged, life has been good! We held our Engagement Party at Waterview Function Centre in bicentennial park. Michael and I go running around that area so it is special to us.
We wanted our Engagement Party to be very personal and thus had both Hawaiian and Croatian elements to it. As our friends and family walked in to the venue, we “lei’d” them with an Aloha and Hawaiian music in the background. It was a memorable experience as I got to show a bit of where I am from. Throughout the night the DJ mixed up Hawaiian, Croatian and of course English music!