July 31, 2006

Slovenian life....

Ljubljana is a mysterious place. Its great; very pretty, quite compact, cheaper than Croatia and a very (very) laid back pace of life. Everything closes on a Sunday, shops, supermarkets, corner stores, everything apart from bars and restaurants...and everyone disappears. We found ourselves wandering around almost deserted streets until we found a quiet river bank (where the other 20 locals and tourists who were out and about were(we did develop a theory that everyone is off in a great big beer hall having a great time somewhere we didn't know about) where we enjoyed a few cans of the local piva in the sun.
Overall we really like the place....we are heading to a Slovenian place for dinner, interesting menu items include either Stallion or Filly steaks, can anyone atest to which is tastier ?
Off to Bled tomorrow on the bus, will report in again soon.

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July 28, 2006

Some photos...and saying good bye to Croatia

Reluctantly we have left the relaxed sun soaked island life and are starting into our first long bus journey of many. Tonight we leave Croatia behind heading off on a long and allegedly windy night bus up to Ljubljana in Slovenia. It seems a pity to leave the blue water and gentle breezes, we have met lots of people coming south from the inland cities warning of the dead heat. The plan at the moment is to spend a few days in Ljubljana and then head on to Lake Bled before hitting Budapest.

::Here is a Photo of The Dubrovnik Old Town walls::

After some beach, or should I say ˝rock˝ time, the sun has licked the white glow from us and some dust has been kicked up onto the bags so we don´t look like complete newbies. In my last post I was mulling over the contents of my bag ... there has been some progress on that front, unfortunately I tripped on a step the other day and my favourite flipflops snapped so they quickly found there way into a bin, so far I have resisted the urge to replace them. Fish has been off the menu for the past few nights and has been replaced by great pizza. The choice seems to fish, pizza or an ice cream around here. Everywhere you look there are people wandering around with ice creams ... lots of tempting flavours .. snickers, nutella, red bull and coke!!

:: Here is the spring in Dubrovnik...cold tasty water::

We took an early morning fast ferry yesterday from Korcula to Split passing through the lovely island of Hvar. On arrival in Split there were the usual bunch of touts with their signs. One of the guys who latched onto us turned out to be a little bit crazy and threw a couple of bunches at a woman who was also trying to talk to us. We left with the woman leaving the crazy guy laying into a young guy who helped close the deal. All very bizarre especially when they have to see and compete with each other every morning.

:: Dee at said spring ::

Spilt is a lovely old city contained within palace walls. Each day there are huge markets with everything from fish to Croatian football jerseys.

Time for us to catch the bus ... stay tuned for more.

:: Split fish Market::

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July 24, 2006

Sometimes computers are annoying

So I guess it had to happen at some stage, I was almost finished typing out the blog for today and the computer crashed, alas blogspot has no autosaving so its gone.
my time is running out so the highlights scattered between the wit, humour and colourful descriptive prose were:
We are staying in Korcula for a few more days as all is good here (and we dont want to get the 6am boat to Hvar to talk up the Ashes with young poms)
We had a great fish dinner last night - 5 different local fish from the barbie (3 whole)
I reckon the Adriatic is extra salty (someone to confirm) because the fish is tasty...and I float easily :-)
We will head to Split from here on Wed or Thursday.

over and out

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July 22, 2006

Island life.

My thoughts are preoccupied these days by a constant analysis of the entire contents of my "traveling light" backpack and what could possibly be making is so heavy and bulky. Admittedly behind Marcus´s back there were a couple of sneaky additions at the 11th hour but nothing significant enough to leave me in my present quandary of what can be jettisoned that will not be required over the coming months. Weighing in at 12.7KG in Dublin airport it was easy to be smug and throw looks of sympathy towards those with gigantic immigration size packs, however, yesterday whilst hiking 2km downhill to the bus station in the cool 9am temperatures of 31 degrees I realised I was only fooling myself ... in the end of the day I've to carry the thing around. So, I need to relegate some items into the nearest bin or buy weights and start bodybuilding fast. Marcus just asked me to add that his backpack is only 11.9KG ... I wonder has he room for some of my stuff!!!!

Korcula island is suiting us right down to the ground at the moment. It is a mini Dubrovnik with an old walled city but it has more of a backpacker feel to it - although it also has its share of multimillion dollar yachts pulling in demonstrating how the other half live. The water is as blue as I've ever seen and as still as a bathtub ... there are no beaches around here so everyone is out sunning themselves on the rocks. Have to say I got a bit of a shock on the first jump in. The sea looks so much like a lake that you are telling yourself that despite appearances it WILL be cold and salty. A mouthful of salt in the lungs later followed by a fit of coughing does not make for a graceful entry.

Our accommodation is at the very very top of the hill overlooking Korcula town. Its almost like a coming of age thing ... we have well and truly left the flat terrain of the San Francisco Marina. It all happened by accident, we are not purposely searching out the summits. It was my turn to find a bed for the night and after knocking on multiple doors, handsignaling to ten different old ladies, being shown various couches and camp beds I eventually found the perfect place. After striking the deal I came out only to find I had worked my way up to the top of the hill. After a bit of strenuous lugging of the bags up to the top we retired to the beach for the afternoon.

That is the update for now .... time to figure out where the next hop is to.

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July 19, 2006

Tús maith leath na hoibre

Dubrovnik is warm.
We arrived last night a couple of hours behind schedule after the original plane developed technical difficulties and had to be replaced at Dublin airport (I´ve spent far too much time there recently). Our room is in a house that´s about 15 mins walk from the old walled town which is great...well walking in any way as its all downhill (we are surprisingly un-hillfit after San Francisco - well not that surprising I guess for Marina folks). We wandered in this morning and set about circumnavigating the old city walls. The actual old town is a bit smaller than I expected - it took us about 1.5 hours to walk around the outside. From the walls all the way around you get a beautiful vista of terracotta tiled rooves and marble streets. Its pretty full of tourists as you would expect for this time of year and it is seriously hot.....when you head down a little sun filled alley with no breeze, its stifling.
Dotted around the place are these great wells that spout out cold spring water - a welcomed bonus today for sure.
So I know you were wondering about the title - Tús maith leath na hoibre - wells its my Irish saying of the moment- chosen for its ironical relevance to the start of our journey. It means "A good start is half the work". The irony comes from a little hiccup we had the morning (2am) of our departure when I went down the street to check out the ATM card we were planning on using as our main account for travelling. Its a new card for my account and what I quickly, but painfully learnt was that for some reason it does not allow the old PIN (which it is supposed to). So after the card was swallowed, and this fist shaking had ended I had to set the wheels in motion for another card to be issued back in Melbourne. An interesting footnote to this story is that it has a freaky paralell to the last time I went for an extended backpacking trip.... that time I stepped off the plane in Harare, Zim at around 10pm at night, strolled over to get some cash...only for that unfriendly ATM to swallow my card (same account) on the first go. So hopefully its a good omen, albeit an annoying one.
Sorry no photos for posting today, this PC doesnt have a slot for my card, I think Dee and I are off to find a place to chillout in the shade now...and you never know we may even knock back an Ozujsko.


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July 17, 2006

Dublin airport after the evacuation

Just in case you didnt believe me about the delays at the airport, this is the line for people to get back into the arrivals area ...and yes that is a 3 lane drop-off road they are covering as far as you can see.

A late night is on the cards here as despite our best pre-planning efforts, we are yet to pack our bags ready for departure tomorrow....I know you are all saying will you just get on with it and get going, well tomorrow we will.
stay tuned.

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July 15, 2006

3 more sleeps

After playing around with the other blog site, it seems this one is going to offer a few more bells and whistles for our viewing audience...hence we have found a new home for our blog.


To catch you up on our movements since the inaugural post ...... after spending our last few nights in San Francisco on Daniel and Yolande's sofa, made all the more comfortable by Kennedys Happy Hour(s) we found ourselves arriving into a glorious Irish summer (me arriving into Dublin airport smack bang in the middle of an evacuation due to someones forgotten backpack meant 4 hours of fun before catching my lift). Since then we have been camped out with Dee's family enjoying our last days of home cooking and a help yourself fridge before we set sail on Tuesday on our only booked transport - a 2.30pm flight to Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The plan is to spend some time bobbing around the islands as we make our way up the Croatian coastline, moving slowly and catching a bit of a holiday before we get into the more demanding legs of our journey.

We have about 5 weeks to cover the ground up to St Petersburg before our Russian visa kicks in. Our list of stops along the way looks something like : Slovenia, Budapest, Krakow, Warsaw, Vilnius, Riga and Tallin.

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July 14, 2006

The countdown has begun ....

Dee has worked through the first 4 or 5 drafts of our first real travel post…stay tuned for it soon :-)

This URL - http://comefollowus.com will be the best way of keeping in touch with where we are and what we’re up to so check back often, or go grab the RSS link.

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