Barcelona to LisbonΒ 

Gem and I went in search of a fresh breakfast (my waistline is seriously expanding) after seeing a market on Las Ramblas a few days before. 
I got a beautiful little tray of berries. Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries and a fresh green juice. 

We wandered the streets and I bought some new pjs and a taco & tequila top. 

We flew to Lisbon and checked into our hostel. Ha! I forgot the taxi driver. So we get this taxi driver from the airport to the hostel and he’s speaking rapidly in Portuguese to which I’m just replying to what I think he’s saying. Holy shite he drove fast! True crazy European driver. Flat foot and zig zagging around all the cars, beeping when they weren’t going fast enough for him and nearly causing multiple accidents. You’ve never heard so much beeping! Kept turning around and giving us little smiles and shrugging when I giggled at his actions as if to say ‘these other people driving terribly huh?!’ Hilarious. 

Now I’m not a fan of hostels, but this one was fantastic. Very cool fit-out and atmosphere. It’s in a railway station but you’d never know it. It’s lush and green and the dorms were lovely and clean. Right in the heart of Lisbon. I was very impressed. 

We attempted to get Tram 28 which takes you around all the city that the tourists want to see. Unfortunately, so did all the other tourists that day. Hangry, I left Gem in line and went in search of food. Came back with custard tarts (local special) and a choc croissant. Gave up on the line and paid a tuk tuk (you’d be half mistaken for thinking you were in Thailand) to take us to old town. 

Old town was bustling and beautiful. The Lisbon streets are gorgeous. All tiny pavers on the ground and mosaic apartments. As always, with sheets and washing hanging out the windows. We wandered around exploring, marvelling at the architecture and graffiti. We later learned the graffiti was a big part of Lisbon, with many areas provided by the government to be creative on. 

Unfortunately we ended up in the main tourist area for dinner. We sat in the middle of the street and people watched as we waited for our meals. We both had the grilled cod. What they didn’t mention was how the Portuguese prepare their cod. They rub it in salt and cure it then leave it to sit in salt water before grilling it. So it’s pretty salty. I wasn’t entirely impressed. 

Thankfully our roommates didn’t get in till about 5am as I had a terrible night coughing up a storm. I wound up having tea in the common area from 3-4am trying to curb it. 


Island Hopping, Part 2, Croatia

Days 4-7 were just more drunken debauchery with a side of site seeing. 
Thank goodness the day after Carpe Diem was a rest day, tanning on top of the boat. We docked at Stari Grad, wandered the small town and ended up at a dirty beach with a number of topless sunbathers. 

All the beaches are pebble beaches and as well as uncomfortable to lie on, hot as hell under your feet. 

We took a charter bus to a winery where we were treated to four wines and a 8hr slow cooked feast. Beautiful views and all organic food sourced from their own farm. The tomatoes were incredibly flavoursome. 

The next morning after a swim stop we arrived in Makarska, a beautiful city on the mainland, surrounded by huge rocky mountains.

I went for a big walk on my own, around the actual town itself (not just the touristy waterfront) and found a beautiful boutique food store where I bought some tasty jambon (smoked ham) and made puppy dog eyes at the truffle cheese. 

Bumped into Gemma at a store and we found some of the other girls and went for some drinks. We were soon joined by some of the guys and were well on our merry way before dinner. 

Dinner was at a typical Croatian restaurant in the square, half the group got parmigiana’ to my surprise. I had my fave, grilled squid. We had group races to the bottom of 1l sex on the beach cocktails, getting us prepped for the pirate party! 

Everyone was well prepared and in the mood for the pirate party. Another ‘happy hour’ on the boat followed by another bar and finally the ‘rave cave’ or Deep as it is more commonly known. Deep was just packed full of pirates and loose Australians. Didn’t stay there long! 

That night a storm came through and we had to skip our scheduled stop and instead arrived at Split a day early, which quite suited me. The rocking on the bot had been shocking the last few days and I’d started swaying even when I was off the boat. Add to that the whole boat coming down with some kind of mad cough and I was happy to be somewhere I could spend more time on land. 

The first day we did a walking tour and had our Captains dinner on the boat. The others went out, I finished my consulting work for the QOC and had an early night. Lucky I did as I would need it for the next night! 

We visited Krka during the day, beautiful scenic waterfalls about 1.5hrs away. Stunning views and a very refreshing swim. Shite food, take your own if you’re going. 

Back in town we went for dinner at a fantastic restaurant called Fife on the waterfront, I highly recommend it. Croatian food, cheap prices and great service. I had another black squid ink risotto (a national dish) as it was our last night. I also had many red wines and a few vodkas and sodas which were much more vodka than soda.

Needless to say, my quiet night turned larger quickly! We danced the night away at an open air bar and met up with a group from Contiki who we had seen a few nights back. Lots of drama ensued with various ‘couples’ and it was all very entertaining. 

Got home around 3am, fries in hand and ready to hop off the boat the next day and get to Spain. 




Island Hopping, Croatia

I’d love to tell you the names of the places we have been visiting… But I really don’t recall! Apart from Hvar, that’s an easy one to remember. The others were smaller and not well known. 
Days 2-4, we covered The islands of Mljet, Korcula and Hvar. Each day we leave about 5am, arrive mid morning for a swim stop in the ocean for an hour on our floaties then travel in to dock around lunch. Lunch is a 3 course meal everyday and each day I try to eat everything (overeating continues in Croatia) then we explore the island, head out for dinner then party. 

Mljet is a stunning national park, with two big salt lakes. We swam around and got massive surprises when the fish are our feet. Kind of like Thailand, but much more surprising in the middle of the lake when you haven’t paid any baht for it! On the way back I grabbed a smoothie, there’s not much fruit or veg on the boat. 

Korcula was a party night, we did a quick look around town, had cocktails at a bar that pulls your drinks up to the 4th level on a pulley system and has zero OSH standards, bought souvenirs at Marco Polo and had a group dinner with our sister boat (they have 13 touring.) I ordered what I thought was gnocchi in a red sauce with beef but was just meat. Like a casserole. Me no Likey. 

Party started at Dos Loco, there were stripper poles and terrible music followed by many shots. Around midnight we all got on a bus with the other boats (usually Contiki, Top Deck & Sail Croatia will end up docked together) and headed to Boogie Jungle. 

Boogie Jungle was fun, spew everywhere in the toilets but the hamburgers on the way out (around 2am) are a must! 

I met a guy from Welly and we drank on the helm of the boat talking shite until 4am. He and another guy then pretended to be Miley Cyrus on the floats that separate our boats – it was hilarious at the time. 

The next day and we slept most of it, (no surprise) which was fine as we were on the ocean most of the time until we took the water taxi to Hvar as we couldn’t dock yet. We explored the markets and went up to the fortress to look around, stunning view. 

Hvar lived up to its name, a playground for super yachts and the biggest and most luxurious was right next to us. It was as much of as an attraction as the fortress! Although, I don’t really see what’s there for them. The restaurants (as far as I know) were no different to anywhere else and little shopping. 

We went to the bar with everyone and I wasn’t really in the mood. A few cocktails and shots later and I could bare the terrible 90s music everyone else was digging. I even had the shot where you wear an army helmet and they smack you around with a large glass of tequila and soda. 

I quickly got sick of how crowded it was and Gem, Asti and I left to find another place. We partied for a while, Asti got her crazy dance moves on and was quite the star! We had shots then on to the hotel sky bar. We made friends and had cocktails and shots on the house with them the suddenly we were on our way to Carpe Diem. 

Carpe Diem is a fancy club on another island, you pay 200 Kuna (40aud) which covers your entry and boat ride there and back. It’s opens at 12.30am. We made our way over at 1.30am with some guys from Miami that the girls had met. Problem is, boats make me sleepy. I was ready to go to bed by the time we got there. It has everything you need there and is a day club too with cabanas etc. Friday (when we went) was quiet, apparently Thursdays and Saturdays are better. We or tied for a bit, Gem went for a swim and then we got pizza and the boat back. Another 4am evening / morning. 

In between all this, we lie on the roof of the boat, nap and drink. Mainly sunbathe. I’m getting a decent tan and we have a great group. 


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