Saturday, August 17, 2013

Prison Camp

Oh My God.  What Was I thinking? This was the first thought as the very nice car rental driver pulled up in front of the Hostel Celica complex.  He was trying to find a way in.

Eventually, he just dropped us at the gate as the bar was down.

Welcome to Hostel Celica, former prison.  Somehow, in my mind I had imagined they'd fix the place up a bit for the tourists.  I had read this was decorated by several artists and each cell had been done differently.  I even booked us a cell room for two nights.  This was not how I had envisioned it.

Try to find the third bed..... Look up yep that's it!  Guess who sleeps up top?There is art on the wall. It is a panel of ceramic tiles of some people walking.  On the up side there is lots of atmosphere and plenty of people around. There is also some very interesting art outside the building.  

Imagine our surprise when we arrived. The shoe rack is a little inconvenient for shorter people.

Do these guys share our rooms?
Absolutely beautiful but.... Note Frank the mouse on the left.

We arrived here after an interesting but long day hiking through caves; 500steps and 170 metres below ground.  It was totally amazing but you weren't allowed to take pictures so no pictorial for you! Then we couldn't find the car rental place to drop the car because the address we had doesn't exist and they don't number the buildings.  We did eventually find it after asking at a few different businesses.  It had been a stressful hour or so, but the car guy drove us to the hostel. What a relief!  At least, until we arrived.  We didn't have to talk.  We were all thinking the same thing.

The hostel itself is great, once you get past the cramped dorm style living.  We missed the Hookah night but managed to get in on the All-you-can-eat dinner.

Before you all send out the guard, you should know that the city is beautiful.  It reminds me of Prague, and for good reason.  The architects who designed it based it on Prague.  We wandered around today.

Holly and Heather focused on shopping and Kenna walked around giving directions to people who were lost.  We  all enjoyed our mid day sit by the River, a stroll round the castle and we were going to have ice cream but the it was almost  dinner and as it was all you can eat BBQ, we didn't  want to miss that.  

Bottom line: Another interesting day for the records.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Guessing Game

Ever cognizant of trying to keep the Blog interactive and entertaining, we've devised a game of "guess whose drink is whose. Who had tea? Who is finished their yummy apple cider, and who is dragging their feet?


Day 10:  Kenna cuts us loose.  Well, ten days is about all the togetherness we could take, and Kenna opted for a day on her own.  Meanwhile, hardcore travel guide followers Holly and Heather took a wander through Rovinj and rode bikes out around the peninsula. It should be noted that while Kenna missed out on the nude beach, she managed to catch the lovely lunch on the Adriatic.

I know you're all looking for the nudists, but this isn't the spot.

Not the spot either.

Action photo.  We were going slower past the nude beach, and no, we didn't take and action photos there.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Beautiful Day

We'll let our pictures do the talking today.  We began our morning with the most amazing hike through Plitvitce Lakes park.  This is a natural geological phenomenon.  The lakes are staggered on many different levels, which sounds impossible except they cascade endlessly.  The paths have been erected in places you wouldn't normally get to walk so you get to see spectacular sights.  The water is a gorgeous blue because of the calcium in it.  The formations creating the waterfalls were created by the deposits of the calcium as the water flowed.

We got there by 7:40am to beat the crowds and this was a good idea.  By the time we left at noon, the parking lot could have rivalled Disneyland.  Seeing The lineup for tickets, the fight for parking, the wait for the shuttle and the constant flow of humanity almost destroyed the serenity of our walk.

This gives an idea of how the water steps gradually down, instead of just flowing quickly.

You all know how I love my ducks in a row.

This one is for Julia.  :)

Just had to throw this one in at the end.  Evidently, at this toilet, if you pay, you can not only have some toilet paper but also a seat to sit on!  I wonder if paper is one cost and the seat another? What kind of toilet service will you get for a really big payment?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Split Rocks

We took the 6:00 am ferry back to the mainland today.  We are now in Split. It is a great town.  There is an opera playing down the street as I type.  I can hear it from my window because it is literally on the street!  We tried to get tickets but they were sold out.  Kenna and Heather are still strolling the Riva.  I am posting before I turn in for the night.  The Riva is a gorgeous wide, seaside promenade that everyone who is anyone strolls.

We are staying inside Diocletian's palace for the night.  That's him below.
Yes, we are really moving up in the world now. Diocletian was the emperor of Rome back around 200 BC... Or was it Ad?  He is famous for deciding to divide the empire into four sections and assign emperors to each section.  While this was most certainly helpful at the time, it may have been the beginning of decline for the empire.  Anyhoo, his palace was built right on the edge of the sea...and when I say edge, I mean edge.  You could sail right up to the back door.  Croatia tides are almost non-existent, measuring less than a foot, according to a local.  Today, there is the beautiful promenade walk there so they either reclaimed some land or the sea receded.  Over the years, the people built the town right through the palace so it is a very neat place.  I'll have to post more pics tomorrow because Heather has her camera now and I haven't got any more pics to help describe this place.

I do, however, have a shot of Kenna at lunch and a cool fountain.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Island life at its best

Sitting by our open doors right now after another exciting day ......
Earlier today we left our apartment and walked across the street for a good morning swim. The crystal clear warm water is salty and very buoyant and while the waterfront by our place isn't sand the pebbles are well rounded from all the waves.  

We decided experiencing mass at the cathedral in Korcula's  St Mark's square would be interesting.  It was a packed house standing room only.  We couldn't even get in the door and had to stand in the doorway.  After mass it was time for some local pastries and then a tour of the old town.  
Korcula's streets are set up in the shape  of a fish skeleton with the streets on one side curved and the other straight.  The straight streets allow the good northeastern winds to flow through town and the curved streets  prevent the bad south winds from passing through.  

The highlight of the old town was climbing to the top of the cathedral tower to look out over the city and the surrounding sea. By now it was early afternoon and the wind had come up. The view was spectacular but climbing the tower itself was pretty cool too. Classic European narrow windy staircase all the way up. Very narrow at the top outside the bell tower but also amazing. 

From there we headed to the marina to look at the fancy boats and have a little walk along the seashore.    When we headed back into the old town it seemed like a good time to shop or better yet to sit down try some local seafood and wine.  The setting of sitting along side the wall looking over the Adriatic enjoying mussels and wine is hard to beat.   

Note how Heather and Holly cleverly use their arms to create a heart shaped frame around the boat in between them.  Art gone bad.

There  was still pretty water to see and so sadly we left our little perch and started towards the pier.  We had noticed the wind surfers earlier but at the end of the town wall they were spectacular.   They raced towards the wall and quickly turned and headed back across the straight. The speed,strength and sheer skill level was impressive.    
Korcula is quiet in the afternoon but once evening falls the town really comes alive.  All the shops restaurants,streets are filled with people. Great fun all around.  Tomorrow we head back to the mainland.  We managed to get our tickets for the catamaran so assuming we make the 6 am ferry we are saying goodbye to this wonderful island town and moving on to Split