Four countries in 48 hours- Geez did we smell!!
Feb 26, 2005
|Well, as the title suggests we had a mammoth journey on our hands to get to Croatia from Greece in one fluid movement. It was more constipation.
So we says goodbye to Athens and jump on the train for the port city of Patras and our fast ferry to Italy.
It is a slightly irritating fact that you go to italy to get to Croatia when you should be able to get through Yougoslavia, Albania etc.
But no, it seems if you try that route you stand the chance of getting gassed, robbed and who knows, maybe even sodomised by the ever friendly locals.
So off to Patras.
The train ride down the coast was pretty amazing wih the tracks following the line of the coast most of the way.
Snow covered mountains loomed all around and there was the ever present tuscan style town houses which dot the landscape and make it look like a chocolate commercial.
So we get to Patras and decide to attempt to eat a cheese pie.
Kirsty thought it was riccotta, I thought it mnay have been a waylaid laborotory sample.
We struggle along to check in after our scant directions given by the lady in the information booth.
Funny thing about Europe. You go to the information booth and ask for tourist information and they look at you like you just asked them to castrate themselves with your teeth. Then they give you as little as possible and suddenly forget english when you ask maybe for something as simple as directions etc.
So we hop on the ferry. It is a superfast ferry and new and modern and we think "great, this will be awesome".
The first problem is we walk up five stories with our backpacks through reception and no one bothers to tell us that we check them in at the bottom of the gangway. Deck class tickets are in the bar. The vibration of this place is unbelievable.
It is worse than anything I have ever seen.
If you try and lie down then your teeth chatter together and your neck jumps out of line.
Then the fun begins.
Thier is a disco down the stairs. There is no one at the disco. The music is cranking.
Then there is the lighting that goes up and down. Then there is the crew that always happily mention that there are better places to sleep upstairs if you pay the difference.
So we try to go to sleep whilst the whole thing is rattling and shaking and really bad michael jackson music is cranking through the room.
We get some mild sleep though the disco had random awakenings throughout the night for no apparent reaso9n other than to punish us for the fact we were so tight with our tickets.
We get into Bari, Italy at 8am and ask the policemen for directions to the travel aget. After a few more tries we trudge up the road and finally find the agency because we had the idea to look up and saw a small sign.
Tip for Italy. Nothing is in English.
The agency was positined upstairs and they gave us the good news that the boat to Croatia was not coming and the next one would be a wekk away.
Howevere we booked a ticket from Ancona to Split and took a four hour 76 euro train trip to get another ferry to get to Croatia.
Ancona is a very cold place with very much nothing to do. Kirsty found the bargain bin at a local supermarket and pretty soon we were stuffing our faces with minature bounties and eating some pretty crap lasagne which was ironic because we were in Italy, the home of lasagne.
The boat that took us across to croatia looked like a refurbished HMAS Moresby but got us there in style on plush long cushion bench seats and a few cheap coffees.
We rolled into split at 7 am and after a few attempts tby some dear old ladies for us to stay with them we got on the bus to dubrovnik.
The trip was for four hours and took in some pretty amazing coastline. In fact, croatia is 85% coastline so there is a lot to take in.
On the bus we had our first (but not final ) run in with the croatian paranoia syndrome. If you sit behind a croatian in any situation they find it necessary to turn and look at you every four seconds just to confirm that you are not trying to stick a bomb up there backsides or impregnate thier wives, daughters, livestock etc.
We got into Dubrovnik and spent the afternoon laying in bed and showering to get rid of the smell that enveloped us like a cloud.
The next day was a cruise around Dubrovnik which is very pretty with a walled city but not much else. We ran into an american guy who is an exchange student there and stalks foriegners to have people to hang out with. We did a cruise of a few bars and got a bit tipsy on half litre pints we were getting for roughly four dollars australian.
The next day saw us doing not much once again as we had washing to do and quite frankly Dubrovnik is boring after you have seen the castle city. Only go there if you can get it as a cheap add on to a flight.
We left Dubrovnik last night and did a twelve hour bus ride with the worlds most evil bus driver. He would either turn the heat on full bore or off for hours when icicles were forming on the back window of the bus.
We awoke just out of Zagreb looking at fresh snow which was good for Kirst but not for us. Right now we are freezing. We have thermals and jackets on but still are freezing.
Our plan was to head to Sarajevo in Bosnia but we cannot get the visa here.
So instead of going to Budapest we are going to Slovenia tommorrow then to Italy after that.
We will do these other countries when the weather warms up.
We are doing ok. Being stingy is a bit hard some times but we have been keeping it in check and spoiling ourselves occaisonally.
Oh well, take care all and send us a message when you can to let us know what is happening.
Love and Hugs