Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

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Following our Dreams and Kicking the Bucket List.  Started on a yacht, now it's planes, trains, Trailblazer 5th wheel, camels, rickshaws.  Exploring our wonderful world.

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

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SLIDE SHOW of Worrall Travel R's 2014 ODYSSEY

For our complete blog collection of adventure and travel photography CLICK HERE.

Now showing 2014 CROATIA

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Days 81-82, Goodbye Croatia, Hello Slovenia

August 30-31, 2014 - Saturday, Day 81

After our final breakfast, address swapping, and heartfelt goodbyes, the reluctant-to-leave passengers disembarked from the Adriatic Queen by 9:30.  We had packed a small overnight bag for our one night stay in an AirBnB in Split, and then dropped off the rolling backpacks in a locker at the bus station for pickup the following day.

Once we were luggage free we walked into the old town and palace of Split, visiting sites, sipping lattes in the palace square, catching up on the Internet, decompressing from our wonderful trip.  Later in the day, we checked into our Airbnb room within a 10 minute walk from old town, bus station and swimming beach.  Once we checked in, we went to the beach for a last swim in the Adriatic.  I think I was the only woman on the beach in a one piece bathing suit. Regardless of age and size, women were wearing two piece, skimpy suits.  Doesn't leave much for the imagination.  Some things really should just be covered up.

After all the food we consumed in the last week, we were content with cups of soup, crackers, and fresh tomatoes in our room before lights out.

Sunday, Day 82

After or DIY breakfast of yogurt and granola in our room, we headed out for the bus station, picked up our baggage, and boarded the express shuttle bus to the airport.  Compared to yesterday, when the bus station was absolutely packed from all of the Saturday disembarkments, today was relatively calm and quiet.  The airport on the other hand was quite busy.  All the tanned families, old people and young people alike were sadly heading home.

While we waited for our Air Serbiia flight with one layover in Belgrade, we ate lunch.  Later when we were in Belgrade, Serbia we ate dinner before boarding our flight to Ljubljana, Slovenia.  We are currently in route to Slovenia, same plane, same crew we had flying into Belgrade.  By the time we land, pickup our rental car and get to our  AirBnb it will most likely be 9:30 p.m.  
It's been a long day.

All is Well With the Worrall Travel R's in Slovenia

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Days 76-80, Dubrovnik back to Split

80 Days About the World

I guess we've been having too much fun to write.  Between walking through the picturesque narrow cobbled streets in old towns of Dubrovnick, Trstenik, Korkula, and Hvar (where we are tonight) in the island of Croatia, we have been eating too well, drinking Croatian wines, basking in the sun, playing cards, reading books, making new friends with Italians, Slovakians, Croats, New Zealanders, South Africans, and Aussies, and swimming the better part of the day in  beautiful bays with crystal clear blue-green waters.

Tonight we sat along the quay and found great amusement in watching all the charter boats jockeying for position and then tying on to a shared buoy, backing into a tight space then tying stern lines to shore.  Glad we weren't involved.  It all looked like an accident waiting to happen, especially when the "sailors" backed in unprepared and threw out gobs of line tangled like spaghetti, to plop in the water.  The end result is a giant raft up along the shore and a spider web of lines crisscrosed and tied all over one another.  Tomorrow morning will most likely be even more amusing...but not our problem, heheh!

We head bacsk to Split tomorrow, before we split for Slovenia on Sunday.  Always loved the story 80 Days Around the World.  Guess it will take us a lot longer, but Friday, is 80 Days....about the World and having fun.

All is well with the Worrall Travel R's in beautiful Croatia.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Day 74-75, Sunday and Monday, Croatian Islands

August 24-25, Adriatic Queen

Our first night, Saturday night, was quiet as we slept in our stateroom on the Adriatic Queen in the port city of Makarska.  The evening thunder and lightening storm passed, but now the air was humid and warm.

We were awakened by the sound of the engine leaving port.  How nice it was to sleep in and let someone else ready the boat and take her out of the harbor.  On our way to the island of  where we spent most of the day and evening hiking and swimming in the national park Mljet, we took our first swim in the Adriatic in  Kanaj off the island of Korkula The water was cool getting in, but once in it felt refreshing.  The salty content made us quite bouyant.  I could float legs down with head and shoulders above the water and not even dog paddle.  Russ who is quite the sinker, sank only to the top of his without moving any other part.  Needless to say, it was a very nice and relaxing way to spend an hour.

Shortly after our lunch on board, we rafted up in the port of  Pomena, on the Island of  Mljet.  There must have been 20 other boats our size rafted up in two lanes against the the short dock with fantail aft decks facing one another.  It was going to be quitie the party tonight.  Happy hours on our boat are 9:30-11:30.  Looked though as if we were in the sedate raft up of newer boats with more amenities, and the ones across from our stern were vintage boats for the under 30's singles crowd. Our captain is president of the yacht cruising boat association.  Not sure what the responsibilities and headaches of this office, but it apppears there might be a benefit of his ship being the first to drop anchor in bays and some close priority to the dock so that guests only have a no or just a few yachts to traipse across as we disembark and embark.

We disembarked, bought ourselves a National Park ticket, and spent the rest of the day hiking, sightseeing (old monastrary and Roman ruins ) and swimming in a saltwater lake on the island of Mjet.  The water in the lake was even saltier than the sea, clear, warm, and shades of blue-geen and aqua.  Russ gave it the sink test, and almost his whole head was out of the water.  

We had had such a filling lunch on the yacht that we found a restaurant on the way back to the boat where we just ordered and shared a greek salad and tomatoes, mozerella, and basil salads, red wine, and saved room for double scoop gelatos after dinner.  By 9:00 in the evening our boat was reverberating from the music and base eminating from the big kid boats across from us.  Each had their own music and psychedelic light show going on trying to out do one another.  The cacophony of sound on our side was loud and discordanant.  There are times when it's nice to be more mature and can gracefully say good night and block out the sounds in our stateroom.  Good night kids, have fun.

Monday, Day 75

We departed this morning for Dubrovnik.  We arrived here around 1:00 while still eating a sea bass lunch.  We did have a gorgeous swim stop in a bay Lubdu (sp).  Incredibly clear water.  Didn't even need snorkles to see the fish swimming under us.  Russ and I swam 200 meters to shore and then back another 200 meters.  Have to work off those ice creams somehow.

This afternoon, we have walked through the old town of Dubrovnik and are now sipping lemonade in an outdooe cafe.  We are acheduled to take a guided waking tour i half an hour.  Having a wonderful time, meeting some great people along the way.

All is well with the Worrall Travel R's in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Day 73 - Saturday, August 23, 2014 - The Adriatic Queen

Day 73 - Saturday and the Adriatic Queen

After we dropped the rental car off at the airport, we took an an express bus to the Split harbor, where we boarded a motor sailing yacht with 14 staterooms, two aft fantail shaded decks, and sun deck on the bow, dining saloon and bar.  There is a crew of 8 to take care of our needs.

As I finish off this blog post, we have had a wonderful lunch and met many of the international travelers from New Zealand, France, Italy, and South Africa.  There is no wifi on board, so I will post on a shore excursion somewhere.  The sun is out, the mountains, are high, the sea is blue, the air is fresh, and we are once again sailing...kind of...no sails up yet, but WhooHoo! 

Just docked for the night in Makarska.  A fierce, thunder, lightening and rainstorm is passing over right now as we sit in a bar drinking local draft beer.  Cheers

All is Well with the Worrall Travel Rs on the Adriatic Queen in Makarska, Croatia

Day 71-72, August 21-22 Ancient Sea City of Trogir, Croatia

Day 71 -  Thursday, Entering Trogir

We left the Plitvice House mid-morning after our magnificent hike through Plitvice National Park the day before.  Today was primarily a travel daay through the mountains sothwestward toward the sea and our destination of Trogir.

Trogir is a lovely old city, dating back to 300 BC, inhabited by Greeks, Romans, and numerous others.  The port today is a tourist destination and charter yacht pickup and drop off port.  The old city courtyards become a conglomerate of festive outdoor restaurants in the evenings.  The fruitt market, seafood markets, bakeries, super market, ice cream, and souvenier shops selling bething suits, sun hats, and coverups do a lively business.  Even the churches looked buy with people chanting as they approached the alter for communion.  We have not seen any mosques here, mostly Orthodox and Roman Catholic.

We spent two nights here in an AirBnB, a nice room with comfortable bed overlooking the marina and the city across the river.  Once we parked the car, and that was quite tricky, we walked everywhere.  When we first arrived, we searched for our accommodation address, having made arrangements with our host to seek out the business below the rooms and have, the propietor call him at his work.  He would then come to greet us and show us where to park and our rooms.

The traffic wa slow, bumper to bumper, and the maps we have for the area are sketchy.  We could see on the IPad whee our physical location is, but often it placed us a bit off the road.  Also the maps when layered down will show a road, but not give a true indication of the width for a car, verses a motor bike.  Our first pass of the accommodation indicated no parking across from the rooms, but possibly a space on the oppposite of the road directly under the rooms which would require us to approach from the oppposite direction.

We wound our way slowly up the hill and made a left turn at the top on a street that looked like it had some descending backgroads that would take us to the back of our accommodation.  We made a turn down one of the roads.  Good idea but the street became narrower and narrower. We had to pull in the sideview mirrors to squeak through one section, hoping it would widen up to the main road, but no, it got even narrower.  At this point, motormikes and pencil thin people could not squeak past us. 

There had been a tight turn around space where another small road had interscted about 30 meters back, but it meant backing up and doing a tight three point turn.  So we backed up ever so slowly as locals scratched their heads in amazement of the lunatics who would try to drive a car down the road. As soon as the street was wide enough for me to open the door, I got out to help direct Russ's backward and forward movement, stopping him frequently to direct motor bkes and pedestrians.  At one point Russ was an eyelash from scraping the side off of the car on an old brick wall where jagged pieces protruded.

We finally made it back to the top and and tuned back down the main road from the direction we had originally come.  Now we were half a kilometer from the guesthouse moving 1 car length every minute or so.  There was no guarantee that we would find parking when we got there so I got out and walked down the road, knocking on stopped cars as I squeezed between them and the stone walls on the passenger side.  I just wanted to alert them I was there so I din't wind up getting squished if they needed to move closer to the wall for a truck coming up the road.

It took me about 10 minutes to make my way to the proprietor's shop below the room we were renting.  The lady called the owner.  He said he would be there in about 15 minutes and that we should just pull up on the sidewalk in front of the store until he arrived.  It took Russ another 15 minutes to return to the accommodation where I waved him up on the sidewalk.  Really?  I could see the question on his face.

Our host arrived at the same time.  He helped unload our bags and took them upstairs, then offered to ride in the car to a designated parking place.  He recognized the AVIS car and it turnee out he works at the AVIS office at the airport where we will be ultimately return the car.  He offered to drive the car through the crazy traffic and streets much to Russ's joy,  Kaija did a three point turn on the sidewalk to turn the car completely around, drove backup the main road, and down one of the roads we had not previously taken to a quiet, safe little place to park.  Phew!  Glad Russ didn't have to do that!  We were exhausted.

We rested up a bit then walked through the old city, having  great sea bass and veal dinner.  Got some nice evening photos and realized we would have to get up early the following morning to get uncluttered street shots before the herds of other tourists jammed the narrow city alleys.

Day 72 - Friday, Hanging out in Trogir

Had a great day, doing much of nothing.  We were in and out of our room many times during the day to enjoy respite in air conditioning and the humid warm air of Trogir.  We did get up early for some photos, again for shopping, ATM, later a walk through the marinas, and a fourth time back into the city for ice creams.  We leave in the morning for Split.  

All is Well with the Worrall Travel R's in Trogir, Croatia

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Day 70 - Splendiferous Plitvice National Park, Croatia - Include it on Your Bucket List

Natural Water Splendor

Our hike through Plitvice National Park in Croatia today, has to be the natural highlight of our trip so far.  What a great way to spend day 70 of our odyssey.  Waterfalls gurgled, gushed and roared from above and below our feet as we wove our way on boardwalks and trails around and through sixteen lakes.  It was indescribable beauty of crystal clear emerald water cascading from one lake to another in veils of spray, ribbons, and streams.

Not sure we want to check this one off the bucket list as it begs for a repeat!  This is not a good place for even fat short heels (come on ladies, get a grip), wheel chairs, strollers, uncontrolable toddlers, dogs, and others who might have issues walking or balancing over water.  Board walks are rough, stepped up and down in small tripable increments (we tripped a couple of times), no rails, and narrow.  There is a lot of two way walking traffic with picture taking every two feet.

Hint.  Go early.  Start by 7:00-7:30 am before the tour busses and the hoards from Split arrive around 10:00.  We had most of the morning to ourselves, and by the thick of the day we were almost done with our hike.

For those interested in a little more about the geology of this park, I am including a bit from Wikapedia 

"The national park is world famous for its lakes arranged in cascades. Currently, 16 lakes can be seen from the surface.[3]These lakes are a result of the confluence of several small rivers and subterranean karst rivers. The lakes are all interconnected and follow the water flow. They are separated by natural dams of travertine, which is deposited by the action of mossalgae, and bacteria. The particularly sensitive travertine barriers are the result of an interplay between water, air and plants. The encrusted plants and bacteria accumulate on top of each other, forming travertine barriers which grow at the rate of about 1 cm (0.4 in) per year.
The sixteen lakes are separated into an upper and lower cluster formed by runoff from the mountains, descending from an altitude of 636 to 503 m (2,087 to 1,650 ft) over a distance of some eight km, aligned in a south-north direction. The lakes collectively cover an area of about two square kilometres (0.77 square miles), with the water exiting from the lowest lake forming the Korana River.
The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colors change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight."
Dreaming of emeral water tonight.  
All is Well With the Worrall Travel R's