Sunday, August 25, 2013

Europe - Hvar, Croatia

Hvar was double the fun has I had my man to share the time with, but my brother also came during his tour break, so it was an added bonus! There is lots to expect of this beautiful island - a traditional style town, exciting nightlife, beaches for relaxing, and some of the clearest water you can swim in. It's no wonder Hvar is on everyone's check list!

It's quite small here and everything is easily accessible so staying just a couple days will be enough time to see it all. One of the best things to do in Hvar was to walk along the sea wall. You're bound to see lots of interesting things, and its picturesque the whole way! I would experience the day bar Hula Hula as well as some of the nightlife in the main town, but Hvar is so much more than that. We rented a scooter and drove to Stari Grad, a super small town about 30 minutes away. The drive was breathtaking and we stopped to check out Dubovica Beach.

There was only one disappointment I had when visiting Croatia. I was unable to find any traditional dishes in the local restaurants.  The menu was very Americanized and I would have to say, the only way of knowing the cuisine of Croatia would be through Google.
streets of hvar croatia photo

old croatian lady photo

plants in croatia photo

hula hula beach bar photo
ocean in hvar photo

mark beiler photo

mark beiler photo

friends in hvar photo

partying in hvar photo
streets of croatia photo

wasp in flower photo
travel bug photo

hvar croatia photo

croatian licence plate photo

hvar seawall photo

shells croatia photo

hand made boats photo
walking to hula hula bar photo

Europe - Dubrovnik, Croatia

It was short lived, just a quick 2-day stop in and out of Dubrovnik, and if we were given more time, we would have stayed longer. Since my last visit to Croatia, it is clear this destination has become increasingly popular. It was so hard to find somewhere to stay, and we were forced into staying outside the old walls a couple kilometres away. Number one, if you are going to Dubrovnik, plan ahead and find a location close to the old town, it's a must.

But there is one thing I did right :) If you are wondering what is the best way to get from Greece to Croatia, which is what we had to do, it was by plane (Crete-Dubrovnik) Otherwise, it will take many ferries, trains, and buses to do it. The hike is exhausting, and very time consuming. However, a positive way of looking at it is you'll see a lot of the country and its part of the long as you don't mind the schlepping.

Dubrovnik is one of the most medieval towns I have ever seen, walls built up high around a small community, and big dungeon doors are what's typical of the villager's home here, and expect the see suited guards at the base of old town.

I highly recommend walking the old town walls. Entrance in is about 90 Kunas, about $16 CAD. Its a 2km walk overlooking Dubrovnik and the water.
old city walls dubrovnik tour photo

perched bird photo

exploring dubrovnik photo

dubrovnik croatia photo
dubrovnik old town photo

dubrovnik night time photo

walking old town dubrovnik photo

dubrovnik guard photo

medieval door photo

dubrovnik night time photo

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Europe - Santorini, Greece

Well happy Wednesday y'all! Tonight, I bring to you... Santorini. By far, without a doubt my favourite place in all of Europe! Yes, I know that sets the bar high, but here is why: The people, and, the food!
From the minute I stepped foot on this island, I didn't want to leave, and it was because of the people, and that is number one in my books! The food was number two - always having fresh seafood, greek salads, gyros, dolmades and a total greek favourite - stuffed peppers and tomatoes! Hubba hubba! I feel like I was searching Europe for extra healthy food with a variety of vegetables, and Greece was the place for it! I can't speak more highly of this country, and Santorini just does it every time I visit. Here are some things you CANNOT miss doing in Santorini:

1. Renting and 4-wheeler and driving from side to side. Anywhere you want to go on the island will average you about 20-30 minutes via 4-wheeler, and filling up your tank is affordable and easy!

2. Check out the famous Red Sand Beach, but spend most of your time at Black Sand Beach aka. Perissa Beach. Visit here for more beach spots.

3. Use your 4-wheeler and head north to Oia, the famous spot to watch the sunset. But you have to arrive early, especially in the high season as it will be very packed with tourists. If you want something more intimate with the sunset, and want to skip the crowd, eat at the famous Mexican Restaurant Senor Zorba just outside of Fira. Cannot miss it!

4. The donkey ride in Fira. Here you will climb up the steep streets on a donkey's back. If you don't want to ride up, you need to at least walk up it with the donkeys :)

I recently visited the most helpful website ever and wish I had seen this before my visit to Santorini. It provides so much information!!
architecture in greece photo
seashells greece photo

sunset oia photo

renting scooter santorini photo

red sand beach santorini photo
red sand beach santorini photo
restaurants fira santorini photo

hotel antonia santorini photo
greece magnet photo

donkey ride fira santorini photo

oia santorini photo
moa santorini greece photo

driving in santorini greece photo

fira santorini greece photo

oia santorini greece photo
greek cuisine photo