Tag Archives: croatia

Novalja, Croatia

I’m finally getting around to my Croatia posts again…I’ve been far too busy carrying on with normal life and my yoga blog ‘Kiss my Asana‘ to go back and blog about my Croatia trip, but I will focus a little bit on getting it all out there as soon as possible.

Novalja is a town north of Pag Island, known for its bars, clubs and partying. Allegedly.

I saw bars and a hint of some clubs somewhere, but definitely was not feeling the party vibe on my one day spent there. It could be that it was at the end of my holiday and I was so relaxed and holidayed that my party-radar was faulty. It could also have been the kitsch disco balls in every shop along the promenade that shone to the beat of really bad techno music that put me off.

Either way, it was a pleasant little town to visit and we actually found some decent smoothies and yummy vegetarian food there! Croatia is not particularly known for their salad-making skills, so when we found a chickpea salad on the menu at La Paloma cafe on the square, salivation was definitely happening.

A nice little day-trip, I must say.

Traveller info

The ferry from Rijeka to Rab Island to Pag Island stops at Novalja and the last bus to Pag Town from Novalja is at 6pm in the evening from the main bus station. The main bus station is not where the ferry arrives, it is about 15 minutes walk inland.

There is only one ferry daily between Rab and Pag and this departs at around 6 or 7 in the evening.

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Abandoned Hotel on Pag Island, Croatia

On one of my early evening cycles in Pag Town on Pag Island in Croatia, I came across an abandoned hotel with the most amazing view of the Adriatic sea and surrounding mountains. I took this opportunity to wander around this deserted site and take some photos.

It was definitely a highlight of my holiday (yes, everyone call me a nerd together and get it over with), and I kept expecting a drunk hobo to jump at me from around a corner and stab me in the throat with a a shard of glass. But that didn’t happen. I was the only one there. I had my little photo shoot thrill and climbed back on my bike and cycled off into the sunset…


Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

The first destination of my Croatian holiday was the Plitvice Lakes in Central Croatia – Croatia’s biggest national park and a World Heritage site.

It was an absolute must-see for my trip to Croatia, especially after seeing pictures of this park beforehand, but as with any other World Heritage site, it was absoultely flooded with tourists. I have a slight case of touristaphobia, so one day in the park was enough for me. It was such a shame, actually, because I could have spent another day at least wandering around those beautiful waterfalls and lakes but the tour groups and crowds (and lack of a resemblance of decent food) definitely ruined it for me.

The park was really amazing though, and the day that we spent there was overcast and drizzly, so there was a gorgeous misty, dreamy look to the lakes and waterfalls. It gave it an almost mystical feel that was really special (until you were trodden on by a screaming Italian anklebiter).

Feast your eyes on these pics… (none of my photos have been filtered or colour enhanced – they are all the natural colours as you see it there)…

Traveller info:

Accomodation

There are 3 hotels at the entrance to Entrance 2 of the Lakes. You can book beforehand at a Plitvice Tourist Office if you need to. There is also apparently accomodation in one of the villages near Entrance 1 (Rastovaca), but you would need to walk through the village to find houses with a “Zimmer” sign and enquire about this – you can’t book beforehand.

We opted for the pre-booked hotel option (due to a marathon being run that weekend through the park) and it was decent. We stayed in the Bellevue hotel (there is no decent website for them – you will need to book at a Plitvice tourist office). It was relatively cheap and simple, the staff not so friendly and the breakfast was almost edible.

Food

There are not a lot of eating options in the park and you would need to eat at a hotel if you want an actual meal, but this really wasn’t particularly tasty or edible, really.

Travel

You can get to the Lakes by bus quite easily. I know that there were buses every 3 hours from Zagreb and there were also regular ones to and from Split. To get to Istria from Plitvice, you would need to take a bus from Plitvice to Karlovac (a stop along the Zagreb route) and then another bus to Pula.


Coming home…

Well peeps, today I leave Croatia and I believe that I am quite ready to come home now.

It has been a fantastic holiday an a very well-needed break from my day-to-day life. Food, wine, truffles, beach, sleep, rockclimbing, biking, buses buses buses, caffe. That would be the short version 🙂

I will start creating my Croatia blog posts as soon as I am back, with lots of photos etc. and some useful info for travellers, so be prepared for those – I really look forward to it! I decided that I would have no tech on this trip and I must admit that it has been killing me softly, so I will have LOTS to say about everything I experienced as it is all ready and waiting in my head.

I was sitting in the square in Zagreb this morning, after a disasterous attempt at a Mysore yoga class and a feel-better Nutella pancake, reflecting on my trip and how I feel about coming home. I then realised that Toto´s Africa was playing out of one of the caffe bars and I realised how much I love South Africa. (That damn song always plays at the right moment – usually the cheesiest time possible)

Amazing food, wine, beaches, mountains, weather, culture and most importantly…friendly people! We really are so spoilt in our country and sometimes it takes a trip elsewhere to make you realise that again.

So now I am looking forward to some sushi, English-speaking people, my homemade gourmet salad lunches, a bubble bath, my own home and my wine rack.

*sigh*

JaNee…


Zagreb, Croatia

So I arrived in Zagreb, eventually, but my baggage did not. I had quite a crazy morning screeching through the airport like a mad woman to try to catch my connecting flight to Zagreb after my first flight was delayed. Poor Munich airport did not see me coming!

Well I am here. After a much-needed shower, we hit the streets of the city for some quality cafe time. The city is littered with cafe´s where you just sit and relax and people-watch. (By the way, I have watched the Croatian men and they are delicious!)

Speaking of delicious, it is also strawberry season and these babies are the juiciest and sweetest you have ever tasted…yum!

Off to Plitvice Lakes tomorrow (after a quick yoga class in Croatian – should be interesting), which is the number 1 must-see of Croatia, so that will be lovely.

That is it for now, mainly because I cant find any damned punctuation on this Croatian keyboard and I dont need stress on my holiday. *smiley face*

Til next time…


Oh the nerves!

One more sleep until I leave for Croatia! I am quite stressed about the whole thing, although I know that I am actually ready for it. There’s just something about independant travel that gives you that extra buzz of nerves. I don’t know – could be the whole not having booked anywhere to stay and just winging it, not really sure 😉

I’m armed with my Lonely Planet book on Croatia, and having had a brief little visit to the Thorn Tree forum on their site, I do have a bit of an idea of where I’m going, how I’m getting around and how much I can expect to spend (ah crap, just realised I need to transfer some money still…). I’m a big Lonely Planet fan, and between their site, books, blogs and traveller forums, I think that they absolutely provide the best support for independant travel! Maybe one day I will write for them…hmmmm…or photograph for Lonely Planet Images.

So…

I am packed (just about) and ready. Just have to fit this small pile of clothes into a backpack and do some bon voyage kisses.

I’m not taking my Blackberry and am completely removing myself from the world as I know it for 2 weeks. I will probably start having withdrawal symptoms and hunt down an internet cafe every now and then for a quick-fix blog post, so I’m not making any promises just yet!

If I don’t come back, please just assume that I have found a beautiful Croatian husband and am sipping cocktails and eating truffles in his seaside villa. Or more likely, I lost a day and missed my flight.

*Hugs*