My Trip: Day 10

We started our day off by having a pretty good buffet breakfast in our hotel in Tirana,  Albania.  The breakfast was way better than the dinner that the hotel served last night.  This morning was nice because we didn’t have a super early wake up call and we got to check out around 8:30. 

We got into the bus and got a tour of the city we stayed over night in.  The local guide showed us the history of the area and what it used to be.  We We walked around a museum and there were a few cool things.  Some old WW1/2 guns.  

After all of that happened,  we walked back to the bus and we were on our way yo the border out of Albania.  On the way,  we stopped at this nice little café type thing that was family run.  Mario,  our guide told us how he’s watched this café progress and grow so much bigger as the family made more money.  I’m sure that’s so nice to see.  A family start off pretty small and then make it big.  

Anyways so we got through the border and met the next local guide as we entered his country of Macedonia.  We drove the bus to Ohrid,  which is a beautiful little town with a lot of history to it.  The guide showed us around and I got lots of pictures.  I have gotten quite a few postcards the last few places I’ve been.  I’m going to try to make a habit of collecting postcards so I can see where I’ve been in the world.  

After the tour was over we drove a little bit to the hotel we’re staying in that’s on the side of the massive lake.  When we got into our room the first thing I saw was the beautiful view of the lake.  It has pretty strong waves and it sounds like the ocean.  Smells like it too.  Weird that it’s just a lake actually.  

Anyways that’s pretty much what I did today.  My stupid battery on my phone is dying yet again so I’m just going to sleep now.  Yet another bog day planned for tomorrow.  

My Trip: Day 9

Ugh waking up early after a night of staying up late wasn’t fun.  But we all managed to eat breakfast and get to the bus within…  Very little time.  

We were in the bus for about two hours before making a stop.  Then we crossed a border and that took a while.  And that pretty much summed up most of what we did today,  cross borders and sit in a bus.  

Well sort of,  we actually stopped in a place in Montenegro.  Can’t remember the name but it was pretty damn cool.  They were known for having cats I guess.  There were a good amount of stray cats walking around and they had a cat museum.  I saw a cute little kitten that had to be a couple months old and it was just walking around.  It was so cute,  I seriously contemplated taking it.  But I figured that’d be frowned upon.  

Me and the three girls ate at a restaurant and the thing to remember when eating out here is that they are really slow and take their time getting your food to you and all that.  We had two and a half hours to kill and ended up with only an hour.  But the food was good.  Actually it was just alright.  We got ice cream too,  I got raspberry I think.  I didn’t go into the cat museum unfortunately but I kind of wanted to.  I did get two postcards though,  one with cats on it and one with just the city.  I see the picture of the postcard now and it was Kotor,  Montenegro.  Very popular tourist attraction.  With cats,  I highly recommend 

That was the highlight of our day.  Pretty much the rest was just on the bus.  It’s hard to sleep on the bus too so I’m exhausted right now.  We got to our hotel at 8 and we had to eat dinner at 8:15. Afterwards I just went to my room and took a shower.  I’ve been sweating so much in this hot temperature.  But I heard it’s going to start cooling down where we are now.  

Tomorrow I don’t have to get up too early.  We will take a tour and then go someplace else.  I don’t really like the area we’re in now to be honest. I don’t even remember the name.  And I don’t really like our local guide, he’s a bit boring and he tells bad jokes. 

My Trip: Day 8

We got to wake up an hour early but I still woke up around the same time. Tbe dinner here was pretty good but the breakfast was just normal.  Nothing special.  Today we go on another tour but some people are just skipping it so I kind of would rather that.  And go see game of thrones stuff for my friend.  

I was invited to hang out with the girls last night but I fell asleep early unfortunately.  So I wasn’t able to.  

But today they didn’t want to go on the tour so I asked if I could join them.  Really glad I did because we walked all around old town Dubrovnik. we paid to walk around the huge wall around the city.  Where they shot bits of Game of Thrones and also Starwars.  We went into lots of shops that were pretty much the same as each other.  I got my sister a bag and I got a few postcards.  

But the town was absolutely beautiful.  Lots of different little walkways that had shops and restaurants.  We ate at a little restaurant,  I had a salad and so did one of the girls and the other one had a pizza.  They don’t cut your pizza for you here so that’s a little weird. It’s our last day in Croatia so we just tried to spend the rest of our Kuna.  Later tonight we have the boat ride while some of the people on this trip who are apart of the symphony will play music while we eat. 

Wow,  that boat ride was amazing.  Soft waters,  sunny skies,  great food.  What more could someone want while having a nice three course meal on a boat. They offered a choice of chicken, fish,  or vegetarian.  I chose chicken so I got this nice piece of chicken along with some other stuff.  They also gave unlimited drinks.  Reason I say unlimited is because most of the dinners we’ve had had required us only to have a limit of one drink with our meal. But on the boat we could have all we want.  

I’m not an experienced drinker,  I’m 20 and I have had problems with my dad drinking in the past and a whole lot of other stuff so I stayed away from it. But here it’s legal so I just decide to go with the saying “when in Rome. ” and I try to drink.  So I had 4 glasses and I was fine at first.  I didn’t know 4 was a lot.  Maybe it isn’t,  but my tolerance is really low.  But I started to definitely feel it.  The girls asked me to go on top of the boat with them and I was just thinking oh boy.  But I somehow made it up there.  I didn’t want to seem like some drunk young kid so I really tried to act normal.  The girls realized I was drunk and they were laughing.  They kept asking me questions and they’d watch me try to act normal.  It was a really good time.  

Later on they asked me to hang out in their room and we talked and played a game called never have I ever.  Which was sort of fun,  ot taught me a little more about them. 

All in all it was a great place to stay for two days. Dobrovnic is amazing and the buildings are all pretty old. They shoot a few major movies and shows here and they really try to push that onto tourists.  

My Trip: Day 7 

Woke up early again,  or right around the time I’m supposed to.  Clearly my circadian rhythm is adjusted to this time zone now.  Went down and had breakfast.  It was way better than the dinner I had in the hotel last night.  I guess they are just better at making breakfast than they are at making dinner in this hotel.  Anyways I’m getting on the bus in half an hour and we’re going to go on a bus tour around Sarajevo.  Then we drive another couple hours back into Croatia through a couple border crossings again and we will end up in Dubrovnik.  I hear a lot of game of throne scenes were shot here so I hope I can get some pictures for my friend who watches that show.  I don’t watch it so I’ll probably find it hard finding the places to take the pictures. I hear we won’t be walking a whole lot today.  So that’s sort of good,  I don’t mind sitting in the bus and getting bus tours.  But the pictures are much better when we’re walking.  

We took the bus tour to a tunnel that was used here in Sarajevo.  They used to it get items in and out of here when the Serbs were holding this entire area under siege.  It was very interesting to crouch and walk under the little tunnel and to wonder how hard it would be to walk a lot longer than the ways we did.  It was interesting and scary to think about the town being surrounded.  Being shot if you walked outside.  Makes us see a different side of things,  we don’t have it this bad at all in the US.  

the unique tour guide was our guide again and he showed us a video of the people walking through the tunnel and also the town being attacked and buildings being shot by tanks and snipers. 

It’s been a long day.  Made a couple stops at a few little restaurants to eat or use the restroom  but mostly just sat in the bus the entire day.  For some reason the hours go by fast though.  We traveled from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik.  Crossed several borders while also learning about things that we pass.  Now I’m sitting in the hotel room which is sort of different from the others we’ve had.  I’m just glad the bathroom is seperate from the main room.  Because I don’t think I’ll be able to do that again. This room is pretty nice,  at least the view is and this hotel is hugeeeee,  probably the biggest I’ve been in.  

In an hour and a half we eat dinner in the hotel and Mario said it’s a huge buffet.  Most of the dinners and breakfasts we’ve had have been buffets but that’s alright.  It’s probably easier for them because we just can choose what we want to eat.  But apparently this one in particular is big.

I sat by the girls my age in the bus but we didn’t say anything. Grandma is trying hardcore to get me to hang out with them.  I’m not gonna just push myself at them begging for their attention.  If they ask me to go somewhere then of course I’ll go.  But I can’t tell if they even like me or want to hang out with me.  My grandma kept on talking about her not being sure what the girls were going.  Girls this and girls that.  Like I’ll hang out with them if they ask.  I don’t want my grandma arranging play dates for me. But one of the girls friended me on facebook,  oh actually right this second she asked if I wanna go to the beach.  I’m sure their aunt made her invite me but I won’t question it.  Better than being around here all night.  

I went with them to the beach.  I didn’t wear my swim suit because I’m scared of swimming in oceans and lakes and all that. Fear of the unknown.  But I layed down on a chair by their aunt and grandma.  It was super nice,  perfect weather.  The girls asked me to take a few pictures of them so I did.  One of the girls,  actually the one who wanted all the pictures.  Reminded me of my ex regarding getting her picture taken.  Always posing and wanting pictures taken of her.  Seemed a little high maintenance.  I really like her sister though,  even though she’s quiet and I’m not sure if she likes me. 

I had fun.  Oh and they even asked me to sit by them.  Well I guess the nice one did.  I doubt the two sisters would have but oh well.  The one who sent me a friend request is nice,  she’s talkative.  I’m happy I’m not totally alone on this trip anymore.  I’ve been sitting alone,  standing alone,  everything alone other than with my grandma.  Which I’d rather be alone than that.  Hopefully the girls keep inviting me places. 

Tomorrow we go on another tour around Dubrovnik.  This place is fucking beautiful.  I need to get some pictures of the game of thrones scene settings for my friend. 

My Trip: Day 6

I woke up about half an hour before the wake up call.  Which surprised me since I went to bed so late and get up early.  We had a breakfast that actually wasn’t that great.  Nothing compared to the other breakfasts we’ve had.  Now we are on the bus and heading to Bosnia.  We will cross a border or two.  I found it funny that our tour guide,  Mario,  who’s awesome by the way.  Well ge bought beer to give to the border police.  My grandma told me when she took a bus tour in the 90s,  her tour guide was usually an easy going guy but when they would cross borders he would become very nervous and I saw that same behavior in Mario when we crossed the border before.  Makes me wonder what’s going on with the borders.  Why give the police gifts?  

So we crossed the two borders easily. We’re now in Bosnia and we stopped in a town/city named “Mustar” it’s a fairly beautiful city.  I think what gives it its beauty is its big bridge over a very pretty river.  There’s a ton of little stores on each side of you as you walk along a narrow trail with hundreds of people walking.  It’s a very different atmosphere.  There were beggars sitting in the 91 degree weather.  Which I’ve seen before but these were very young children.  And a woman that was about my age and she was holding a couple month hear old child.  They were sitting in front of a store.  So I’m not sure if the store owners are family of them and make them sit out there.  I’m not sure if that girl my age had those other children as well as the infant or not.  I’ve heard of things like this happening but it was harsh to see them sitting in such hot weather.  Someone on the bus just said they think the beggars were gypsies. Anyways,  So the markets were interesting.  Everyone would be standing in the doorway of each store and they’d just be standing or sitting there. I didn’t get any food but I did get ice cream and that was pretty good.  It was 5 kuna for one little scoop.  Not sure if I was ripped off or not but it was good regardless.  

We left Mustar and drove two ours directly to our hotel in Sarajevo.  I’ve found that each of the hotels we’ve been to have been pretty different from each other.  I love how they did that.  When we opened the door to our room I walked in and was amazed at how big it was.  Probably the nicest room I’ve had in a hotel.  A cool light on the ceiling,  huge windows and just really cool things in it.  In 20 minutes we’re going on a tour and apparently the tour guide is pretty weird.  From what Mario told us.  We’re going to a mosque.  and the women will have to wear a head scarf and the men just cover their shoulders and knees.  it’ll be a unique experience for sure.  I am curious about how unique our tour guide will be. 

Another thing in Europe is in the hotel rooms they have you put your key card in a slot by the front door in order to turn on sometimes all of the electricity or sometimes just the air conditioning.  Maybe this happens in the US too but I’ve never seen it.  There’s a lot of things the US can learn from Europe in terms of energy saving and other means of helping the planet thrive.  I saw a whole parking lot with each parking space made out if these shaped bricks that have grass growing between them.  it’s perfect. Unlike our impervious surface filled parking lots that don’t soak in the leakages and other harmful things.  They have these types of parking lots.  And the hotels lights turn off if no ones moving around.  I know we’ve implemented this in some buildings but I’ve never seen hotels using this.  

Just got back from the tour.  The guide was definitely unique.  He had long hair and he had a unique facial structure with very few teeth.  And after every little rant he’d go on he’d always say “welcome to my country. ” in a sarcastic tone.  He seemed to dislike a lot of the people here.  He said the word “idiot” many many times.  He knew ehat he was talking about but I don’t know.  He was funny to say the least. 

Now I’m just sitting in the lobby waiting for dinner to be open for us.  I’m guessing it’s going to be really good. Based on the fanciness of the hotel room.  

The dinner was okay.  Not nearly as good as I was hoping.  But afterwards I went out with some of the girls that are my age and we just walked around and got ice cream.  It wasn’t as nice as hoe that sounded.  Not sure if I really fit in well with them.  But it was fun regardless.  I found the perfect gift for my brother.  I’ve been picky about presents for each of my family but I finally found one I knew My brother would love.  So in the 90s This place I’m in.  Sarajevo,  was under siege for 3ish years and snipers in the mountains would just shoot down at innocent people.  Anyways I got my brother a big pen made out of a shell of the giant ass bullets they used.  50 caliber I’m pretty sure.  He’s going to love it.  Now I just need to find a present for my mom.  Maybe her boyfriend too but I don’t know. 

I hope I get to do more with those girls but I just feel awkward around them.  No idea if they like me. 

Another day of getting up early tomorrow.  I swear we are busy ALL day.  From 6am to 10pm or later.  Very busy and fun.  

My Trip: Day 5

We begin our day at 7. When we have yet another amazing breakfast at our hotel.  It was funny because a lot of French people are in this hotel for whatever reason.  And a French woman dropped her toast on the ground.  She couldn’t find it and one the people on our tour pointed it out to her.  She picked it up and she blew on it and put it on her plate.  And us Americans were saying no no don’t eat it.  Because we as a society are trained to be scared of germs.  The Lady smiled and walked over to us and said,  “in France we have a saying,  “the little bugs don’t eat the big ones” Meaning the little germs or bugs won’t hurt. It’s funny how different cultures and people from different countries can be.  We’re freaking out about her eating the toast that touched the ground while she just blows on it and walks off.  Not sure if I mentioned yesterday but we’re in Zadar,  Croatia. Which is right on the water.  It’s very apparent how Mediterranean this place is.  Lot’s of seafood and olive oil.  Very different vibe eating the Dinner hear compared to the other sode of Croatia that we were before.  Extremely interesting to see such a chance in people,  food,  culture,  just by going to anothet side of a mountain.  Anyways today we’re heading somewhere else.  Not sure where but I think it’s still sea side.  

We took a tour of downtown Zadar.  The guide we had was very smart and very helpful.  He answered every question we had.  Our plan was to take a tour from one part to another and then we had two hours to walk around and have free time.  Then we were to meet where we started.  Well with a group of a bunch of old people I’m very surprised we even made it back.  

My grandma was trying to rely on some map.  She wanted to get some sea salt from the local Adriatic ocean.  She asked the guide where we could get some and he pointed it on the map.  That’s it,  and she thought she could remember where it was somehow.  To make a long story short she was being fucking annoying.  Okay I’m gonna tell the lomg story anyways for my future self to read later.  She was relying on the map but she didn’t know what the hell she was doing.  I was trying to relax and just see the sights.  No rush,  no pushing my head into a map pretending like I understand it.  She said she’d follow me but she clearly didn’t trust my instincts.  Which was what I was relying on of course.  The area is very small and there’s a main road/alley thing that would lead us directly to the end.  So I was just trying to find that alley.  She kept looking for stupid ass landmarks.  Then we met this other old lady who was just wandering around,  completely clueless.  And we took her with us.  I knew the direction we were having to go but we weren’t on that road so I didn’t know for sure where we were.  They kept questioning me and that dumb old lady is like,  “now don’t tell me you’re lost. ” like okay lady,  we found you in the middle of the town just wandering alone.  You would most definitely not find your way back and the fact you’re alone with no partner to get lost with you is beyond me.  But I got us to the area we needed to go.  

But throwing that negativity away,  (I won’t always vent about my grandma on this.) We went on the tour and it was pretty amazing.  The town is built several feet above where it used to be and they have clear Plexiglas floors so you can see the old road.  And there is several old stumps of pillers that used to be there.  And there were a couple intact.  One had a chain on it where they used to chain petty criminals there from 1-3 days depending on the crime.  And something way more amazing is at the end we got to this giant circle on the ground made entirely of solar panels.  And durinh the day it soaks up the energy and at night the whole thing glows up. It’s supposed to represent the sun and there’s also 9 of the planets. and at night they all glow up.  I wish I could have seen that.  Oh and another crazy thing was the sea organ.  The first and only sea organ thwy created using the steps that are by the ocean.  They incline and a step is taken each every certain feet.  And there’s some sort of contraption where the wind blows into these holes that are in the edge of the land and then water goes into it as well and the pressure of the water and depending on the wind speeds there will be a harmonic noise that’s created.  It definitely doesn’t create an actual harmony or rhythm of music but the sounds are still very aoft and calming.  It was only a little windy but the guide said when it gets really windy it can get very loud.  It was so interesting and I feel lucky to see the only sea organ on the planet.  

The last thing is that the guide told us there were these sort of things in the air that are found in antidepressants as well.  I can’t recall the word but yeah.  Something to do with the water and the salt and stuff.  Creates a special kind of air.  It was amazing to hear that kind of thing.  Honestly I wouldn’t mind living there.  He said they have very very few pollution because they had no major factories or any type of thing like that.  The air and water are both so clean.  I didn’t find a whole lot interesting at Zegrab but here at Zadar I really felt good here and liked it.  

We are back on the bus,  it’s 1:00pm and we wre heading to a place called Split.  We will go on another tour and then eat dinner.  

We arrived in Split. The guide said the streets are too small for our coach bus to drive so we will tae a walking tour later this evening. We have to get up super early tomorrow.  Wake up call is 6am.  Breakfast at 6:30 and then we have to leave again by 7:30. that’s basically what we  do each morning.  Wake up,  put our bags out into the hall for the guys to take to the bus,  eat breakfast,  check out,  then get back on our bus to drive somewhere else.  Usually to the tour of the city we are staying in and then we leave the city to go somewhere else in or out of the current country.  Tomorrow we don’t get a tour because we take it tonight.  Tomorrow is a couple hours in the bus and then we cross the border to Bosnia.  We only stay in Bosnia for 24 hours before we come back to Croatia.  

I really love this trip.  Seeing such new things,  experiencing a totally different world.  Basically being treated like royalty by waiters who bring ua food.  Not really,  I guess out waiters in America treat us well too.  I just feel different here.  I really love having to eat and be ready to get back on the bus.  I love arriving to new areas but I also love getting back on the bus to go to the next destination.  I love the feeling of excitement for what I will see and eat next.  This is truly a life changing experience.  

We had a tour of Split,  Croatia.  Mainly on this old emperor’s palace and we learned about stuff he’s done.  Then we had dinner that was okay.  Wasn’t my favorite but oh well.  I wanted to walk around on the sea side.  It was amazing weather and the temperature was just so nice.  But my grandma has it in her head that I need her to be with me at all times.  And I don’t.  I’d rather be doing this trip alone.  But anyways she was being so annoying so I just walked her back to the hotel and I left her there to go back down to the water.  It was great walking around seeing all the vendors.  I got a phone case that I sort of regret getting cause it kind of sucks but oh well.  I just walked non stop.  I had a great time.  Now I’m up late and I have to get up early so I better sleep. 

My Trip: Day 4

I woke up pretty early today for some reason.  But we had to get up early anyways.  I got all my stuff ready and I put my suitcase outside the hotel room door to be taken down to our bus.  We went downstairs and had an AMAZING breakfast yet again.  Best bacon I’ve ever had and also really good apple strudel.  

We got onto our bus and the local guide gave us a tour around Zagreb,  Croatia.  It’s a pretty cool place I guess but I loved Vienna much more.  The currency is called the Kuna and it’s named after or maybe just confidently the same name as an animal around these areas. and it’s worth 7 times American money so I exchanged $20 for like,  135 Kuna.  So I’m rich here. We walked around the town for a while.,  went into a church that was designed by the same architect who designed St.  Stephens cathedral.  That was kind of cool.  Then we got into the bus again for two hours to arrive to a national park that’s supposed to be very beautiful.  It was where they shot some scenes of game of thrones at.  

Something else that really interested me was a museum called the Museum of Broken Relations.  All it is is a ton of junk basically.  It’s filled with the things that you usually throw away after ending a relationship.  You know those things you have received or given to your partner but then when you breakup you don’t want it anymore.  Well you can take it to be shown here.  I find it very cool and interesting.  Because all of these items are nothing to everyone but the couple who left it there.  But there’s a sad story behind each and every one of them.  I think the story is displayed by each item.  

I just got back in the bus from the long walk.  they never showed us any game of thrones scene location.  But it was beautiful.  Also tiring but ai loved it.  We were hiking for two and a half hours and we walked a very long ways.  It was through the national park.  Lots of waterfalls and different lakes.  The lake was very clean and bright blue.  you could see the little fish swimming in it.  Only bad part was a lot of other tourists were there and some of them were really rude.  it took a little bit away from the peaceful vibe that this place should have.  But regardless. The pictures I took won’t show the crazy atmosphere that was the walk amongst the tourists.

I am now heading to our hotel and we’ll have dinner there and probably go to bed.  Not sure where our hotel will be but we’re still in Croatia.  Just not Zagreb anymore. 

We arrived and had a dinner that was in our hotel.  Very weird coming here to this Mediterranean side of Croatia.  The food was different and so were the people.  But the dinner was good.  The style of the hotel is also very different.  Very bright,  vibrant colors.