My Trip: Day 13

No more wake up calls in our room.  Though we do have to take our bags down to the lobby at 9:15 and then get on a bus at 9:30. Not sure if it’ll be a coach bus with another guide or what.  But we’re going to a monastery and then I guess we just walk around.  Today may be the last day I hang out with the girls but I’m not sure. I’m not excited to have to spend a couple more days with just my grandma and I’m not excited for the super long trip back home.  But oh well,  I won’t remember any of the bad stuff of this trip later in life.  I’ll only remember the good. 

Well the monastery was pretty lame to be honest.  We drove like an hour or more just to get to it and we stopped an unnecessary amount of times.  And the new guide talked the entire time.  She knows a lot,  I’ll give her that.  But still.  The drive just didn’t seem worth it.  I wish we just did our own thing today.  But the monastery was pretty old and I guess it looked pretty cool.  We saw a few monks and stuff.  It was all a pretty religious place.  Lots and lots of information was given to us about it. I don’t think I retained any of it though.  

On the way back we went to a restaurant and it was pretty good.  I got a chicken fillet.  One of the girls ordered a chicken skewer and the waiter asked if she wanted one. She said yes assuming he meant one serving or one plate but when the food came she only had one single skewer.  I feel like that happens a lot in Europe.  If that sort of thing happened in America the waiter would have asked if they specifically wanted a single skewer.  I bet Europeans think we’re so dumb because we ask for stuff that isn’t right because we think they’re saying something else or whatever. 

On the way back the bus stopped so people could use the restroom and there was a giant stork nest.  There’s a lot of those around here for some reason.  We passed a lot that were on the telephone poles.  They’re really big and many storks sit in them.  It’s kind of cool to see.  They may not be storks but whatever.  I have no idea. 

We finally got to our new hotel and it’s definitely no 4-5 star hotel like we’ve been having, but that’s fine, it’s not that bad.  We’re here for two nights.  I pretty much layed down and stayed there for the rest of the night.  I haven’t rested that much on this trip other than going on the bus.  Plus nobody invited me to go anywhere so I just stayed laying down to text my girlfriend for a while.  Sort if a boring day.  Probably my least favorite day of tge trip but oh well.  The trip is almost over and it’s different when we don’t have a set schedule each day.  

These past two weeks went by so quickly.  Thinking back to staying in Vienna our first couple days it feels like that was so long ago.  But thinking about the whole trip as a whole it feels like it went by fast. If the trip will be like it was today then I’m excited to get home.  But I’ll still miss Europe when I’m gone.  Who knows when I’ll be back. 

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My Trip: Day 12

Ugh…  Today will sort of suck but I hope it will be a good end to the tour.  I hope to get a picture of me and Mario and maybe Charlie.  I don’t know why I’m so sad to say bye.  Maybe it’s because I know I’ll never see Mario again and he was an extremely good tour guide.  He went above and beyond to make us satisfied.  He went on his own to buy gluten free noodles to bring to the restaurant that we were going to so they could cook it for someone who was gluten free in the group.  Plus he was just funny and nice.  

Plus I was pretty much relying on being able to spend my time with the girls and after we don’t get tours any more I’m not sure if we even stay as a group anymore.  So I’ll be stuck with my grandma.  This isn’t my last day in Europe but it’s the last day of being on the bus and being guided by Mario and driven by Charlie.  We stay in Sophia a couple days and then we all go our separate ways.  Me and my grandma will go to where the Dracula’s castle is set and then we go home Sunday I think.  

Tonight,  two of the girls and a couple people in our group will be playing a concert in the symphony.  Because that’s basically what this entire trip was based around.  The symphony playing a concert.  That might be a good end to the tour. 

We went on a little tour of Sophia.  Went into a few old churches and we walked through a nice park that had sculptures and playground equipment.  Afterwards we were on our own to roam the city and if we wanted we could come back to a meeting spot and take the bus back to the motel.  Or we could just wander off and find the hotel later.  I went and followed the girls of course and they wanted to go take the bus back which I was glad about because I wanted to leave my sweatshirt on the bus.  So we walked around and we stopped at a café and the girls got pizza and I was going to get a RedBull but apparently they were out.  So I got water which was probably a more nutritious alternative. 

 That café took most of our time because as I’ve said before,  don’t get food in Europe if you’re in a rush.  They move at a very slow pace. They expect you to spend hours there.  

Well we had like half an hour left so the girls got ice cream and I just followed them.  It’s weird with those girls.  Sometimes they ask me to come with and sometimes they just do stuff and I don’t know if I should just follow them or ask to go with them or what.  My social skills are clearly shit but I just feel like I don’t know what to do.  Sometimes I do stuff alone because they didn’t ask me to go and I don’t want to just follow them around.  I feel like they don’t want me to go with them sometimes.  

An hour before the concert we came down to the lobby of the hotel so that we could all say goodbye to Mario and Charlie.  They arranged some drinks for us all and we gave them gifts and tips for the wonderful service they provided us the past two weeks.  Mario seriously did everything to make sure we had a good trip.  He was a great tour guide.  I’m so glad my first trip to Europe was lead by such a great guy.  And he had to cancel his next tour he was supposed to guide because his wife in Korea is very sick and he has to go see her.  So even knowing that,  he still was happy and cheerful around us and he made sure we were happy.  Very sad to have to say buy to them.  But I got a picture of them so I will remember them forever. 

The symphony concert was okay,  I’m just not big on that kind of music I guess.  Plus I was tired and my head hurt so none of that went well together.  I only ate breakfast and nothing else and this concert ended at like,  8:30 so I was pretty hungry.  The girl’s grandma and her sister are super nice and try to include me in everything which I’m grateful for even though I’m not sure if it’s what the girls want.  But nevertheless the grandma and aunt asked me if I wanted to go eat and I said sure so we just sat outside of the motel in the dining area and I ordered a burger and the girls just ordered some desserts.  The burger I ordered turned out to be pretty big but I guess it was good.  We sat outside for a couple of hours just talking and enjoying the cool weather.  The waitress brought out these battery powered lights and put them on each table so we all wouldn’t be sitting in the dark. 

It was a good end to the day.  Relaxing and peaceful and full of laughs.  Tomorrow we arrange our time,  no more Mario to do it for us.  We’re going to some church and then I guess we have free time for the rest of the day.  I’ll try to spend it with the girls.  They just walk around and shop for stuff.  

My Trip: Day 11

After a so so breakfast,  we all gathet onto the bus for what is supposed to be another long day on the road.  My phone barely charged last night so this will be a fun ride not being able to listen to music once it dies.  Not sure if I mentioned it but the lake that’s next to our motel is so huge and it has waves that sound like the ocean.  I walked down to it last night with the girls and it even smelled like the ocean.  But I guess it’s just a big lake. We had the window open this morning and I woke up to the sound of the waves crashing.  It was sort of nice,  different to say the least. 

We get in the bus and drive for who knows how long.  The time goes by pretty fast and I can never really tell how long it’s been.  We stop at a gas station to go to the bathroom and spend the rest of the currency we have from Macedonia.  Which is called “denar. ” One euro or dollar is around 66 Denar.  And the stuff in Macedonia is very cheap.  I had a Burger and fries for about 5 euro.  

Anyways,  we get to the capital of Macedonia,  a city named “Skopia” or “Skopje. ” It was sort of nice I guess.  Back in the 60s I think,  a giant earthquake hit the city and 80% of it collapsed during the summer.  And they rebuilt a lot by the time winter came.  And now they have a lot of modern and old looking buildings.  We went on a tour and saw a mother Theresa museum and a LOT of statues.  They had some initiative that was supposed to finish in 2014 where they were to make a bunch of statues.  And they did,  there were probably too many statues to be honest.  They were nice but they were just spread everywhere and I didn’t really think it looked good. 

After the tour me and the girls and their grandma and aunt went and ate.  This was when I had the 5€ chicken sandwich/burger thing.  It was pretty good,  the fries were different.  It was like they were hollow.  We had to rush back to the bus and one of the girls got a crêpe to go and a stray dog followed her all the way back to the bus.  This part of Europe has stray dogs everywhere.  It’s really sad actually.  They usually will have a tag on their ear that means that they were taken and given shots so they are at least not going to have rabies or something.  Mario  our tour guide said that these dogs can usually easily get food but what they normally want is attention and a new home.  They follow people around and of course they want food but they also just want to be around you.  It’s very sad,  I saw a cute little puppy laying under a fig tree eating figs that fell down.  I wanted to take it home so bad.  This is the same for cats in other smaller towns,  lots and lots of stray cats.

Well we got on the bus fot about two hours before we got to the border.  We had to go through two. The border police officer would come onto the bus and take our passports.  Then mario came back in and gave them back,  then the next border we’d do it again with another officer.  The first officer was nice.  He saw that one of the girls,  Jasmine,  was working on a Sudoku puzzle and he helped her with one.  But the second officer was sort of mean looking and I think he was the one who was asking for all of our luggage to be taken out of the bottom and looked at.  But thankfully mario talked him into only taking a random three and he looked through them and that took a little while but then we were off. 

We didn’t stop until we got into Sophia, the capitol of Bulgaria. The time here is one hour ahead of what we were used to the whole trip.  This is our last stop on the tour with Mario and Charlie our coach driver.  We say bye to them tomorrow actually and I’m kind of sad about it.  

We got into our hotel and it’s pouring down rain.  We got our room key and freshened up before coming back down for dinner.  This is usually how it goes when getting to a hotel late.  This trip is fast paced and not a whole lot of time to rest.  The buffet dinner was okay but not a whole lot of variety.  Which will suck if we have to eat it for the couple of days we stay here.  I was happy at dinner because one of the girls,  Holly.  Was actually talking to me.  Or maybe I finally made an effort to talk to her but it was nice.  We even stayed and talked when the other two left.  Which I was very surprised that she stayed.  Usually she runs off with them.  I was probably red in the face because it’s hard for me to talk but I did all right.  She was red too,  and didn’t make as much eye contact as me.  

That was a good end to the night.  I just went back upstairs and charged my phone and went to bed. 

Tomorrow our wake up call is the lastest it’s ever been.  And then we go on one last tour of the city in the morning. 

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.