Croatia Pt 2 of 2: Dubrovnik

After two days of working out in Plitvice, we headed to our final destination in Croatia; Dubrovnik.  This was also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We took a bus to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia and the airport was deserted that it was really hard to believe!.

The heat in Dubrovnik was especially intense during our visit in summer. Unfortunately it was easy to get headaches if one is not used to the heat (i.e youknowwho); thankfully there were delicious cooling ice creams sold almost everywhere especially at the main street; Brsalje Street.

I couldn’t find out a lot of the names of the buildings, but their ancient look made the city look almost rustic. We walked around the city; it was a lot smaller than expected so we kept going about in the same place. The second afternoon, after a cable car ride, we took a boat ride to a nearby beach and dipped for a couple of hours. The water was crystal clear as the seabed was made of rocks instead of the usual sand.  On the final day, we climbed the city wall. We managed to use our student discount though our student card had expired for a week and counting.

Pile Gate, Dubrovnik
Pile Gate, Dubrovnik
Those green windows
Those green windows
St. John's Fortress
St. John’s Fortress

Dubrovnik - IMG_7070

Stradun, Dubrovnik
Stradun, Dubrovnik
Cathedral
Cathedral
Bell tower, Dubrovnik
Bell tower, Dubrovnik
Fort St John
Fort St John
Beautiful steps
Beautiful steps
Pretty flowers in the balcony
Pretty flowers in the balcony
Night view of the bell tower
Night view of the bell tower
Cable car ride
Cable car ride
View from the top of the hill
View from the top of the hill
Dubrovnik city
Dubrovnik city
Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik
Along the city walls
Along the city walls
Lovrijenac, Dubrovnik
Lovrijenac, Dubrovnik
View from the city wall
View from the city wall
From the top of the hill
From the top of the hill
Summer wear ;)
Summer wear 😉

The sea view from the boat ride and the beach:

City Harbour
City Harbour
City Harbour from City wall
City Harbour from City wall
Boat tour for a reasonable price
Boat tour for a reasonable price
At a distance..
At a distance..
Approaching the beach
Approaching the beach
Beautiful landscape
Beautiful landscape
Can you see a shape within the clouds?
Can you see a shape within the clouds?
The private beach we didn't get to go
The private beach we didn’t get to go
The beauty of the sea
The beauty of the sea
The island of nobody
The island of nobody
Sparkling sparkling water
Sparkling sparkling water
Trail from the boat ride
Trail from the boat ride
Picture credit: cluthofinspirations.wordpress.com
Picture credit: cluthofinspirations.wordpress.com
Goodbye Croatia
Goodbye Croatia

Recap:

Although it was really hot (scorching hot) and I gott a few shades tanner at the end of the trip, the beauty of the waterfalls and lakes in Plitvice as well as the seaview in Dubrovnik certainly made this trip worthwhile. We took a lot of scenic pictures but failed to remember to get a group picture in my camera.

For those who are thinking about a trip to Croatia in summer, the important thing: sunblock. sunblock. sunblock. SUNBLOCK.

Related links:

Croatia Pt 1 of 2: Zadar, Dubrovnik by ripplesoftruth

Dubrovnik, the Charming Old Harbour by retireediary

Croatia Pt 1 of 2: Zadar and Plitvice

In less than 24 hours upon arrival in Manchester (a story for another day), I took the bus down to Liverpool for a flight to Croatia. This was our final trip together as students, our ultimate graduation trip. We started off in Zadar, then Plitvice Lakes National Park and finally Dubrovnik.

A recap of Croatia:

Day 1: Zadar

Upon arrival at Zadar airport, we were split into two groups of six and transported to two separate accommodations. I had no clue which one we were going, but it was quite a long ride as the airport is located outside the city walls of Zadar. As soon as I got out of the car, I bang into a fire hydrant; what a way to start the trip.

I had fallen sick a week ago, and was still feeling a little jetlag from the previous trip; I had several nose bleeds in the first couple of days.  There were some attractions in Zadar (pictured below). We walked about and climbed the bell tower. The attraction I like most was the Sea organ and sunset at the “Greeting to the Sun” circle. The sea organ plays beautiful music by waves and tubes located underneath the set of marble steps.

City Gate, Zadar
City Gate, Zadar
Church of St Anastasia, Zadar
Church of St Anastasia, Zadar
Five Wells Square, Zadar
Five Wells Square, Zadar
City Sentinel, Zadar
City Sentinel, Zadar

Zadar - Bell Tower

View from Bell Tower
View from Bell Tower

Zadar - IMG_6467

Zadar - The beautiful Sea

 Piano seats
Piano seats
The Greeting to the Sun, Zadar
The Greeting to the Sun, Zadar
Butterfly #1
Butterfly #1

Something happened during the bus ride to Plitvice that made me a half wet blanket for the rest of the trip. I sincerely apologise for this. I’m not usually the one who offers explanation but if anyone wants to know what really happen in Croatia, I am ready to talk about it (limited to Manchester Circus only oops!).

Day 2 & 3: Plitvice Lake National Park 

We reached our accommodation slightly earlier than the check-in period, but did not inform the owner in advance. The landlady was quite annoyed (and rude), but let us put our bags in our rooms at the end. After settling down, we set foot to the national park.

Plitvice, a UNESCO heritage, is famous for the lakes and waterfalls. The first day, we walked around the lakes and we were all close together so we followed the same route. On the second day, we set foot to see majestic waterfalls! We split up and walked at different paces; I was taking a lot of pictures so I was quite left behind.. unfortunately.

Plitvice main entrance
Plitvice main entrance

Plitvice - IMG_6622

Electric blue dragonfly
Electric blue dragonfly
Bee
Bee

Plitvice - IMG_6738

Plitvice - IMG_6692

Plitvice - IMG_6739

Plitvice - IMG_6716

Plitvice - IMG_6771

Plitvice - IMG_6775

Plitvice - IMG_6751

Plitvice - IMG_6782

Plitvice - IMG_6791

Plitvice - IMG_6838

Highest Waterfall
Highest Waterfall

Plitvice - IMG_6857

Plitvice - IMG_8383 Plitvice - IMG_6879

The view was breathtaking, wasn’t it? I had the weirdest fascination for insects and the most unique insect I saw was the electric blue dragonfly!

.

To be continued…

Summer in Paris

Eiffel Tower. Lourve museum. Notre-dame Cathedral.  Sacré-Coeur. Champs-Elysées. La Defense. Orsay Museum. Arc de Triomphe.  These are some of the popular landmarks we immediately thought of when someone mentioned “Paris”.

Paris is beautiful. The thing about Paris is even if you see the same monuments all over again, you never get tired. At least not for me.

Paris attractions from http://www.aviewoncities.com/
Paris attractions from http://www.aviewoncities.com/

I returned to Paris for the second time after 2 years. On the first day I arrived, I had the whole day planned out in the train, from the place of attractions to the breakdown of time and public transportation used. It wasn’t until two of my friends who were already in Paris texted if I wanted to join for lunch before I realised; I forgot to slot in time for lunch.. and dinner. Too excited perhaps?  😆

Lunch at Benoit was awesome; especially the escargots. This restaurant offered a lot of complimentary starters and desserts – good stuff. In the spirit of trying something new, I ordered a dessert “Armagnac Savarin” which is a fancy term for alcohol-infused bread. Not a wise choice, definitely.

The restaurant, Benoit.
The restaurant, Benoit.
Escargots
Escargots
Complimentary cheese puffs
Complimentary cheese puffs
Chicken and mushroom puff
Chicken and mushroom puff
Line caught whiting
Line caught whiting
Armagnac Savarin
Armagnac Savarin
What the "Armagnac Savarin" is made of
What the “Armagnac Savarin” is made of
Complimentary chocolate and pistachio cakes
Complimentary chocolate and pistachio cakes
Complimentary awesome stuff
Complimentary awesome stuff

After lunch, we walked about to see several landmarks as pictured below.  I didn’t manage to climb the basilica Sacré-Coeur on the last day as I decided that shopping for a friend (and myself haha!) was more important.

Opéra de Paris Garnier
Opéra de Paris Garnier
Tuleries garden
Tuleries garden
Lourve museum
Lourve museum
My company for the day!
My company for the day!
Champs Elysees
Champs Elysees
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
Sacre Coeur
Sacre Coeur
Opéra de Paris Garnier - night view
Opéra de Paris Garnier – night view

This was the day we went into several shops along Champs-Elysées, from bags  to watches to jewelries . Service was nice in most shops, even though we did not get anything in the end.  The three of us had dinner at a different restaurant, with more escargots and frog legs. We ended the night early as we were heading to Disneyland the following day!

Frog legs
Frog legs
Duck... i think?
Duck… i think?

****

The most significant addition to this trip compared to the last was seeing the famous Mona Lisa painting. On the final day,  J and I queued up as early as 8.30 am at the Lourve museum.  It was free entry for students *glees* with a valid student card.  We were provided with a brochure of the layout of Lourve museum. Believe me, it was a lot bigger than I anticipated. The first stop was no doubt; Mona Lisa. Unfortunately for me, it was a lot smaller than I expected (i was expecting to find a poster size painting silly me!) and protected by the glass. #potongstim While we were at the museum, we went around to have a look at several other famous statues and paintings. After an hour and a half, we decided that it was more than enough.

Lourve museum - morning queue
Lourve museum – morning queue
Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa.. is small
Mona Lisa.. is small

After that, I parted ways with  J and lingered around at the Tuleries garden in front of the museum. From where I was sitting, I was drawn to the Eiffel tower and the attractions on the way. So I went to Eiffel tower, yet again! At the  tower, I met another fellow Malaysian who was on her own solo trip – how awesome was that! We were dodging a lot of people who pretended to ask for donations.

View from Tuleries Garden
View from Tuleries Garden
Musée d'Orsay
Musée d’Orsay
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower

****

At the end of the trip, there was a failure to communicate. As I was staying in a separate accommodation, I took the bus to the train station by myself. Upon arrival, there was an escalator on the left and platforms right in front of the main door. Because there was so many posters, signs and flower pots here and there, I mistakenly assumed that we had to go up the escalator, and down to the platforms (when in fact, the platform was a straight path from the main door). My friends called and called and each time i answered: “I am almost there.” thinking that I would meet them after going up an escalator and down a different one.

When in fact, the escalator led to the check in area for the international train back to London. I reached the lounge at 6pm for a 6.15 pm.. and realised that awful mistake I made – there was no way down to the platform where my friends were waiting, and worse; they had not checked in yet. Luckily, none of us missed the train. I could tell by their facial expressions that they were annoyed even after I apologised, but sometimes, mistakes were made to teach us a lesson.

Well, lesson learnt.