My thoughts on Croatia

Earlier this month I landed in Croatia for the first time for a week of Birthday celebrations. The reason I chose this destination was mostly due to the incredibly cheap flights to Dubrovnik available for my dates.

As you might have realised by now I don’t usually stay in just one place when visiting a new Country. Croatia was no exception. In a week we stayed in 3 different places and explored a fair bit.

Our first base was just outside Dubrovnik in Lapad. The view over Dubrovnik on the way there was pretty impressive but not enough for me to fall in love with Croatia immediately. On our first day we were pretty dead (that’s what happens when you wake up at 2am to get an early flight) so we enjoyed the little swimming pool by our room and went for a walk in Lapad.

First struggle in Croatia came very soon, by dinner time. Bloody parking! We picked a restaurant not far from where we were staying but could not find any free parking. And we could not pay for parking as we had no coins. After more than half an hour looking for a free spot we parked in a dark residential area with unfinished buildings. It was not ideal but we were hungry. Thankfully nothing bad happened to the car.

The day we had to visit Dubrovnik it poured down! It was still a good day. Check all about it on my Birthday post. Parking tips included on that one. You’re welcome.

Third day it was time to move on to Orebic. Our next base. The drive there was pretty cool. Roads in Croatia are generally not bad. Only problem is when you need parking. Have I mentioned the parking issues yet?

Unlike my usual choice I booked a four star hotel here as I was really going for a few restful days. Big swimming pool, breakfast included and sea view from our room! Perfect.

Orebic is quite a cute little town by the sea. Parking is still pretty tricky around here so carry coins with you or leave the car in your accommodation. We parked in residential streets twice while we had dinner but on the third day the locals had a go at us and ruined our dinner parking spot! We didn’t understand a word so a kind lady passing by translated some of it. We ended up parking two streets down where we could not see any locals outside. On the last day we just left the car at the hotel to avoid the hassle.

If you find yourself in Orebic the best dinner spot is Konoba Andiamo. We felt like regulars there! On our last day he already knew what we were drinking. Pro tip: the starters are usually not that small so check the pictures on Google before ordering too much food.

While staying in Orebic we explored the beaches around the peninsula. Special mention to Plaza Mokalo and Plaza Divna as the best beaches in that area. Easy and free parking too (at least in early June).

As we were so close to Korcula and the weather was not amazing for beach time we decided to head there for lunch. It is just about a 20 minute boat ride away and less than £2 each way. The old town of Korcula is in my opinion more charming than Dubrovnik so definitely worth a visit. Again it poured down and there were thunders and lightning. Wasn’t even sure if the boat would make its way back but the weather cleared a bit after lunch so we were good to go.

Slano was our last base and where we fell in love with Croatia. It was our cheapest night at £29! The room was tiny but had a balcony, modern bathroom and was super clean. The sunset at the marina was unbelievably beautiful and walking around was super nice. There was even live music in the town center.

On our way to Slano we explored another couple of beaches. On the second one it poured again and there was heavy lightning right there in front of us. This tropical weather actually made our time in Croatia more fun even though it meant hiding inside the car or in front of shops to stay dry.

The beaches in Croatia are mostly pebble beaches so rubber shoes are recommended. I did not use those but I’m sure it would have been easier on my feet. Also please be aware of sea urchins! These are usually found in rocks so pay attention not to get hurt.

I ended up not taking my “big” camera out very often but here are a few shots I took in Croatia.

Final thoughts on Croatia? Dubrovnik is a little overrated, people are nice and most speak English, beautiful landscapes, good food and pebble beaches.

Do you have questions? Just ask away on Facebook, Instagram or in the comments.
For more pictures from Croatia you can check my Instagram stories’ highlights.

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My Birthday in Croatia

Yes! Another year celebrating my birthday away, this time in Croatia. As I am planning to tell you more about this trip when I come back I am just filling you in on what I got up to on my birthday.

If you follow me on Instagram you have probably already seen a few bits of what I got up to yesterday on my stories. But keep on reading as I am telling you all about it now!

Overnight there was a storm with thunders, lightning and strong winds that knocked down the chairs in our balcony! Early in the morning there was some sunshine but soon the heavy rain was back. It poured relentlessly for a couple of hours.

The plan was to visit the old town of Dubrovnik but that would be very difficult if the weather didn’t improve.

Thankfully there was a break in the sky and we managed to leave the room to head to Dubrovnik.

If you are planning to visit and are driving around you are better off parking in a public garage just outside the old town which will cost 30kn per hour. Bloody expensive but not as much as street parking at 75kn.

Walking to the old town was super nice and the cooler weather actually helped as the Sun in Croatia is quite strong.

Old town Dubrovnik is beautiful but super busy. Guess Game of Thrones being shot there doesn’t help!

After a light lunch we walked around a bit more.

Using the toilets cost 10kn (around £1.20)! Just say you are eating at the restaurant and you’ll get in for free.

On our way back it poured down again and we reached the car a little wet but it was fun and refreshing.

We drove around a bit to visit Tri Brata but discovered we couldn’t reach the beach on foot.

After a quick stop to buy breakfast and water in the supermarket we went back “home” to enjoy the swimming pool.

Restaurant More was the place I picked for my birthday dinner. It is inside a 5 star hotel and it is located by the sea. The waiters were amazing and so was the view. Food was just good but with the entertainment value of having the steaks cooked next to our table it was totally worth it. Desserts were delicious!

We stayed there for hours eating, drinking and talking. I had the best time on my birthday!

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Deal Day

After a weekend mostly spent at home working, cleaning and resting I decided Monday we should leave the house. We don’t get to enjoy nice weather often in the UK so it’s always good to make the most out of it.

Sunday morning I spent a while browsing possible beach destinations for the Bank Holiday. Brighton is usually our go to destination for a beach day trip as train tickets are quite cheap. But I felt that would be boring and too busy on such a hot day.

Around lunch time I finally made my mind up and booked train tickets to Deal! A place I had never heard of. I thought this was a good thing as there was a chance it wouldn’t be crowded.

Thankfully I was right!

Two hour train ride away and with only one change, Deal was quite easy to get to. Just a little expensive at £89 return for two.

We had fish and chips for lunch (nothing amazing), visited the local castle, lounged on the long stretch of pebble beach and walked a lot. It was nice to spend time together and enjoy the sunshine. Fortunately it wasn’t as hot as in London otherwise walking would have been tough.

I’ll definitively be looking to explore other beach destinations around this area in the future. If you have any suggestions please let me know.

Here are some shots of Deal.

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What I got up to in Portugal

The holidays had a rough start. I was feeling ill since Thursday, surviving on painkillers on Friday and Saturday my temperature almost reached 39C! Thankfully the flight was in the afternoon so I took ibuprofen and waited for the temperature to drop. I could barely move and still had to finish packing.

Even though it wasn’t easy I made it on that flight to Lisbon!

Saturday we landed after 8pm, picked up our rental car and headed home for dinner. My mum had made chicken soup and “bacalhau”. We were starving. It was all delicious.

Sunday we had lunch with the in-laws and the nieces. The conversation flowed nicely and we had a good time. My mum had gone to our holiday home so we decided to join them in Ericeira. Dinner was take away piri-piri chicken. As my mum bought a foosball table we spent hours on it and had so much fun.

Monday was our admin day. We headed to the bank later than planned but made it. Unfortunately the services to renew the national ID card were packed so we gave up on it. Defeated we headed to the river for a delicious lunch.

Afterwards I managed to take a nap as I was still feeling like s***. In the meantime my boyfriend went to meet the new baby of one of our closest friends. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it as I didn’t want to give the baby whatever virus I had.

For sunset we headed to Amoreiras to go up to the panoramic viewpoint and take in the city from there.

Later we went back to Ericeira for more family fun playing foosball.

Tuesday we had a hotel booked for the night in Sesimbra. We explored the region and even hit the beach for a little bit. Later we had a lovely seafood dinner followed by quality time with friends. Totally unplanned as they were in the same city as us just by chance. So happy I messaged at the right time as the conversation was great. Luckily our hotel was next to the bar as we said our goodbyes at 3am!

Wednesday was time to check out. The hotel was great and I would totally stay there again. We had lunch at Meco by the beach after visiting Cabo Espichel. The drive back to Ericeira was long. We were tired and decided to just go out for dinner with my mum.

Thursday we had planned to see friends for dinner and theatre in Lisbon but as they cancelled on us we decided to skip Lisbon altogether and stayed in Ericeira. The afternoon was spent at Tapada de Mafra on a “safari” tour on an electric car. I really enjoyed it.

Friday‘s agenda was packed with family meals. Lunch with one of my cousins. The restaurant was a let down but the company was great. Dinner was at home in Ericeira with my brother and his fiancée. A lot of foosball fun went on!

Saturday was time to get back to London. It was raining which always makes it easier to leave. Quick stop to grab lunch before the airport and we were off to return the car and wait for our plane.

I am sorry I didn’t see all the kiddos this time but I didn’t think sharing my “bugs” with the little ones was a good idea.

It was nice being home. Now I am ready for the real holidays in June!

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I am in Portugal

I am in Portugal and I have left my laptop at home in London! Even though I was planning to take my laptop with me I have just realised (the week before, at the time I am writing this post) that it would take up too much of my time. Honestly not feeling like spending hours on my laptop. Not when I can just be in the moment enjoying Portugal.

Even though I love working on my laptop when I am at my mum’s new house! There is something special about working on a long wooden table by the terrace with a sea view.

Once I get back I will have enough time to come back here and write to you guys about all the stuff I got up to during the week. In the meantime there is Instagram! I intend to post stories frequently while in Portugal. This way you don’t miss me too much.

This time I am not going alone so I am quite excited about traveling. And a lot less anxious!

We have plans for pretty much every day and might even be filming some of it. If my boyfriend isn’t feeling too lazy we will get a YouTube video at some point in the future. I have booked theater tickets and a visit to the 360 panoramic view of Lisbon. We will also be spending a night in Sesimbra so we get two days of driving around the area. The last couple of days will be spent in the best house in Ericeira.

If the weather allows it we will also spend time sunbathing at the beach, on the terrace or at the hotel infinity pool!

I realise we will be running a pretty tight schedule with all we have planned to do in just a few days but still we will try to spend some quality time catching up with friends and family.

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Lanzarote Stories

In this post you can see most of my Instagram Stories from Lanzarote. At the time I was sharing a lot on there so you can get a good idea of what we got up to.

From my Instagram Stories…

Hope you enjoyed all the pictures! If you have missed the first Lanzarote post you can check it out here.

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Big Move!

After 10 years in London I am still in love with this city but the weather is far from ideal! For years we have been thinking about the best place to live in the World. A place with good weather, good people, good food and the sea nearby.

Even though I haven’t mentioned this to anyone yet our plans to move are well under way. If all goes as planned we will be enjoying the Sri Lankan tropical weather and their delicious food by the end of the year.

Soon I will let you know what we will be doing there and where we will be living.

It will be great to enjoy the seaside and travel around a bit before settling down in our new place. I am looking forward to exploring our new home.

If you have any tips about life in Sri Lanka please let me know.

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