We are so looking forward to our trip this year. Starting in Vienna we will travel through parts of Poland and Hungary and then to Croatia. Something different for us - we will be travelling between the capital cities by train! Here's hoping the weather is hot and sunny!

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia August 23rd 2019

23.08.2019. We left Hvar this morning via ferry for Dubrovnik. Our hotel staff deposited us and our luggage on the docks and we boarded with hundreds of other people. Everybody found a spot for their luggage and took a seat for the three hour journey. It was quite a pleasant journey, stopping off at two places before berthing in Dubrovnik. The retrieval of luggage took a while but everyone just waits until they can reach theirs and then disembarks. We taxied to our hotel, which is situated in a bustling pedestrian only area, and was greeted by a friendly chap who not only gave us our key but a piece of paper informing us that our pick up time on Monday morning for the coach to the airport would be 4.30am! Can’t wait! We took a ... read more
Our street in Dubrovnik
Old Town

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia August 20th 2019

20.08.2019. This morning we said farewell to Ema, our gorgeous host in Split, who, as promised, walked us to the ferry terminal for our trip across to Hvar Island, a journey of one hour. We were greeted on Hvar by a representative from our hotel who organised us and our luggage to be delivered there forthwith! We settled in and at about 5.00pm took off on a short and pleasant walk into the main square for drinks and dinner. Our hotel is pretty good with a pool and bar area, plenty to choose from in the way of meals but we chose to wander into the square to eat and enjoy the atmosphere. The staff are young, friendly and helpful, the hotel facilities excellent. Hvar has a gorgeous port, filled with many boats and some very ... read more
Harbour views.
Town Square.

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia August 18th 2019

17.08.2019. Our last day in Zagreb started at about 5.45 - early breakfast, final check we’ve got everything and a short walk to wait for our 8.00am bus that will take us to Split via Plivitce Lakes for a promised four hour or more walking tour. Great, we said, piece of cake, we said, stroll around the lakes, see the waterfalls, get on the bus, drive into Split, book into digs...can’t wait! We arrived in Rastoke for a walk around the village, a pit stop for food and drinks and then on to the Lakes, arriving at about midday. The joint was packed, and I mean packed! We couldn’t move. We were advised to visit the facilities as there won’t be any on the walk for four hours or more...so off we set on a 20 ... read more
Crowded walkway at Plivitce Lakes-not my photo
A section of a walkway-not my photo
Our digs in Split.

Europe » Croatia August 15th 2019

15.08.2019. Last night, after booking into our lovely hotel, we found the Bulldog Bar just a few short steps from the hotel and enjoyed a few drinks and dinner and bumped into four Aussies who we accused of being so loud we could hear them six feet away! They laughed and told us they were from Victoria - well, there you go! They, like us, we’re quite chuffed to hear an Aussie accent after so many weeks away. It’s funny, John and I sit amongst the crowds, drink, eat, chat and enjoy and everyone is speaking in different languages - so when we hear English being spoken, it’s quite comforting in a way. John and I also seem to be the only two people anywhere not bent over their mobile phones whilst out and about! At ... read more
The three horsmen
We tried a local red wine at dinner - Vina Laguna.  Very nice!

Europe » Croatia August 14th 2019

Our day started at 4.30am, hotel kindly organised a breakfast bag for us, taxi was early and took us to the train station for our trip to Zagreb on the 6.40am train, for a six hour journey. He dropped us at what we thought was a dilapidated building in need of pulling down. No, this is the train station! We went into the waiting room, which stunk! Oh, that’s why - a bunch of deros were sleeping on the seats and a few using the outside grounds for...well, you know! A man indicated we move down some stairs and we kept an eye on the signage until finally our platform number came up. We boarded, and luckily for us our compartment had three young adults and we chatted to them for a while. After some hours ... read more

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest August 12th 2019

12.08.2019. Our first full day in Budapest, we caught a HOHO bus this morning and spent a few hours being driven around Budapest. What a grand old city is it too. The architecture is wonderful. The temperature was hot, 33 or so, but luckily we could sit under the sunshade on the top deck. At some stage the driver decided to pull the awning right across the top of the bus, which was a jolly good idea! Aussie weather it reminded us of but even we don’t sit out in all that sun! The traffic was very heavy today so it was slow going on HOHO but we did the full circuit and opted for an early lunch. This afternoon, we found a beaut restaurant on the Pest side of the river where we had a ... read more
We loved the tiles on the church’s roof.  Plenty of this around Budapest.
From the Pest side of the river up to the castle
Budapest Castle at night.

Europe » Poland August 11th 2019

10.08.2019. We had an horrendous day. Train 30mins late leaving Krakow, dirty carriage, filthy toilet. A change over in Bohumin down a filthy lift through a filthy tunnel, up a filthy lift to a filthy platform. This train 30mins late. 1st class ok, good comfy seats, not many in this part of the train. 2 hours out of Budapest train breaks down, in the middle of nowhere, we sit for over 30 mins and then told to get off, transfer to another train. Struggle off train on to tracks, walk across tracks, struggle onto local train, which was hot, smelly, dirty. Nobody happy. Finally we leave, train stops at every station, everyone sweating from the heat. Get into Budapest 2odd hours late, thirsty, hungry, not amused at all. We have one more train trip into Zagreb ... read more

Europe » Poland August 9th 2019

07.08.2019. Our morning started with a leisurely breakfast and then a walk into the Jewish Quarter of Krakow, a short distance from our hotel. We visited the oldest existing Synagogue in Poland which was built in about 1407. It’s the height of the tourist season but everyone shuffles around so we can all see the exhibits. We then wandered through to the Eagle Pharmacy which, when the Nazis created the Jewish ghetto in 1941, its Polish owner Tadeusz Pankiewicz found himself at the very heart of it. Deciding to stay, he and his staff were the only Poles allowed to live and work in the ghetto and over the two years of the ghetto's existence, the pharmacy became an important centre of social life as well as aid in acquiring food and medicine and falsifying documents. ... read more
Old Synagogue
Interesting mosaic pattern on the floor at Schindler’s Museum.
Room of Choices Schindler’s Museum

Europe » Poland August 6th 2019

06.08.2019. We left Warsaw this morning on the train - first class - so we thought! The carriage consisted of compartments, six seats in it, facing each other. This was the same from Vienna to Warsaw. A couple were already there near the window, we put our cases up, a French chap came in, nowhere to put his large bag but between his feet and mine. The compartment was hot, he opened the window - well, the man exploded, no, no fresh air and closed it! The three of us complained, the woman jumped up, pointed to her seat and said to me, you sit here! I refused, why should I? A group of young people were in the corridor with nowhere to sit so stood for most of the 3.5 hour journey. John and two ... read more

Europe » Poland August 5th 2019

02.08.2019. What, 5.00am already? Time to get up and get going for our train journey to Warsaw which will take about seven hours. Luckily for us the staff in the breakfast room allowed us to get something to eat while they were setting up and the cabbie rolled up at about 6.30 even though we’d ordered a taxi for 7.00. Still, he had a cup of coffee on the house and soon whisked us away in his you beaut Mercedes Benz – very nice! The train station was bustling at this early hour and we still had plenty of time for our train which ended up being 20 minutes late, due to a technical hitch down the line. We arrived in Warsaw just before 4.00pm and are staying at the lovely Mamaison Residence Diana. We were ... read more
Jewish Wall
Another section of Jewish Wall with small white plaque from Melbourne’s Jewish Community
The Warsaw Uprising

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