The Balkans

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February 19th 2011
Published: March 14th 2011
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driving into city from airport first nite

It never ceased to amaze me that I can travel "alone" & yet never really be alone!!
mostly I see this as a blessing... though, there were times that I truly cherished my 'alone time'---
Dubrovnik gave me that after a loooong time of travelling with others.... well at least for one day it did.. haha!!
Ola, Ange and I split up in Barcelona... Ola headed for the only corner of Spain she hadn't seen yet - the north-west part; Ange flew to Belgrade to meet up with Effie & Dragan who were travelling in Montenegro from Australia; and I flew to Dubrovnik to mee Ange & co 2 days later...
If taking a cheap flight from Spain, its common to fly Vueling Airlines - despite their many strikes & known delays :p I found the waiting lounge at B'lona airport and searching for a seat I ended up sitting next to Remi!
Who is Remi you say?
Remi is a Norwegian guy who loves travelling and adventure as much as I do... we hit it off straight away, just talking about random things... the flight ofcourse was delayed (2hrs at the airport and another 1hr sitting on the plane)... Remi kept me company the entire time! He even threw in a comical moment where a moth had somehow gotten onto the plane & was frantically buzzing around near his window seat. Like a great macho man, Remi jumped up off his seat & tried to run off the plane to escape this beast! hahaha... slight exaggeration on his reaction... but just makes it more fun for me... hehe.....
anyway... the chivalrous air steward that came to help us was equally scared of the moth & just waved a magazine at it aimlessly; whilst the guy sitting in front of Remi who was also being "attacked" by it also jumped out of his seat in absolute fright. After witnessing this scene for a few minutes (smirking quietly) I offered to get the moth myself since I was smaller and could probably reach it better (coz that was clearly the problem for these boys!) hehe...

"dear moth"... I'm so sorry I had to kill you =( I felt sorry for you being stuck on this airplane, but my peers feared you greatly and sadly you had to die... squashed by a tacky flight magazine... may your next life time be far more fruitious =)

So after my little glorious moment where 3 huge guys relied on me to save them from a moth, Remi & I continued our flight to Dubrovnik, arriving far later in the night than should've been had it not been for the delays... We agreed it would be a lot safer & cheaper to look for accommodation together... It turns out that the most common option in Dubrovnik for accom is to rent a room in someone´s house... people greet you at the bus stop and try to convince you to "stay over"--- they also ONLY provide double beds-- seriously, we visited so many places and couldnt find anything but a double bed... so, here's to adventure! spent the entire night with Remi-- still talking!!! hahaha... we must've spoken for more than 12hrs straight!!!! hehe

I left Remi in the morning w a promise to meet up again and went off to meet Ange & her buddies. Spent the whole day exploring Dubrovnik before catching a bus in the afternoon to Montenegro, which was our primary destination for a week or so.


the Balkans are amazing! I never really knew that much about the region, but I was very quick to fall in love with it! I really wished that I had more time to explore it properly and go to different parts of it... mental note to do that some time in the future =)

I took a bus alone from Dub to M’negro since the others had booked their trip as part of a tour… met two Dutch girls who were spending 4wks in the area… they were very sweet & a bit lost.. haha.. so I helped them find a cheap room when we arrived & then I finally found Ange & co coz my Optus sim not working there so I couldn’t contact them.

the group was Ange (despina), Effie, Dragan (habib), Dragitza (lady gaga) & Simoy (bibo) & me (toilet - apparently my name means toilet in Serbian-- oh what joy!!)… we went to the beach every day… spent one day on a nearby small island & took a one day tour of lake skadar (amazing!)… we also went out to bars every nite to drink lots & whatever… else you do at a bar... hahahaha...
I really loved Montenegro... and months later I can still feel its charms... highly recommend this place as a top summer holiday destination!!

back to Dubrovnik

back to my "alone day" - this was granted to me on my way back from Montenegro to Dubrovnik (from which i was due to fly back to Barcelona early in the morning)... So, without Remi this time, I had to find accom... I ended up a little way out of town (10min bus ride) in some tiny house w an old man who couldnt speak English... I spent a LOT of time talking myself out of freaking out & worrying that he would abduct me or whatever.... pfft! such a wuss!! anyhoo... he turned out to be just a sweet old man... & it was a very cute little old house facing the marina =)

I had one full day to kill in Dub.. & it's funny to say this now (coz I forgot about this last time I wrote this blog)... erhm... but it was one of the most memorable days of my trip! hahaha... what a paradox!
I spent the entire day on the cliff face jumping off the rocks into the sea, swimming & watching the locals jump off much much much higer rocks (seriously high)!!!
Now if you were following the media last year (particularly if your an ozzie) you'll know exactly which cliff face I'm talking about... coz about a week after I spent such a lovely day there, the media reported a woman who fell ungraciously off these rocks & was seriously injured (on her honeymoon) =(

I was very sorry to hear that story! nevertheless, I had a wonderful day on those cliffs... leaping off the edge into the water... watching the multiple groups that came & went.. chatted to some french & american girls that were hangin around, had a drink with them at sunset watching the beautiful scenery around us and went back to my little old man (his house!!) to sleep =)

......... Early next morning I flew back to Spain (this time Vueling was good and got me there on time - but alas noone kept me company the whole flight :/ ) where I had left my oversized and overweight backpack in a hotel and caught a night bus to Toulouse. Ange flew back to Greece, where we had planned to meet at a later stage. By this time Ola had done some psychotically long trek with a 20kgs pack & had made her way to south coast of France to meet her friend Justine who was living there...

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