October 28th, 2011
73 notes ·

Flashback —> Coastin’ Croatia

Way-back-when I was thinking about my trip, choosing the countries, picking places to see, things to do, I knew I wanted a ‘vacation type’ county to visit post Berlin marathon, but pre “strenuous” hike to Base Camp Mt. Everest.  All my running friends were heading to Munich for Oktoberfest, but after seeing the prices of the the beer tents and accommodation, I called that Boy up and on a whim said, "what about Croatia? I’ve always heard Croatia was beautiful. And cheap!"  The next day we booked flights and a car, which was all the planning we did for the entire trip, and I think what made the trip more than perfect.

Fun Facts:

Where is Croatia? Across the Adriatic sea from Italy (used to be in Yugoslavia, but on June 25, 1991 it declared its independence).

People Deets? 4.5million people in 56,542 sq km. English widely spoken.

Cities Visited? Split, Hvar, Durbrovnik (must. see. city), Primosten (Map of our route here)

Transportation? A Hyundi Accent -  £240 for the week

Accommodation? We winged it, wherever we saw a place we liked, we just looked for a little, blue “apartment” sign, and knocked on the door to the people’s house.  We found some gorgeous places averaging  averaging €40/night (this was in low season).

The Food?
Delicious. But then coming from me, that means nothing as I love all food everywhere. But if you like steak and wine and ice-cream, Croatia is the place for you.  Granted, we didn’t exactly eat on a “backpacker’s budget,” but if you walked into small beach front cafes - they were still quite cheap (at least for low season).

The Beaches?
I’m a huge (huge!) beach person —> if you look at my trip’s itinerary, you’ll see I’m actually hitting up some of the world’s best beaches because I love them that much.  Croatia’s beaches were rocky, and pebbly, but the water was spectacular; super blue and super clear.  If you found a groove (Homer Simpson style) in the rocks, the beaches were quite nice, but the pebbles did hurt my feet a little. I don’t want to persuade anyone not to go to Croatia - as I think it’s a “must see” country, but the beaches did photograph better than they were.

Would I recommend it? Yes! But not in high season (July - Aug).  We went in September which was perfect! The weather was 28 or 29 degrees every day with clear, blue skies,  and there were hardly any people around, which meant everything was cheap. I knew the water would be blue-blue-blue, but what I didn’t know about Croatia was that they have a spectacular mountain range along the coast.  I seriously think the drive along the coast must be one of the most beautiful drives the world has to offer - soaring mountains ahead, blue seas next to you, and little islands dotted around everywhere. Spectacular! Not to mention the ancient cities looking like movie-sets around each corner.

Split, Croatia Highlights (My Fav City!)

If you ever find yourself in Split be sure to head up the Belltower (10KR/person or $1.80Cnd makes it VERY worth it - don’t let the sketchy stairs scare you)

Cliche Croatian scenes everywhere you looked.

This was our balcony the 1st night - looking out over roofs of Croatia.

It looked like a movie scene (note. we had dinner on that patio right there. NOM)

Gorgeousness everywhere you looked. This was a 293AD palace, which is the main attraction in Split. 

Hvar (island off the Coast) Highlights

Coastin the Coast Highlights

Dubrovnik Highlights! (Must. See. City!!) Despite the city being crazy with tourists, it’s seriously an incredible place to go as the entire city sits in an old castle.

(those may, or may not be drunk eyes… )

Primosten Highlights (I literally googled: “best beach town in Croatia” and then we drove there)

(view from our room!)

October 7th, 2011
255 notes ·

A boy.
                                                                                                                A girl.

He is amazing. Actually, probably one of the kindest, nicest people I know.  A good soul, if you will. Someone who makes me want to be a better person. Rare to find. So, so rare.  

We started our friendship nearly a year ago, and up until Croatia, it was just that, a friendship. Between a girl and a boy, who simply seemed to have a lot in common.  He watched me fall for another guy, then helped me get over him when I got hurt, he was there for me whenever I needed him, and always a comfort to me on down days when I needed a friend to talk to. I heard about a girl hurting him, and watched him set goals and then kick, them, out, the, door. Friends. That was us. And although (I’ll be the first to admit it), I’ve been quite sketchy to him over the last year (xo), he was always there when I needed him, there to talk me off a cliff, or into going for a run when I really didn’t want to.

And over last few months of planning Croatia, and anticipation for the trip, we remained good friends. Because, well, that’s all the trip was going to be. A boy. A girl. A much needed relaxing, beach vacation after kicking the Berlin marathon’s ass. He swears he didn’t think anything more would happen (although, I give him the serious side-eye on this one), and yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be a grown up here, and confess I had seriously hoped something would.

And my good friends, that it did. (lucky me!)

Croatia was like living in a movie to me.  If anything, the movie would be annoyingly perfect to watch.  Not a cloud was seen in 8 days, crystal blue water everywhere one looked, contrasted by giant mountains above, with ancient, Roman palaces and castles, complete with secret alleyways to be made out in.  See? Perfect.

He kissed me the first night. 

Despite batting my eyelashes, and giving him every kiss-me-now-(!) sign I knew, I was still taken aback. But? But it was good. So, so good. So good, I pushed him onto his back and gave him my I-like-you-a-lot kiss (only special boys get this).

We spent the next 12 days in a romantic, vacation type movie, but (oh-so-sadly) always knowing it would come to an end.  The stolen kisses, the hand holding, the private beaches, the flirting, the pushing the other person against ancient wall and kissing them, the lying in bed until noon, it all had an expiry date. And it was soon. So soon.

Too soon.

I was leaving for the main part of my trip the following Thursday and from the start, had never intended to have a boyfriend while traveling, or, for that matter, when I got to London. I wanted to be single. I need to be single.  This trip is about me. Not boys. Or kisses. Or love. He knew all this, of course, right from the start, and I knew he didn’t want a girlfriend. He’s recently out of a five year relationship, and has had one hell of a year all about him.  5 marathons and a new outlook later, the long term timing was off for us, but for 12 perfect days it was on.

So, so on.

And so it was settled then. Croatia was what it was.  A moment out of both our lives to go from him, and her, to us. All the time knowing, in the back of our minds, it would come to an end. And soon.

So we did what we set out to do, and lived in each and every moment we were given. And? sigh, you guys, I fear there is no way to express in words the perfection of the trip; the private beaches, little Croatian apartments, windows down, hands on thighs, and small glances that told each other the world. We could have been written into a scene from a movie.  But a scene, that’s all it was. A moment in time with each other. 

And as I kissed the boy goodbye last night, tears in my eyes, we said let it be, because for now, that’s all we’ve got. 

I can’t thank him enough for it either.  And I’m sure some readers will slightly cringe with what I’m about to say, but it was through his kind words, his touch, his kisses, that pushed me in the perfect place for this trip.  Before him, before Croatia, I didn’t believe in myself, didn’t have faith in myself, was unsure of everything and everyone around me.  He made me sure.  He made me see I was beautiful; curves, flaws, hips, the parts that jiggle —> all, of, me. He made me feel sexy.  No makeup. Hair fuzzy. Glasses on. I was sexy.  On a beach, in a bikini, when I would ask him to look the other way so I could “run into the water without him seeing,” he’d refuse because he wanted to watch me.  He didn’t see the flaws that I saw, the things (little and big) I so desperately wanted to change, instead, when he saw doubt in my eyes, he’d kiss my forward and whisper, “you’re perfect,” but the truth is, he was.

And now, as I type this, from Kathmandu, Nepal, with all my heart am so thankful for the last to weeks I shared with him. I learned so much about myself, as well as a remarkable man, who I am certain is destined for great things.  We’ll go our separate ways, see where life takes us, with the uttermost respect and kind thoughts towards each other, and perhaps (fingers and toes crossed!) our paths will mingle again, but no matter what, and until then, we’ll always have Croatia. 

October 3rd, 2011
52 notes ·

today. today was perfect.

stay forever croatia.

October 2nd, 2011
171 notes ·

the plates had just been cleared and the table was finally empty.  i put my hands on the table, and just as I had wanted, he placed his in mine. i smiled. he smiled. and i felt his leg brush mine.  just then i glanced over and saw the little girl, a table over, watching us. she quickly smiled and looked away, embarrassed she was caught. but i kept watching her, out of the corner of my eye, and she kept watching us. giggling, smiling. observing. she was fascinated by us.

i remember being her so well. seeing couples when i was little. boys and girls together. holding hands. stealing kisses. touching. when i was a little girl i would watch couples in their twenties with great intrigue. they all seemed so old. so fabulous. so happy. i would always watch them and then imagine my future self. at night, replaying what i hoped for with my barbies and “ken.”

tonight, watching the little girl watch us, made me feel a little old, but also smile, i often think my life is nothing like my eight year old self imagined, especially how up-in-the-air it is with this trip, and the whole i-am-so-far-away-from-marriage-babies-pensions-houses-real-life thing, but tonight, at dinner, i realized i was exactly the woman my eight year old self imagined she would become - fabulous and happy.

October 2nd, 2011
60 notes ·

Driving the Coast of Croatia.

fanta, maps, sleep, cookies (sorry - “biscuits”), wine, and then some more wine, beer, suntan cream, pebbles, stolen kisses, mountains, ferries, red tiles, feet up, windows down, sunglasses, steak, pizza, dancing, more steak, mcds searching [and failing], hand holding, water bottles, real coke, private beaches, people watching, small town observing, stairs, omigod so many stairs, clear water, kuna to euros to pounds to dollars, jagerbombs, laughing at kids, day drunk, black out drunk, dancing, singing, towels that feel like cardboard, missed ferries, world’s most expensive taxis, sunsets, open roads, breathtaking views, irish pubs, ice-cream cones, photos, warm water, sunny skies, dresses, marble, flip flops, passports, cable cars, old lady eating shell fish right out of the water, pink bikinis, man sherpa, chewing gum, super hot showers, then super cold showers, castle exploring, alley way finding, bell tower hiking, radio station seeking, life.

October 1st, 2011
104 notes ·

dancing in my towel to plan b, drinking red wine, and getting ready for dinner in a castle. just gonna go ahead and pretend this is my life forever.

oh! and also. broke out the bikini for day number two of i don’t give a f*ck what you think. the operation went rather well. the boy is pretty great too. and flattering. and awesome. we laugh a lot. and-and-and, i had a delicious gelato today before swimming in crystal clear water, but post taking a cable car to the top of a mountain to look out over the city.

i am happy. so happy. drunk happy at 6pm (truth.) and this. this is the life that surrounds me at this moment, so you better believe i’m basking in every last drop of it.

October 1st, 2011
77 notes ·

Queen of the castle for a day.

September 30th, 2011
389 notes ·

This one time, in Croatia, I wore my first bikini.

not perfect. but it’ll do :)

ps. this is a big (huge!) deal.

September 30th, 2011
61 notes ·

Croatia coastin’ today…

Heading south, along the coast, from Split to Dubrovnik and stopping wherever our hearts’ desire, notably in small, postcard towns. 

Gonna be a good, good day!

Welcome! I'm Liz, the girl relieved the Internet has 0 calories. South African by birth; Canadian on paper. A marathoner. CrossFitter. Paleo (somewhat) eater. Traveler. Cheese lover. And I think you're great!

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