CROATIA - DAY FOUR AND FIVE.

Today was our last full day in Croatia, we had our last breakfast at the same place as the other day this time sheltered inside due to a quick shower. Instead of the pancakes I had a healthy breakfast which consisted of granola, yoghurt and fruit which sadly wasn't quite as good the pancakes! 

We spent most of the morning looking for a car to rent, Jelsa is nice but due to us only having a short amount of time in Jelsa we wanted to go and explore Hvar town the most touristy spot on the island. It took us a while but we finally found one, since Hvar Island is extremely small there is one main road that goes round the island which is hardly busy, we was also told by someone there are only three petrol stations on the island. 

Hvar town is the party place of the island so if that's what you want when you go to Croatia/Hvar island head here, they have Carpe Diem full moon parties, island hopping and lots more. Saying that though we didn't actually do much whilst we was here, we had a look around then decided to walk up to the fortress through quaint streets, you had to pay to go inside so we just admired the views from the top. 

Whilst we was visiting here, the England game was on, I am not a fan of football but the other three wanted to watch the match. There was a sports bar but it was jam packed with people, surprising how many English fans were here! Instead we ended up watching the match in a restaurant. I actually felt like a bit of an idiot because we was sat in a restaurant and my guy friend was acting like a typical English football fan, banging on the table, swearing whilst people were trying to eat, can't say I was too impressed! I can't remember who they were playing pretty sure it was Wales because they ended up winning the game. 

Once the game was over we headed back to Jelsa and spent the night having a few drinks (non-alcoholic for me) before going to bed. 

That pretty much wraps up my time in Croatia with day five pretty much spent travelling back home! I can't say I have made it look like the most exciting holiday, don't get me wrong Croatia is beautiful but I really feel like I didn't go with the right people. Either way it was nice to get away for a while and explore a new place. 

Have you been to Croatia before?

CROATIA - DAY THREE - GAME OF THRONES TOUR.

If you know me you will know how much of a massive fan of Game of Thrones I am, the book and the TV show. So going to Croatia and knowing that scenes were filmed out here (Dubrovnik being used for a lot of Kings Landing, whereas Split was used for Meereen) I had to include the Game of Thrones tour in Split. The tour was the one thing I was looking forward to since booking Croatia and I couldn't wait to see the filming locations. Due to Split being two hours away on ferry today was another early start. 
game of thrones tour, split

The tour is run by Game of Thrones, Croatia who usually pick up quest from their accommodation but due to use coming in by ferry we met the group outside Diocletian's Palace, a 1700 year old palace in the heart of Split town. The palace was built by the roman emperor Diocletian after he voluntary retired, apparently at the age of 25. The choice of location may have been down to the close proximity of the ocean, with Diocletian wanting to enter his place via ship, the palace was also built on a slant to allow for sewage to flow into the sea, the palace is also located next to sulphur springs which we was told aided Diocletian's health problems but I have also read that it helped in the building of the palace. Another interesting fact is that water filters through the roof, sue to the filtering system it allows the water to be completely drinkable.
game of thrones tour, split

game of thrones, split
game of thrones tour, split
game of thrones tour, split
game of thrones, split
game of thrones, split
Diocletian's palace was used for several scenes for Game of Thrones in particular the outside was used for the streets of Meereen, we saw locations used for the 'kill the masters' scene, the killing of the unsullied by the sons of the harpy and many more. Let me know if you recognise any of locations in the photos above, it is so hard visualising the places to how they look on the TV show due to the building of props and CGI used. 

Inside the palace the most famous location would be Daenery's throne room which looks nothing like it does on TV so you have to use a lot of imagination and picture the room with a lot of light. The same room was also used for the dungeon where Rhaegal and Viserion were kept. On top of the tour being about Game of Thrones we also learnt a lot of about Croatia and its history, the guides (there was two of them) were extremely knowledgeable which made the tour that extra bit special. Diocletian's palace is stunning but if you go into the basement you will see a thick wall of mud/rock, although already enormous all of the palace is yet to be excavated, it also has a rich history. The basement etc. are all complete Roman builds whereas the outside/top layers have influences of many different cultures. 
game of thrones tour, split

After exploring the palace we were transferred to the next part of the tour in air-conditioned cars. The next part of Meereen was filmed at Klis Fortress, perfectly disguised in the mountains. The fortress itself has an history of over 2000 years, the most famous being the its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Captain Peter Kruzic led the defense of the fortress against the Turkish invasion that lasted for more than two and a half decades with the Ottomans finally occupying the fortress in 1537, we were told by the guides that they managed to enter the palace by climbing through a sky toilet. But you know if a zombie apocalypse ever happened a fortress like this could come in handy... Klis Fortress also has a money shot view of Split, even if you aren't into GOT or wanting to know about the history behind the fortress the view alone is worth the visit. 
game of thrones, split

Klis Fortress was home to filming locations that I instantly recognised, used for several scenes but the most memorable for me is the road to Meereen where Daenerys freed the slaves and later crucified the masters. There also a small part filmed here for Kings Landing where Tyrion is escaping the dungeon through the tunnel then goes onto kill Tywin, the tunnel itself is quite small and banging your head can happen!  
game of thrones, split

The end of the tour was at a 600 year old stone mill on  Žrnovnica River, this place still makes flour ans has been in the same family for generations. Being resrourceful they grow all their food, make their own wine etc. It was here that were saw our last filming location, the scene with Missandei and Grey Worm are bathing. It was here we had traditional Croatian food, with homemade wine and water which was all delicious. Being the only vegetarian I had a whole large plate full of roasted vegetables, along with bread and salad and I somehow managed to eat it all!! At the end of the tour the guides showed us photos of all the filming locations in conjunction to how they look in the show, they also had photos from the shoot of Missandei and Grey Worm, if you have seen the scene it lasts for around three seconds, it was crazy seeing how many people were involved for such a small scene!  

The tour was so much fun and if you are a fan of Game of Thrones and near by I would recommend it, the guides were amazing with a clear passion for the show and the history of the places we visited. Game of Thrones have filming locations all over the world most of which have tours, let me know if you've been to any. 

CROATIA - DAY ONE AND TWO

During the middle of June I went to Croatia, this holiday was booked in January a somewhat mad decision because my goal this year was to go away three times and booking it meant this was the third trip to be booked (yet first one to happen.) The upcoming months I was skeptical about the whole trip, mainly due to the people I was going with, booking with a friend who said there was going to be a group of us in what ended in being his brother and girlfriend and me and him which instantly gave of all the wrong impressions and left me feeling like I was being dragged on a couples holiday with someone who wasn't my boyfriend. Not to mention that my friendship with this guy on my part was starting to wain! But anyway despite all of this I wanted to have a good time since I had paid for it, our destination was Jelsa on Hvar Island a two hour ferry ride from Split. 

After being up since two a.m. and arriving on Hvar Island in the late afternoon, I was a little bit groggy to say the least and slightly ticked of that everyone insisted on getting taxi's everywhere rather than the bus (my spending money budget was low on this trip!) But thankfully we arrived in Jelsa safely even if we was welcomed by a torrential downpour. To put it bluntly a lot of things on this holiday annoyed me and I decided to not quite sugarcoat it because not all holidays work out to plan etc. Way back when this holiday was booked since I would be sharing a room with this friend who is a guy I asked him to make sure he gets single beds, for him to say he couldn't but there is a sofa in the apartment that he could sleep on, as nice as the apartment was there was no sofa, we would be sharing a bed... (A lot of personal information I will skip out here, but I wasn't happy about this for many reasons, if you really want to know then ask!) After the guy had proceeded to pull a strop about this, I tried to remain positive and coax him out of because I didn't want this to ruin my holiday. 

Thankfully I had the bright idea to bring a raincoat with me so with that on we took a walk into Jelsa town, down many steep stairs which gave me enough exercise for the whole week, going up and down. Due to the rain Jelsa was coated in mist so thick that you could barely look out on the harbor and see the sea. It was a quiet, picturesque town, I wasn't really looking for a party holiday or to go out drinking every night so I was happy that tourism on this part of the island seemed fairly laid-back. After walking around a few shops and picking up snacks we headed back to the apartment (those steps left me so out of breath every time!) and I ended up having a quick nap hoping that the rain would stop.
Jelsa, Hvar Town

In the evening thankfully the sun had appeared so all four of us headed out for food, and to admire Jelsa without the mist, beforehand you couldn't even see the mountains that surrounded Jelsa. Food is always an issue for me when I go away due to being a vegetarian (and trying to go vegan) but most restaurants seemed to have at least one vegetarian option. After stopping at a bar to have cocktails (only one for me) we headed back due to being really tired, well I could barely keep my eyes open. 
jelsa, havr, croatia

We woke up to SUNSHINE! The view from our room was quite spectacular now that all the clouds had shifted. We had breakfast at this restaurant that I spotted the night before that advertised vegetarian/healthy food although I can't remember the name of it. I opted for the American style pancakes with berries which was delicious, I love pancakes but I so used to having thin ones that thick ones were such a real treat. 
Jelsa, Croatia

The plan for today was to head to the beach instead we bought snorkeling gear and rented a boat. After a quick demonstration and map in hand we headed out into the ocean, which was quite nerve-wrecking at first because I had an image of us somehow crashing the boat but once we set of we was fine. I did notice that there are quite a lot of nude beaches or rocks dotted around, when you aren't used to it it can be a little alarming but I have to admire people who can go nude because I wouldn't have the guts to flaunt myself for everyone to see. 
jelsa, croatia

The first place we anchored up was quite far from shore, after jumping into the water I didn't realise how deep it was and the current was pretty strong. I like swimming and being in the ocean but I also like to know if I need to I can get back to shallow water so we hopped back into the boat and headed towards on island marked out on the map. The water here was slightly cooler but with less of a current with deep and shallow areas, it also felt like we had our own little island to ourselves. I haven't been snorkeling in such a long time but on family holidays it was always my favourite thing to do, spending hours in the water looking for fish, this time was no exception spending up to three hours just swimming around, although my back did catch the sun a little it was so much fun and I got to test out my gopro for the first time and managed to catch a few photos of the few fish that were swimming around. I didn't want to get back on the boat even though my hands had turned wrinkly and the water was beginning to feel a lot colder, the water was also incredibly salty! 

Back on land and after drying off, sticking with an activity day we rented bikes. Bikes have never been one of my strong points, as a kid I was fine  I used to love going on bike rides, riding my bike on dirt paths, up and down hills etc. But one time I had an accident that had be flying over the handle bars and splitting my chin open so as an adult I am so much more cautious. But I would highly recommend renting bikes as another way to explore, again not being the fittest person ever my legs felt like jelly trying to move myself up some steep hills but it was a challenge for me and I like to challenge myself and again it was fun. We stopped off at a little coven with a pebble beach, wasn't too kind on the feet but we went paddling and spotted some Shrimp who would quite happily climb onto your feet which in my eyes is pretty cute. 

That pretty much wraps up day one and two in Croatia, let me know if you have any summer travel plans.  


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