Croatia, Slovenia, Austria
10.10.2007 30 °C
(It's Krystal typing atm if you'd like to know dad :P)
Sunday 23rd September - Dubrovnik
The next morningout tour manager gave us a quick tourof Dubrovnik. The old town within the walls is actually quite small. We were able to pay to walk around the city on the tops of these walls. Took us around an hour to do so and had awesome views of the ocean and cliffs, the city within the walls and also the newer part of the town. They still had old cannons in some sections where they would defend the city from sea attacks. We also got to see some of the damage from the 1992 attacks from Serbia.
Make love not war!!!
After that the whole group hopped on a private boat and headed out to two different swimming spots. We both got to jump off the front of the boat which was pretty cool.
We had a walk about dinner that night, ended up teeing up with another couple, Nick and Katherine and having a lovely dinner pretty much on the port, watching the ocean with our very own pianist playing in the back ground. We spent up a little that night. And even though we have a great group was good to get away from them all for the night. Was in bed fairly early as Matt was a little sleep deprived from the night before!
Monday 24th September - Zadar
We were up early today to make our way to Zadar (in Croatia still). Spent alot of time on the bus but we drove alongthe Dalmation coast which had amazing views of the Adriatic Sea.
Stopped off at Croatia's second largest city, Split for lunch and got to see Diocletion's Palace, or what's left of it. We also got to pass through the country Montenegro for a service stop, does that count as having been to a country?
Arrived at Zadar pretty late, had dinner at the hostel and then headed into town for a night tour. Wasn't really much to see but there was a concrete paved parth running along the sea near the port which had funny looking holes in it. The holes made the nicest noise, was almost like music because every timea soft wave went underneath they would make an organ type noise.
Went to a bar and then headed back to the hostel as it was a Monday night and not alot was happening in town.
Tuesday 25th September - Solvenia
Bussed it up again today until we made it to Ljubljana in Solvenia. We only had an hour and a half in town but from what we saw it looked like a very cute european city with paved streets.
We got a cable car up to a castle on top of the hill and had 360 degree views of the city. Had to run to get some lunch and make it back to the bus on time.
Headed back toour cabbins and had one of our best meals so far, was a stew type sauce with gnocchi in it. Strange but yum! Had a few drinks at the bar and someone told us a little later that it was just about to close. So we both went and stocked up on drinks. After that I headed back to our cabin as everyone was pretty drunk but I had superman syndrome, Matt went a few doors down for some more drinks.
I started reading he Contiki brochure but by then the stocked up drinks I had we kicking in and I fell asleep. I must have passed out as an hour or two later I woke up to Matt nearly bashing our glass door down, he'd been knocking for a good 40 minutes he reckons and was just about to organise to sleep somewhere else. Whops! And I thought I was a light sleeper??
Wednesday 26th September - Austria
Yes on the bus again today until we made it to Vienna in Austria. Had another walk about dinner, Matt and I decided to slip away down an off street and ask for a table for 2! Had a lovely dinner with some wine and then met up with the rest of the group who had choosen to go to the Mozart Concert. I don't know how I did it but I managed to convince Matt to come along.
Thursday 27th September - Austria
Woke up ready to go on our walking tour of the city, however it was bucketing down outside! First bad day of weather so far so I guess we can't complain tho. Instead of doing the walking tour and becoming drowned rats we decided not to risk getting sick and instead go to the museumof nature and science, which was only across the road from where we were.
The museum had two levels main levels, the top being all types of stuffed animals which was really cool to look at, there were hundreds if not thousands. Made our way to the bottom floo and saw a 25 000 year old man made statue (that wasn't a typo). It was pretty amazing considering that greek history dates back only 3000 years. Looks like an obesse lady with no face. Also saw dinosour bones and fossil foot prints of a 270 million year old animal.
We grabbed some lunch at the cafe, get a load of Matt's weiner!
After that we jumped back on the bus and got to visit the original Schnaps shop/factory. Got to do some taste testing which included a shot of abscents. Tasted like acid! They also had an alcholic drink that had 23 carrot gold flakes in it. So yeh we currently have gold floating in our bellies.
After that we had a traditional Austrian dinner oprganised for us, about 40 minutes out of town in a wooden building in the forest. Got to try their snitzel (wrong spelling, like the rest of my words!), thought it waspretty much the same as what we have back home, but just a little thinner and crispier. Also may of had a few drinks!
Friday 28th September - Tyrol
We were trying to makeour way fromVienna to a little country town in Tyrol called Hofgarden. But on our way we made a special stop over at an Austrian Concentration camp called ............ This was absolutely amazing, for the wrong reasons tho. ....... was the last concentration camp to be liberated in Austria. It was a working camp rather than an ulimination camp. However of the 200 000 people that passed through only 90 000 survived.The prisioners were made to carry large stones up a huge set of steps known as the 'stairs of death' so that the Germans could use the stone for their statue making. The camp functioned from 1938 to 1945.
When we first got there we watched a 45 minute film about the camp. The living condtions and torture that they went through was unblievable. They found notes written on the walls, and one of them said "if there is a god he will have to beg for my forgiveness'.
They were given 5 spoon fulls of food every 3 days, and if they tried to eat a 6th they were killed. When there was bad weather they were made to lie down to form a human mat so that the guards could walk over them and not dirty their shoes. They also did experiments like giving them needles full of petrol, random things like that.
When they first arrived they were told 'you have just walked through the entry, the exit is over there' and pointed to the cremetorium.
The majority of the prisioners died from exhaustion on the actual steps while carrying the stone. They would continually stumbe and fall causing everyone else around them to tumber down the steps aswell. Matt and I actually went down the steps and back up again and we were buggered ourselves.
Can safely say that and our World Vision visit have been the two most meaningful experiences so far.
After that we jumped back on the bus, all pretty depressed and headed to Hofgarden for the night.
Once we got there I gave Matt a hair cut. I had to perform in front of an audience coz everyone one couldn't wait for me to stuff it up and matt having to shave his head. But I came through with the goods and everyone was dissapointed.
We had P party that night, Matt dressed up as a Palestinian and I went as a Professor. We picked up some water pistols for matt in town and a lab coat thingie for me that was only 5 euros.
(It's funny coz I'm actually typing this from our diary in egypt, and posting that picture, I hope no one is looking at the computer otherwise we may not make it back home alive!)