These are the days that make people feel good. Travelling with good company, to beautiful locations and having amazing experiences. I’m very thankful for Topdeck helping me with extending my adventures. The next two weeks travelling around Europe holds my top two favourite cities and both of my most memorable moments travelling.
Continuing on from my last post, “Travelling around Europe (while managing my fatigue) – the first 2 weeks”.
Saving the best for last… ‘Continue Reading’ by clicking below
Over night ferry from Italy to Greece, 1 night.
Sailing, Greece. 3 nights – Out trusty little 6-person sailing boat housed 5 of us for the next three nights. We sailed out from Plataria but didn’t sail on day 1, as it wasn’t the right conditions and a bit rough. Day 2 was even worse with 3 metre swells and large chop. I was seasick several times, as were many other people in our 7-boat group on tour. A dozen or so of us decided that we would sleep on sun-beds on the beach on the second night to get away from the constant rocking motion of the nautical life. Finally on the third day the weather was perfect for sailing all day and we even stopped off for a dip in a sheltered bay for a swim and chilling in the sea on blowup sunbeds.
Tirana, Albania. 1n – the country is still recovering from its communism days, and not many tourists visit Albania. We had a tour guide show us around town from the bus. It was more of a stopover for us to rest on our way north towards Montenegro and Croatia after sailing in Greece.
Budvar, Montenegro. A quick one-day stop into Budvar was amazing. We walked around the old town on the water and along the beautiful cliff side.
Saving the best to last on our trip…
Dubrovnik, Croatia. 2n – the drive into Dubrovnik along the cliff side roads was amazing, facing the sunset over the water. This set the scene for the next 2 days in Dubrovnik, the top of my list for my favourite cities that we visited. We went for another dusk walking tour into the eve, and out sample the nightlife at Sky Bar. We slept out of our tent, under the stars on a “warm-ish” eve for the first night. Day 2 was a free day for us to roam around the old town, try some of the delicious food, go sea kayaking for 3 hours and jumping off the 10m cliffs and lunch in a small ocean cave. The TV series “Game of Thrones” is filmed here and we saw some of the cast and the sets before heading to Café Buza, a small bar built into the rocks on the outside of the old city walls. This sunset was one of the most remarkable sunsets I’ve ever seen, shared with some incredible people, Emily and Elle, with a few beers and ciders sitting in peace on the rocks in the middle of the cliff wall. This was one sunset which will stay at the front of my memory for the rest of my short life, reminding me how amazing my life really has been!!!
Zadar, (Croatia). A little pit stop to see the ‘Pole of Shame’ and the ‘Sea Organ’ built into the marble steps approaching the water. The motion of the waves rolling into the marble tubes creates a random but harmonic melody.
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia. 2n – a free day to explore the Plitvice Lakes National Park, the largest national park in Croatia and consists of 16 lakes which cascade into each other by waterfalls. The lakes water ranges from azure to green, and grey to blue and are so clear you can see deep into the dam. The water is that clear you can easily see large old fallen trees far below the surface of the water.
Budapest, Hungary. 3n – another city in my top 3 favourites, Budapest is an incredible place! Being much more spread out than the other smaller places we’d been, we had a tour of the city from the bus which also helped to orientate ourselves with the city and its attractions. We had a few days to explore, visiting St Stephens Basilica, the Shoe Monument memorial along the river Danube, the Terror Museum (to remember those lost and the acts against humanity during WW2 which occurred in Hungary, and the torture death that took place in the building which the museum is in), Mathias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion, Gellért baths, chilled on the Chain Bridge, enjoyed some warm mulled wine and had a feast of a dinner for my final meal with the tour group. We then went out and hit up a few of the ‘ruins bars’ in the decrepit old buildings, sampling the amazing nightlife Budapest has to offer. The next morning everyone left to continue the tour north and I had 2 more days and 1 night left in Budapest to explore at my own pace. I roamed around and found where everyone goes for cool bike parts and made “a few purchases”. I then rented a bike to see all the attractions of Budapest.
A trip to Hungary wouldn’t be complete without having my favourite food, first introduced to me at the West End markets in Brisbane, the Hungarian Langos!!! Oh was it amazing! Being a tourist at my own pace and not racing to get back to the bus or set up a tent was amazing. It was also a great opportunity to get Mex-time and reflect on my life and to mentally prepare for my next scans. At the end of my second day alone around Budapest and an amazing 4 weeks with the tour group camping, the odd hostel and sleeping under the stars (and sleeping on beaches), it was time to head back to Manchester to have my first 6 month follow up with my Neurosurgeon, Dr Karabatsou.
Two weeks later I then had my next 3-monthly scan (30 October 2014). If the scan are bad, I will need further brain surgery, I could not have any more radiotherapy, I would have chemotherapy and my life expectancy would severely decrease possibly down to 1-2 years. Mentally preparing for the scans in vital to facing this disease head-on and being prepared for the good or the bad news that may eventuate.