Thursday, July 29, 2010

Krakow climbing

Poland is a country that has been through so much over the last couple of hundred years (as compared to Australia's measly 200) that it still astounds me how much life and vitality this eastern block land has.

We started off our Polish adventure in Krakow, after one of the most scenic drives i've ever been on- from Budapest through Slovenia. We'd heard some great things about this southern city, though I still didn't really know what to expect.

The first thing you notice is how modern it is, while still maintaining its almost medieval, country feel (if that makes sense at all!). A beautiful market square, the stunning Wawel Castle and the Jewish quarter keeps the history alive, while the tram network and ever emerging fashion labels take this town into the future.

The food here is also great and soo cheap! Pierogie will be something i hope to attempt at home!

As a bit of a history nerd, my visit would not have been complete without a trip to the heartbreaking grounds of Auschwitz. The expanse of the area, especially Birkenau, was shocking as you transported yourself into the minds of those who suffered here.
Eerie, depressing and moving, but a much for anyone who has the opportunity.

On a lighter note, we're off gnome hunting in Wroclaw!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fashion inc.

(Melbourne local: love the chambray shirt look...button-up shirt amazing too)
(i WANT this hat! Someone point me in the European direction)

(stockholm street style....hope my shopping purchase there are as good as hers!)

(hello lovely)

(Second image: Sara from Harper and Harley blogspot; last 3 images: stockholm street style)

The best thing about being in the Northern hemisphere is seeing the upcoming fashion roll in a whole 6 months before it refugee-boats itself to’s now sale time here (which is great for my sad looking backpacker wardrobe) so I’m anxiously awaiting what is in store for Winter/Fall 2011.

Sadly, seeing it’s a million degrees over here at the moment I won’t be able to wear anything til about October in the US...then will head home to a Aussie summer...but I’m going to push through the sweat...eww

On the current wishlist:

- Shoes, shoes, shoes: still after those elusive sandals and some sweet boots...maybe a pair of Jeffery Campbells...

- A nice white blouse and some denim shorts...yet to find the perfect fit

- Rings and bracelets abound- will post pics of the jewels bought so far (yes I know I said I’d do it ages ago!)

- Light summer shirts for over singlets and bathers

I put the Buda in Budapest

Budapest was our first real stop on the Eastern European trail, which was why it was such a shock to us when it came to how modern and Westernised this city is- and certainly not in a bad way. For a country that has only managed to scrape its way out of communism in the last 20 years, its progress to rival cities such as Prague is astounding.

It is also a very cool city (don’t mind the hideous fashion choices but many of the locals), with a great vibe...and though we didn’t get to experience much of the nightlife in our short stay, it was obvious people were there to have a good time.

A trip to one of the many thermal baths was a must, especially for a spa addict like we made our way to the Szechenji baths for a day of soaking and skin-pruning.

Though the place looked more like a public pool than luxurious baths, it was still a great experience- baths and saunas of every temperature, including a 100 degree sauna, plus a whirl pool that a kid resembling Augustus Gloop really enjoyed!

It would be great to get back to Budapest one day for a good week, and really live it up...not like the communists did!

Split'n Chips

(The sun has bleached my eyebrows so much it looks like i dont have any anymore! wheres that eyebrow tint when you need it...)

Cities like Split baffle me’s not that I don’t think that a town shouldn’t modernise with the times but when they start putting pizza places and all night bars in to a former Roman emperor’s castle it feels slightly wrong.

Even so, Dolecian’s palace and the rest of the town of Split did manage to hold my interest; with its slippery cobbled streets, sweeping port-side boulevard (though the rotten egg smell was slightly off putting) and great bars.

Split is tourist central, though different from Dubrovnik in that the majority here are young boozy Australians and Brits ready to hop on their week long booze cruise.

We did have a great couple of nights out here, including one where a 40 something DJ entertained us for the night with his chain smoking and accordion/Russian-like house tunes. The absinthe here was also pretty toxic...

Croatia was definitely beautiful and it was nice to sit and relax but the water for a couple of weeks but I was pretty ready to head off to the rest of eastern Europe for some history lessons, great architecture and cheap, cheap prices!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hvar Hvar wherever you are...

(hula hula club where we spent Jonno's birthday)

We were expecting big things from the island of Hvar after everyone we met talked it up so much and it really is a beautiful place, especially when all the other tourists are gone. It really is the most luxurious place of them all and you get the fell that many people here splash some serious cash on the beachside cafes with lounges right on the water, along with some pretty amazing accommodations.

Walking past all those people on those nicely paddled sun lounges each day as we make our way to our nice warm rocks for a day of backbreaking tanning.

Hvar is also where Jonno celebrates his birthday this year, and once again I am monetarily challenged for this I have resorted to small bits and pieces (I gave him the option of hiring a boat) that will hopefully keep him entertained for the next few weeks, including some badly needed Haviannas (see the below photo for his current pair’s condition).

We also decided to be ‘one of those’ and head to the Hula Hula Beach club, to those nicely padded lounges for the day. It was definitely worth it, besides the fact that we were too late booking our catamaran to Split for the next day and it was sold out when we got there...

Never the less we got the more expensive later boat and made it safely back to the main land.