Six. Ladies. On a boat. For a week. aaaaaaand go.
I’d never been sailing before, so this was a new adventure for me. And I’d always been pretty desperate to go to Croatia – ever since half my life ago when an old teacher of mine told me it was beautiful, cheap and less touristy place to go than Italy. I still haven’t been to Italy, but am still also very keen to go there too!
So, backpack dusted off (it still had my final flight ticket on it from returning from Asia last year – cue nostalgia moment…), packed up and ready to go, I met the other ladies at Gatwick, ready to go…except…
6 girls and a 6-foot baby
Starting our trip was not without it’s issues – though Sunsail (who we booked the holiday with) were, for the most part, excellent – there was a slight fail with our booking. As I think I may have mentioned…there were 7 ladies going on this holiday, however, upon checking in, one of the lasses was asked ‘where is your baby?’.
The ‘baby’ in question was unfortunately and hilariously late, leaving us to giggle at the thought that our above 6-foot, 28 year old friend could be classed as a ‘baby’. At which point, she arrives (with a ‘moon boot’ on her leg from a recent injury), backpack in tow and excellent stetson on her head. Finally, the airport staff understood. She was not, infact, a baby.
This did cause some issues, as there was no seat booked for her on the plane, due to her being a baby and obviously sitting on one of the other girls’ laps…
After all of this (and I can only call it this word, I am British after all) palava, we eventually managed to get all 7 ladies on the plane and on our way to Croatia…!
Intro to Croatia…
On the plane, the views out of the window at the world below was pretty spectacular. If you don’t believe me – go on Google Earth and look at the Croatia coast near Dubrovnik!
So we got to the airport and hopped on our bus to the marina where we were to meet our sailboat – and home for the week.
During that bus ride, I found myself thinking that the Croatian countryside and style of buildings looked fairly similar to some of Andalucia in Southern Span, though nobody else agreed with me. Go for yourself and let me know what you think! We took the coastal road, driving high in the hills watching the changing landscape alongside the sea on our left. After a short while, it became more urban, and we found ourselves looking down upon Dubrovnik old town. Wowza. It looked pretty pretty, and I couldn’t wait to explore!
Once we got to the marina, we had a short wait until our lovely boat, Anastacia, was ready for us. We spent our time having some lunch and speculating about our upcoming week, whilst marvelling at the beauty of this part of the world – the sea came into the mainland almost like a river, at which point our marina was situated. On the other side of the sea-river, was a quaint church and surrounding buildings, behind which were some pretty impressive hills, sloping off behind the horizon into Croatian countryside.
For the ladies who had been sailing before, they were perhaps more enamoured than I, having spent several trips, breaks, holidays on boats considerably smaller, for them, that was a pretty epic piece of luxury! Apparently I don’t have any photos of the inside of the boat, so I can’t fully explain what it was like, but here goes…
At the stern, the main ‘hub’ of activity, were two long ‘sofas’ either side of a fold-out table, with a steering wheel behind the stern end of each sofa, and some technical equipment in-between. In-between the bow end of the sofas, was the entrance inside the boat, 4 or 5 steps down took us into the saloon – a kitchen along one side, and a seating area on the other side.
In the stern end were 2 double cabin, one either side, with the boats 2 toilets (‘heads’) next door. In the bow end of the boat, the other end of the kitchen/living area, were 2 other cabins. In total, this boat could sleep 10 (including turning the dining table into a bed), so 7 of us were going to be comfy.
DUBROVNIK, NOT JUST KING’S LANDING
Aa a Game of Thrones fan, Dubrovnik was always fascinating as a place to visit for me, the home of politics, tragedies and to be honest – arseholes – of the Seven Kingdoms.
A quick change and off we went in a taxi to Dubrovnik, where we (obviously) headed straight inside the city walls to the Old Town. Well – I’ve seen several European Old Town’s in my life – but never one as amazing as this. Amazingly beautiful and amazingly huge, Dubrovnik seems to somehow ignore modernity, yet unlike many Old Towns I’ve been to, this was a working town, not just the ‘pretty part’ for tourists.
Endless side-streets, all more like a passage through time than the last, I got a little caught behind the group, stopping to take photos every few feet of this idyllic urban scenery. I don’t think I’ve every been in a city centre as consistently beautiful throughout as this before.
Although we only spent one evening in Dubrovnik, we still had a good wanter – up the side streets into the residential areas, stumbling behind a huge church on an outdoor theatre, where a rehearsal was taking place (at midnight). A bit random, but interesting nonetheless!
Finally we had a drink at a bar perched on the side of a cliff looking out to the black sea and the black sky – dotted with some seriously bright starts, before heading back to the marina and going for our first night’s sleep on the lovely Anastacia, to be ready and raring to go on our first day of sailing. Not a bad first day!
I think here is where I’ll break the Croatia story, as it’s still only the first day, and I’m about 1,000 words in…watch this space for more!