Photo of the Week – Waterfall, Plitvice Lakes

This week's photo is of a waterfall.

This waterfall is one of many that can be found in the Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is the largest national park in Croatia. It is a beautiful place and I will be writing more about this place in a future post. All I can say is enjoy the photo.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep on smiling.

Steve

 

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Photo of the Week – Statue of Gregory of Nin

This week's photo is the statue of Gregory of Nin.

This statue is located in Split. It was designed and sculptured by Ivan Mestrovic. Gregory of Nin was a 10th century bishop who introduced the local language into church services replacing Latin. This move was opposed by the Pope. However, by introducing the Croatian language into the services Gregory helped to strengthen Christianity in Croatia.

The statue itself is popular with tourists. Rubbing the toe of the statue is supposed to bring you good luck.

Until the next post, stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

Balkans Day 1, 8 September – I Leave Today, What Can Go Wrong Now.

After months of planning and counting down the days the day has finally arrived to leave. I think that everybody was starting to get sick of me talking about the trip. My team I suspect were glad to see the back of me for the next three weeks. The trip has been my only focus for 2013 and it may have cost me a few sleepless nights and lost nights out.

At 7:20pm I left for the bus to take me into Birmingham. My backpack weighed heavy but it felt good to have it on my back again. No problems with the bus and I was soon at Birmingham Central Coach Station. All I need now is the coach. It arrives but was told it had pulled into the wrong bay. So everybody waited for the coach to move bays. We were going to leave late.

Once loaded the coach eventually left station. At the first set of traffic lights the driver gets off the coach and starts to check the rear indicators. This is not a good sign. We carry on until the we reach the outskirts of Coventry. The driver stops the coach, the lights had gone. Now it was time to panic as I have a connecting coach to catch. If there was a problem why did the driver say something at Birmingham. Upon advice from the garage in Birmingham the driver reset the lights. Low and behold they start to work again. Off we move towards Coventry Bus Station. What else could go wrong now.

Coventry Bus Station was chaos. It looked like that too many passengers had been loaded in Birmingham. The gentleman who was travelling with his son quite rightly was angry and refused to leave the coach. I think the driver allowed somebody to travel who was booked on another service. Anyway good fortune arrived when a woman offered to leave the coach and get another service.

We left Coventry at 22:40 over an hour later than planned. At least the coach to Gatwick Airport runs every hour, so I should in with a chance of getting on a later service. We will have to wait for the next day.

 

I’m Back

I have been back from my Balkans trip for a few days. This has given me time to reflect on the effect it has had on me. My colleagues at work have all noticed that I could not wipe the smile off my face. It was down to having the greatest of times while travelling.

I was grateful to work for allowing me to take three weeks off in the first place. This allowed me for the first time to plan a multi-destination trip. I had always wanted to visit the old Yugoslavia.

The trip itself went better than I had expected. From day 1 I met some great people who took me for what I was. Indeed, there were some people who admired me for travelling solo at my age. During the whole trip I felt alive and stress free. It is definitely something I want to do more. It was the best of times. The only problem I encountered was financial. This is one of the things I can learn from for future travels.

How do I feel now the trip is over? Surprisingly better than I thought. Last year when I returned from Prague and Bratislava I found myself bursting into tears. Now, I feel different. Maybe it is because I am a more experienced travellers. Also I felt a sense of achievement with my latest trip. It is said if you can survive a three week journey then the next step will be to undertake a longer trip. My dream is to take a long time away from work and go on a trip lasting six months or longer.

I am feeling more confident. Solo travel gives you that feeling as you have to think a lot on your feet. Meeting new people is something I feel difficult at home, yet this is not problem when travelling. After all we have something in common. Travel is the glue that binds us together. I like to feel that I have gained a level of respect from my work colleagues. They cannot stop talking to me about my trip.

What have I learnt for my next trip? The main lesson will be to be more flexible with my itinerary. I will have a starting and finishing location. This will give me the freedom to plan my destinations. Also I lave learnt not to be in one place for too long. I averaged three nights in each location. In hind site it could have been two and I could have seen more. Allow time to write my journal, update the blog and catch up on my emails. I had been lazy so I am catching up with myself.

To finish I would like to thank everybody who I have met during the trip. It has made my time more special. I wish you all safe travels.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

Photo of the Week – The Last Day of Summer

This week's photo was taken last Thursday. I had just arrived into Zagreb for the final leg of my Balkans trip.

You can see from the temperature the weather was good. The sun was shining and everything seemed fine with the world. The next day saw the temperature turn colder and with it went summer.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

Statistics – September 2013

Here are the stats for the blog in September

Posts 4

Views 384

Comments 3

September was quiet in regards to posts. This was because I was on my travels. I returned home on Monday with plenty of photos and posts that I will like to share with you. Naturally, I have no plans for any travel in October.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve