May 8, 2013

european adventure: italy + croatia

florence sunset - twelfth avenue

florence - twelfth avenue

In anticipation of my upcoming trip to Europe, and picking up from where I left off here, I give you the final stops in my 2011 Euro adventure. From Interlaken, Switzerland we headed to Florence, Italy for a few days. Looking back at pictures now, I realize we didn’t take a lot, which is always such a shame.

High points I can recall; trying to find our hostel and failing, finally finding our hostel and realizing it was a tad on the creepy side, circling the city in search of “David” (I could remember from an earlier visit to Florence that he is on display in a sneaky, nondescript location), but it’s to be said with much embarrassment that we entered several exhibits with the assumption he was there, and then to find he was in fact not. Allen started referring to him as his friend who didn’t want to come out and play.

All in all, Florence is beautiful, a little too touristy in downtown, but catch the sunset and all is forgotten.

We took a train to Ancona, Italy which is a main port to Split, Croatia, our next destination. We boarded an overnight ferry to Croatia, which is where I discovered my sea sickness, awesome.

hvar - twelfth avenue

hvar croatia - twelfth avenue

We had a layover in Split before heading to Hvar, but I think Hvar is clearly the star here. It’s quiet and peaceful, and just stunningly beautiful. We were so excited upon our arrival, that we quickly checked-in to our hostel, changed into bathing suits and practically fell into the water.

First recommendation before jumping in the Adriatic, wear water sandals. It may look stupid, but just do it. Allen probably wishes he would have known before he went bounding into the water, crashing into the bottom and having sea urchin stickers stab him in ever crevice of his foot. I know because I was picking them out for the rest of our trip.

Second recommendation before laying in the sun near the Adriatic, wear 30+ SPF. Damn did I learn this lesson the hard way. It was cold showers and excessive drinking to forget the pain for me.

hvar sunset - twelfth avenue

hvar water - twelfth avenue

hvar streets - twelfth avenue

See what I mean about peaceful? We rented a scooter from our hostel one day to explore the island, and there were endless streets that looked just like this one. All the more time to peruse. We also rented a boat for a day to explore the water, but I will do you a solid and not include any pictures of our poor decision to buy matching fedoras. I laughed out loud typing this just thinking about it.

This concludes my love adventure in 2011. I’m looking forward to returning on Friday for another week in Munich and a few days in the Greek Islands with old pals.