Friday, 7 August 2015

20150722 - 20150802 Blanes, Spain to Croatia

22/07/2015 - Blanes, Spain to Cannes, France

So sad to leave Blanes, Spain - we have had a fabulous time here.  One of the many reasons that I loved it here is the fact that the water has such high quantities of salt, when I get in the water it is like gravity doesn't exist, I feel like parts of my body are 21 again - oh how I wish.  Dave has loved his time here and has decided on exactly what type of breasts he would like me to get, he has had plenty of opportunity (and has taken all of them - in the name of research of course) to check them all out.

After a nice drive to Cannes and checking into our hotel, it was time to check out the surrounding area.  OMG - this city has a lot of money, the size of some of the yachts /ships in the marina and around are just unbelievable.  Its about 5:00pm, the sun is still shining brightly so its time to hit the beach.  Oh and I must mention that yesterday when we went shopping Dave decided that he was sick of me nagging him about using too much of my Lancome makeup - I think it was more the fact that I said it was a bit too light for him, not really his color.  So after shopping he comes home with his own BB cream which has 50+SPF.  So after we put our make-up on (and he checks with me to see if he has applied it ok) it was off for a swim.  The water temperature is about 28 degrees, just perfect for me.

23/07/2015 - Cannes, France

Karleigh and Callum have arrived safely - it is great to see them both and it looks like they have had a fantastic time in England and Paris.  After we get settled into the apartment it is off for a swim and a look around Cannes.

24/07/2015 - St Raphael and St Tropez, France

Well as if Cannes wasn't depressing enough we decided to make a day trip to St Tropez.  On the way we stopped at St Raphael - this was one town that wasn't so touristy or showing of so much wealth, and out of all the towns we visited on the French Riveria, this one felt more like our type of town - cheaper wine and food as well.

St Tropez was so depressing, the amount of money in the yachts and ships was obscene, I have never seen anything like it.  Whilst the water craft was just enormous - we decided that if you didn't own a huge ship or yacht to moor here - it wouldn't be your type of town.

25/07/2015 - Ile St Margaret.

We were depressed enough so decided to head over to one of the islands off Cannes - would like to say we travelled by a ship, but no for us plebs it was just a ferry ride with the rest of the plebs.  The water was crystal clear as we travelled on over and the view looking back to Cannes was stunning.  As you do, we decided to head for the beach and go for a swim - well this beach was rocky and Dave and I walked down the beach like we were walking on knives, it was amazing that we made it to the water without hurting ourselves, we may have had a few falls along the way.  But it was worth it, the water was crystal clear and a nice temperature.  The water is unbelievable blue and clear - but our sandy beaches back home are still the best.

After a lovely day on the island, and a shower, Karls and I decided it was time for some retail therapy, we were actually going out to get something for Callum's birthday - the boys said they would go to one of the pubs we had seen the previous day (it had a sports bar) and watch the rugby.  So after our shopping, it was time to meet the boys, we walked to the pub - mmm couldn't find them anywhere, so we walked up and down the main strip, still no sight of them, getting a bit frustrated now... off to McDonalds to get wifi and try to call them - nope no answer.  Okay our last chance was to go back to the hotel and see if we could find them - nope not there either - okay enough's enough we are getting hungry - and as most people know I'm not a nice person when I'm hungry - so Karls and I decided we were going to head to a restaurant - oh and we'd make it a nice seafood restaurant.  So as you can see we may have lost the boys, but we found these, and ordered some nice cold wine to wash them down with - pretty good trade off I think.

They eventually found us just as we were eating dessert - and whilst we had a lovely meal, trying the local cuisine, I think they were concentrating on trying all the local beers.

26/07/2015 - Cannes to Corps, France

It's Callum's birthday and he is a lucky man - Karl's bought him a little wooden sailing boot and we bought him a bat and ball for the beach - very popular here in France and Spain, so our shopping trip may not have that successful - but hey its the thought that counts - and we did buy him kids cards in French.

We had a lovely drive through the countryside and decided it was time to look for accommodation - mmm stopped at a few hotels and found out that some of them didn't open on a Sunday - and a lot were on vacation - go figure.  We did find a lovely hotel in Corps, were a great meal was had by all and celebrations continued on for Callum's birthday.  Some of the little towns that we find along the way are real hidden gems.

27/07/2015 - Corps - Mont Blanc / Chamonix, France

Before leaving Corps it was time for Karls and Callum to hit Lac du Sautet - Callum has said that every opportunity he gets he will swim in the lakes - no matter how cold.  I think I'll just take the photos.

On our way to Mont Blanc / Chamonis, we made a detour to travel up the Alpe d'huez - one of the mountain stages of the Tour de France.  It certainly is an impressive mountain - and I was very happy we were in a car and not trying to climb the mountain by bike - along with hundreds of other people.  Dave did keep saying how he would like to give it a go. We ran into a couple of Australians on the top - one of them did it 2hrs 30mins with a number of stops, the other no stops and 1h 30mins - know which one I would be. It has an average grade of 8.1% and is 13.2km in length.

Once we made it to the top, Karls, Callum and I decided it was time to give the Luge a go - the Big Fella decided he was going to be the official photographer.  He had done it before.

When we all got to the top we decided the motto was no braking - seemed like a good idea at the time.  It felt like Karls and I were going at least 60kms an hour - even though Dave's says it was more like 20kms.  Callum was a bit more cautious.  Dave thought he was the sensible one - we just thought he was a big scaredy cat.  And looking at the photos it really does look like Callum has been using the brakes.

We then found our way to Lake Annecy  - the 3rd largest lake in France and known as Europe's cleanest lake.  So time for Callum and Karls to go for another dip.

27/07/2015 - Chamonix / Mont Blanc

Well we have certainly seen some spectacular scenery along the way but none as beautiful as Chamonix / Mont Blanc - spectacular, Mont Blanc is the highest mountain (4,807 m) in Europe excluding the Caucasus mountains.  Chamonix was the first town to hold the winter olympics.

This town has such a great vibe and looks so spectacular - Dave and I would love to spend a winter holiday here - but unfortunately $'s maybe an issue - Dave keeps threatening to send me back to work - so sorry everyone doesn't look like a ski season in the French Alps.

28/07/2015 - Chamonix

Today we have booked in to go Paragliding tomorrow - something we are all looking forward to, it is amazing how popular it is here and how steep the cliff is that we are going to jump off - fingers crossed.

Karl's and Call went for a hike whilst Dave and I went and explored the town and went to see the Glacier and Ice Caves.  The ruggedness of the mountain tops just makes for some spectacular scenery.  I think we may have been spoilt for Glaciers and Ice Caves in Alaska - or maybe its just the crowds.

After a busy day - we all went out for dinner.  We came across a beautiful muriel on the side of one of the buildings - it was so real, that the Big Fella thought that there were actual balcony's and even had a bet with Karleigh - he lost.

29/07/2015 - Chamonix

Unfortunately, the weather isn't the best and there is a bit of wind around, so our para-gliding has been cancelled until tomorrow.  We had already decided that we were going to spend another day / night here in Chamonix - it is so pretty and a lot bigger than we thought.  There are 3 ski fields which appear to all be linked by cable cars.

Well after a walk around, the three of us Karl's, Callum and I all decided to give the luge another go, this time it goes for about 1.5kms and was on tracks, so you couldn't fall out.  So yet again - our motto 'no braking' is being called out  Karl's absolutely hooted down, no brake was used it was just full steam ahead, I may have taken my hands of the accelerator once, but I didn't use the brakes - and then came Callum.  We have all decided that it was an absolute thrill and loved every minute of it.

After our delicious dinner - the mussels here in France and Spain are unbelievable delicious, we went to find some crepes.  So after our order - with each one of us expecting crepes, our desserts were placed on our table, there were 3 crepes and one ice cream, yep Callum ordered of the ice cream menu.

30/07/2015 - Chamonix

Today's the today, that we run off a cliff into the clouds.  At first the weather was pretty bad with a lot of clouds around, so unfortunately we couldn't go as early as planned so we just enjoyed the scenery and waited.

After a few hours wait, it was time to get ready.  They were going to take Karl's and I down first and then Dave and Callum.  I was off first and oh wow - it was just spectacular, to run off a cliff, into clouds and then the clouds part and you have the most stunning view and it was so quiet.  Karl's and I landed safely with no problems, we were told by our guides that we landed excellently.

Now for Callum and the Big Fella, Karl's and I could see them both making their way down to the landing zone.  Dave is going to land first.  Dave and his instructor are both lined up for landing and Dave is told to start running just before their feet hit the ground, well not sure if it was planned or not, but the guide landed Dave in a nice puddle of water, which made his feet slip out from underneath him.  And like any good person would do, Dave wasn't going to be the only one down, so he dragged the guide down with him, so now the chute is pulling them both on their back along the ground.  You might say that Karl's and I did have a wee laugh, we couldn't talk for awhile and there was tears rolling down our face.  I only wish we had got more footage to show you all.  We did gather our composure enough to see Callum land safely.

We all agreed that it was worth waiting for and had an amazing flight.

Unfortunately it was time to leave Chamonix, and head into Switzerland.

30/07/2015 - Lausanne, Switzerland

We have arrived in Lausanne and checked into our hotel.  Whilst wandering around the streets we have been looking at the restaurants for somewhere to eat - for me this is called window shopping.  I can see why Switzerland is the most expensive country in the world, the prices are outrageously expensive. Lake Geneva is stunningly blue with many swans swimming around.

31/07/2015 - Lausanne, Switzerland

Thank goodness breakfast is included in our accommodation costs.  Although - I may have made a mess with the eggs.  There was an appliance that looked like a deep fryer, with some eggs in it, obviously trying to poach them.  There was also two baskets on either side, one with green eggs with a sign boiled and the other basket with normal coloured eggs in it.  I thought they were both already boiled, so I tried to show Dave and cracked one on the table - oops nope they haven't been cooked yet - anyone for raw eggs.  It really was a stupid system - people would put their eggs in and walk away, and some one else would come and get them, not knowing the system, or how long they had been in the cooker.  Sometimes they were cooked but most of the time there was raw egg running everywhere..

This morning we have decided to hire some bikes and do a little ride around Lake Geneva and through the vineyards.  We are at the bike hire shop early in the morning only to find out that it doesn't open until 11:00 o'clock.  So  we wander back at 11:00 to all be fitted out for our bikes.  After riding for about 500 metres, The Big Fella has realised that he can't ride with his saddle bag on, his feet keep hitting the bag, oh what to do, easy I'll just put it in Lisa's - as if I'm not carrying enough weight.  The scenery was spectacular, the ride was up several very steep, long hills - but we all made it safe and sound.  Though as soon as Dave hit the hill, his chain came off, not a great start.  We worked out that we travelled about 40kms in the 4 hours that we had the bikes. We stopped for lunch, at a small cafe / restaurant at the entrance to a camp ground and thought that it wouldn't be too expensive - wrong.  Dave and Callum paid $10AUD for a bottle of mineral water and Callum bought a hamburger and chips for $23AUD, and this hamburger was smaller than a McDonalds burger.

Okay the bikes may have been electric - but hey you still needed to peddle and make sure you didn't run out of battery power before you made the trip up the hill to the rental shop.  It was great to have the opportunity to ride one of the electric bikes - as least Dave has decided that he doesn't need one of these toys just yet - they need to make them a bit lighter.  Oh this coming from the man who wasn't carrying any saddle bags.

So for dinner tonight it was off to the local festival where there are food stalls for some cheap eats.

01/08/2015 - Luasanne to Zurich, Switzerland

It is time to head to Zurich, where Karl's and Call will begin the journey home.  So after arriving in Zurich, I go to check in whilst the others get the bags organised.  Well, whilst I was checking in the staff offered me a glass of white wine - well it would be rude if I said no, so whilst drinking a lovely cold glass of wine, I checked in, just in time to walk outside and see the others bring the bags in.  Karl's and Callum were gob smacked - and very jealous.  Dave not surprised at all - mmm don't know why.  He let Karl's and Callum go up in the lift first and whilst he was waiting he got an offer for a nice cold glass of wine and made the most of it

Once again we were on the hunt for some cheap eats, we did see a Mexican cantina and thought this might be an option - but oh no for one chicken enchilada it was approx.$45AUD - okay time to keep looking.  We did stumble across a little chinese outdoor cafe in which we all ordered a meal for about $17AUD - and it was delicious and filled us up.

02/08/2015 - Zurich Switzerland to Croatia

It was sad to say good-bye to Karl's and Callum - we have had a great time travelling with them both.  I know I will miss Callum, he has been a great navigator for Dave and a great tour director for all of us and Karl's has been such great company in the back seat.  Looks like it is back to me and Dave again, guess who its back t being the navigator and tour director.

We need to get to Croatia as soon as we can - as Dave isn't allowed to stay in the Schengen countries for more than 90 days out of 180 days - so we picked Croatia for a visit of about 4 weeks - something we are both looking forward to.  After a long drive we make it to the border.  You would think we would be getting used to dealing with border crossings, but we still get nervous - not knowing if we have all the correct documents.  Need not of worried here Dave just showed them the front of our passports, they could of been anyones, and they tried to waved us through.  But Dave like a kid leaving the toy store asked if he could have a stamp - we need this to prove that we have left the Schengen countries.  The guard looked at us said sure, opened up both of our passports stamped then handed them back with a smile and pointed for us to keeping driving, the passports still could of been anyone's.  So I guess we can stay here as long as we like.

On our way to Croatia we hit the 10,000 km mark.  We have certainly done a lot of km's and are loving every minute of it.  It is amazing what we do to entertain ourselves, these signs just cracked us up - probably not that funny - but they keep us amused - you gotta love Gotthardpass and Furkapass - okay maybe we have been away long enough and spending too much time alone.  Most people would be surprised that the Big Fella actually saw this large green sign - we were stopped.

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