DAY 20: Mykonos
We planned to wake up early today but ended up sleeping til 10am because we were so tired. We got breakfast before heading into town, looking at shops and buying a few things. The streets were so pretty and exactly like you would see in a postcard. We went back to the windmills before heading down to a cute little restaurant by the sea.
DAY 21: Mykonos to Preveza
After about half an hour of sleep, I got up to try and find my stuff again with no luck. I had to cancel my travel card and order a new license. I slept like a baby on the ferry, and then we got lunch at the port (gyros again!) The bus ride to Preveza was quite long but they put a couple of movies on. We got to the hotel and it was awesome, with a large, fancy dining room. Luckily there was a computer so I could message people and tell Mum what had happened, but she wasn’t very happy. It felt like luxury having a nice bathroom and a good sleep tonight.
DAY 22: Driving to Albania
We got up early this morning for the best breakfast of the whole trip! I had three crepes with nutella, along with some eggs and bacon… heaven. We got on the bus and came to borders/passport control after a couple of hours. I’m not sure why this was our first one though. After they took forever to stamp them all, we kept driving and arrived in Tirana, a town that looked oh so dodgy. Our hotel wasn’t bad but the rooms were up a massive hill and they actually turned out to be large apartments. We went for a swim in the pool before dinner, which was a good way to cool off. After dinner some people went into town to check it out but we just stayed in and tried to have an early night.
DAY 23: Driving to Dubrovnik
We got up early today to leave Albania and travel through Montenegro to get to Croatia. I was so exhausted so slept most of the time, which was a shame because there was some lovely scenery and beaches in Montenegro. Bus rides are just so draining! We arrived at the hostel, which was up a hill and all these stairs… what a struggle! We had chicken and rice for dinner, which was nice and then we all showered and got ready to go out. We had a few pre drinks at the hostel and then head to a bar that sold buckets! I saw a girl I’m friends with from home, which was a surprise and ended up kissing a cute guy on her tour. Izzy got too drunk and had to go home while I went to the next club, which was fun… I think!
DAY 24: A perfect day in Dubrovnik
I was a bit hungover/ tired this morning so I couldn’t get up for the walking tour. I got up at around 9.30 and we got ready to go into Old town where we had lunch and then went for a swim in this awesome area at the edge of the town. It was so refreshing!
We then went on the boat tour, which went for a good five hours. First spot was a swim spot where you could jump off a wall. Second stop was an island where everyone got food but I just had a gelato because the service was so slow. We went and explored, finding a rocky bay area, which was perfect for a swim.
We finally got the front seat on the bus today, which was lucky because the views coming out of Dubrovnik were breath taking. The coastline is beautiful and filled with awesome swim spots and little beaches. I would love to be able to explore Croatia more. I got a meat burek at the service stop and then we stopped in Split for lunch. We were so hot and sweaty so we just found a place to eat lunch at and I had pasta. Later we arrived in Zadar and saw the sea organ, where lots of people were swimming sun.
We got to the hostel, which was average but it had lots of seats outside to drink and socialize. We had Bolognese for dinner and then some people hired quad bikes or checked out the beach while the rest of us chilled outside and chatted before we went to bed.
DAY 26: Driving to Ljubljana, Slovenia
We got up bright and early for the bus to leave at 9am to head so Slovenia. My expectations were not high for Ljubjana as I didn’t know much about it and assumed Slovenia was a much poorer country. Our first service stop was still in Croatia and it was amazing. I got salad, pasta, fresh OJ and a muffin all for 9 Euros. A nice change from the usually overpriced food at the service stops! We stopped in Lake Bled which was a large beautiful, clear lake with swans and a castle adding to its beauty.
DAY 27: Driving to Vienna
Although I wished we had more time in the beautiful Slovenia, we got a group photo in front of one of the colourful buildings before it was time for us to enter Austria!
We stopped at Schonbrunn palace where we wandered the lovely gardens and even went in some cool mazes before we arrived at the Wombat hostel, which had huge rooms!
We also bought mandala tapestries and baklava, yum! After this we organized our suitcases (so neat!) and did all our washing, which was a pain because everyone was fighting for the few washers and dryers they had at the hostel. I had a bad sleep tonight because I felt like I was getting sick again.
DAY 28: Vienna
We started the day a bit later today, with breakfast at the hostel and then a (rather boring) walking tour of the city. After that we headed straight for the shops and went to H&M, Forever 21, Zara and Brandy Melville. I took advantage of the good shopping strip and bought quite a few things! After this we went to a schnapps museum and got to taste test as well. I tried absinthe, chili and choc hazelnut schnapps, which were nice but not enough to get me drunk. We then headed to Prater Park, where we got to ride the highest chair swing in the world. We had dinner there and then got to go on a few rides, which were fun, but I was keen for bed after this, as I wasn’t feeling so great.
DAY 29: Driving to Tyrol, Austria
We got up early today to head to our first stop- Mauthausen concentration camp and now museum. We first watched a video that went for about 45 minutes. It was very interesting but also sad, and I was trying not to fall asleep because I felt so tired. We then had some time to walk around the place – I saw the crematorium and prison like area before reading about people’s stories in the museum. It was very hard to believe what happened there, and I found it interesting/sad that some camps even had brothels. We drove on to a service stop where I bought salad and Oreo chocolate of course, but I had coughing fits on the bus afterwards, which was quite embarrassing. Contiki cough just never stops! We had to drive into Germany to get back into Austria but we were driving straight into a storm with lightning and all. Everyone started panicking because the next day we were meant to be mountain bike riding and paragliding, so we needed the weather to be clear.
We arrived at the Contiki accommodation site, which was pretty cool. It had 3 levels, with a bar and dining area where we had a delicious dinner of goulash soup and turkey schnitzel. Tonight they were having a ‘tight, white and bright’ party downstairs, but I was quite sick so wanted to rest up in the hopes that I would feel better for the long day of activities ahead.