How to Beat Jet Lag . 

Jet lag. That fuzzy feeling you get after a long plane flight.

Don’t let it get the better of you.

Plan positively to overcome it and you’ll thank yourself!

Choose flights carefully. When leaving,  try not to leave late at night. It means you start or finish  your holiday missing a proper nights sleep. Try and do day flights as much as you can.

Reset Your Bodyclock:

What ever time you leave, straight away reset your clock to the time at your destination. Then on the plane work to that time. You might be tempted to keep watching movies – but they just stimulate. Decide when you want to sleep and put on a mask, jam in some earplugs, and curl up as much as you can. Try and sleep.

Fluids:

As sad as it is alcohol doesn’t help. Try and limit the number of drinks, but drink plenty of water. Also a Berocca tablet helps. Before, during and after the flight.

Exercise:

When you get home keep moving. This time I arrived home at 7am and straight away showered,  unpacked, put on the washing then went to the pool. It was a lovely sunny winters day and the I swam for 4about 45mins then sat in the sun and had coffee. So if you don’t swim go for a walk, wash the car, sweep the outside of your home – anything to get you moving preferably in the sun. Hold out until the evening before sleeping. if you can’t have a short nap fairly early in the afternoon and then go for a walk , do some food shopping and cook an early dinner. Early to bed and if you have something to help you sleep take it!

Get back into routine as quickly as you can. Your body will thank you!

Last day in Budapest 

How often do you get to the end of your holiday and realise you haven’t done everything you wanted to do or see?

This time it hasn’t happened to us. We allowed 6 days in Budapest so we could enjoy everything and not feel rushed. After the swim trek last week in Croatia( if you haven’t read about it please go back on the blog. ) we wanted to relax and enjoy this lovely city.



After our very good dinner last night at Bock Bistro we started slowly and had coffee at the little coffee place next to our apartment.

This area has proved to be a really good place to stay. We like the area of Nyagassy St and the public transport options nearby.

This morning we walked to the markets. All the great European cities have their markets. Here they don’t seem to have more local markets like in France or Italy – they do have lots of little fruit shops around the streets.


The central market is housed in a large high ceiling hanger type building. Very grand from the outside and vast and spacious inside. The aisles are wide and the ground floor has lots of meat stalls with big fat Hungarian sausages hanging and cabinets displaying chicken, pork, veal but not much beef.


The fruit areas are bursting with colour. It’s summer berry season and they are everywhere.

Upstairs there are souvenir stalls with lots of embroidered peasant style blouses. Some very pretty.

Then there are the food stalls. Running the length of one side they are like food trucks with high bench tables. The food looks good so we decide to return after our visit to the National Museum which is nearby.


Once again the size of the Museum is impressive. We toured it starting with Hungary’s history which involved a lot of fighting! This country had others coming at them from all sides. It’s amazing they survived and have developed as strongly as they have done.


The rooms of the Museum are lovely, richly painted, domed ceilings in the central areas and guards who don’t seem to take any notice of visitors as they tap away on their mobile phones!

After a lovely casual market lunch we took the tram 6 and to Buda, across the city. We wanted to take a cog tram up the side of the hill overlooking Buda. Fascinating ride up a very steep hill. There is a carriage especially for bike riders with a rack to store bikes. It’s just so steep!

We got to the top and took a walk. There were lots of trees around so we walked through and found a small train offering a ride through the forest. What was special was that it was completely manned by children.

They were so cute in their little uniforms. There were six stops along the 50 min ride with passengers getting off and on and buying tickets.


They were saluted at each stop.


Such a great ride.

We made our way home to pack and head out to the waterpolo couresty of Rob’s friend Pietro who is captain of the Italian waterpolo team.

They were playing Aus. It was a good game but not the result Australia wanted. Though the Hungarians supported Aus. They don’t like Italy!

Locky Hollis in the Australian team. You may remember him for the Support Rob and Locky campaign. He played so well.


Not a bad way to spend our last hours in Budapest. Surrounded by cheering Hungarians.

And as this looks like being the last blog on this trip, it remains for Frannie’s editor to say what a fantastic observer and author she has become; and also what super swimmer – only a couple of years from “first strokes” to playing with the big kids. Well Done Frannie my travel buddy!

Visit to Szechenyi Spa followed by the House of Terror

Another day another Spa. In Budapest this can be true. We decided to go early to avoid the big crowds. Hmmmmm

This time we chose Szechenyi Spa in City Park. Another great park. This one equally as large and lovely as Margaret Island Park. .  We arrived on the bus no 105 at a huge square or Piazza with amazing statues.


We entered the park and passed a pool where the FINA ynchronised wimming was taking place. We could tell by the loud music echoing across the park. Then a castle. A large one. So fairytale like, I was entranced. It was Vajdahonyad Castle built in 1896. So romantic. It overlooks what is usually an ice skating rink in winter but now home the synchronised swimming!


We kept walking along paths past beautiful fields with large trees, people sunbaking, children playing, dogs and their owners romping , tennis courts, skate board park, a zoo and finally the Spa. It is amazing. It looks like a castle! It’s larger than Gellert Spa on the Buda side. It was built in 1909 in the modern renaissance style. We stood in line for the only ticket office open. I must say this is something that could improve in Budapest! The ticket lines can be long and slow. So try and book whatever you can on-line.

This is the entrance to the Spa

But once inside it was well organised. You buy your ticket which can be either a locker, or for more money, a cabin. We just got lockers. You don’t really need a cabin to change in. Once again we went off to the male / female change rooms and left our gear in lockers. This time I kept more things with me. Hat, sunnies, cream, towel, swim cap, a little money and my phone for photos.

Here is a list of the pools you can visit. Some are indoor, some outdoor. There are heaps of sun lounges if you can manage to get one as well as chairs, a cafe and a constant parade of people from every corner of the world. All traipsing about from pool to pool and some getting burnt! It was hot.


We started in the outdoor 30% pool and then the lap pool which was 26%.


Then we moved inside and the pools went on from one room to the next. On and on. We tried the 40 degree pool. Sizzling hot! Then into the 20 deg  pool. Chillingly refreshing. There are foot baths before entering each pool and lots of saunas and showers you are  encouraged to use. It’s such an interesting place.

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I did not get into this one. Way too many people for me!


I found the aqua class, which is included in the price and I was encouraged to get in by Christina, a local lady who was just delightful. So there I was doing Aqua with the locals. My Aqua girls at home will be impressed! Christina said she decided to holiday at home this summer and was at the pool most days doing 3 Aqua classes, swimming 2 km, having a massage and sunbathing. Sounds good to me.

Christina my new friend is on the left in blue.

We had secured a shady spot with a sun lounge and could see the big screen they had up to show the FINA World Cup acitivities. There was the synchronised swimming! Followed by the women’s waterpolo. By now we were in the swing of it and were enjoying ourselves very much. Not quite the beach but pretty good.

View from my sun lounge.

We had some lunch and finally decided enough. It was hot. So back through the labyrinth of corridors to our change rooms. Not sure how the men handle the change rooms but the women show a distinct range of behaviours. The older women, probably local and the Japanese / Chinese are all walking around in the shower area sans swimmers. Others like the British and American are not quite so … bare.

So, freshened up we headed off to walk the rest of the park and down Boulevard Andressy to the House of Terror. Steve had tried to go the other day but the queue was too long. Today very little queue outside so we joined it. As people came out the line was admitted. Inside there was a queue as well  – to a single open ticket desk. And the man from the door intermittently yelled move on move on. If only we could!

Finally in we went. It had spooky music playing to get you in the mood for the story of Hungary under occupation. First by the Nazi Germans then the Soviets. These poor people endured so much. Communism was a blight they endured after the war , during the Revolution in the 1950’s until finally the Soviest left in 1991.

NO Photos allowed!

It was an unusual display with the unfriendliest guards I have encountered . At one point we were held in a room with about 8 others and told not to move! We stood there and waited. He wouldn’t answer questions about why we were there. Until finally we were ushered along a ramp into lift …….that moved down slowly enough for the little movie in the lift to tell us how the objectors to communism were hanged. It was quite scary.

Finally out of the House of Terror and back to our apartment. I am very pleased not to have lived through that time.

Dinner tonight was at Bock Bistro. I can definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Budapest. It was great. And no more than 7 mins from our apartment. Thank you Trip Advisor.

Had to have the local Chicken Goulash. Delicious.


And so another day in beautiful Budapest.

Only one day left.

Tonight we heard from Rob’s friend Pietro. He played with Rob at the Beijing Olympics. He now lives and plays in Italy!  He has tickets for tomorrow night’s sold out game –  Italy vs Aus!  Thank you Pietro. I’m so pleased we had a very special dinner tonight. Tomorrow night it’s waterpolo!

Pools, Parks and Parliament

Today we went for the three P’s for a perfect day. Pool, Park, Parliament.

We started with the Pool. It’s been a while since Rob played waterpolo so we hardly know a person in the Australian team. But we decided to go and support them and relive some memories. We were thrilled to see Locky Hollis in the team. For those who know Rob you might remember the ‘Support Rob and Locky campaign’ when they were facing their cancer treatment. Today Locky scored 3 goals and looked terrific. Australia  are playing in the World Cup and faced France today. This was a good one to see as they won. 11-10. Not so good against Hungary two days ago.


This took us onto Margaret Island which we wanted to see. It’s an island that sits in the middle of the Danube between Buda and Pest. And it’s lovely. I’m so impressed with this city. After the waterpolo we toured the island in a little covered bicycle. These and assorted other bicycles, peddle cars, electric cars and mini trains can be hired from about $10 per half hour.

I did do some peddling!

The park has wonderful musical fountains , cycle paths, a rose garden, a Japanese garden, several swimming pools, a small children zoo with animals found in Hungary, a church, several restaurants and lots of shaded areas to walk or just rest. I loved it.

The musical fountain. So great to sit and watch.

Steve would have rented one of these if he’d seen it first.

After exploring the park we headed  back over the bridge for lunch  (Goulash soup for Steve and tuna salad for me with two beers and a glass of Rose – about $40. ) and  a visit to Parliament (just under $A50). This building is amazing. They aren’t afraid of spending money to finance big buildings. We couldn’t get onto a tour until 5.15 so went wandering and returned later. If coming here, I suggest you jump online and book your tour ahead.


The sculptures I have mentioned before and I loved this one of Imre Nagy,  a former Prime Minister, standing on a sculptured bridge  gazing back towards Parliament. I just had to get alongside him and enjoy the view.


We wandered further and found some great spurting water features with children running through screaming with laughter. I wanted to run with them !


We returned later for the tour and it’s amazing inside the Parliament as well as outside.

Main Staircase. There are 196 rooms!

The Assembly where the Parliament meets.

This building was built after a competition for the architect with Imre Steindl the winner. It was started in  1885 and completed in 1904. It was damaged in the war but repaired and rebuilt. It’s stunning. The same architect also designed the Opera House which we visited yesterday.

From Parliament we went to Vaci  Street known as the shopping Street. Like many cities now, they have all the usual chain stores. From Dior to Mango, Ecco shoes  to H&M. Th world is getting smaller even in shopping terms.

So we retreated to  a people watching bar and ending up chatting to a New Zealander. He was an interesting man who had just been to his son’s wedding in Prague. His wife, a NZ politician, had returned home and he was continuing to holiday!

We had booked a river cruise at 9.30 so after our pre-dinner drinks we had quick street food from some vans in the square nearby and made our way to the boat.

I had read the  Legenda boats offered an hours trip including a drink for $45 a couple. I booked online and it proved to be a good idea. We got seats on the open air , top deck and it was great. There are cruises offering dinner but this would be a distraction to the sights.  Budapest by night is magical.

Parliament by night.

The Palace by night

The Chain Bridge

So ended another great day in Budapest.

Tours in Budapest 

Sometimes it’s better to take a tour than to wander around trying to read non-existent English captions.

We’ve found here in Budapest they like to keep you in groups and guide you around.

So that’s how we visited the Dohany Jewish Synagogue.


It’s the 2nd largest in the world and is beautiful. Our guide was great – a mix of good humour and wealth of knowledge.


Its domed roof has a hint of Moorish architecture and some think it’s a mosque. There are also some lovely rose windows.

Within the grounds there is a lovely memorial garden and a sculpture of a willow tree. Each of the weeping leaves has the name of a Jewish person who died in the holocaust. It’s very moving.


Then we attempted to go to the Terror Museum by bus but were hampered by the police blocking off roads and changing bus routes. So we had lunch and walked to the Opera House for a tour.


As you can see there was a lot of work going on inside the main theatre. The poor guides moving around with different language groups had to speak up when we were seated in the theatre itself. It’s being prepared for a function for the FINA World Water Sports. Not an indoor pool we hope!

There were many other areas to visit and it is truly beautiful.


We’d love to go to an Opera performance so were quite pleased when we were asked to sit on the steps of the grand staircase and were treated to two arias.


After the tour concluded we attempted again to get to the Terror  Museum. This time the metro was closed as well as the bus missing! We believe Prime Minister Netanyahu is in town and moving him around requires huge numbers of Police,  helicopters continually buzzing overhead, and closed roads, and missing public transport!


So home we headed to rest up before going to St Stephen’s Cathedral tonight for an organ concert.

Not before Steve had a little sit down with a new friend. The sculptures here are great. This was was outside a theatre and was a writer.

Monday in Budapest

A big city throws up challenges and one of them is sorting the public transport. As much as we love walking, the distances can be a killer. So we dutifully studied the maps and used some guides which suggested which buses , trolleys buses, trams and metro ran near the sights we want to visit. We also bought a 5 day travel pass. It just means we can travel on any means of transport as many times as we like. This is good for a new big city.

I’m also good at asking one of the visitor helpers or even the Police for help. In doing so we got across the river and up to the Palace in good time before the crowds. We saw the “informal changing of the guard”. Not quite Buckingham Palace but very good.


Then walked along in front of the rather huge Palace. It’s slowly being restored after earthquakes and bombing from the war and the views back across the river to Pest are wonderful.


We stopped for coffee with a view. This is how we manage to keep going all day. We have little breaks.

My rather bad attempt at a timed selfie!

We then  made it to St Matthias. A beautiful church which appears to be so huge outside but is more intimate inside. It’s heavily painted inside and has lovely ceramic tiles on the roof which had to be replaced after WW2. It was inside that we found out more about the crowning of Austrian Franz Josef as King and his beautiful wife Elizabeth as his Queen. The story is well told in the museum adjoining the church.   It was here I looked up and down.



We walked along the wall called The Fishermens’ Bastion. It’s stunning with it turreted towers and beautifully restored stone work.

Beautifully restored Fishermens’ Bastion.

Then it was time for lunch sitting under  jaunty red umbrellas in a Parisian style cafe.

Steve was keen to go to the Hospital in the Rock. What a story. We had Timi as our guide and heard the story of the caves under the Palace Hill and how they were hollowed and used  as a Red Cross hospital during the war. Such great displays in the labyrinth of tunnels. They were also set up for a nuclear bomb in the 1950’s. The story touched on the bombs dropped on Japan during WW2 and how now we should understand the devastation this brings, and so – “No War”.

By now we had walked all around the hilltop known as Buda, so returned by bus to the river to visit our first of the Spas. Budapest is known as The City of Spas so we felt we had to start checking them out.

The baths of Budapest date back to the first century. Both Romans and Turkish influences can be seen. In the late 19th century the artisan wells were drilled to provide the thermal waters. So now Budapest boasts about having the largest number of spa thermal pools in Europe.

So we entered the St Gellert Thermal pools and went through the process of preparing our bodies for the variety of spas available! There are 4 outdoor thermal pools, several indoor spas and pools, an activity pool and various corridors of lockers and cabins and treatment rooms. It’s huge. And swimming costumes are required, so I wasn’t facing nude day like when I was in Baden Baden in Germany a few years ago!

We said goodbye to each other as we headed into the change rooms with our plastic wrist watch with a tag to be able to access a locker. Then it’s into the swimmers , have a shower and meet up again outside. It was quite crowded with people. Unfortunately I don’t have many  pictures. I had to leave my camera in the locker as I didn’t trust myself not to lose it outside.

These three I took of posters on the wall! It’s so over the top. We have nothing like it in Australia.


Our first pool was 36′ and we slipped in and found a step. It was wall to wall sitters. All in state of relaxation. We sat under a rather forceful shower which hammered at our necks and after awhile it proved to be relaxing. Then we took to the cool pool at 26′ so felt quite refreshed. Then we went to the indoor pools and wallowed a little more. We’d forgotten our bathing caps so couldn’t enter the ‘swimming pool’!

So for about 2 hours we relaxed and enjoyed and finished with a shower before returning to our apartment relaxed.

I’d recommend it ! And we’re doing it all again at another spa on Wednesday.

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Zagreb to beautiful Budapest by train

Train travel takes the hassle out of travelling to airports and gives some scenery along the way.


We walked from our Hotel Palace Zagreb two block down through the gardens to the train and caught the 10am to Budapest. No security lines, no hold ups, no crowds. We met a very nice American mother and daughter seated opposite us and got underway for the 4.5 hr journey. The countryside was green and the journey peaceful.

Sometimes we think the taxis waiting for tourists at airports and train stations are there just to rip us off! Our taxi driver had better English than some of the taxi drivers in Sydney and was so interesting telling us about the city. And we didn’t get ripped off!

First impressions of Budapest. Big grand buildings, wide boulevards, decorative iron work, interesting street art. In fact quite Parisian. And of course. An EYE!

The Royal Palace is beyond grand. It’s now being restored and houses two museums.

The walk towards St Stephens Cathedral.

And here it is. St Stephens. We’re going there for a concert on Tuesday.

It’s quite ‘ summer in the city’  feel. Outdoor music, bars spilling over with people drinking beer and Aperol Spritz and watching the FINA water sports on big screen TVs.

We walked and walked into the evening to get orientated to this lovely city. The only disappointment is that the light rail runs along the river! You can get below it but it’s awkward. Pity, as the River  Danube is great.

The street sculptures and street art is always interesting and fun.


The city  is hosting the FINA World championships so there are lots of people around from a variety of countries. Somehow it doesn’t feel too crowded like Paris and Rome can feel.

Painted on the side of a building. So cute.

After walking we rewarded ourselves with a beer in a beer garden opposite our house. Then feeling tired we decided to stay on for dinner.  We got back to the apartment and just enjoyed it. Caught up with the Tour de France and used the washing machine. When travelling it’s great to have a good apartment with a washing machine and an coffee machine! This is a beauty I found on air BnB.  It’s in a great area, has all the essentials including a lift and is so well decorated and fitted out. And it’s less than Aus $100 a night. Well done me!


So we planned our day tomorrow. We’re going across the river to Buda to the Palace, the church of St Matthias and several other larger-than-life buildings. And this is a little of what we will see.

Saturday in Zagreb

We were excited to get going this morning after a lovely dinner at Purger a good local restaurant. Purger is a slang word to describe someone born and bred in Zagreb.

It rated well on trip advisor and wasn’t far from out hotel, Zagreb Palace, or from the park where the little stalls were getting lively with drinkers and dancers. Purger is a little dated in decor. More 1980’s than now! But the food was great. Good local food. Veal seems to be very popular here and Steve had sauted veal with garlic! I loved my dish of cabbage leaves stuffed with lamb and pork minced meat swimming in a lovely paprika sauce. Served over mash it was  real comfort food and so different from the fish dishes I enjoyed on the island.


After a very good breakfast we hit the streets went to the local fruit & veg markets with the gorgeous red umbrellas. 


Bought a new cap and decided on a city bus tour to get to the rather spread-out areas of the city. It was disappointing! The driver drove too quickly and the commentary by a local women was so heavily accented and so fast we could hardly understand it.

There are many lovely buildings. Not as old as they appear because of the earthquake in the 1880’s but  they are grand. Then there are the communist style – plain austere and uninviting. Then there is the street art. I think when countries embrace street art or graffiti as we call it the result can be fantastic.


We got back about 40 mins earlier than stated ‘on the brochure’,  so decided walking was the way to explore the old town and joined in on a few walking tour groups to get some information.

The Stone Gate, built in Middle Ages, houses a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. We passed houses with spiked domes on top. These were to stop the witches from landing on the roofs!  There were stories of witches being hunted by the locals. Those poor women – the ones with a mole ( a sign that they were a witch) – were automatically killed!


Couldn’t resist a visit to Kravata – a tie shop famous for its tie made using the colours and design famous in Croatia.  The necktie was invented here in Croatia! The Croatian women used to make triangular scarves ( or kravats) for their men to wear when leaving for a war. They tied them around their neck for good fortune and so they would return. The Croatians served as mercenaries for the French – hence the “cravat” and the fashion item!


Then I couldn’t resist the Museum of Broken Relationships. It was recommended by my swimming wing woman,  Betty. At first I though it was about relationships lost through war. But no,  it’s regular people talking about a love they lost. Each story was accompanied by an item that meant something to them. Oh there were some sad stories.

One of the exhibits from the Museum of Broken Relationships. This girl had met ‘her love’ and he left her.

In the cafe of the museum this is the wifi information!

We recovered from the Museum by walking past the funicular into the Strossmayerova park  with its beautiful views back over the city. It was here we sat on the park benches with whimsical things hanging from the trees – witches, hoops and  flowers and had some lunch. Again a sausage and beer for Steve! 

We continued walking along the path, stopped to look at the view from over the stone fence and spied The Art Park tumbling down the hill. Such a great use of space. Straw animals and lots of street art.

Then a spot of shopping for me while Steve went to the Model Train exhibition!

We continued walking until a storm hit which sent us all into bars and restaurants. There are so many outdoor cafes with padded seat pads that the waiters were kept running bringing all the pads inside. By the time we got a drink the sun was back out!


Craft beers are a big deal here in Zagreb, as they are in many parts of the world. Steve was getting excited about trying another one so we found The Craft House and he sampled two different India Pale Ales. Of course while we were there right near a church we saw a wedding!


Now it’s rest time before dinner at Bistro Fotic a recommended restaurant not far from our hotel. PS. Just back and it was great. Yum cutlets for me with minted peas and feta. Pepper steak for Steve.

Zagreb is proving to be a great place for a few days – summer being the best time to visit.

Watch out for my 10 best things yo see and do in Zagreb.

Zagreb. A surprising capital city

It’s funny how a few hours of travel  can move you from one world to the next.

We had our last breakfast together then bid goodbye to the last of our swim trek friends.

Much hugging and exchanging of emails and promises of meeting up again. And we will definitely catch up.

The ferry ride back to Zadar took about 20 minutes – and we all decided we’d rather like to swim the crossing – “only” 3 km.

Then to the bus station and onto the bus for Zagreb. The buses here are great. Only 13 euro and free wifi!

We were in Zagreb by 2.49 and booked into the Palace Hotel. It’s a big old hotel with some lovely public spaces.


We dumped the bags and went to find some late lunch. The hotel is opposite a park that runs several blocks from the train station up to the old town.

The parks are beautiful. We crossed into them and found a bandstand with great music – recorded – and little food stalls all around with different types of tables & chairs.



We had a good snack. Steve particularly liked his deer sausage!

Then we started wandering the streets looking up and down.


The skies turned grey making walking easy.

The buildings are a mix of old decorated buildings, plain communist style buildings, ones covered with painted claddings hiding the renovations, and some rather garish modern buildings.


We bought our train tickets for the journey to Budapest on Sunday.

Then we planned our day tomorrow and our dinner tonight!

Pushed to the limit on the last day of swim trek

img_1566The last day is always sad. We’re all getting to know each other. It doesn’t matter that this was a slightly shorter trek or that we knew most of the swimmers before.

We hopped in the water and off we went. After a few days swimming you know who you swim best with. Someone with a similar pace. My wing man is Olivier. He’s from Paris.

My wing woman in Galapagos was lovely Betty from the USA and in Montenegro it was fun Sophie from England, now living Tarifa in Spain  I’ve loved swimming with all these great people

Today Steve  decided to stay with us. I like this because he becomes the sighter and I can relax and swim! He guides us in the direction we need to go which is pretty important on the crossings from island to island.

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We started with  one of these crossings. Then  we hit a tough patch of choppy water and a strong current running against us. Ricky gathered us on the boat and moved us onto the end of the island and we started another crossing.

Relaxing on the boat before the final swim.

One of the crossings from island to island. Steve in yellow cap out front.

From here on it was smooth swimming and we stopped every half hour for some food – this really helps with distance swimming.

Finally we finished. 8 km! Yes, me – my personal best distance  oh boy …

Congratulations from Steve. 8km!

We stopped at a lovely bay at the top of Ugljan island and had our last lunch together at Konoba Dali.

It was a pretty restaurant with terrific views and even better food. We had a Peka. This is a traditional dish of the island . Some had meat and the other octopus.

The 🐙 had just been caught that morning , boiled, tenderised and then cooked in a clay pot over hot coals. It was the most wonderfully tender octopus I have ever had.

 

They served it with potatoes and zucchini and lashings of olive oil.

Fantastic with a local wine – Rose.

It will be sad to leave our friends at swim trek. It was all made possible by Chris Masek, our friend from our first trek in Sardinia in 2013 when I could only swim about 1 km. He also organised the big swims Steve got to do. One the crossing from Corsica to Sardinia and the other from Spain to Morocco.

Chris, sadly didn’t get here at all for the trek. Business interfered at the last moment and he couldn’t get away.

In the evening we had the end of swim trek dinner. Photo opportunities of new friends.

Guide Neil, myself, Yves- former guide now friend, Steve and Ricky our guide here and from Greece 2 years ago.

Ricky, Dan Garr from LA, Neil, myself and swim buddy Olivier, and Dan’s two sons Luke and Max and wife Isabelle

Julien with the ‘jeans style’ swim togs given by Steve. Quite a novelty.

Clowning around with Yves. Neil sitting.

As usual , Awards were given. I got mine for being a ‘record breaker!’ Setting new distances each day.

It was a great few days of swimming. Usually swim treks are 5-6 days of swimming but this one was longer distances over 4 days. Exhausting!

Tomorrow we move on to Zagreb.

We take a ferry at 9.15 back to Zadar then a comfortable bus to Zagreb.