Monday, June 23, 2008

Just words today

Well, I have a lot of really great pictures to put up here, but unfortunately this internet cafe doesn't allow users to touch the computer towers or use the USB ports. The guy barely speaks English, but I'm pretty sure I can catch his meaning through the rudeness. Oh well. Maybe soon.

The sailing trip in Croatia was awesome. Our guide, Grant, was really nice and helpful. There were 18 guests total, one guide, one guide in training, the captain, the cook, and two other crew on board. We spent a lot of time with this nice Australian couple, Mary and Daryl. It was nice to have some people to hang out and drink wine with on the boat when the rest of the group wanted to go out clubbing all night. lol

We got to jump off the boat during swim breaks between islands almost every day. I've decided Chris should be nicknamed "Chris the Fish."He was in the water pretty much every single moment he could be. The Adriatic Sea is really salty around there, so you float really well. It was nice to just kind of float around and bob up and down in the waves. In Dubrovnik, we climbed the city walls--it was like a castle or a fortress--and walked around the entire perimeter. Much of the city was bombed in 1995 by Bosnia, which is just over a small mountain from there. They've done an amazing job repairing the city, though. The biggest evidence of the event is just the slightly different colored tiles which were replaced on some of the roofs.

In Mljet, (this is the name of the island, the town, and also the National Park--creative, no?) we explored a 12th century Fransican monastery. It was on a tiny island surrounded by two lakes, which they connected to the ocean to make transportation easier. Chris and I rented bikes for the day and rode about 14 kilometers around the larger lake. We made it out to the point of the island and got to see where to open ocean comes crashing into the island and the lake. It was amazing. The swells were up over Chris's head when he climbed down the rocks for a picture (which I will eventually be posting, I promise). We stood out there and watched the waves crash into the rocks for quite a while.

We did have a bit of bad weather on the trip. Only a little rain here and there, but the wind was nuts. The captain kept changing the course so that we would land on the islands out of order, and once, on an island that even our guide hadn't been to. lol The captain also mentioned a cyclone as the reason we couldn't move on to our next destination one night, but we're all pretty sure he just didn't want to steer anymore that day. lol The air and water around us was completely calm all night. Also, a few of the guests pointed out that cyclones only appear in the Southern hemisphere. lol Luckily, Grant had a laptop that he was gernerous enough to let a bunch of us watch movies on since the town consisted of a grocery store, a couple bars, and a few hills. lol

After docking back in Split, we flew to Copenhagen for 2 nights. This is such a great city. It felt like a cleaner cross between New York and London, but smaller than both. There were petina statues everywhere and roses growing around the doorways to many of the buildings. So that was a bit different and wonderful. The only downside was that it was sooooo expensive. A hamburger at McDonalds costs about $2.50 there, which costs about $.89 in the U.S. Not wanting to spend much money, we ended up going to see Indiana Jones at one of the movie theatres. This ended up costing about $15 per person!! Craziness. The movie was really good, though. And afterward, we went to Tivoli, a 19th century amusement park in the center of town. There was a Big Band playing swing music, lots of pretty lights and rides and shops all around, and at the end of the night, they had a pretty cool light show over the lake.

Currently, we are in Amsterdam. Chris and I have had headaches from the moment we got here because of ... well, let's just say from the air here. We're looking forward to checking into our houseboat, which is on the edge of town. (Hopefully a little less smoke is in the air there). Things are pretty expensive here too, so we're looking forward to cooking in the houseboat to save a little money. We are planning on hitting a few museums, and probably Anne Frank's house. Despite the smell of weed, Amsterdam seems really cool, and I think we're both excited to do some more exploring over the next couple days.

Today is actually Chris and my one year anniversary. :-) We started dating in NYC last summer on this day. And now we're in Amsterdam. lol I wonder where we could be one year from now to top that.

Hope all is well with everyone back in the U.S. We miss you guys and are looking forward to seeing everyone in about a week (Chris's family) or two (my family).

And I'll try hard to post some new pics soon.