Saturday, October 27, 2018

Balkans (2018): Short Trip To Zadar, Croatia

Continue with my previous post on A Day Trip To Sibenik From Split.

After spending two nights in Split which we found it's way more enough to stay there, we moved to the next destination, Zadar. As usual, I always book my bus tickets online prior to the trip in order to secure the seats. All my bus tickets for this trip including the one from Mostar to Dubrovnik bought from Get By Bus - it's secure and reliable website, in case you're wondering. Just remember to print your ticket cause they don't accept mobile notifications. 

2018 Croatia Zadar 01
#1: Croatian countryside is really stunning and breathtaking.

2018 Croatia Zadar 02
2: The bus we took from Split to Zadar - Cazmatrans Dalmacija and it cost HRK95 (approx. to RM62)

FROM ZADAR BUS TERMINAL TO OLD TOWN
After three hours and a half of the bus ride, finally we arrived at Zadar Bus Terminal which requires at least 30 minutes of walking to the center of Zadar, or the old town. In order to get there, catch the local buses #2 or 4 at the bus stop situated on the main road just outside the station. The journey takes only five minutes and cost HKR10. But then, my friend decided to walk to our hostel instead of taking the local bus. 

OUR HOSTEL IN ZADAR
We stayed in Three Corners Hostel, which located in the very center of Zadar, on the historic peninsula. All the main sightseeing spots can be visited within a few steps away and the seaside promenade is just less than 5 minutes walk. There is a small seating area within the dormitory and all the guests are provided with private locker. There is no reception within the hostel building and we received email stating that the check-in process is 50 meters away from our hostel. Well, it's a not a big fuss for us after all. 

2018 Croatia Zadar 03
#3: A 4-mixed dormitory room

Three Corners Hostel, Zadar
Date Stayed: 22 May to 23 May 2018 (1 night)
Room Rate: HRK101 (approx. to RM67) per night for a bed in 4 mixed dormitory room without breakfast (Booked via Booking.com)

Once we settled down at our hostel and done with refreshing shower too, it's time to get out to hunt for lunch and also exploring time!

2018 Croatia Zadar 17
#4: Pasta in a box - our lunch in Zadar. I love the concept where we're allowed to choose what base and ingredients we want. 

Due to its excellent size, the Old Town of Zadar is small and easy enough to get around on foot. You don't even have to bother to get around using any public transportation at all. It's historical centre is packed on to a narrow peninsula and it's so fascinating to explore.

2018 Croatia Zadar 04
#5: Walk around the atmospheric streets of the Old Town

2018 Croatia Zadar 05
#6

2018 Croatia Zadar 06
#7: Obviously sugar overdose for having gelato almost everyday when in Croatia

2018 Croatia Zadar 07
#8: Church of St. Donatus on the left side with the belltower of Zadar Cathedral on the right side. Again, we decided to climb up to belltower for another panoramic view of Zadar 

2018 Croatia Zadar 08
#9: Panoramic view from the belltower which facing the waterfront. 

2018 Croatia Zadar 08-1
#10: The other side of the panoramic view

2018 Croatia Zadar 09
#11: I prefer this view more

2018 Croatia Zadar 10
#12

2018 Croatia Zadar 11
#13: Well preserved remains of a Roman Forum. This is a common place for the locals to stroll, sit down among the ruins and enjoying a nice weather during the summer day. 

2018 Croatia Zadar 12
#14: Cathedral of St Anastasia - the largest church in the coastal region of Croatia

2018 Croatia Zadar 13
#15: Creative artwork - Nice to see and as well as the price tag too.

2018 Croatia Zadar 14
#16: Sea Organ - A man-made organ that transforms waves to create musical soundscape through a system of pipes and whistles. This is the main reason I chosen to visit Zadar. You can check out the video below. 

#17: Video credit to Meanderbug

2018 Croatia Zadar 15
#18: Next to the Sea Organ is the Sun Salutation, a circle of glass panels that captures the daylight through solar cells and convert it to a spectacular light show at night. 

It's another of our laid-back and relax trip where we're just sitting down by the seaside and enjoying the city, the people and the sunset. While there were still quite number of tourists around but it's not as crowded and packed like the one in Dubrovnik and Split too. Probably this place doesn't get much attention like the rest but then, do you know that Zadar is elected as European Best Destination in 2016? I glad I made it here, eventhough it's just a short visit. 

2018 Croatia Zadar 16
#19: A three course meal to summarise our night in Zadar

TOTAL EXPENSES SPENT IN ZADAR


PARTICULARS
AMOUNT
HRK
RM
Accommodation
Three Corners Hostel – 1 night

Transportation
Split to Zadar by bus

Admission Fees
Bell Tower of St. Domnius

Food
Lunch – Pasta box
Gelato
Juice
Dinner – 3 Course meal
Groceries

Others
Magnet
Postcards
Stamps
Souvenirs
Laundry

101


95


15


35
23
20
70
20


19
3
6
40
50

68


62


10


24
16
14
47
14


13
2
4
27
34
TOTAL (RM)
335
Exchange Rate: €1.00 (RM4.84) = 7.13 kuna on average

Previous Post on My 2018 Balkans Trip

Thursday, October 25, 2018

2018 Autumn in UK & Europe (Sneak Peek)

Oops!... I did it again

I was away for the past few weeks to United Kingdom (again!) and Europe as well (not again!) 

I booked my flight right after I came back from my trip to Tokyo earlier this year when I happened to stumble upon cheap fare offered by Oman Air. Imagine fly-in London and fly-out Milan for RM1,800 which is definitely so hard to resist this temptation. And so happened Malindo Air was having promo where return flight for Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur for RM225. So in total, the whole fare cost RM2,025. What a great steal!

For this round, I decided to bring along my mom cause she never been to any angmoh (Western) countries before, including Australia due to family commitment. Besides my mom, I also tagged my cousin together. Initially we plan to visit Iceland but I guess Iceland would be slightly boring for my mom, hence I changed my plan to visit Portugal and Spain since I have never been there too. 

Here's the quick sneak peek for our 19 days trip around London, Portugal, Spain and Milan:

2018 London 01
#1: Hello London once again! I lost count how many times I've been to London cause I studied in United Kingdom before

2018 Portugal Porto 00
#2: First time flying with RyanAir and Ola Portugal!

2018 Portugal Porto 07
#3: Porto turns out to be my favourite one among all the cities I visited for this trip

2018 Portugal Lisbon 01
#4: The famous tram 28 in Lisbon. We almost pickpocketed when arrived Lisbon from Porto but luckily I aware of that.

2018 Portugal Sintra 01
#5: A day trip to Sintra from Lisbon merely for this colourful and magnificent Pena Palace

2018 Spain Barcelona Park Guell 01
#6: From Portugal to Spain. A trip to Barcelona is incomplete without visit any of Gaudi's artwork

2018 Spain Barcelona Sagrada Família 02
#7: Sagrada Familia - another of Gaudi's unfinished Roman Catholic church. Glad I bought the ticket online

2018 Spain Madrid 01
#8: Madrid, the capital city of Spain

2018 Spain Segovia 01
#9: A day trip to Segovia from Madrid which takes about half an hour via high-speed train

2018 Spain Seville 02
#10: Another day trip to Seville which takes approximately 2 and half hour from Madrid but it's really worth it

2018 Italy Milan 01
#11: Ended our trip in Milan. Unfortunately, it's overrated for me - so crowded and once again, we almost being the target for pickpocket on our way from train station to airport.

For some travellers, they would try to cover as many countries as possible in this almost three weeks trip but for me, I try to slow down my travel pace not just for the sake of my mom but also I dislike rushing my trip lately. I don't feel any sense of enjoyment at all by rushing here and there. Probably this is a sign of aging. Oopsss...

All in nutshell, we explored 4 countries (United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain and Italy), wandered around 9 different cities and experienced 3 new airlines (Oman Air, RyanAir and TAP Air Portugal). I asked my mom whether she would love to return to Europe again, she said Yes! but with one condition - reduce the number of walking in future. Hahaha. Sorry mom for making you to walk more than 10,000 steps everyday. Sometimes, we even walked more than 20,000 in a day. I'm kidding not! But I glad that we survived till the end of the trip.

2018 Oman Air
#12: My virgin experience flying with Oman Air - Not bad. I quite enjoy the in-flight entertainment but the food is so-so only. Still prefer Qatar Airways in-flight meal better. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Balkans (2018): A Day Trip To Sibenik From Split

I know nothing about Sibenik until my friend told me when we're in Split of Croatia. He stumbled upon one of his friends were travelling there through Instagram and that's explain how we ended up there too. 

A Day Trip To Sibenik From Split Cover

When we found out Sibenik is approximately an hour away from Split, immediately we bought our bus ticket at the counter of Split Bus Station at the very last minute. Luckily there were few seats available but sooner, all the seats were filled up pretty quickly. Somehow, we found out that the journey from Split to Sibenik is not that very far away, but it turns out to have quite number of stops. Instead of an hour bus ride, at the end the whole journey took almost two hours. 

By the time we arrived Sibenik, it's the ideal time for lunch break. 

2018 Croatia Sibenik 02 Lunch
#1: Kinda craving for carbonara, so I ordered it

Unlike Split, Sibenik is a more relaxed town with lesser crowd. The notable Krka National Park is located not far away and probably you could consider to stay for a night in Sibenik in case you are planning to visit the park. But overall, it's sufficient to do a day trip here from Split. 

2018 Croatia Sibenik 01
#2: From Sibenik Bus Station, it takes less than 10 minutes walk to the Old Town

2018 Croatia Sibenik 03
#3: Sibenik Town Square

One of the reasons why my friend consider to visit Sibenik is merely for its stunning Cathedral of St James, the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's pretty obvious this church of the Catholic is the top attraction of Sibenik town when you see number of tourists surrounded this only, but not the rest. Also known as Sibenik Cathedral by the local, it is also the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in the whole country. The entrance fee is 20 kuna (approx. to RM14)

2018 Croatia Sibenik 06
#4: Cathedral of St James, the UNESCO World Heritage Site

2018 Croatia Sibenik 04
#5

2018 Croatia Sibenik 07
#6

2018 Croatia Sibenik 09
#7

After spending more than an hour enjoying the exterior and interior of the cathedral, both of us have no clue of what to do and see anymore. Sounds like this town is not interesting, right? If you are searching for more relaxed and peaceful place to avoid the crowd, perhaps Sibenik is the one that suit your needs. My friend even brought along his book, sat down at a random cafe and enjoying his read. Whereas for me, I wandered around the Old Town looking for typical souvenirs such as postcards and fridge magnets to add into my endless collection.

2018 Croatia Sibenik 08
#8: Gelato again before ending our Sibenik trip back to Split

As age is catching up, sometimes I quite enjoy this kind of laid-back and easygoing trip. Unlike when I was younger where I try to visit as many attractions and tourist spots as maximise as I can, however lately I try to slow down my pace instead of rushing here and there. I guess this is what I define to be the ideal vacation.

Total Spending For Sibenik Trip
PARTICULARS
AMOUNT
KN
RM
Transportation
Split to Sibenik via bus
Sibenik to Split via bus

Admission Fees
Cathedral of St James

Food
Lunch – Carbonara
Cafe – Apple Juice
Gelato

Others
Postcards

53kn
51kn


20kn


65kn
16kn
10kn


12kn


37
35


14


45
11
7


8
TOTAL (RM)
157
Exchange Rate: €1.00 (RM4.84) = 7.13 kuna on average

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