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Euge's Big Day

<<< Fri, Sep 5

- Departed Calgary. Ran into Bruno and Lana and Seb at the airport.

<<< Sat, Sep 6 6.8mm

- Landed in Geneva. Picked up our rental car from Hertz. Drove to our AirBNB in Bloney, along Lake Geneva;

- Drove to Montreux, where the Grand Prix was going on.

- Went for dinner at La Rouvenaz. Had a really good quattro formaggio pizza.

<<< Sun, Sep 7

- Went to the Chillon Castle. Pretty big. Walked around it for a while, had it to ourselves.

- Walked along the lakeside promenade in Montreux. Ran into the Montreux Grand Prix. According to Chris, it was basically just a bunch of oild, noisy cars.

- Went to the grocery store. Came home, dropped off our stuff. Parked in the car in Vevey. Took the train to Rivaz.

- Had a picnic lunch overlooking the lake, beside the busy road.

- Walked to Vinorama, where we ordered a sampling of white wines. Chris was startled awake by the waitress when she came back to ask if we wanted a Rose. He was able to get a few more naps in before the wine came out. CB's favorite of the samples was from Epesses. The variety was a Chasselas.

- Next we want to Baccha's wine bar, up the hill. This time we had 2 whites and a red. We think they were from St. Saphron. We agreed that all were better than the ones we tried earlier.

- Then we walked along the wine trail, down from Rivaz to St. Saphron. Caught the train back to Vevey. Walked along the lake side promenaded to the fork in the lake. Literally, a fork, in the lake.

- Sat on the bech, went for dinner at Charlots, a sandwich shop that has been there for 20 years;

- Came back, and I could barely stay awake to write in the journal.

Mon Sep 8 7.1mm

--------- - Drove towards the Cailler chocolate factory. Took a tour, which explained the history of chocolate, right back from the Mayan era. The tour was actually quite fun and Disney-like. Near the end of the tour, we were impressed by the robotic arm knowing which were the good chocolates to keep, and disposing of the defective ones that didn't meet quality control. At the very end, we were offered an 'all you can eat' chocolate buffet. We tried one of each, probably at least 20 pieces by the end of it, and were pretty chocolated out by the end of it.

- Then we went to the town of Gruyere, home of Gruyere cheese. Here we checked out the HR Giger Cafe, decorated in a very Alien-like theme and had a smoothie. Then we went to the Fromagerie de Gruyere (cheese factory) and bought some famous Gruyere cheese and had ourselves a picnic lunch.

- Continued on to Interlaken via Jaunpass. Stopped and looked at some cows and enjoyed the views of the alps. Continued the windy road down the mountain. Stopped in Interlaken for a little bit, to buy a power adapter, since I somehow forgot to bring the right one.

- Picked up a few groceries and continued on to Lauterbrunnen, and checked into Chalet Rosa which had an awesome view of Staubbach Falls, the highest free-falling waterfall in Europe.

- Went out for dinner (Hotel Oberland) and CB had traditional Swiss cheese fondue, which came with mushrooms, chives, garlic and onion. I had chicken curry on rosti along with a Schneidervisse beer. Both meals were delicious. Although Chris said her fondue was perhaps a little runny.

Tue Sep 9 7.5mm

- Had breakfast at our B&B Chalet Rosa. Made our way to Wildersuil, and caught a train up the mountain to Schynige Platte. From here we started our trek, 'The Faulhorn Hike'. Unfortunately it was very cloudy as we departed the train. Some time later the clouds parted and we had some decent views overlooking Interlaken and Lake Brienz.

- Continued on, and had to climb up a view steep sections, where the views opened up to 4 large peaks, Eiger, Monche, Jungfrau, and Shreckhorn.

- Made our way past the Faulhorn peak where Europe's highest (and oldest?) hotel still sits. From there it was down to the lake, passing a myriad of Swiss cows and the never ending ringing of their cowbells.

- Then we pressed on to the 'First' gondola station. The fog had really rolled in, and along with getting soaked we were unsure of whether or not we were going the right way. Just as we had started to question our navigation, the station came into view. Had a hot chocolate at the station, which was a pretty good deal by Swiss standards at 2 Swiss Francs.

- Took the gondola down through the clouds to Grindelwald. Walked through Grindelwald and found the train station. Caught the train to our home base of Lauterbrunnen.

- Went out for dinner at Hotel/Restaurant Silberhorn. We had made a reservation the night before, but upon arrival the waitress apologized and told us she had given our reservation away to someone else with the same name! We had a drink in the waiting area, and made it to our seats 40 minutes later, hungrier than ever after a day's hike.

- It was dark by the time we were seated (couldn't enjoy the views we had hoped for) but the wait turned out to be worth it, as the fondue was perhaps the best we'd ever had. The consistency and boozyness factor was perfect. It also came with a shot of Snapps afterwards. Need to look up Heidi Milk pots when we get back, for a fondue pot that doesn't burn the cheese. The waitress also wrapped up and gave me the glass that came with my Jungfrau beer, after I requested it.

Wed Sep 10 7.6mm

- Got up early and caught the gondola and train to Murren. From there we went up to the Schilthorn / Piz Gloria. This spot is famous as the shooting location for the James Bond film 'Her Majesty's Secret Service'.

- Went to the viewing platform, which was partly cloudly, but could still get some decent views. Went inside to check out the 007 James Bond Experience, which included a virtual helicopter tour, superimposing our face onto Bond pics, falling off the cliff simulator, and taking part in the bobsled shoot out scene.

- Headed back out to the viewing platform for one last look, but it had completely clouded in. So we took the gondola back down to Murren and sat on some benches while we contemplated what to do with the rest of our day.

- In the end we decided to try 'Via Faretta'. We headed to the Intersport to rent our harnesses. The girl asked us if our shoes had tread and if we were afraid of heights. We told her yes and no, in that order, and we were on our way.

- So 'Via Faretta' involves wearing a zip-line like harness, and latching yourself on to metal cables that allow you to hike sections of a mountain you would not normally attempt (ie: sheer 3000 foot drops, likely to die if you were to fall, that sort of thing).

- The first bit wasn't too bad, meandering around some steep sections, up and down a few metal foot rungs, that sort of thing. And then we hit the scary part. A sheer cliff face with nothing but 3000 feet down to the Swiss countryside below us. There were metal rungs for your feet stuck into the cliff. You eased yourself across, one step at a time, holding on to the cable and snapping and unsnapping your caribiner from one cable to the next. All of which sounds simple, if not for that 3000 foot drop below you. In reality you are harnessed in, and secure, but all your brain perceives is that nothing but these little metal foot holders are keeping you perched up on the side of the mountain.

- After that adrenaline inducing section, things seemingly returned back to normal. That is, until we reached a zipline that crossed a large open canyon. We weren't brave enough to attempt this, not knowing how we would stop, or worse, going so slow, we would be stuck in the middle. Or having a harness malfunction.

- But luckily for us, there was an alternative route, which consisted of a 'bridge'. And by bridge I mean a single cable, tightrope style, along with a cable on either side of you for balance, across a slightly narrower portion of the surely-you-would-plummet-to-your-death canyon that the zipline crossed. The cable felt quite wiggly as we crossed, but we made it (obviously).

- After that second adrenaline incuding section, we were beginning to wonder if we could handle any more sections like this. The next challenge we encoutered was a series of ladders, all standing upright against, yet again, sheer cliff faces with 2000 foot drops.

- The other 'fun' section was crossing a waterfall, and a second 'tightrope bridge'. I didn't want to look down over the second tightrope bridge, since I figured it was probably another huge dizzying death defying drop, but after crossing it I realized I would have only fallen 20 feet into a small pool, and *then* swept over the edge into the abyss.

- Surely this was the end of the madness? We made our way towards what we figured was the end. We could see the cable cars coming up from Grimwald. Relaxation was here. Or was it? 'Looks like there's one more 'treat' for us up ahead' Chris shouted back to me. And that's when we came across our final challenge, and Indian Jones-like suspension bridge crossing a canyon that had to be at least 150 feet across and God knows how many feet down. The river at the bottom looked very small.

- The bridge itself consisted of a narrow metal grate-like platform to walk across, and 4 cables suspending it across the canyon, along with a cable on each side beside the platform, to strap yourself into. The first few steps were a bit concerning, especially as the bridge would sway with each step. It got a little less scary as you reached the middle, since you could hold on to both sides at once to steady yourself. And then at the end it got a little harry again. At the end of the bridge we had a short, peaceful, walk up to Gimmmelwald.

- After completing what has to be dollar for dollar, the best adventure value in Switzerland we returned our harnesses and took the gondola down to Stechelberg, and caught the bus home to Lauterbrunnen. At Stechelberg, we briefly viewed Murrenbach Falls.

- Home at last, we decided to take a walk up to Staubbach Falls, the self proclaimed 'highest freefalling waterfall in Europe' and walked behind them.

- Then we went out for dinner to the restaurant by the Lauterbrunnen campground. When the waitress asked Chris if she had had fondue before, I answered for her, "Yep, it's her 3rd night in a row!!". The fondue turned out to be pretty good. Chris ranked it as the 2nd best, just behind Fondue #2. I had pizza with hot peppers and ham, it was pretty good as well.

Thu Sep 11 7.0mm

- Checked out of Chalet Rosa and headed towards Geissbach Falls, an impressive multi-tiered 'Top 100 in the world' waterfall with bridges, and you were able to walk behind the waterfall. Chris was limping up and down the path, with one stiff leg from our via faretta adventure the day before.

- Drove through the Grimsel Pass, which we couldn't see much of, due to the fog. But just after that was Furka Pass, and everything opened up and we could see the impressive scenery surrounding this steep mountain pass. Very twisty roads with lots of motorbikes.

- We stopped at the Rhone Glacier and went through the man made 'ice grotto', a 100m section carved out of the glacier. It was ok, but the view of the glacier was more impressive.

- Next up was 'Devil's Bridge'. We stopped here for a while to check it out, and walked across it. An impressive old bridge built in the early 1800s.

- Drove towards Bellagio, on Lake Como. First we drove through Como, with all of it's narrow streets and a lot of traffic. Then we wound our way up to Bellagio. The roads leading up to Bellagio were a real adventure, extremely twisty, while fearing for your life with what could be awaiting you around any corner (usually another car speeding towards you, seemingly with not enough room for both of you on the road).

- Then we checked into our Bellagio AirBNB, which wasn't really that great. It was kind of dirty, and the picture showing a view of the water was misleading.

- Later that evening we went out for dinner to Aperitif Et Al. A wine bar that also served pasta dishes. Drank some very good wine and delicious home made ravioli stuffed with ricotta and spinach. We also shared a good salad and some cheeses. The interior was kind of like a cellar and we were seated next to the wine room itself.

- After dinner we went for gelato at Borgo. We shared a straciatelli / hazelnut combination. Chris really liked the hazelnut. Tried to meet up with Jon who had flown into Milan that day, but he had fallen asleep.

Fri Sep 12 7.5mm

- Went and woke up Jon. His AirBNB place looked better, and close to the water. Went for breakfast at a place overlooking the ferry port and the lake. Tried to figure out where to rent a kayak from. We took the ferry over to Menaggio and rented some kayaks from AC Boat Rental.

- We kayaked around Lake Como a little bit. Jon fell in the water after tipping his kayak at one point.

- Took the ferry back to Bellagio and met up with Dave. We all went for dinner to Cava Turri-something. Our table was set in a room where we were surrounded by wine bottles. We tried a sample of wines from the region along with some delicious meats and local cheeses and honey. Then we shared a couple pastas (ravioli and tagliatelli).

- Next we went to La Fontana and shared a pizza and wine. Jon complained that his margherita pizza didn't have basil on it. The owner told him he wsa absolutely right to complain about the lack of basil, and that the cook was lazy that night. But he also explained that some basil was ground into the sauce.

- Then we went to Club Lido. It was pretty empty. Well, completely empty, except for the bartender. We had some very stiff rum & cokes and sat outside, on what could have potentially been a great club, if anyone was there! We sat on the chairs that appeared comfortable from a distance, but were actually made of cement.

- We met a nice brother/sister pair from New York who were on vacation with their parents. A few more people eventually turned up, including a wedding party, but it was still a pretty weak crowd. But we ended up having fun anyways, and hit the wide open dance floor later on after a few drinks.

- Stumbled home, and surprisingly found a not-too-bad route that got us home. I think we were pretty lucky to find our way home so quickly.

Sat Sep 13 7.8mm

- Woke up, luckily, as our alarm on Chris's phone apparently did not work. Hastily packed up, and drove to the car ferry that took us over to Cadanabia. From there we drove to Lugano and dropped off our rental car.

- Made our way on the train from Lugano to Milan. We transferred at the busy Milan train station, onto a train that took us to Monterosso. Chris ate some good focaccia bread with cheese in Monterosso.

- The tourist crowds were getting bigger and bigger now that we were in Cinque Terre. Throngs of people waiting to get on and off the trains.

- Took the train to Corniglia station and walked up the 365 steps leading to the town. We met Cristiana Ricci and checked into our Corniglia AirBNB. This time it was as nice as we had expected.

- Sweaty and hungry, we freshened up and went out for dinner. After wandering around for a bit we ended up at Ceclio, a restaurant with a fairly nice view overlooking the sea. The menu was about 95% seafood related. Chris had spaghetti with muscles, while I had trente pasta with pesto. We both thought our dishes were just ok, and the portions a bit small, but the pasta itself was homemade and fresh.

- After dinner we had gelato at Alberto. Chris had basil and raspberry, while I had tiramissu and honey. We considered this one our best gelato to date, even after visiting Florence.

- Jon got in late that night, but he had booked a place in San Bernadino, which was a tiny little village, and a strenous hike up the cliff from Corniglia. When he tried to call the place, they only spoke Italian, so he found a woman in Corniglia to call for him. They never showed up to pick him up, so he and Dave found a new place to stay, close to us.

Sun Sep 14 8.7 mm

- The next day we woke up early to try and beat the rush on to the Cinque Terre trails. The first leg we did was from Corniglia to Vernazza. The views were very nice, with relatively few people on the trail, and were in the shade. Along the way we passed vineyards, lemon trees, and fruit-bearing cacti.

- In Vernazza we sat on the bench by the water and had a little break. And then carried on to Monterosso. On this leg, things started to become busier. The views were still nice though. As we approached Monterosso, we started encountering traffic jams of people on the narrow trail. It was a good thing we weren't traveling in the opposite direction, as there were literally armies of tourists heading towards us from Monterosso. In some cases we had to stop and wait as over 50 people passed us at a time.

- In Monterosso, I went and got milk, and Chris got another delicious foccacia bread from the train station. We headed back to meet Dave and Jon and had some drinks (frozen Margarita and Bellini) while they swam. We saw a woman in the water that looked like Jon (thanks to the hair).

- Took the train back to Corniglia and rested a bit. Then we took the train to Rio Maggiore, and started our final hike of the day. We had to take the high trail, since the regular trail was closed. The 'high' trail lived up to it's name, and was very steep, which did not mesh well with how tired and hot we were by this point. The trail ascended steeply the entire way, to the panoramic view point. Then we descended down just as steeply, into Manarola.

- We walked around Manarola a bit, but did not have time to swim as planned. We rushed back to Corniglia, freshened up, and went back yet again to Vernazza, after encountering a 35 minute train delay. In Vernazza we ate at a seafood restaurant on top of an old fort, 'Belforte'. Dave and Jon were already several drinks in by the time we arrived. Everyone ordered a seafood dish except Chris, who had spaghetti with meat sauce. Jon and Chris had pasta with zucchini and shrimp, and Dave had a variety of seafood. The food was pretty good, the service was questionable.

- After that we bought a bottle of wine and had some gelato. The flavors we picked this time around were pistachio and ricotta. Chris really liked the pistachio.

- We went back to Corniglia and hit the hay, while Jon and Dave found a good bar serving all types of beer and kept the night going.

Mon Sep 15 7.9mm

- Had breakfast at the cafe down the street, owned by the same people as the place we were staying at. I had a really good toasted sandwich, and Chris had a panino.

- We descended down the 365 steps at the edge of Corniglia, for the last time. We went at a pretty good pace, as the train was coming soon, and then headed to the town of Lucca.

- In Lucca we found a bike rental shop (Tuscany Ride A Bike) and started riding our bikes around the walled perimeter of Lucca. Lucca had some really nice wide paths, with a lot of trees, and the path followed the wall in a loop all around the city.

- Eventually we biked inside the loop, into Lucca, and had some wood fired pizza at 'Pizza da Felice'. We both agreed that this was our best pizza of the trip.

- Then we rode past San Martino, an impressive cathedral from the 12th century and a few other sights. We stopped for some more gelato (surprise!) at Gelateria Veneta. Chris had lemon and fig, while I had pear and mousse. The pear was quite delicious. The lemon was very lemony.

- We finished our loop around the wall and returned our bikes, and then headed to the train station to catch our train to Florence.

- Lugging our belongings through the crowded, noisy streets of Florence, we found Zubio street, home of our next apartment. We freshened up, and went for what we thought was going to be a light snack before dinner. But it turned out not to be so light, as we each had a gigantic sandwich from the famous All'antico Vinaio. Most of us had a meat sandwich with large slabs of cheese that looked big enough to be a thick slice of turkey, and stuffed with a mushroom sauce. Chris had a veggie sandwich. We all washed it down with some wine as we sat on the provided stools in front.

- Then we walked off our sandwiches by doing the Rick Steves walking tour of Renaissance Florence. We started at the Duomo, and walked down a wide pedestrian street with all the shops, looked at an old church and proceeded to a large plaza with the fake statue of David. Then we walked down another pedestrian street in front of the Uffizi, with all of the statues of famous figures from the Renaissance (Galileo, Machiavelli, Donatello, etc).

- We proceeded along the wide river at the southern edge of downtown, and went across a famous bridge (Ponte Vecchio). At the end, we bought some not that great gelato at exorbitant tourist rip off prices. But it was still tasty. We had bananana and mixed berry. I ate all the gelato but left the cone empty.

- Carrying on, we trudged up the steps to the famous Florence viewpoint, Piazzale Michaelangelo. By now it was very dark, and the famous sights of Florence were all lit up. Then we all walked home. I bought a large amount of milk on the way back.

Tue Sep 16 9.7 mm

- Woke up to the sound of our room's air conditioner dispensing water all over the floor and under our bed. Not a great way to start the day.

- Went to the market nearby our place, and bought some flavored pasta (hot pepper linguine), a bottle of wine, and some olives. We headed to the bus stop to try and waited for bus 303 to take us to a Tuscan castle where we could try some wines, but it never showed up. Or maybe it did but didn't stop. Either way, we learned not to trust Google Transit for accuracy.

- Giving up, we went into what I thought was the pizza restaurant we were looking for, but it turned out to be the wrong place. We stayed anyways, and I had a plate of penne pasta. I didn't think it was that bad for a 3 circle restaurant.

- Walking down the street after lunch, we stumbled upon the pizza restaurant we were actually looking for, 'Amici di Ponte Vecchio'. Chris had a slice of tomato pizza. She billed it as average, maybe skewed by our amazing pizza in Lucca.

- Next we went to Palazzo Bitti, and walked around the very large gardens attached to it. It was an extremely hot and sunny day, and the gardens were quite wide open in spots. We scurried from shady point to shady point as fast we could. Overall we felt the gardens were nice, but the map they give you is pretty poor, and it would have been better if all the fountains were working, considering the price of admission.

- We stopped in at the Florence location of the winery we were trying to visit outside the city (Winery Veranazza). The bakery inside looked delicious. For lunch we had pecorino cheese with fresh honey straight from the honeycomb and orange. I also a sandwich containing just meat and bread (quite dry, it could have used a few extras). We washed it down with some rose-eh and chianti wine.

- Back to the hotel to freshen up, before venturing out for our pizza and gelato cooking class. Davide and Alessio taught us how to make a delicious thin crust pizza. First we arranged the flour in a circular well, and added our fresh yeast and warm water in the middle. From there we mixed it into a dough, and kneaded it into a perfect ball.

- Spreading out the dough, we added 5 spoon fulls of tomato sauce to our 10" of dough, Then we added the cheese, oregano and chili pepper flakes, along with the meat and fresh basil.

- When it came time to use the shovel to lift up our pizza, Chris mangled his, turning it into a calzone (too greedy with the toppings, making it too heavy). So he had to make another pizza with some of the extra dough.

- All of our pizzas ended up turning out quite well, and just may have been some of the best pizza we had on our trip. Or it may have been the generous amount of wine we drank while we cooked (the chef commented that they normally go through 7 bottles of wine, but tonight they went through 11). After that we had some home made gelato, which we really didn't have any hand in making, only consuming.

- After the cooking class we tried to find a wine bar the chef recommended ('Ete?') but without any luck. Then we tried to find 'The Cockatil Bar', a place we had on our list to try. It didn't seem to exist. Tired of wandering the streets, we sat down at a different cocktail bar, and had some drinks with an Australian couple (Oli and Claire) that were at our table in the cooking class. Good times were had, and then the Chris's went back to their room, while Jon and Dave kept 'er going as usual.

Wed Sep 17 - 7.5 mm

- Woke up to catch our train from Florence to Venice. Pretty fast train (290km/h).

- Checked into our Best Western hotel near Venice airport. They didn't have our reservation. 'Sit down, this could be a while' the girl told us.

- Took the bus into Venice, and caught a vaporetto. We listened to the Rick Steve's Grand Canal tour as we made our way to St. Mark's Square.

- St. Mark's was the gong show we had expected, packed shoulder to shoulder with tourists. Then we attempted to navigate the twisty, dead-end streets of Venice to try and find Dal Moro's Fresh Pasta To Go. 4.5 after 3000+ reviews on Tripadvisor! We received our pasta-to-go in a container not unlike a chinese take-out box. CB had fusili with cream sauce and tomatoes. I had penne with sausage and ham and a spicy tomato sauce. Both were delicious.

- After lunch we went to try some gelato at Suso. We got the 'doge' flavor.

- Went to check out the Rialto Bridge. We couldn't stand being on it very long. Too much humanity.

- Bought Mom a Murano glass bracelet charm. Took the ferry back to St. Mark's square in hopes of it being less busy. Tried to sit on some steps for a break, but were told we weren't allowed to. Did the Rick Steve's Audio tour of St. Mark's..

- Went up the 300 foot Bell Tower of St. Mark's and took in some great views of Venice and the surrounding area. While we were up there the 5 giant bells went off, *LOUD*

- Back on solid ground, we met up with Jon & Dave. Went for drinks and tried the customary 'aperitif' (one for men, one for women). The one for men is pretty bitter, while the one for women tastes a whole lot better!

- Headed to dinner at Osteria Alla Staffa. When the waiter asked what we wanted, the choice among the men was unanimous... 'lasagna'. CB had the ravioli stuffed with sea bass and cheese. The lasagna was amazing, so light and airy. For dessert we had cappucino and tiramisu, also amazing.

- Went to check out St. Mark's square at night. There were a whole lot less tourists, and the orchestra's were dueling on either side of the square. And the pigeons were gone too. A lot more enjoyable!

- Rode the vaporetto back to the bus station. The Grand Canal wasn't quite as interesting at night, but at least Jon & Dave got to see it.

Thu Sep 18

- Took a *really* early morning flight from Venice to Split. Caught the bus from the airport to the ferry terminal. Tired and hungry, Chris and I headed to look for a breakfast spot we wanted to try. Unable to find it, we settled for chicken from the grocery store, and a smoothie.

- Caught the catamaran from Split to Hvar. In Hvar, we wandered the windy, hilly streets, dragging our luggage up and down steps, just like we had done 10 years earlier the last time we were in Hvar. We even passed by the Green Lizard, the hostel we stayed in last time!

- Eventually we found our AirBNB stay. It had nice views of the water. Went to the market and bought some food & drinks for the weekend.

- Walked down to the pool bar to meet up with Euge and Elena. Very nice pool! Took a dip after some convincing. Tried out the waterslide.

- Walked back into town and met Steve/Hoa and Mike/Paulina arriving on the afternoon catamaran. Mike & Paulina were sans Sebastian!

- After walking with Steve/Hoa to our room, we walked back down into town again, to meet up with Mike & Paulina, who were supposed to meet us in the square by the water, but somehow we missed each other. After waiting for a while, we went to Restaurant Panorama where we ate a *lot* of food. Ridiculous amounts of beef, chicken, and seafood. It was already dark by the time we arrived so we didn't get to see the amazing views, but we did see 2 shooting stars!

- We went to Mike & Paulina's apartment, but didn't last very long. Within minutes the owner broke up our little gathering. So instead we went to the 'Mustache Bar'. After that everyone else went to Pink Champagne, but Chris and I were too tired and headed home.

Fri Sep 19

- Went down to the ferry dock area, to meet up with everyone for Euge's bachelor party. Bruno arrived with the catamaran. Chris had to wake up Steve, who made it just in time. We set sail for the Pakleni islands and a day at sea. Spent the day on the zodiac, had some drinks. Had a picnic lunch. Swam in the ocean. Played ping pong. Picked up Ryan.

- Lost Euge. Met up with the girls at the Nautica Club. They had been getting free shots. Had a bad server. Went back to the mustache bar.

Sat Sep 20

- Woke up to pouring rain. Went for a smoothie and a sandwich at the Green House. Chris had a breakfast smoothie with banana and oats. I had peach, zucchini, honey, and coconut flakes/milk.

- Ran into Ryan. Headed back to get ready for the wedding. Walked down to the old church. Bruno's daughter threw up. Ceremony began. Had some champagne while the guitar players serenaded us.

- Waited around for a bit, and then boarded a bus up to the fortress. Sat down for dinner and drinks. Took some pictures. Checked out the fortress. Had some appetizers. Dancing began. Second appetizer arrived (stuffed squid). And then the main course (seabass or steak). More drinking. More dancing. Euge's cousin fainted. Euge's cousin came back (?!!) John had to leave early (sick). Cut the cake. More dancing. More drinking. Closed down the fortress.

Sun Sep 21

- Walked down to Pokonji Beach. Pretty nice. No sand, but a nice bay. Went for a swim. Chris thought the water was cold. But she always does.

- Walked back, picked up another smoothie to try and boost our immune system against the stomach bug going around. Boarded the Vagabondo boat that Euge had chartered for everyone. Boated around the Pakleni islands. Food and drinks were served on board. At one point we stopped at a swimming area. The sun set as we boated back to Hvar port.

- Went out for pizza to Alviz with Ry, Monica, the boys, Steve, Hoa, and Jon & Dave. Really good pizza! Cool restaurant interior, with trees growing everywhere.

- Then we all went and had some gelato, our final gelato stop of the trip. This time we had Snickers. Definitely not the 'authentic' gelato this time, but still tasty.

- Headed up to Cafe Park for some drinks. It started out ok with some really good fruit daiquris, but the music quickly went downhill and drove us away. Chris went home and I stayed out with Ryan, Dave, Mike and Paulina and we bought some beers from the local shop and drank by the port.

Mon Sep 22

- Woke up early to catch the catamaran back to Split. I was starting to get a little sick, worn down by so many late nights.

- Bought some chicken and oranges at the grocery store in Split to try and nourish myself back to health. Left Chris baking in the sun, after the bus that was providing her shade decided to head out.

- Took the bus to Split airport, caught our flight to London. Little did we know this would be the last time Chris would see her luggage for 6 days.

- Arrived in London. Bags weren't there. So we traveled light on the tube to our Best Western Burns hotel. Got an upgraded suite room. Convenient and close to the tube stop.

- Went for dinner at an Indian restaurant, called Dishoom. To start we had curry on a bun, followed by a black lentil dish, a chicken dish, and a paneer dish, and some naan and rice. Washed it down with some delicious lassi drinks. Everything tasted amazing.

- Back to the room, exhausted from our trip.

- Bought a few things in the London airport, thanks to a lost baggage credit. Slept most of the way home to YYC. My bag showed up the next day. But Chris's would not find us for another week.