Tuesday, 28 July 2015

#AAAinCroatia: Krka National Park, Zadar Old Town and More!

Hello again and welcome to the third instalment of my #AAAinCroatia series! By now you'll know all about the trip itself so I'll get straight into it...

KRKA NATIONAL PARK









So on the second day the guys from Croatia Wave took us to the place I'd been most looking forward to seeing - Krka National Park. Let me tell you right now I was not disappointed and in fact I was in awe of how beautiful the place is. No amount of photos or videos can do this place justice and if you are ever in Croatia, this is somewhere you must visit! The waterfalls, the deep blue water, the sound of the birds and the nature around you; it all adds up to one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in my life. We also got to swim in the waterfalls at the bottom too which was a fantastic experience and my Slydes proved to be even more durable than first thought (Seriously I think they could survive all conditions!). Andre, one of the guys who was staying with us, did have stop me floating away in the current a few times; being 5"4 when everyone else is over 5"7 meant that my little legs couldn't touch the bottom that far out!! Entrance to the park costs just 110 kuna, which is about £11 - amazing right?! I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed going here and it was definitely one of my favourite moments!

THE FOOD







When I go on holiday or abroad somewhere, one of my favourite things to do is try the local cuisine. Like I said in yesterday's post, I don't eat meat at all really when I'm at home but abroad I do, just so I can really get a taste for the local foods and after all, who doesn't love a bit (a lot) of food?! So after Krka, we headed to Pag Old Town for dinner in a beautiful little restaurant called Stara Solana, which served us with a lovely meal consisting mostly of seafood. Fish isn't something I usually go for at home but as you can see in the first photo, everything was so fresh, served on a platter with whole pieces of fish and octopus. Yep, that's right, octopus! It seemed to be really popular in Croatia and I found it to be surprisingly nice! It wasn't something I could eat a lot of but considering how much I hate squid I did think it was okay! My favourite meal had to be on the final night where we went to Na Tale Restaurant. Amelia opted for the biggest tuna steak I have ever seen while I went for a grilled chicken breast with some kind of cheese sauce. It wasn't like anything else I'd ever had before (it was bright green!) but it was frickin' amazing! 


THE BEST CHILL DAY EVER






On the Friday, we were taken to a little hidden beach called Dubrava Beach which was right next to our villa. We did have to have a little trek down the side of the huge hill and although I've never seen Lord of The Rings, I was assured that it was lot like a scene from the film and it is safe to say that even though it was a very sweaty climb (I think I burned about 1000 calories just from doing it!) it was worth it. The beach was tiny but so beautiful and I have never ever seen water so clear. It was actually warm and there were little fish and crabs everywhere you looked. We were the only ones on the beach apart from one other couple so we had literally the whole place to ourselves for the afternoon. It was absolute bliss and was exactly what I needed!

After we'd had our fill of the beach, we were treated with personal massages from masseuse, who came to the villa. I'd never had a massage before (I know! Shocking right?!) but I know that one won't be my last. I opted to have the relaxation massage instead of the sports massage (I think a sports massage would have made me cry) and it was bloody fantastic! Can you think of anything better than lying on one of these beds by the pool with the view like we had?! Amazing!



THE OLIVE GARDEN TOUR AND ZADAR OLD TOWN




On the last day there was only Amelia, Erica and I left (I'll link up their sites at the end of the post!) so we were taken on a tour of Pag's olive garden where they grow the olives to make Pag's famous olive oil (I brought a bottle home and it was delicious!) It was absolutely sweltering (almost 40 degrees!) so we were taken around the garden on a little caddy by the tour guide, who explained the process of growing the olives and when they are picked, along with showing us one of the oldest olive trees in the garden. Can you believe that the tree in the final picture is 1600 years old?! 








Before we headed to the airport, Amelia and I had a quick stroll around Zadar Old Town to get a real taste of Croatian culture. The buildings in the Old Town were so beautiful (you can tell Game of Thrones was filmed in Croatia!) and the streets were lined with little boutiques, coffee shops and homemade ice cream stalls. The Old Town was right up my street and although we did get a bit lost at one point (small windy streets are not the easiest to navigate!) it meant we got talking to a little old Croatian man, who told us a little bit about the history of the town and how it was bombed 75 times during WW2. The atmosphere was friendly and lively, with live bands getting ready to play in People Square as we were leaving - it made me so sad to leave such a beautiful country behind!

I also made a little video about the first couple of days so give that a watch below and be sure to subscribe to my channel here.



So there we go! That's what we got up to during our trip! HUGE thanks to ASOS, Slydes and Croatia Wave for such a fantastic opportunity that I will never forget. I know Karl and I will be heading back to Croatia for sure!

Amy x

p.s. You can find Amelia's blog here and Erica's website here

Monday, 27 July 2015

#AAAinCroatia: The Villa, Day 1 and Fresh Island Festival

Hey everybody! If you caught yesterday's post you'll have seen the first of my photos from my time on the island of Pag in Croatia with ASOS, Slydes and Croatia Wave. In today's post I'm going to talk a little bit about the absolutely stunning villa we stayed in and what we got up to in the first couple of days so prepare for a very photo heavy post but I promise they're good ones!

THE VILLA










Amelia and I were staying in the villa with a number of other journalists and PRs and as you can see it was nothing short of stunning. I think my favourite thing about it was the location. We woke up after arriving in the middle of the night and opened our curtains to absolutely breathtaking views of the mountains in the background, the deep blue sea and a lovely garden, complete with a pool and comfy seating area. The second photo down? Yep that was what we woke up to every morning. Paradise. 

The villa was part of Croatia Wave, one of the companies which were sponsoring our trip. Croatia is a hotspot for music festivals on the beach and Croatia Waves makes it easy to book your festival tickets, villa or apartment and transfers all in one package. They offer 5* villa experiences or apartments depending on your budget and offer packages all over Croatia, from Dubrovnik to Hvar. While they are holiday/festival package specialists, they also encourage you to explore and experience Croatia itself, which is what we did on our trip and it was right up my street. Wherever Karl and I go on holiday we get out and explore the place and experience as many different things as we can so although I did enjoy a day of chilling by the pool, it was the experience I was really looking forward to.

DAY 1: WINE TASTING AND LUNCH AT HOTEL BOSCINAC






So, on our first day we headed to the beautiful Boskinac Hotel, one of the finest restaurants on the island, for a morning of wine tasting and lunch to follow. As you all know I don't drink so I'm definitely not accustomed to the taste of wine so it definitely was an experience! Wine all tastes the same to me so I can't really vouch for it but Amelia is a seasoned wine drinker and assured me that it was good wine! We were served with a plate of posh nibbles with the red wine, including Pag cheese and octopus which was absolutely lovely. Despite not being a drinker I did really enjoy the tasting of the different wines, even if I didn't enjoy the taste of the wine itself; it is always nice to experience the different foods and drinks a place has to offer so the Boskinac wine tasting was definitely great for that!




After the wine tasting, we headed upstairs onto a terrace for a three course lunch which was absolutely spectacular. I don't eat meat at home but when I go abroad I do as like I said above I like to properly experience the cuisine a place has to offer. We were served rib eye steak for our main course which was sliced into chunks of tender meat (it was delicious!) followed by a duo of desserts. This was without a doubt my favourite part of the meal - apple pie is always a winner in my eyes! The meal and the wine tasting together cost 25 kuna a head, which works out at about £25. I was so shocked when I realised it was that cheap but it was similar throughout the trip - Croatia is such an affordable place, I had no idea! 

The other guys headed off to a Croatia Wave boat party later in the afternoon and then onto the festival but Amelia and I chose to chill by the pool. We were still exhausted after our flight the day before so just had a nice afternoon reading books with our feet in the pool. Bliss! Plus, I was very stressed out after losing my passport in Zadar airport, so much so I actually got quite sick on the night! Luckily one of the Croatia Wave taxi drivers, Tommy (who was one of the nicest guys ever), got a hold of my passport and brought it back to the villa for me. How amazing is that?! Tommy is definitely my hero! 

NIGHT 2: FRESH ISLAND FESTIVAL









On the second day we visited Krka National Park (more on that in my next post!) and after having a beautiful dinner we were headed to the festival. On our way, the guys said they had a surprise for us and we were taken down to the harbour where we were picked up by two speedboats!! Coolest. Thing. Ever. We sat on the front of the boats and spent so long racing each other and zooming around the sea with great music playing and I cannot tell you how much fun it was! I don't think I've ever laughed so much as I did then, taking photos with Amelia's hair flying everywhere and pulling "rich laugh" faces (Joe?), it was such a fantastic experience.

It's safe to say we arrived at the festival in style (travelling by car back at home is now such a bummer) and I'll admit I didn't think I would like the festival. I've only been to one other festival in my life which was Download (obviously the two are very different!) and as a non-drinker I didn't think it would be my cup of tea. I was so wrong and actually ended up having a really good time. The DJs we saw were insanely good and played some amazing mixes, including tracks from Snoop Dogg, Calvin Harris and hip hop music I wasn't familiar with but did enjoy! Tim Westwood was my favourite DJ of the night (although he did say some rather bizarre things during his set that I couldn't possibly repeat ha!) and even though staying up until 3am isn't my usual thing considering I'm usually in my pjs with a cup of tea by 11oclock I really did have a great time!

Stay tuned for my next post, where I'll be talking about Krka National Park and Zadar Old Town!

Amy x

p.s. don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a £50 WearAll voucher! Enter here.
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