A Travellerspoint blog


After a gondola, a taxi, a plane and then another taxi ride we finally arrive at the Yooma Hostel. The rooms were so cool there were 2 sets of bunk beds and they were in cupboards with sliding doors. large_07A96B07-2507-4135-9975-9D1D270D3A5C.jpeg

On our first full day, we went to Le Harve to watch the Women's World Cup New Zealand v Netherlands. It took 2 hours on a train to get there. When we were on the train in our New Zealand gear we got interviewed by Fifa TV on our score predictions and favourite players. (We looked on Youtube the next day and found it but Bella and Toby had been cut out the interview which they were gutted about) We finally got there and there were so many people wearing orange (Netherland supporters) there was a minority of NZ fans at the game but the Dutch were friendly and fun. We were sitting in the middle surround by a sea of orange. The girls played really well managing to hold them out until the 92nd min when the Dutch scored which was unfortunate. I had so much fun watching some of my idols play and being in the busing atmosphere soaking up the World Cup vibes.large_0781EB16-DF76-423E-B82E-13AB9123B7D2.jpeg

The next day we went sightseeing back in Paris. We caught the metro and went to the poor old Notre-Dame for breakfast and had crepes then we walked to the Lovre museum, we wandered through the gardens to Champ-Elysees and then we went to the Arc de Triomphe and we went up to the top and watch the heavy rain come towards us. The Arc de Triomphe was amazing I enjoyed watching the cars go around it and cutting each other off.large_9FB4E2D3-A593-4CD8-A343-1E3FCD5927A3.jpeglarge_8D973A61-9453-4542-88F4-B374A089B1FF.jpeglarge_D415CB1F-735B-42D6-9E93-9A84B34B07AB.jpeglarge_90DF5F83-37AC-4E63-AAE8-015A45869C11.jpeg

On our last day in Paris, we went to Disney Land. " The Happiest Place On Earth!" the waiting times were really good. It was a fabulous day we had loads of fun on the rollercoasters especially Dad who loved the dark and fast one (not).

We enjoyed seeing the iconic sights of Paris. Next stop to Switzerland then back to Paris for our final days in Europe.

Posted by Watson5 20:36 Comments (0)

Cortina D'ampezzo

We arrived in Cortina in the afternoon during the siesta hours (1pm-3pm) , so everything was shut and the town was empty. We arrived at the accommodation and it was super storage friendly. The were cupboards in the stairs, fold out tables and folding doors to create a bedroom in the lounge. The view was amazing from the apartment the mountains and the buildings made it look like Switzerland. We went exploring in the town when the siesta was over. We went to the tourist office for some recommendations on what to do. The lady in the office wasn’t very helpful luckily Dad did some prior research. There were loads of Gondolas going up to the mountains and there was ice skating and an adrenaline park. Unfortunately, all most of the tracks and gondolas were closed and the ice skating and the adrenaline park was also closed because it was the least busy time of the year as there no skiing and not many Europeans were holidaying because of work. So that limited our options. Mum came up with a brilliant idea since we were saving money with everything closed, instead of hiring out normal bikes why not E-Bikes. The E-Bikes were amazing it made biking uphill so much easier/faster. They gave you a bit of a jolt every time you pedalled. I loved Turbo mode the most, but I didn’t use it much because I was worried the battery was going to run out. We biked up to a rifugio on a mountain which provided amazing views of the valley. There was a little snow along the way which amazed us because we were in shorts and T- Shirts. Overall our bike ride was 60km. In Cortina we also did a beautiful walk to some a lake and wandered around the town.large_IMG_1350.jpglarge_IMG_9246.jpglarge_IMG_9311.jpglarge_IMG_1376.jpg

After 3 nights in Cortina we went 20km up a windy road to the base of the Lagazuoi Mountain to take a gondola to the rifugio on the top. It took 3 minutes to go up 600m. It was opening night for staying in the rifugio in the summer season and there was snow everywhere. Us kids came in with the idea that we would spend most of our time in the snow but after 5 mins we had wet frozen feet and hands it wasn’t so much fun. We still had a family snowball fight. We walked in the snow to the edge of the cliff where a cross was, Mum kept on falling over which was good entertainment, but it was exhausting even though it would take 10mins usually. We were short of breath because we were 2700m in altitude. Dad promised us after South America that we would never stay in high altitude places again because some of us suffer from altitude sickness. We hung out on the deck loads in our downtime admiring the view and drinking the most amazing hot chocolates. Staying in the rifugio was one of the best experiences on this trip I would totally recommend staying in Cortina and the rifugio if you are travelling in Italy. large_637E76E3-905C-4650-AEAF-78315001965B.jpeglarge_8790F22D-5954-4E74-8D53-7F901514253C.jpeglarge_CE02867C-AD08-4F81-96D3-C126AD59BD06.jpeglarge_C9BF0F3E-1107-4768-8C6A-CC9272CBC97A.jpeglarge_624A0AD1-B155-4EF0-A354-7A906E4E681A.jpeg

Next stop Paris!

Posted by Watson5 04:33 Comments (0)


It was a short drive to Postojna from Rovinj. We went for a quick 2-hour lunch break in Piran along the way. It was boiling in Piran, Although Piran was beautiful it was too hot to stay any longer in the 35 degree heat. Our accommodation was right next to the cave. It was our first hotel on this trip so it was like luxury walking into the hotel lobby and you can take an elevator instead of the stairs to the room and fresh linen every night. We were quite removed from the town so there were limited things to do other than the 2 museums and the cave. All the restaurants and shops closed early because the cave is mostly done as a day trip.

The Cave was awesome it makes the Naurgua Cave on the Takaka hill look tiny. We took a 3km Train through the cave, we went past the ballroom which had a chandelier right in the center making the whole room glow. The train went through small tunnels and past galleries of stalagmites and stalactites. We got off and walked another 1.5 km through the cave. There were so many people it was so squished and they were so rude and would stop right in front of you to take a picture. The deepest we were underground was 120 m. My favourite part of the cave was the Spaghetti Gallery there were loads of little white stalactites which looked like hanging uncooked noodles. It was really cold with a constant temperature of 9 c degrees all year round but it was so hot outside, it was a nice cooldown. We saw some Olms, they look like axolotls but the live in the cave. They are blind and are known as Human Fish, In the olden days when there was a flood in the cave and the olms washed out the people thought they were baby dragons. When the Olms come in contact with sunlight their skin burns so they die. The cave was so spectacular I would definitely recommend it.large_IMG_1293.jpglarge_IMG_1279.jpglarge_IMG_9139.jpg

We went to an underground zoo and learned about the different animals that live underground . We also went to 2 exhibitions one about the cave and one about butterflies from around the world. There was a castle that was built on the side of the cave that we also visited. It was a really cool place but I would not like to be there. The audio guide was informative and told really cool stories about what happened in the castle. It was an amazing view from the cave castle and it must have been hard to build it in those days.

I enjoyed our 2 nights in Postojna. Next Stop Cortina D'ampezzo!

Posted by Watson5 08:02 Archived in Slovenia Comments (0)


On the way to Rovinj, we went to the Plitvice Lakes and met Aunty Tracey and Uncle Bryan. It had been raining all morning, so we set off on a quick track that went to the famous waterfalls. The waterfalls were booming since it was raining. I really enjoyed the lakes it was a shame that we didn’t have enough time to go on the train and the boat. We were very cold and wet so went to a nearby restaurant and had loads of warm potatoes to fill up our bellies. We said our goodbyes and headed off in the van to Rovinj.

We finally arrived in Rovinj in the afternoon. The town of Rovinj is like all the towns in Cinque Terre with a colourful builds buildings. Rovinj was a lot bigger. The following day we explored our surrounds visiting the church and some shops and a fruit and veg market. large_IMG_9007.jpg

The next day we went to Pula to do Go-Karting which was super fun. It was a 1km track and the karts went 330 horsepower and we are used to 200 horsepower in Nelson, so it was a big difference for us. Unfortunately, Bella got a smaller kiddie kart, so we were lapping her all the time. After that, we went into town for some lunch and explored. Then we went to the Pula Arena which looked like a mini Colosseum and sat in the grandstand.The Arena is still used today for concerts and events. It would be cool to see a concert in the Arena.

There was a big hotel on the other side of Rovinj which Dad went to explore there was an inflatable water park around the other side. Dad, Bella, Toby and I went there the next day and we spent an hour playing. We did races and wipeout challenges it was so fun. We ended up going back the next day. Dad was in hysterics laughing at all of us failing and slipping off.

We noticed they had set up the water and a cello player was doing a dress rehearsal and a lot of security and fancy tables with Moet on them so it looked like it was going to be a fancy party. Mum and Bella went there in the evening to have a look. Dad, Toby and I went to a restaurant to watch the Champions League Final. It was an average game but then we got a text from Mum saying that Andrea Bocelli was performing I was flipping out! During the extra time we left and ran 2km at 10:30pm. I have never ran that fast in my life and 2 Coca-colas did not help. We got there and he was still singing which was a relief we all got to hear him sing the song 'Time to Say Goodbye'. We parked up near a pathway in the hotel garden. The night finished with an amazing fireworks display.

I enjoyed Rovinj so much it was really fun and pretty I am still buzzing about seeing Bocelli live. Next stop Postjana Cave!

Posted by Watson5 04:48 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)


We did our last bus trip in Europe which was a bit of a whoop whoop and this bus arrived on time, was really clean, we didn't have to go across the border and we didn't have to change buses halfway through. We arrived in Zadar and it was stinking hot and everyone was thrilled that we had a surprise 2km walk with our backpacks on especially Bella who decided halfway through that she would turn around and get some more steps in. Finally, after Bella's slight detour, we arrived in the old town of Zadar. We wandered the Old town in search for a much-needed lunch. We went to the Sea Organ which I was super excited about. I really liked the beautiful sound it made. The waves would push the air up and there were 5 different tones and 70 pipes so when a boat went past the music went was super loud. I could sit there and listen to music for ages it was very calming.

The following day we did all the sights around the old town. We visited the archeological museum, the Roman Forum, the Church of Saint Donatus, The Cathedral and in the evening we went to the Greeting to the Sun. It was unfortunate that the weather wasn’t great so the Greeting to the Sun wasn’t as bright because it is Solar Powered. It was still really cool sitting on it and see it change colours. We also walked up to the top of the Bell Tower. 173 steep steps but once you got to the top you had an amazing view of the old town.large_Cathedrel.jpg
View from the Bell Tower
Saint Donatus Church

We also visited the Museum of Illusions which is by far my favourite Museum yet. There were loads of different pictures to stare at to see if a hidden 3D image appears. There was a room called the infinite room which was full of mirrors and you could see yourself far into the distance. My favourite thing in the Museum a bridge you walked across inside a rotating mirror tunnel. When you walked along the bridge it felt like you were spinning and you were about to go upside down so you were clinging to the rails you looked ridiculous to anyone standing outside the tunnel because you weren't moving and you are holding for your life.

I really enjoyed Zadar especially the Sea Organ. Next Stop Rovnji with a quick visit to the Plitvice lakes.

Posted by Watson5 06:20 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

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