The worst tour I’ve ever been on
I was all excited about going on this tour when I booked it back in December but when I actually did the tour I was extremely disappointed.
As usual I set off early in the morning; even though I was leaving from Heathrow I still had to be up at 4.15am.
I don’t know why but for some reason this felt like a very long flight. It was only 3.5 hours into Athens, Greece but it seemed much longer.
After dropping my bag at the hostel (and finding some very weird paintings on the walls) I set off in search of the Acropolis. What a walk! It would have taken me half the time had it not been for the heat and lack of shade. Good thing I put on sun screen before I left otherwise Id be the color of a lobster. I still came back more tanned than when I left which is a bonus.
It was 33 degrees at the bottom of the Acropolis – I hate to think what the temp was like at the top, I really struggled with it. I definitely don’t recommend walking up there in that kind of heat – or jandals for that matter. But I made it and i took photos and then I walked back down to my air-conditioned room. Okay so I actually stopped and wandered through the flea market too. Lots of cute things I could have bought had I had the room. Lots of leather sandals and wooden penises <– yep, seriously! Weird!
Day One – Parga
This morning I joined up with the busabout group. Some of them started in Turkey but a lot of us started in Athens. It was chaos down in reception – the tour guide wasnt very organised either and there were a number of groups leaving for different destinations.
Our first stop was only an hour out of Athens at a canal. This has one massive drop to it, but apart from the canal there was nothing there – I don’t even really know why we stopped here.
Our next stop was just a lunch stop and then three hours later we arrived in Parga. Wow this place is beautiful. After dropping our bags off at the hotel our tour guide walked us through the streets to the beach. The beach isn’t very big and has very little sand but the water was gorgeous. So we spent the rest of the afternoon floating in the water and sun bathing. After a while we decided it was too hot so we wandered through the shop filled streets and stopped for ice-cream.
Eventually we decided to go back to the hotel and change so we could go out for dinner and then meet up with the group at 9 for drinks. We had gyros for dinner – these were better than Athens but they weren’t as good as Dimitris in Chch 🙂 We then found somewhere for desert and I had the most amazing chocolate brownie ever. We then met up with the rest of the group for a few drinks. Tomorrow we are off to Albania.
Day Two – Tirana, Albania
Its kind of weird that its only day two as it feels like we have been on this tour for ages.
I really enjoyed Parga yesterday but coming into Albania was quite a shock. We stopped on our way into Tirana at a bunker that someone lives in so we can see what some of the people live like. This was interesting. Very small bunkers and no furniture or anything like that. But some of the countryside out there was very similar to driving through New Zealand. Until you get into Tirana. We were meant to stay out on the coast but something happened to the accommodation out there and we actually stay right in Tirana. This place is truly awful. It looks so dirty. We were also told not to leave the hotel as it’s not safe enough to be wandering through the streets. However, the hotel we are staying in is pretty flash. We have an apartment for four people with two bathrooms, a big lounge and a kitchen. There is even a pool here. However, driving to the hotel all you saw was streets filled with rubbish – it was pretty gross to be honest. However, I would still like to get to the coast one day, I hear its pretty nice.
Tonight we have an included dinner (we usually only have breakfast included, so its nice to not have to pay for dinner). Apparently the food in Albania is pretty good as they use a lot of fresh veges and fruit. Albania is still very self-sufficient.
There is no wi-fi in the apartments which is seriously annoying and reception is ages away.
Well dinner was interesting. On my way down to dinner I stopped to take some photos of the sun set which was pretty spectacular. I then got down to the restaurant to find everyone outside taking photos of the sunset as it was the perfect spot. After that was done we went inside for dinner where we were presented with pasta with tomatoes, coriander and a little bit of cheese. It was pretty yummy and enough to fill a very hungry person. However, they cleared away these plates and we were presented with a weird chicken steak covered in a yellow sauce (maybe a butter based sauce) and mashed potatoes. It wasnt very nice. But they then bought out the hugest piece of cake covered in cream and coconut. OMG it was so good!
We are off to Montenegro tomorrow – I’m really looking forward to it.
Day three – Budva, Montenegro.
We didn’t have an overly long drive which was nice. We got through border patrol in no time at all but sadly we didn’t get our passports stamped 😦
We got into Budva at about 1.30pm and then set off for the beach. Unfortunately we have a massive dorm with 14 girls and one bathroom and an 8am start – this can only end badly.
Originally I planned to go to the beach and swim for a bit, but I set out on my own today and decided instead to wander through the old town. It was unbearably hot and I really struggled with the heat here. I walked through the old town and bought some post cards, i wandered along the beach and headed back to the hotel to shower and change before heading to our BBQ dinner.
Most people decided to head out into Budva and go clubbing, I chose to stay at the hotel. The people on this tour are very young & immature and clicky which is awful. There are only a few nice people and thankfully those people also stayed behind and we got to chill out in our room chatting.
The younger girls came home at 3 or 4am and instead of being quiet and considerate they were really noisy – not that it surprised me in the slightest. Then they started shining the lights from their phones in people’s faces to try to find a power point to charge their phones. Eventually they gave up and fell asleep – however it was an 8am start so they got very little sleep.
Day four – Dubrovnik & Split, Croatia,
I think most of us slept on the bus, they didn’t even wake us for the border patrol when we left Montenegro. Going into Croatia on the other hand was a little odd. Border patrol came onto the bus (this isn’t anything unusual for Croatia) but he looked at my passport and handed it back to me, everyone else (except the kiwis) he looked at their passport and took it with him. There must be some new agreement since Croatia joined the EU or something.
Not long after this we arrived in Dubrovnik where it was exceptionally hot & being the fools that we are, we decided to walk the city walls so it was much hotter up there. So hot that we ended up sweating like a pig (do pigs actually sweat??), it was honestly so incredibly disgusting, the sweat was literally pouring off us. However, we weren’t the only ones so we didn’t feel quite so bad – gross though.
About half way round we gave up when we saw an early exit. None of us managed to walk the whole thing in that heat. I’ve never known heat like it & hopefully I never will. After lunch we got back on the bus and set off for Split. Our rooms here are quite nice (thankfully we aren’t staying at the booze & snooze). Most of the group went out for our last dinner together, however as I’ve been to Split before and I leave in the morning and don’t like most of the people (including the tour guide) I didn’t go. Instead I walked down to the markets and picked up some post cards and bits and pieces for Xmas presents and also organised my bus ticket for the morning. It was pretty productive and I got to do it in my own time and I got to sit along the water front and watch the sun setting. In the morning I was definitely glad I didn’t go out with the rest of the group as two of them ended up with food poisoning and had to stay Croatia Sailing in the morning.
This tour would have been much better if I had Caitlyn instead of the guy I had. Or any of the other tour guides I had with Busabout. Annoyingly Caitlyn finished her rounds of this tour two weeks before I went on it. This tour would be fantastic with the right people and the right tour guide. Unfortunately our tour guide didn’t like to give us a lot of history on each place and the people on this tour were just too young and immature. However, I’m still glad I went.
Photos are already up here.