One day and 3 countries, we woke up the next morning with church bells and the sound of a choir from our apartment. We are in Split, Croatia! First, we wanted to say thanks to our friends who have generously hosted us and shared their daily lives with us over the last 3 weeks. We will miss you! You made our road up to our departure easy.
On the day we departed, we woke up at 7am and after clearing the grit from our eyes, we found ourselves at a local coffee shop. That’s what you do in Seattle. We were sipping coffee only a few feet from the Space Needle watching torrents of rain come down as a crazy low pressure blew through with 50+mph gusts. We cherished every minute of the place we called home for so long. It was unusual weather, but a common fall day. That was essentially what the rest of the day was like for us.
We boarded a Norwegian Air flight by early afternoon with a one-way ticket out of the country. This was the first time we’ve ever bought a one-way ticket. It was a weird feeling not to know when you will return. The overall first leg of the flight was uneventful other than boarding was all at once versus the anticipation (and annoyance) of getting your row called. We generally don’t get too anxious about boarding, but we were flying with all our possessions we will take for the next 3 years, which included a couple of carry-ons. Norwegian Air had amazing prices, but we didn’t know what was included in terms of luggage. We had spent most of the previous day packing down to 3 check-in duffle bags and trying to get the weight to meet the airline's requirements. It was more time consuming than we thought. We had one bag of clothes for each of us and one for gear like cameras equipment. We had anticipated to pay nearly $400 for the check-in bags and were very happy to find out that everything was included. We didn’t know what category ticket we bought as it’s not detailed anywhere on our tickets or receipts. The amenities on board were rather nice for a low price provider, including good seats and a multitude of old movies and a few new ones that I didn’t mind watching. It wasn’t the most amazing, but it was good. My expectations were low. There was some confusion around food as I got a meal, but for some reason, Isabella did not. We just purchased some food for her and made it work. Can’t get too wound up about these things when you are traveling.
We arrive in London bright and early with very little rest, but the plan was to spend the 11-hour layover mostly in London and not at the airport. What can you do in London in that time? For us it was just simple sightseeing, people watching, and eating. We walked around 10 miles through the city and pretty much saw most major attractions. What struck us is how new good old London was. When you look at the skyline, it was essentially a city of construction cranes. It made Shanghai's building boom in the early 2000s look pale in comparison. We were out early before the tourist and thought the season was over, but London by noon was teeming with so many people that it was hard to move around the major sites. That was also on a windy and rain day. Somehow the same weather we saw in Seattle was also in London, but no matter what, London was still as grand and pomp as ever. It was a great layover city.
We arrived late in Split with the weather still dry and warm. We finally escaped the weather that was notorious in the previous two cities. It was now well over 30 hours since we had any real rest. We would get waves of sleepiness that shut us down, but were only a few minutes from our apartment in the center of the old town. The place was right within the Diocletian Palace. The major tourist gate to the palace was closed and we had to walk around the walled city and down alleys to eventually find our apartment. A place we will call home for at least the next month.
It was nice to wake up to people singing, but I will admit that I could have used a bit more sleep. However, we were excited to start the first day of our adventure abroad!
P.S. Over the next few days we will be visiting our boat and enjoying the city and the surrounding sites. Look forward to sharing some details about our boat and how we made this happen.