Europe Travel

The Yacht Week, Croatia Route, Part 1:

 

The Yacht Week, Croatia Black Route, Part One….

Haley: As I sit here, sipping my glass of wine, looking back at pictures and reminiscing on the amazing week I had, I cannot wrap my head around what I experienced. I had seen so many pictures of friends from college’s Instagram’s that attended and heard from word of mouth how awesome The Yacht Week was. I knew it was something I wanted to experience but never found the time to go. I had looked at tons of itineraries for Croatia.

{I CANNOT WRAP MY HEAD AROUND WHAT I EXPERIENCED}

A few months ago, my friend Kristen (the Blondie to my Brownie) sent me an email about a guy she knew through work needing two girls to complete their boat in Croatia. This obviously was a no brainer for me….SIGN ME UP because I have serious FOMO! We rented out a full boat but you can also rent out a cabin in a boat….so if you are wanting to go and don’t have 10 people, no worries.

Rachel: I have to interject here – my introduction to The Yacht Week was a bit more of a “sling-shot” “pull the trigger” type experience. Having never heard of it before, I had no idea what I was being brought into. I received my invite through a friend I met on Birthright (hey there Taglit friends) and could already hear the faint Calvin Harris in the distance as he described the sun soaked, week-long rager on the Adriatic him and his friends were planning. Now, I’m not necessarily the clubbing type but I’m also very afraid of working away my 20’s and missing out on potentially once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It took me a week or two to commit but once I did my research (unbelievably gorgeous Insta pictures and FOMO helped), got my finances in order and persuaded another girl to join us, we were off to Croatia! “Indulge” would definitely be a key word on this trip. . .

Haley: Flying to Split, Croatia was not as bad as I had expected. I went from Nashville to DC, to Munich to Split. Kristen and I met up with the guys and two new awesome girlfriends the first day in Split. We ate, had a few drinks and sat up talking for a long time before heading to bed (thank you Airbnb).

Saturday, we headed to the marina to meet our skipper and hostess….Holla Vinko and Karan. We checked in, went grocery shopping and then set sail around 5pm. My first reaction when I saw the room Kristen and I would be sharing was… “OMG I’m too boujee for this”. The rooms were small but that was to be expected. The beds were about a queen size but if you know my bestie, you know she doesn’t like to be touched. No worries, we made do :). We had a nice size common area with 5 bedrooms and I slept like a baby every night.

Rachel: So, I would like to offer a note here that nobody is ever prepared for sleeping on a boat for a week – except those who have just slept on a boat for a week. But, life is what you make it. The guys made their own beds on the deck every night and to their defense it did get very warm down below by about 7am every day – and they were partying until that time anyways. Though I definitely got in at about 4am from dancing a night or two so, who’s judging who here? And are you going on TYW to sleep? That’s a definite no. Anytime we felt cranky or cramped or sea sick (because good lord knows that happened) we just went out on the deck and experienced the incredible cavernous mountains and unbelievably royal blue ocean. The views of the Croatian seaside swallow you whole and surround your senses. Sailing around the islands is awesome in the original definition of word in that it creates an actual, I must to stand up to see more, sense of awe.

{WHO’S JUDGING WHO HERE?}

Haley: We were off and set sail to Supetar for the Opening Party. Vinko, our awesome skipper, made sure we were there early enough to get one of the first spots on the dock. All other boats had to tie up to us.

Sunday morning we cruised to our next location, Palmizana/Hvar where we spent two days. This is considered the St. Tropez of Croatia— a bohemian-like place nestled in lush botanical gardens on a tiny island in the Adriatic Sea. The water was the bluest water I have ever seen. The sidewalks/roads were built out of stone and each yacht was able to dock. Here, we were able to get off the boat and freshen up in the great bathrooms and showers.

We were docked but had to take a water taxi to the restaurants/bars in Hvar which took about 10 minutes to get to. Hvar is definitely the most touristy place we went but the food was AMAZING and the bars were so fun. On the waterfront you will run into boutiques, bars, restaurants and cafes.

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Sunday afternoon while everyone went to the Hula Hula Party, I worked up the courage to check something off of my bucket list…SKYDIVING (sorry mom and dad). I mean who doesn’t want to fly up in a questionable plane and jump out with a Croatian man attached to your back who barely spoke English?? #yolo I thought I was going to be nervous but for some odd reason I didn’t think twice. It was the most thrilling and amazing experience I have encountered to date. I was in the most beautiful place in the world and I got to see it from 14,000 ft in the air.

Hulu Hula Party:

DCIM100GOPROGOPR5876.

After this, I definitely needed food. I met up with a few people from my boat to eat at Pizzeria Kogo. Hands down, one of the best places to eat!!! If you know anything about The Yacht Week, you know you will never go without a party. Starting around 12:30am, another party began (Carpe Diem Beach Stipanska) but this old lady was not feeling that one.

Monday we spent more time in Palmizana/Hvar. The girls and Joe (now referred to as Joga) went to the free yoga class they had on the “beach”. I am absolutely TERRIBLE at yoga but the view was amazing.

…Rachel: Let me jump in here…if by amazing Haley means groaning “oh I forgot I had muscles there” and enjoying belly laughs at the motley crew of disheveled yacht weekers sitting in the dirt desperately trying to lift their legs in the air – then yes. It was amazing…ly far away from the beach. The incredibly authentic Croatian instructor effortlessly floating through the air and humming along was great though. We thoroughly enjoyed her!IMG_5575

Haley: After yoga, we found a beautifully unique hangout lounge restaurant/bar sitting among the trees where people ate the best seafood on the Dalmatian Coast.

We then met the rest of our crew (they finally woke up) and we all hiked to an old cathedral/fortress. Talk about views for days!!! We were able to walk around and see the old walls, cannons, prison and view of Hvar. Walking around I noticed people were not in a hurry like greedy Americans are. They did not have their phones out texting or taking pictures (I was taking pictures because I obviously wanted to show you guys and my family). The locals were living in the moment and that is something I wish we, as Americans, did more of (I am guilty of this).

{TALK ABOUT VIEWS FOR DAYS!!!}

Things to do in Hvar: rent jet skis, paddleboards, flyboards, skydiving, rent scooters, hike to the cathedral/fortress

After our day of exploring, we headed back to the boat to get ready for the Rivieria Chic Party (white party). Ummmm…the BEST party of the whole trip by far. Everyone was dressed in white while attending a party in Hvar with an awesome view of the beach. Our crew ordered a table for this event which was well worth it!!! This was one of the best decisions we made. The party started about 5pm where we danced to great music, had champagne guns pointed our way and made even more friends from all over the world. It felt so chic with everyone dressed in white…Killing the game! 🙂

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TYW hosted another Carpe Diem Beach Stipanska to dance the night away but obviously grandma, ‘aka’ me, did not attend this again…too late. I did not feel FOMO at this point.

Rachel: Hey Hi Hello – I was super feeling the Carpe Diem Beach after party. This is also because Joga and I had a time-out taking care of members of our crew who took the Riviera party a little too seriously. Since we still had our party hats on we joined up with the rest of the guys back on Hvar at one of the most colorful and dare I say, strangest, parties of the week. Picture this – once off the boat you walk down a winding cobble stone pathway lined with cocktail tables of shots towards a completely covered venue of muffled sound. We had quite a few moments of reconsidering on this pathway. Inside you see it’s a completely tree covered canopy of neon lights, bubble machines everywhere, resort style lounge chairs, and of course, another great dance floor with a cage of all white balloons above just waiting for the right moment. The most bizarre part came in at about 3am when a man in an all white suit, medieval jokers hat, gloves and a white masquerade mask took the stage with dancers and fire breathers to a growing techno beat. His robot slash jazzercise slash clubbing moves were entertaining – but the best part were the mixed faces of the crowd. Some – this is awesome! Most – what the actual hell is happening?

{WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL IS HAPPENING?}

Haley: Tuesday morning was an early morning. We set sail yet again and met up in Komiza with the other 36 boats on the ‘Black’ route (our route). Upon meeting, the skippers positioned our boats in a circle with the back of our boats facing the middle. We would like to call this the ‘The Circle Raft’. How cool is this? After almost passing out because I blew up my unicorn float without a machine, created a super cool gopro diving shot and videoed amazing boomerang videos, the next few hours were spent rafting around and meeting up with our new friends (also cracking up at people and their floats with lifejackets). It was great to see everyone on our route with crazy fun floats and drinks! The circle raft was literally a crazy pool party in the middle of the Adriatic Sea and I am 100% certain our Tuesday was better than anyone else’s.

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{HOW COOL IS THIS?}

Every single person on this trip including the locals thought I was max 22 years old. I appreciate the compliment but I think the braids were a factor in that. Shoutout to Rachel for taming this mop of a head while there….you my girl :). I loved having our skipper and hostess hang with us and party the nights away. We definitely would not have survived without our hostess.

To be continued….

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