Tag Archives: basic

Pag and Buzet, 2010

Pag town was small and all white stones. There was a pretty harbour and a great gift shop where I bought a bracelet that goes with everything. My husband and I found St Mary’s church, Kralja Kresimiro square and the statue of Juraj Damatinac. We saw Ducal Palace, a ruined tower and the statue of Basic in the main square.

The main square was actually used by the locals who made Pag lace and Pag cheese, but we could never find the famous Pag lamb. Even though we were on the right island, there was sheep everywhere and every restaurant we went to had it on the menu; we were told it was out of season.

We headed to the summer beach resort town of Novalja the next day in the hopes of finally catching a boat. The town was mainly nightclubs and restaurants which were closed for the off season.

That night, bad weather threatened to cancel our boat trip. But the weather cleared and we finally caught a car ferry to Rijeka the next day.

We had to wait half a day for the bus in Rijeka with our bags, which meant that we couldn’t take off and explore the nearby castles. Instead we took turns sitting in a local bar and wandering down the main street past the Gradski Toranja city tower. I found a stone wheel fountain in Ivana Koblera square and a roman gate. I also saw the Jardrolinja office and thought about going in to complain about the lack of boats during the off season, but decided against it.

Our bus to Buzet left from the Florence-like Chuch of Our Lady of Lourdes. The bus was busy with school children and other locals, so we had to stand the whole way. I read in the guidebook that Istria is in the centre of the slow food movement region which means eating lots of tasty food over a long period of time. So after being denied the delicacies of Pag lamb, our interest in Buzet truffles, was peaked.

We stayed in Buzet new town where most of the locals live, that had one hotel, the Hotel Fontana, which was being renovated during the off-season. After an hour or so of walking down an empty road to a recommended restaurant, we gave up and headed back to the old town. The views from the top of the hill were beautiful. Being isolated, there were green hills, white cliffs, a few red roofed houses and not much else. The town was cute and it was nice to be the only tourists in a small place.

The old town itself was tiny, mostly deserted and it didn’t take us long to see the sights. We entered through the Mala Varta gate and headed for the bell tower in the main square of Titov Trg Zvonik, which is the landmark structure that gives the town it’s aesthetic appeal.

We walked around to the Mala Sterna baroque well, saw a baroque house, the Bembo Palace and the old bell tower of St George’s church which had one of its two bells missing. Heading for Vela Sterna well square, we finally found some people in a family of four playing near the fountain.

Related posts: Split and Zadar, 2010, Dubrovnik, 2010, Destination Thailand, 2010

You spin me right round

The only remotely risqué thing I have done (that I am willing to share on the blog anyway!) is take pole dancing lessons.

I was bored after two seasons of taking salsa lessons and not really learning anything as the men have to lead; so I convinced a friend and took us to Bobbi’s Pole Studio in the middle of Sydney’s CBD.

I had already had a taste of what the studio had to offer after attending a hen’s night (bachelorette party or stagette do for those from other countries) where we dressed up in cute outfits and I was complimented on my spinney pole skills.

It was with trepidation and a bit of dutch courage from the pub next door that my friend and I walked into our first lesson. The class was girls only, which immediately put me at ease and the teacher was blonde, friendly and bubbly- kind of like a cheerleader.

The beginner’s course was good and they eased us into the moves slowly. The idea was to teach us some basics and then put together a simple routine to boppy music.

We were advised to purchase shorts that were short enough to keep our thighs bare to grip onto the pole and stiletto heels to make the moves easier to perform. Stiletto heels?! I couldn’t even walk in normal heels, let alone heels that are thin enough to break.

Pole dancing was surprising more athletic and less stripper-like than I thought. Don’t get me wrong- they still made us wear what is basically underwear and perform a Kate Moss- but I actually had to quit after the taking the beginners course twice over as I was not athletic enough to continue.

Sure- I can spin around a pole just a good as the next person; however I lacked the core strength and abs that are needed to hoist your body up a pole whilst upside down only holding on with your ankles. I was also completely scared of landing on my head onto the wooden floorboards.

My friend, on the other hand, was addicted and went on to progress much further than I did. She may have even suggested that she was going to have a pole dancing themed thirtieth birthday party and rope me into performing on the night (thank god that never happened!).

We did put on a show at the studio at the end of term for family and friends only. Our boyfriends were suitably impressed with our newly purchased outfits and the result of our efforts, even though I had to do a couple of extra spins while everyone else performed upside down acrobatics.

Credit to all the pole dancing teachers out there- it is a sport and these ladies are truly athletes. It was fun for a while, but I think I will stick to the sports I can actually do, like taking a nice walk in the park. But at least I can now do this in five inch heels!

Related posts: What’s in a number?, Cocktail hour in Sydneytown, Get your groove on, By special request