Okay so last month I had the worst holiday of my life. Literally. But we all know how it goes with holidays, as soon as you get back, people want to know how it went. What happened? Did you have a good time? Was the weather nice?
Well ‘lots, yes, nice’ is the contracted form of that answer. But the long answer, ho ho ho. The long answer is so much more.
So I’m documenting the long answer here, so that if someone asks me how my holiday went, I’ll email them a copy of this blog post and then hear them openly weep and console me.
Yes, it was that bad.
But what holiday? I hear you ask. Well, let’s start at the beginning because, as Julie Andrews once said in that famous movie that I’ve never seen, it’s a very good place to start.
My best friend Rachael lives in Australia and decided to pop over for the summer holidays. So we planned to do a little roadtrippy holiday in Europe while she was here and get sufficiently tanned whilst also enjoying cheap drinks. I know, truly groundbreaking stuff.
She’ll be v happy I uploaded this.
So we planned – during various 1am FaceTimes – to go to Berlin and Croatia, each for a week.
So the days passed, and so did the weeks. Then finally, she rocked up and we got ready to head out on the road.
So we got to Berlin – just about. We pretty much sprinted to the gate, only stopping to get eggs benedict from Itsu ‘cos we’re motherfucking ballers.
We arrive in Berlin and try to navigate to the airbnb we have booked. We have to meet the guy at 12 midday. So I enter the directions into Citymapper, but it doesn’t recognise the number.
It does, however, recognise one that seems to be two doors down.
So I figure what the heck, it’s only two doors down. We can just walk the two doors back up, right? So we get on the ancient-looking metro and set off.
First mistake, we’re heading in the wrong direction. So we get off and go the other way.
Another mistake, we’re now heading in the wrong direction on the wrong metro.
After navigating to the correct metro and in the correct direction, we finally make it to the place that’s two doors down from where we’re staying. Except oh no wait, it’s not even close for some reason. The place we’re staying is a 40 minute walk away. Citymapper has well and truly fucked me up and it’s already half 12.
So we turn around and head back on that godforsaken metro (at this point Rachael has exasperatedly taken over from me while I cry internally.)
We eventually make it to the airbnb only an hour and a half late, after many desperate calls from our host.
Getting lost becomes a recurring theme in Berlin. That metro is a godforsaken hellhole and towards the end of the week we both refuse to go on it any more. Fuck you metro. Fuck. You.
But we survive Berlin, and we arrive in Croatia. (This is where I have to start segregating things because they become THAT FUCKING BAD.)
We land in Dubrovnik and, after dropping our bags off at the Airbnb, we head into the Old Town.
The Old Town is absolutely delightful and we have a really great walking tour (Rach and I love a tour of any kind, because apparently we’re 60-year-old women. Plus we have a tour guide who makes me question my homosexuality and Rach’s heterosexuality, but that’s another story to be honest.)
So anyway, after our lovely walking tour, we head to tourist info because we need to know how to get the ferry to Hvar, where we’re spending the rest of our time in Croatia.
As we start talking to the incredibly cute guy at tourist info, he tells us no, we can’t get the ferry today. We start to panic.
He tells us that the ferry is fully booked and we have to get one tomorrow. We panic more. We can’t get the ferry tomorrow because we’ve already paid for our Airbnb in Hvar starting from tonight and have nowhere to stay.
(I briefly consider asking to stay at his, but decide against it at the last minute.)
Luckily, cutie pie has a great idea. He tells us there is another ferry going to Hvar today! Fantastic news. The bad news? It’s departing from Split, which is a cosy 4 or 5 hour bus journey away.
We are laughing to keep from crying. Cutie pie laughs along too.
He gives us directions to the bus and tells us to go get our bags now and head to Split ASAP.
We retrieve our bags, but then forget what he told us, so we go back to the tourist info, where I flirt with him and he says he hopes he doesn’t see me again. I chalk that one up to flirty banter.
But regardless, we get the bus to Split and, after panicking multiple times, we finally arrive in Split to find that we have a 6 hour wait before the ferry departs at 1.30am. Fun!
(Oh and while we’re sitting in Split, trying to pass the time, we end up getting a thirty minute lecture from a vaguely racist old man who tells us everyone in cities will end up with mutations, for example gills, because of all the pollution. Gr8.)
We finally get on the ferry at 1.30am and, after 3 hours, arrive in Stari Grad, a city on the island of Hvar. Our airbnb host, who is a total babe, picks us up and drives us back to Grad Hvar (the city.) We collapse into our bed at about 5am, making sure we leave room for Jesus.
Fin day 1.
Day two starts without incident, hooray! We manage to make it down to the beach, and have some lovely sunbathing time in the 34 degree heat. Blissful.
Then we take a dip in the sea. The lovely, hyaline sea. I can’t get over how clear it is.
We have a lovely dip and then, as we try to get out, disaster strikes. That’s right, Rachael has managed to impale herself on a sea urchin, and has somehow covered the entire top half of her foot in spikes.
I immediately panic, as does she. I run to get help, but none of the locals seem fussed. Pull the spikes out, they say, and it should be fine.
So we hobble back to the airbnb, me trying to support Rachael’s hefty weight.
When we get back, she pulls what spikes out of her foot that she can and we soak her foot in vinegar, because that’s what Google told us to do, and we are millennials so we just do what It says.
Google advises us that it will be better tomorrow, so we leave it overnight.
We are rudely awakened by a huge hammering on the door. I open it to find a young girl there. So I do what anyone does in that situation, I mumble “Can I help you?” in a half-sleepy, half-aggressive voice.
The girl says she is our airbnb host’s daughter, and that she’s come to have a look at my girlfriend’s foot. I am too tired to correct her, so I just let her in.
(Unbeknownst to me, however, whilst I am asleep, Rachael is in so much pain that she cannot sleep. So she grabs my phone and messages our airbnb host asking for help, hence the daughter.)
The girl takes one look at Rachael’s foot and does a sharp inhale – the kind that mechanics do when they look at a car and are about to rip you off. Except I didn’t think this girl was about to rip us off. She immediately says “You should go to the hospital”, in a very nervous tone, which of course sets us off panicking. Again.
So our airbnb host drives us to the hospital, where the hospital staff refuse to even look at Rach’s foot. Instead they tell us to get some black cream and go home, which we do.
By now we’re so totally knackered, we call this day a loss and I watch Vampire Diaries indoors while Rachael sits on the balcony with a HUGE needle and excises the urchin spines out of her foot in a sea of blood.
About half way through my second episode of Vampire Diaries, I hear a huge crash and a yelp from Rach. I rush outside and find her sprawled out on the floor. One of the legs on the chair has given way, because of course more bad stuff has to happen to us. Fantastic.
Rachael is still too poorly to walk, so she stays indoors and watches Vampire Diaries while I sunbathe. Not much happens on this day and I literally at one point, thank The Lord.
But it was not to last. Day five is our last in Croatia, and Rach is determined to get some rays. So we head down to the beach and sunbathe for a bit.
We set up camp on one of the stone pier thingys that jut out into the sea. However, it’s quite a choppy day, so the waves keep splashing up onto the rocks. But whatever, right? It’s 34 degrees, I’ll dry out in no time.
So I’m blissfully lying there when I feel this splashing on my back. But it’s not a big splash, like the waves. It’s more like a sprinkler. A warm sprinkler.
So I look up and, sure enough, a child is peeing on my back. So I jump up, retch a couple of times and scream internally, again. Of course this is happening! Of course a child is peeing on my back while I innocently sunbathe!
I need to wash it off immediately, but I don’t dare venture into the sea again, for fear of urchin spines. So I trek back to the apartment, and have a hard think about my life in the shower.
Day six is our last day in Croatia, as we make the long journey home. It is also, arguably, the worst day of the entire holiday.
We get up early to head down the docks, because we need to get the first ferry off Hvar in order to make our flight home.
That’s right folks. That ferry, the first of the day. Was delayed. By over an hour. Which had the amazing knock on effect of us missing our flight home. By 10 minutes.
Is there anything more depressing than watching your plane fly off, just as you get to the airport? Probably, but I haven’t experienced it yet.
So what happens next? That’s right, we have to buy new tickets. At the airport.
But we do it. We log on to good old EasyJet and look for flights, as we hear a group of girls (who also missed the same flight as us) say that there’s an EasyJet flight later.
And there is! Much later. 11 hours later to be precise. But what can we do, right? So we buy the tickets at a not-too-eyewatering price.
And we receive a confirmation email, saying that our transaction is ON HOLD, but we’ll get an email shortly.
So we wait 5 hours – which are massively helped along by our own sing-a-long versions of Hairspray and Moulin Rouge! We enjoy ourselves, even if everyone around us doesn’t.
After these 5 hours, we decided that actually, where the hell is this email? So we check with the lady on the desk, who informs us that our names aren’t on the flight manifest, so the sale must not have gone through.
Is this a joke? Nope. But wait, it gets worse.
In the five hours we have been singing along to musicals in Dubrovnik airport, the flight prices have gone up by £50 each.
So finally, after much commotion and a few more episodes of the Vampire Diaries, we finally board the flight. We hold each other’s hands across the aisle, and pray that nothing else goes wrong until we get home.
Even when we’re on the bus home at 3am, we say to each other “I won’t believe it ’till we’re in bed.”
But luckily, it seems our bad luck had run out.