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Welcome to yet another edition of Pause The Momentos, a monthly wrap up with a bunch of short excerpts, funny stories and interesting moments from my daily life as I follow my dreams and pursue my goal of living life to the fullest — all day, every day.
Did you read last months edition of Pause The Momentos? If not, check it out here.
Post Yacht Week Down Time
After a long week of wild parties and fun in the sun on Yacht Week, it was about damn time I took a breather. I needed a serious break. I booked two nights at this little Airbnb apartment near the marina for $35/night and I was really impressed with the place for the money. Sure, it was more of a room than an apartment but it was everything I needed at the time. Literally all I wanted to do was get a little bit of work done and catch up on some much needed sleep. I also got two solid runs in during my stay. I can’t even begin to tell you what it felt like to workout again after not working out at all for a week.
On the second day I hopped on the bus from Kastel Gomilica to downtown Split and climbed the bell tower of the Cathedral of Saint Domnius located inside Diocletian’s Palace. The photo above shows what the view looks like from way up top. Supposedly some scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed here. I’m not a GoT fan but maybe some of you might recognize it from the show.
Back to Prague
I had zero intentions on visiting Prague again after my first visit back in June. Not that I don’t like Prague, I do. It’s just that I had been to Prague three times in the last 5 years and I was just ready to experience something new.
Thankfully, I didn’t have any set plans other than needing to fly to Oslo, Norway by the 10th of August. I had originally booked a flight to Rome after Yacht Week thinking that it would be a cool stop before heading to Oslo but after finding out that a bunch of my friends would be in Prague for the week, I scrapped the plans for Rome and booked the next flight out to Prague.
As soon as I arrived in Prague, I checked into an incredibly spacious studio apartment located just steps from oh so popular Naplavka area on the east side of the Vltava River.
Use this link: www.airbnb.com/c/rgargiulo to save $25 off your first Airbnb stay of $75 or more!
Once I was all settled in to my apartment I showered, got dressed and headed out to meet up with Carey of Carebear Abroad, a Prague expat who I was virtually introduced to through my good friend and fellow Yacht Weeker, Matthew Foster (founder of RAKlife).
I hadn’t even met Carey for a minute before asking her to snap some handstand photos with me in front of this colorful mural next to my apartment. Thankfully, I had done some Facebook creeping prior to meeting up with her and realized we shared a mutual love for handstands. The result = an epic handstand photoshoot!
Carey was nice enough to play tour guide for the day and ended up taking me to a few spots in the city that I hadn’t been before.
We had lunch at a really cool rooftop restaurant known as T-Anker which has amazing views of the city and is a much more reasonably priced restaurant than the rooftop dining over at U Prince.
After lunch we climbed the Old Town Hall Tower which is located beside Prague’s iconic Astronomical Clock. The views from this tower are out of this world and I highly recommend you check it out the next time you find yourself in Prague.
Old Town Hall Tower Admission Price:
- Adults – 120 Kč (approx. $4.93 USD)
- Students under 26 years of age – 70 Kč ($2.87 USD)
Here are some of my favorite photos from the top of the Old Town Hall Tower in Prague.
After snapping a ton of beautiful photos from the Old Town Hall tower, we headed back down to Old Town Square, crossed the Charles bridge and made our way to Prague’s famous Lennon Wall.
Overall, I thought the Lennon wall was pretty cool and definitely a fun stop for those of you looking for a nice backdrop for some fun photos in Prague.
One word of warning though is that some of the paint on the John Lennon wall can be fresh so be careful if you’re planning on leaning up against it for a photo. I found out the hard way when I came down from my handstand and realized my new shoes were now ruined after getting black paint all over the back of them.
As I mentioned earlier, Carey is an expat in Prague and in the year that she has spent living in the city she had always wanted to try Zorbing on the river. Knowing I’m an adventurous soul, she asked me if I had ever tried zorbing and if I’d be interested in doing it. Funny enough, I have been talking about wanting to try zorbing for years now but I had never thought I would try it for the first time in Prague.
We arrived at Water Zorbing Prague around 2pm and it was boiling hot outside. As it turned out, our first ever attempt at zorbing coincidentally coincided with a record setting heat wave in Prague.
Let me tell you that it’s never a good idea to be crawling inside of a plastic bubble with little to no oxygen inside and run around in the blazing heat. That being said, we had the time of our lives while attempting to walk on water. We laughed endlessly while sweating our butts off inside this big ol’ bubble.
Oh, and don’t let anyone tell you that it’s easy to keep your balance inside of a zorb ball when you’re floating on water. It’s not easy by any means at all.
Carey filmed and edited this fun little video of our Zorb experience in Prague so be sure to check it out. Don’t miss the part where I attempt a handstand inside (as if it’s not hard enough to stand up) and fail miserably.
Water Zorbing Prague:
- Location: On the east side of the river bank just south of the Charles Bridge.
- Cost: 200 Kč (approx. $8.25 USD) for a 10 min session
- Hours: 10 am – 9 pm
- Web: Water Zorbing Prague on Facebook
Over the course of the next couple days I spent time hanging with some new friends, old friends and even a few friends I had met up with on my previous trip to Prague this summer.
We had a few memorable late nights out on the town together and the whole experience reminded me not only of how great life is to be able to meet up with new and old friends from around the world but also how small this world is.
On my final full day in Prague all of the boys got together and decided to go paddleboarding on the Vltava River. We walked over to Střelecký Ostrov (Shooter’s Island) and rented a few boards from Pltkaboards, the islands’ only Paddleboard rental company.
It had been a couple years since I had last paddleboarded but as expected, I picked right back up where I left off. In my opinion, paddleboarding is like riding a bicycle. Once you know how it works, it’s super easy to just hop on one and take off into the sunset.
We spent about an hour and a half or so doing laps around the island and simultaneously getting a really good core workout in while we were at it. If you’ve ever paddleboarded for a solid hour you’d know exactly what I’m talking about.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring the iPhone out on the river with me to snap any photos but we did take an opportunity to snap a post-paddleboarding team photo which you can see above.
Side Trip to Oslo, Norway
After an awesome trip to Prague it was time to head off to Oslo, Norway for 6 nights. Now, many of you are probably wondering why I chose Norway considering that I’m a warm weather only type of guy and all. Well, as it turns out, I had two different groups of friends in Oslo that I promised I would visit during my time in Europe. Fortunately, I had some time to burn and the flight from Prague was pretty reasonable so I said screw it and decided to go knock it off my list.
The first four days in Oslo were spent with my friend Yasmin, a girl I met in Cairo, Egypt back in 2010 through the Cairo Couchsurfing scene. We had been in touch occasionally over the years via Facebook and it was about time we reunited. Yasmin was kind enough to take a few days off from work and show me around her city.
We spent a few days wandering the city, visiting sculpture parks, watched the sunset from the Oslo Opera House, dined down by the harbor, visited the Holmenkollmen Olympic Ski Jump and even had a picnic at the beach. Overall, it was nice to reunite with a friend that I hadn’t seen since my first around the world trip back in 2010 and I’m really glad I made the trip out.
I spent my final two nights in Oslo with three Norwegian friends that I met in Playa del Carmen, Mexico back in March. Unfortunately, I somehow managed to leave Oslo without getting any group photos with them this time around but it pretty much goes without saying that I had an awesome time hanging with them as always.
Note: Without going into too much detail one quick thing that I’d like to share is that Oslo, Norway is by far the most expensive place that I’ve visited to date. I had been told it would be expensive prior to arriving but there’s really nothing that can prepare you for how outrageous things cost in Norway. I’m talking $12-15 for a beer, $18 for a cheeseburger, $34 for a pizza and $60 for a 3-mile taxi ride. Oh, and real talk; there is no such thing as visiting Norway on a budget so if you don’t have the cash flow don’t even attempt it.
Greek Island Getaway to Milos
After two back to back city breaks in Prague and Oslo, a Greek island getaway was seriously overdue. I was desperate to be by the sea again after pounding the pavement for almost two straight weeks.
Knowing my friend Annika is always down for an adventure, I reached out to her to see if she’d be interested in hitting up another island together. Of course, she was all for it and before we knew it we were booked on a 4-night getaway to the island of Milos.
We booked round-trip tickets on the fast ferry from Athens Piraeus to Milos and the journey took approximately 3 hours. It was an early morning ferry (7 am) so I was able to catch a few z’s on the way over.
Once we arrived at Adamas (port of Milos), we made our way to Mimoza Apartments and dropped our bags off as it was far too early to check-in at the time. In the meantime we headed back down to the port area and rented a motorbike for the first two days of our trip.
Recommended Motorbike Rentals: Niko’s Motos – located inside the offices of Riva Travel in Adamas center.
Because Milos is an island with so much to offer as far as sights, beaches and drool-worthy photo ops, Annika and I made a promise to each other that we would try to see, do and experience as much as we possibly could during our 5 days on the island. And, we did just that.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights from our visit to Milos.
Achivadolimni beach (pictured above) was the first of many beaches that we visited in Milos. It’s a quiet, organized beach located on the northern coastline of the southern part of the island. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the village of Plaka just above my left hand and the port and village of Adamas (center of Milos) on the top right in the distance.
After a relaxing swim at Achivadolimni beach we hopped back on the bike and drove all the way to the northern coast of Milos. We stopped Sarakiniko Beach, one of Milos’ most popular beaches.
Sarakiniko beach is known for it’s white, moon like landscape that was created from volcanic rocks shaped by the elements.
There are lots cliff jumping opportunities at Sarakiniko for those of you crazies who are up for a nice little shot of adrenaline.
The following morning Annika and I woke up bright and early and headed out to visit Firiplaka Beach, a beach that had been recommended to us by a local who rented us our motorbike.
When we arrived we couldn’t believe our eyes. The mixture of the turquoise waters with the white and red rock cliffs as a backdrop was almost too much to handle.
I remember standing there in awe as I tried to decide which camera I should use to capture all of this beauty. I stood there juggling my iPhone 6 Plus, Canon G7x and my GoPro HERO4 Silver, taking photos with each of them one after another.
Once we walked down to sea level we hopped up on the some of the giant chunks of volcanic rock and had a fun little photoshoot.
We ended up spending a good part of the afternoon lounging in the sun and swimming in the shallow, calm waters of Firiplaka beach. The water was absolutely beautiful and because the beach is located on the southern coast of the island, it rarely receives any high winds or waves.
We took advantage of the big split rock that sits on the edge of Firiplaka beach and used it as a back drop for some fun photo ops.
After Firiplaka we made our way back to town and called it a day. We knew the following day would be a long one so we decided to grab dinner and a couple drinks before heading to bed early.
Oneiro Boat Tours
The next morning we woke up bright and early and headed down to the marina to join the crew for a day trip with Elias and Dimitris from Oneiro Milos boat tours (#1 rated on TripAdvisor).
Oneiro offers full day boat excursions that take you along the southern coast of Milos from Paliochori Beach to Kleftiko Beach, the most southwestern tip of the island.
Here are some of the best photos from the day.
In case you didn’t notice from the photos, Annika and I thoroughly enjoyed our day with Elias and Dimitris from Oneiro. If you’re looking for a unique and adventurous boat tour of the southern coast of Milos, I highly recommend you book a day tour with them.
The total cost per person for this tour is €60 and the price includes three meals (light breakfast, full lunch and dinner) snacks and drinks. It’s a full day so be ready to be up early and back before sunset. The tour lasts approximately 8-9 hours but it flies by as you’re constantly in and out of the water exploring different parts of the island.
In all honesty, our tour with Oneiro was one of the most professionally run tours I’ve ever been on. The sheer value of this tour is absolutely out of this world. It could easily be priced at €85-90 and it would still be worth every penny.
More info: You can book your tour with Oneiro by heading down to the Adamas marina and finding their boat. All of the boat tour companies setup their info kiosks around sunset and Oneiro is one of the first boats from the left if you’re standing facing the line of boats in the marina. Price: €60/per person.
With two days left in Milos and a few more spots to check out, Annika and I started our morning early yet again. First stop Mandrakia Village.
This beautiful little fishing village was something you’d see in a magazine. The rocky inlet helps protect the fishermens’ boats from the waves on the north coast.
Here’s a look at a few small boat sheds in Mandrakia village. Each door was painted a different color.
Other than that, there’s not much else to Mandrakia. I do recommend you check it out if you have a few days in Milos but if you’re only on the island for a short visit, I would recommend you skip this and head to one of the more popular spots on the island.
Before heading home we stopped off to swim at Firipotamos Beach. There’s a really cool spot in the village that sits up above the beach with ruins from an old building. It’s almost as if it’s a doorway to the sea. Oh, and you know I had to throw down a handstand for this one.
Later on that evening we drove up to Plaka, a village that sits up on the northwest coast of Milos. The best sunsets in Milos can be seen from Plaka, more specifically on the outdoor patio at Utopia Cafe. Please note that Utopia Cafe does not take reservations so your best bet is to arrive at least 1 hour before sunset if you want to lock down the best seats in the house.
And that’s a wrap! Hope you enjoyed this months edition of Pause The Momentos. If you did, please be sure to share it via Facebook, Twitter, E-mail, or word of mouth!
- Sept 28th — Rhodes, Greece
- Sept 29th — Marmaris, Turkey
- Sept 30th-Oct 7 — Sailing the coast of Turkey (Marmaris to Fethiye)
- Oct 7th-14th — Sailing Turkey/Greece (Fethiye, Turkey to Santorini, Greece)
- Oct 14th-18th — Athens, Greece
- Oct 18th – Heading back to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for the winter
Interested in meeting up with me in Mexico this winter? Reach out.