One week sailing Croatia.

As many people who travel know, a one-week trip can be filled with adventure and emotions.  But what I didn’t know is that it can also give you a chance to learn and gain experience, laugh out loud all day and see the another side of each person who made up our group of five.

Our travel adventure was based on the idea that sailing around the Croatian island would be the best way to emerge into the Croatian lifestyle, and it did not disappoint.

The only way to explore the islands of Croatia is by boat.  The islands have remained steeped in history and rich in Croatian culture.  Settling sail the first day we embarked into an unknown world and a wonder filled adventure.


Day 1: Andorra / Dubrovnik / Split

 

Our trip started in Andorra (a small country between Spain and France) we all met up and drove down to the airport in Barcelona. Our flight left early in the morning and landed in Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik: Although we did not have much time to visit, Dubrovnik is a spectacular little town surrounded by a fortress right on the seaside. All the little houses and buildings are basically made a like, that’s what makes this town so amazing.

We spent some time near the port, where we encountered a really nice food market. They were cooking entire pigs on a stick (amazing).

After a short time in Dubrovnik we took a 3-hour bus ride to Split. The bus ride was really nice, it went alongside the coastline and at one point we crossed through Bosnia.

We arrived in Split in the afternoon, where we had a 30 min. drive to the port of Kastela (where the boat was waiting for us). After a few moments in ‘’ panic mode’’, since we could not find the charter company and were starting to think we would not get a boat, we finally got everything in order and were united with our lovely boat: RAVA. It was bigger than expected and looked just right for our trip. With three cabins, a bathroom, an open kitchen and lots of on deck space. We were ready to roll. 

After a long day traveling we decided to spend the first night in the port and set sail the next day.

 

Day 2: Split / Blue Lagoon / Paklinski Island                 

 

Since the hole crew was exited to set sail, we woke up early to get a fresh start on our second day. We prepared everything, and were up and running in no time.

As we left the port, we could see the sunrise just appearing behind the port. That sunrise immediately set us in a relaxed mood and our vacation mode was ON.

Sunrise Over Split

Sunrise Over Split

We set sail to Blue Lagoon. Blue Lagoon is nestled between the two islands off Krknjasi. Krknjasi, is the perfect place for snorkeling or swimming because of its amazing crystal clear waters. We spent most of the day there, as we explored the area and just chilled for the rest of the day.

We set sail again, direction the Paklinski Island, that’s when the real sailing experience started. It took a couple of hours to get to Paklinski, but seemingly our crew was already in expert mode. Everybody pitched in and were attentive to the captain’s instructions.

The peacefulness felt as we sailed the ocean was mesmerizing. I could see the whole crew was getting used to this sailing life.

The Paklinski Island is an Island in a zigzag form and so it was perfect for us to try our freshly learned anchoring technics. As we entered the creek we saw quite a few boats parked for the night and that was exactly what we were looking for, that kind of raw sailing experience. Although it was everybody’s first time anchoring a boat, I must say we did a pretty good job at it. And so there it was… our boat was anchored and prepared for our first night in the open waters.

We all prepared the outdoor table and got ready for super. With a home cooked meal and quite a lot of wine, we where all set. We spent hours talking, laughing and enjoying the peace and calm that we could feel. There was no city lights, no car noises, no loud talking, just the sound of the waves and the wind blowing through the trees.

 

Day 3: Paklinski Islands / Vis / Stiniva beach

 

We sailed off into day 3 at about 7am in the direction to the island of Vis.

The Island of Vis is the farthest inhabited island on the Croatian mainland; it ‘s not a very big island and has two main towns: Vis and Komiza.

When we got to the island we quickly filled up the gas tank and then decided to walk around the town. It was quite a fun moment as we walked on ancient cobbled roads and took pictures of almost everything as the entire island was still beautifully preserved. We found a surprising amount of cats hidden inside the town. We stopped for a much-needed beer and relaxed as we talked about the first moments of the trip.

After our visit to the town and our much-needed pint of beer we made our way back to the boat and set sail for Staniva Beach. We had read that it was one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, and boy it did not disappoint.

As soon as we anchored the boat we went on to explore this little piece of wonder. The beach is situated between two cliff walls and is about the size of a pool. The most amazing thing was sitting on the beach and staring into the emerald green water that opened up into the sea. It was like a magician had sprinkled fairy dust all over the beach and transformed it into this magical wonder.

We then headed back to the boat and enjoyed another great meal. We talked about our deepest thoughts, told a few funny stories, drank more wine but mostly enjoyed the great music coming from the next-door boat it was a great evening.

It was a really great place to spend the night, the boat was hidden from the wind and water currents, so we had a good night sleep.

Day 4: Stiniva beach / Blue cave / Komizca


On day 4, we could already feel the fatigue come knocking on our door, but even fatigue couldn’t dampen our spirits we were motivated to continue our journey and we prepared to sail into day 4 in the direction the Blue Cave. The blue cave is one of the most visited destinations is Croatia, it is located on the Island of Bisevo right next to Vis, and its total population is about 12 people (I’m not kidding).

We anchored at a beach near the cave where someone came and picked us up in a little motorboat to take us to the cave. The entry fee was about 70 kunas’’ which is about 6 euros.  The boat ride wasn’t very long and the guide was very friendly. We entered the cave through a small man made opening and suddenly appeared on the other side where we could see this very bright blue water and as you put your hand in the water it glowed a bright bluish color. I have to admit it would of been fun to be able to swim in the cave, but due to mass tourism and the caves fragile eco system you can only enter with a guide and cannot swim in the waters of the cave.  But it is still worth it.

We took a group decision and decided to stay in the port of Komizca for the night. Unfortunately the port was full and we had to anchor right next to the port, this turned out to be rather fun. As a treat for surviving 4 days on a yacht as novice sailors we decided to eat in the town of Komizca. After a much needed on land shower, we were lucky to catch what I would consider the most beautiful sunset of the whole trip. The sun was this bright orange and the moon was a opaque white; it was amazing.

We had supper in a lovely seaside restaurant, where they served all kinds of Croatian seafood, it was splendid.

After supper and a drink, the whole crew ended up at this seaside music festival. The beach was covered with all these lights, which formed different shapes on the floor and walls. The music playing was a relaxed indie kind of music. We had a great time dancing around, and the people there where really nice.

Coming back to the boat we lost our annex boat and practically spent the whole night and early hours of the morning looking for it. At sunrise the next morning our tired crew made their way onto the deck for breakfast where on of the crew spotted something floating in the water in the distance, turns out it was our annex boat, which we had not tired up securely at the port the night before. We couldn’t stop laughing as some of the crew had to return the other boat, which we took because we assumed someone had taken our boat. I have to say it was really funny to watch, the scramble to get the (stolen) boat back to shore before anyone noticed it was missing. The crew were great in this little moment of crisis.

Day 5 : Komizca / Scredo island

 

Although day 5 started with all of us being pretty tired it was still a fun day.

We got some breakfast, filled our boat with much needed supplies and got in motion. We where headed in the direction of Scredo Island. Even if I slept most of the way, the few moments I was awake and on deck I was lucky to see what must have been the calmest sea ever. The water looked like a silky bright blue, not a cloud was in sight and not the slightest breeze. It was picture perfect.

After stopping at a small port around the island, we anchored in a small creek. After a nice supper we were all completely out of it and headed to bed early.

Day 6 : Scedro island / Hvar

 

Day 6 started strong, we woke early enough and prepared everything to visit the island of Hvar. The island is famous for its important strategic and nautical position and has a rich history marked by its culture and natural monuments.

The village of Hvar is not very big, but it has a lot of monuments such as churches and other historical architecture.

It was quite nice to walk through the ancient stone roads as we passed by these different stores selling mostly local made products. The village was bustling, not only from tourist visiting but also the locals. We visited the fortress at the very top of the village, where you can see the entire village and have an amazing view of the Paklinski Island and a few other islands.  The sea was calm with the sun shimmering on the water, it was breathtaking.  We stayed there all morning and into the afternoon and left the island quite late.

After a long day sight seeing we did not travel very far before we anchored the boat since it was getting late. We anchored in a quiet little creek and visited the beach which was really nice and peaceful.

 

Day 7 : Hvar / Bol / Split

 

As we woke up to start day 7 we all had a bittersweet felling in our stomach. We knew it was our last day on the boat, but we also new how lucky we were to have lived this experience.

We decided to spend our last day on the Island of Bol where the Golden Horn is located. The golden horn is a beach that extends into the ocean like a horn on the Island. This was the first sand beach we encountered the entire of the trip, since all the other beaches were just big rocks next to the sore.  We visited part of the Island, and it looked like a great place to spend on another trip to the Islands.

We spent most of the day on the beach, until it was time to return to the port were it all started.

The sail back to the port was great. We had the music on, we were all giving our thoughts on the trip, and there again was bright orange sun set and just when we thought we had seen everything two dolphins appeared out of nowhere. It was honestly the best way to end this sailing trip.


 

Day 8: Kastela / Split center

 

We had an early wake up on day 8, since we had to do the check out of the boat.

After getting everything ready, there we stood, in front of what had been our home for 7 days, our little piece of paradise. We said goodbye to RAVA and left the port.

After a 30 min taxi drive to the center of Split, we left our luggage and went to visit the little town of split.  Split is quite commercial, but architecture wise it is the same as Vis and Hvar.  It had lots of little shops everywhere but the best part of the town was the ancient ruins in the center of the town.  Although half destroyed, what was left of the ruins was kept as a main feature of the town and that made the town rather special for us.

We had a nice dinner in the town, after that we went for drinks in another part of town which came to life at night. The bars were filled with young people ready to party. Although we are quite the party type, we ended up going strait to bed because we had an early flight to catch the next day. That was our wonderful last night in Croatia.

 

Day 9: Split / Milan (Amsterdam) / Barcelona / Andorra

 

Day 9: Our last day.

 

It was with a heavy heart that we got ready to go to the bus station. We all got up and packed our stuff and headed to the bus, after a 30-minute ride, we arrived at the airport in Split. I must say, I have been to my fair share of airports, but nothing was quite like this airport. As soon as the bus dropped us off, we had to do our boarding and baggage check, at the outside of the airport (it was quite strange), after waiting in a long line, we finally got to the front desk.

To cut a long story short.  We had an overbooking problem on our flight and one of us had to fly via Amsterdam and arrived a few hours later that us. Even if we had that little hiccup, the flight back was quite fun, we were sending pictures to our friend so he could follow the trip with us.

All in all, it was an intense trip. We learnt a lot sailing skills and what it was like to travel a country by sea.  What I will keep from this journey is that Croatia is a wonderful place to visit, with its spectacular views and historical landmarks, with its breathtaking sea points and its beautiful architecture.

Also, I was very happy with the travel team (my friends), and still to this date remember the awesome moments spent with that bunch of weirdo’s.

So if you want my advice, sailing through Croatia should be a must on everyone’s bucket list

Ferrari 458 Italia & Ferrari 488 GTB

Italian Event Circuit Zandvoort 2017

Italian Event Circuit Zandvoort 2017

Italian Event Circuit Zandvoort 2017

I was invited to this event in Netherlands in 2017 and It was also my first time in this circuit. But I didn't realize how my passion it has this country for motorsports. People loves and takes care so much about their beauties that it's easy to feel it. After some hours expended around the circuit I could take some great pictures about rare and precious Italian cars. A long list can be done: Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maseratti, Vespa, Ducati... But also, you can see , smell and hear the italian passion, culture and habits. This was a great day with great pictures and nice vibes. Finally, after all the cars I could take on picture, I wanted to make a blog about these reasons: Ferrari 458 Italia & Ferrari 488 GTB. For 2 reasons, the quality of pictures and because I loved to shoot those cars. The lines and curves are perfect for my point of view as photographer. I really enjoyed to see and shoot them in a few minutes.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia, the latest V8 Ferrari, the licence to move into more serious territory. There is nothing remotely junior about 562bhp or a top speed in excess of 200mph.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Any observations about the Ferrari 458 Italia’s styling are, of course, entirely subjective but, in our office, the consensus is that it marks a return to sensational-looking Ferraris.

With a flat undertray, but without any obvious aero aids, the 458 generates more downforce than the F430 (360kg flat out) and yet it is also more aerodynamic.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Finally, there is a touch of Enzo in the 458’s overall design, particularly in the shape and position of the rear lights (although the Enzo had twin units). Vents below the rear lights are for radiators to cool the gearbox and clutch.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari's 458 has extensively restyled, given a turbocharged V8 with more power and loads more torque and a new name. Meet the Ferrari 488 GTB, the Ferrari that makes a 458 Italia look slow...

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

 

While the looks of the 2015 Ferrari 488 are not entirely different, it's actually an almost entirely new car, with 85 percent of its parts changed from the 458, and the roof the only external panel retained. The engine has shrunk slightly in size but grown vastly in power and new aero innovations, combined with some superior software, are claimed to make it handle better than ever. It is overwhelmingly, however, a Ferrari built for speed.

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

It's the kind of performance that mounts a serious case for turbocharging (although Ferrari admits that engine response time at 2000rpm is now 0.8 seconds, at 2000rpm, compared to 0.7 in  a 458, but still well-ahead of “our turbo competitors − McLaren, Porsche etc”, which it says are closer to 2.0 seconds).

 

But is it a sound argument? Well, no, because despite the engineers repeatedly promising us that  they’d tuned the car to deliver the “sharp and loud, unmistakable Ferrari sound,” it takes less than two minutes in the 488 to realise that the screaming, operatic exhaust-asm that has defined the brand − and the 458 in particular − is gone. 

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

Choosing between the two comes down to what you are looking for in your Ferrari road car. If you love the roar of a naturally aspirated Ferrari engine, you might want to explore the 458 Italia. If speed is your true desire, the Ferrari 488 GTB will delight. Which will you choose?

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB

And Suddenly, when I was going home, in the last moment:

Ferrari 488 GTB Safety Car

Ferrari 488 GTB Safety Car

Car comparison test of Ferrari F430 vs Ferrari 458 italia vs Ferrari 488 GTB compare Ferrari F430 vs Ferrari 458 italia vs Ferrari 488 GTB sounds, revs, acceleration 0-300km/h, power, sprint and exhaust sound. Send me your car videos here: slizo3310@gmail.com We do NOT own the video materials and all credits belong to respectful owners.

RWB Porsche 964

The first time I listened about RWB Porsche, I was in France some years ago. I had seen images floating on the web prior to seeing one in person and always thought "that's a huge work and job!", but after seeing a couple of them, seeing videos of different variations, and reading about Akira Nakai (the founder/creator of RWB) this build has made its way to the top of my list of dream cars.

RWB Porsche 964 in front of W Amsterdam Hotel

RWB Porsche 964 in front of W Amsterdam Hotel

There's a lot of controversy around these cars, much like most tuning scenes there are always going to be people that just hate the idea of taking a very well-engineered performance car and cutting the fenders, putting a wide-body, and lowering the car on some aggressive looking wheels.

RWB Porsche 964 by Akira Nakai

RWB Porsche 964 by Akira Nakai

Stanced cars get shitted on all the time by people. I personally wouldn't "stance" my car but I do have respect for people that want to enjoy their car and be creative with it. Yes, some builds go too far, but I don't think this is the case with RWBs. 

RWB Porsche Akira Nakai signature

RWB Porsche Akira Nakai signature

Some purists, like Jack from the Truth About Cars, argue that it's pretty much garbage to do this to a Porsche, especially with a limited supply of air cooled engines (see his take here). I see both sides of the coin, that of the purists and that of the tuners.

RWB Porsche 964 Wheel details

RWB Porsche 964 Wheel details

Honestly, I think Jack's fear of losing all air-cooled Porsches to Nakai's RWB is unrealistic. I think RWB tuning is desired by a small population of Porsche enthusiasts and owners. I don't have any data to back this up, unfortunately, but from an anecdotal standpoint I see more stock/original 993s and other Porsches than I do RWB modified ones. I only see RWB Porsches at shows or shops. I wish I had some stats on how many RWB 964s or 993s there are, but I would suspect that the percentage is really low given that Nakai works on every car himself, hardly scalable by any means.

RWB Porsche 964 built by Akira Nakai

RWB Porsche 964 built by Akira Nakai

I would argue the vast majority of Porsche owners probably don't want to go to that extreme of tuning for many reasons. First, not every Porsche owner wants to tune their car, they're perfectly happy with their car being stock, after all Porsche engineering is impressive right off the dealer lot. Second, if they do want to tune their cars it's probably not to the extreme of going with the RWB approach, perhaps new rims, ECU flash, or some other basic mods. With that said I don't think we'll ever come to a point where we rarely see the original air-cooled Porsches. In fact, I argue that it will be more likely we hardly see RWB Porsches in person, which is a different reality than seeing "many" of them online or in magazines. 

RWB Porsche 964 back

RWB Porsche 964 back

Now in regards to it being considered hideous, this just comes down to preference and you can't really argue on this. One person thinks a piece of art looks like shit while another considers it a master piece, you can't win a debate on what someone prefers. So with that said I'm going to move on from the controversy and go into what is RWB.

RWB Porsche 964 in front of Hotel W Amsterdam

RWB Porsche 964 in front of Hotel W Amsterdam

What is RWB?

RWB stands for RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF which in German means "Rough World Concept". RWB started in the mid-to-late 1990s by Akira Nakai in Japan, and is still based in Japan.. He started tuning cars when he began driving them. Originally starting as "Rauh-Welt" he eventually started driving and tuning German cars and ended up as RAUH-Weld BEGRIFF. This video by Fatlace gives you a peek into who the man behind RWB is, kind of like a mini-documentary.