Well, not quite. To be perfectly honest, the only boat I went on is when Andy and I kayaked in Dubrovnik. Oh, and a 2 minute water crossing in Plitvice National Park. But more about that later – let’s start at the beginning.
Andy and I arrived overland to Croatia’s capital, stopping on the recommendation of a pal. We had just a night, but that is more than enough to see the old town and the newer, lower parts of the city.
I was surprised at how deserted it felt; way less streaming with tourists than anywhere else we’d been. Tkalčića was the most lively street, probably because it was lined with cafes, restaurants and bars. We visited the Curry Bowl, Zagreb’s number one cheap eat for a Sri Lankan feast and the wait for the table was so worth it! Not somewhere I’d want to stay a long time but our short time was definitely a good time.
Plitvice National Park
The main reason I was going back to Croatia for a second time, Plitvice has long been somewhere I’ve wanted to go. Unfortunately, the rest of the world has also cottoned on. We stayed at a lovely hostel in Korenica, which ran shuttles to and from the park.
We spent the whole next day at the park, completing a full circuit of the upper and lower lakes. It was about a 7 hour hike and the scenery was breathtaking. We were fortunate to stay near by as it meant we were early enough to enjoy the park before the coaches arrived. Even with the tourists, it was still spectacular and a highly recommendable experience. I’ll do a more comprehensive blog post on the days logistics at some point
After two nights at Plitvice we jumped on a bus and headed to Split. The bus went through Zadar, which also looks like a cool destination. In Split we reunited with Summer and Jamie, who had come from Hvar.
We explored the Old Town, rejoiced over the efficiency of our air-con and signed ourselves up for a €24 pub crawl. Summer and Jamie had some friends from home join us, so the Kiwi contingent on the crawl was well represented. We played some beer pong, devoured free pizza and made the most of the open bar.
The next day we (slowly) made our way round to Obojena Beach where we set up camp for the afternoon. The Croatian water is so clear, and the varying shades of blue sure make it hard to resist. We were lying on pebbles (sandy beaches are scarce) which were comfortable once we wriggled our way into grooves!
We took a bus from Split that was nothing short of awful. The air conditioning was weak and instead of taking the 4 hours advertised, it took us almost 6! We caught a taxi to our Air BnB; of course the first taxi we catch in Europe tries to rip us off!
Our Air BnB was in Lapad, a truly beautiful neighbourhood with a wonderful beach and a vibrant promenade with cafes and restaurants. We spent a lot of time here, swimming, relaxing and eating. We visited Rhea Silva one night for dinner and it was very yummy and reasonably priced. We left as very satisfied customers.
Of course we visited the Old Town too. Andy, the only GoT fan amongst us was eagerly pointing out various filming locations. Summer and Jamie climbed the walls for better views and Andy and I went kayaking to see the town from the water. We enjoyed a delicious cold brew at Cogito coffee, which was much needed in the stifling heat.
Our week in Croatia was a fun one. It marked the end of our journey with Summer, and a month or so until we rejoin Jamie. For now, Andy and I are flying to Madrid where we’ll spend July over cooking as we explore Andalucia and parts of Portugal.