I knew it was my time to leave Hvar when after a few days I began to walk down the street and people would begin to shout, “OI, CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN!” at me.
Let me just clarify quick. I was not wearing my hat.
These people in the street, to the best of my knowledge, were random. People whose names I did not know. People who did not look familiar to me at all. After about the third time I stopped, smiled and made some small talk. I was confused as hell. I needed an answer. One group of guys all laughed at me, explaining, “You were on the boat pub crawl the other night! You kept coming up to my friends and saying, ‘I AM THE CAPTAIN. YOU ARE MY CREW! I COMMAND YOU TO HAVE A GOOD TIME! CHEERS, WE ALL DRINK!’ You’re the reason we’re hungover today. Still though, it was great!” I thought about it for a moment. Would I truly have behaved so rudely in such a public place?
………………Yeahhhhh, that sounds about right.
So, with a new title that I feel I fully deserved after captaining a pub crawl ship and a real ship, I set sail for Dubrovnik…. literally. Don’t worry, this time I made the ferry.
Next, I was headed to one of the most popular destinations in Croatia, Dubrovnik. Recently, it’s become increasingly popular due to the television show, Game of Thrones. A lot of the recent seasons have been filmed within the “Old Town” of Dubrovnik. This part of Croatia is considered one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe and is also a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site. On top of being one of the most beautiful towns I’d ever been to, there was a deep history in Dubrovnik. During the Croatian War in the 90’s, control of the city was strategically important. There’s a lot of things I could bore you with that I nerded out about while I was there, butttttttttt I’ll just post all these wonderful pictures and if you’re interested, check out the history of Dubrovnik yourself. Better yet, learn a little more about Croatia. I knew absolutely nothing when I first arrived. The more I’ve traveled and learned, the more the country has blown me away.
During the war, over 55% of the buildings were damaged in some way. The country has done wonders restoring the old town back to its original state. It was almost hard to believe the pictures of the bombings were real in such a magical place.
As impressive as the Old Town was, there wasn’t a whole lot to do. The place was crawlingggggg with tourists. I was ecstatic to finally see such a beautiful city but I get a little uncomfortable when I’m surrounded by screaming children and overly expensive wines. Not sure if you guys knew it, but that’s not really my vibe. Maybe the wine…. not the children.
So, the rest of my time in Dubrovnik was spent going a bit further out of old town, hiking these huge cliff hill things (note: I am terrified of heights) and just hanging out at the hostel, meeting new frands. The park I hiked had all these old WWII bunkers and tunnels hidden throughout the landscape. They were so creepy looking. When one finds super cool secret hidden sketchy bunkers in the middle of an abandoned park in Croatia… one definitely enters them to see what’s inside.
Let me tell you… all I found were empty beer cans and condom wrappers. Not the most exciting of treasures.
Now for: STORY TIME!
Believe it or not, when a new roommate of mine walked into the room and we did the standard, “Hi, how are you? Where are you from? I just want to get to know you since we’re sleeping in the same room this small conversation will make it less awkward” introduction…. he just goes, “Were you in Hvar a few days ago?”
I just stared at him. “Uhm… yes. Were you?”
“Are you the Captain?”
I wasn’t sure the direction this was going. Half of me wanted to die and half of me wanted to jump on the bunk bed to sing songs of the open sea. I just nodded. He laughed and pulled out his phone, “I have videos of you from the pub crawl!”
andddddddd those are the last words you ever want to hear.
anddddddddddddd the next day I left for Zadar, Croatia.
Don’t worry, it’s not THAT bad.
I mean, bribes will keep anyone quiet.
Haha I kid, I kid. Really, it was nothing……..
MOVING ONTO ZADAR NOW.
So basically, let me throw down this fantastic map to show you a summary of my crazy path through Croatia. I planned this months ago to ensure I would end in Zadar. It’s the cheapest city to fly in and out of Croatia.
Zadar was one of my favorite stops for a number of reasons. Mostly because I didn’t expect anything out of it. Also, there were wayyy less tourists.
I planned on straight up relaxing for two days.
So on my first day I was walking down the beach minding my own business when I heard, “Alexa????”.
I turned around and, BOOM! It was the Canadian part of the Longest Loaf (aka the ship I was captain of for a period of time in Hvar). My Jester and Navigator, Reid and Mitchell were also just sitting on the beach, now in Zadar, minding their own business too! Neither of us had any clue we were going to be in the same city at the same time, much less the same beach at the same time. This, of course, called for celebration.
The next day I took a day trip to a place called Nin. This was a small town with one of the very few sandy beaches in Croatia (most are pebbled – not sure if that’s even a word but it is now). At this sandy beach they have a thing called “Medicinal mud”. People will rub the mud all over their bodies in order to aid medical ailments. Anything from skin diseases to skeletal system problems. People sometimes do it just because it makes your skin feel super duper soft. Seriously, it’s a thing.
Or you could just be a weirdo like me and have fun playing in the mud for a couple hours without the fear that people think you’re acting like a child. NO RULES!
Oh yeah and there’s this cool thing about Europe that people go topless at beaches a lot. So check that off the bucket list. Ayooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Sorry, have to take credit for the one crazy scandalous thing I’ve done. WOOO.
There was also this thing called a “Sea Organ” that was a bunch of pipes built into the stairs near the water. The waves caused the organ to make music. Pretty neat. There was also a solar panel that lit up at night and looked like a weird disco floor. People were trying to take selfies with the disco floor. I just did the only thing I thought was reasonable and BOOM:
Work of art, that.
So yeah, that was it. That was Croatia.
- Clearest water I’ve ever seen in my life
- Pebble beaches
- Cheap (if you know how to control yourself)
- Eye opening history (especially for this naive American)
- Warm weather
- Mix of many different cultures (check that history ayo)
- Laid back and chill
- Friendships forever
- GOT TAN WOOO
- The Croatian language is cool as hell
- Realistic hiking with beautiful views (2-4 hour trips)
- Wish I would have hit smaller, less touristy towns
- I got sunburned once
- The sea organ did not take requests – it just sounded like a sad, dying whale.
So there you have it. VISIT CROATIA CAUSE IT’S COOL AS HECK.
With that I am OUTTTTTTTT.
Next stop: Frankfurt, Germany.