I'm Here For a Good Time, Not a Long Time: Croatia
July 30, 2016
I cannot believe how amazing Croatia has been! I am sad about leaving all of my great new friends. Now I am sitting at the train station so I will go back and tell you about the second half of my time in Croatia! The title of my post comes from one of the friends I made on this trip, we were at supper when she said I'm here for a good time, not a long time. I thought it was awesome and hilarious! We used it a few times throughout the week like: Should I jump off this bridge? Should I eat a second piece of cake? Duh, I'm here for a good time, not a long time!
On Wednesday we went hiking again. This time we went to a national park near the coast. This hike was pretty hard because for the most part it was walking up an incredibly rocky and steep slope. It was also really hot and sunny so I felt like my face was going to explode. It was a pretty hike though, the mountains were huge rising up all around us. There were natural springs along the way up so we could refill our water with cold and refreshing Croatian water. At the top we ate lunch at this little hut. We had the option of buying their food but I was way too hot for a cookout. There was also complimentary liquor at the top. It was super intense like the plum brandy that the man who owns the house we are staying in makes. Later we made our way down the mountain and it was harder! We had a difficult time controlling our descent because the rocks were so slippery. I almost busted it on the rocks many times. The only way to end a grueling hike in the heat is by going to the beach and swimming in the sea, which is exactly what we did! I had been looking forward to it all day and it did not disappoint, it was exactly what I needed! Then we topped it off with ice cream. You can't go on vacation and not have ice cream constantly. That night after supper one of my friends and I hung out with some of the local people who live in the village. They were nice and pretty funny but we didn't understand 90% of what was said. Some of the spoke some English but one guy was fluent and would translate for us. It was nice hanging out with the locals!
Thursday was our free day. We had several activities to choose from or we could choose to stay in the village. I went with three of my English friend on a little trip to a few places around Croatia. One of our guides took us and did great showing us some places we didn't expect to see. We also got to sleep in, which was a major bonus. Our first stop was Nin, it is a salt town on the coast. They have a tiny little downtown area that we walked through but the main attraction was at the beach. They have this black mud that is good for your skin. We rubbed it all over our bodies, waited for it to dry, then attempted to rinse it off in the sea. It made our skin feel wonderful! We were all so smooth and a little dirty because it was hard to get all of the mud off of our skin. Next we went to a beach in Zadar. Our guide bought us an inflatable raft bed and it was so relaxing to lay on it in the sea. I almost fell asleep while being rocked by the waves. Next we went to the actual city of Zadar. We had an amazing supper at a restaurant by the water while watching the sunset! We got to walk around and see the sea organs. It is a set of steps by the water, they have holes in the side of the steps so that when the waves crash against the steps they make organ sounds. It was really cool and a little freaky when the waves got big and choppy. They also had these circles on the ground that lit up, they represented all of the planets. They were all sized and proportioned according to our actual planets! The sun was so big and lit up it looked like a dance floor. We of course ended the evening with ice cream and made the long journey back. Everyone was tired but we had some great music to keep us going!
Friday was our last day. We actually grabbed our passports and headed over to Bosnia for some rafting! It was a little annoying because we had to wait for a group that was almost 2 hours late. Everyone in our group was getting a little irritated since it pushed everything in our day back by 2 hours but eventually we made it to the river! The very first waterfall was huge! I think they said it was 60 feet high so we weren't allowed to jump off of it or go down in the raft. Our guides threw the rafts over then jumped off the waterfall while we walked around and watched them. The waterfall was gorgeous! I wish I had a waterproof camera so I could have taken it rafting and taken a picture of the waterfall. Some of the rapids were a little scary and one raft even capsized while going down the first set of rapids. Our raft made it through all of them without anyone falling out or capsizing. Later on in the rafting trip there was an opportunity for us to jump off of a bridge and into the river. I was really nervous and regretted not jumping off of a rock earlier on the river so I decided to take the plunge, literally. We had to climb out of the raft and up a hill to get to the bridge. It wasn't a road or walking bridge, it was a railroad bridge. This made it a little scarier because I had to watch where I stepped so I didn't fall through the bridge! We had to climb under the railing to get on the outside of the bridge and I was freaking out! It was hard to slip between the railings with a life jacket on and the part we stood on was very thin. I was shaking and freaking out but I knew I would regret it if I didn't jump. A few people went before me then I counted and just jumped. I survived and it was awesome except for the fact that my body started going numb because of how cold the water was. There were only two people from our group that jumped and I was one of them! It was truly an awesome moment! At the end of our rafting journey we were fed some Bosnian food at the rafting center. Since we were behind schedule we drove back to Korana Village and it was time for supper. Even though we had eaten a couple of hours earlier we did a good job of eating the food at supper. We also had homemade cake because someone's birthday was the next day! We all hung out for awhile but eventually had to head to our rooms and pack. I love this group so I hate that it had to end!!
I am going to miss Croatia and the friends I made here. It was a very difficult and tiring week but totally amazing! I learned a lot of British English vocabulary and got to work on improving my British accent. I also taught everyone some American vocabulary! Now it is Saturday and I am sitting at the Zagreb train station. We had to leave the village at 7 am and I won't get to Munich until at least 9:45 pm...it's going to be a loooong day.