Our pace of travelling picked up upon our exit from Slovenia. After visiting just three places in almost two weeks, within three days we’d visited Zagreb, Pittvic lakes, Zadar and were back where we first ported into Split.
Zagreb and Zadar were both beautiful places with the usual impressive European architecture and pedestrianised centres. Zagreb had a very interesting Museum of Broken Relationships, with mementos and stories of people’s heartbreaks. Demonstrating personal suffering in such a collective way was unusual, there was a woman balling as she wandered round, but I found it more reflective that everyone goes through pain no matter who or where they are and has to work through it.
We rallied hard in Zadar to find energy for a Saturday night out, hopping a few bars and ending in one with a giant led covered man on stilts firing air cannons and lasers, all very surreal. The waterfront of Zadar has a beautiful audible artwork installation, with pipes built into the steps that him the sounds of the ocean as the waves push air in and out of them. It was a beautiful place to chill, I was evidently too chilled as somewhere between sunbathing and returning to the hostel I lost my beautiful watch that has attracted numerous compliments in its lifespan. I always say don’t travel with something you aren’t prepared to lose, but it will still be hard to replace.
We visited the Plitvice lakes en route to Zadar, the national park containing numerous waterfall’s and lakes to wander around. Very beautiful, but also hugely expensive and very busy. Plus once you’ve seen a couple of lakes and waterfalls, it is pretty much the same on repeat, irrespective of their beauty.
Back in Split, and back to the beach! We’ve hardly had any real beach time this trip, so was lovely to play in the water, sunbathe, read and get some Latin dance tunes pumping through the headphones. We had take out pasta in little boxes harbour side, sipping our bottom shelf wine as we overlooked multimillion dollar yauchts.
After exploring the old town of Split more properly and checking out the viewpoints we ferried over to the island of Hvar with its beautiful water, copious bars and small ancient town. Split and Hvar were kind of like a holiday whilst travelling, lots of beach time, nights out and swimming. We had to cook for ourselves in Hvar as the island is ridiculously expensive, at £23 the dorm room was probably the most expensive I’ve ever stayed in; at least it was good.
Our final port of call was Dubrovnik, an ancient walled city on the coast, used as a location in Game of Thrones. Annoyingly we’d had to arrive by bus as the ferries were sold out, but had a fantastic room just outside the old city. The city is a place to aimlessly wander with countless twisting alleys, narrow stairways and low archways. Trying to actually find a place is pretty hard so it’s easier to not have an agenda.
We hiked up to the old fortress overlooking the city and also boated out to a nearby island. Lots of great views of it and more crystal clear water to swim in.
I’ve had to get up painfully early today to catch my flight back to Rome. I had some time to kill so I went to the Vatican as I’ve never been, it’s an impressive building, very ostentatious, and the climb up to the Basilica’s dome have great views of the interior and over Rome. I’ve now transferred out to a small town near Bologna, new family and director seem chill so looking forward to the week!