A Woman Abroad // Croatia
My decision to venture to Croatia was based on two things; 1. It was recommended by several friends and 2. Beaches. So in late April of this year I packed my swimsuit and fleece (just in case) and headed from Budapest, Hungary (that’s another story!) to Zagreb by way of train and just after 7 hours landed in the country’s capital city.
I’ve found the “man-on-a-horse-statue to be quite the staple in major European cities.
I spent just one night because Plitvice National Park was heavy on my mind and I was beyond anxious to see it with my very own eyes and inevitably through a camera lens.
The day began a bit dreary but by mid-afternoon it was nothing but sunny skies and puffy bright clouds.
Plitvice National Park is home to an abundance of creepers and crawlers, mammals, birds, fish and so far over 1,267 different plants have been counted.
If you are afraid of heights or weary around rushing water, this is not the adventure for you. The trail predominately consists of wooden boards that take you inches from the water at times. A steady foot is necessary and if you make the trek during the summer months, good balance will come in handy too, the trails are thin and well, wooden slats aren’t the most even surface to trudge on.
Busses run from Plitvice to Split, one of the larger cities along the Dalmation Coast. It is a busy city as it acts as a port to many of the Croatian Islands. Arriving in a torrential and chilly down pour, hopes of the beach (in a traditional sense) were washed away but I came for the beach and I was getting in.
The statue of Grgur Ninski “Gregory of Nin” (a 10th-century bishop who introduced the Croatian language into religious services) towers just outside the cities wall and it is said rubbing his foot brings good luck, I was hoping to swap sun for luck and low and behold it worked though I should have had the forethought to request warmth as well.
The stunning white walls of the Old Town of Split, as well as the Diocletian’s Palace are a product of Brač stone, which was imported to the US and used in our fair country’s Presidential Palace otherwise known as The White House.
It is just a short ferry ride (roughly 2 ½ hours) to the most outer lying Croatian island, Vis. The island was under Yugoslavian rule until 1991 and so it is one of the lesser developed and quieter islands.
For those seeking solidarity, Vis is the place for you.
On the opposite side of the island, a long and windy 30-minute motorbike ride rests the harbor village of Komiza.
To continue down the coast it took a return trip to Split and a bus ride that passes briefly through (and to my pleasure) the portion of the Dalmatian Coast that belongs to Bosnia-Herzegovina. So after the pit-stop was the last stop, the Fortress of Dubrovnik.
By far the most touristy city in Croatia, even in the off-season, Dubrovnik was a hustle and bustle of busy. The Old City sits within the fortress walls and though it is a mess of tourist traps and shopping centers a dart down an alley will lead you to the homes of the locals.
It’s easy to disappear and find amusement in the souvenir shops and main roads of not only Dubrovnik but most big cities travels take you to. Remember though, that what you see is what you get and remember that this place is not only someone’s home but history too and that is not to be overlooked.