26 May 2000
here is a bit i wrote about croatia just after spending a almost a week on the dalmation coast...
Our first experience in croatia was crossing the border while having a conversation with a bosnian living in zagreb (in german!) he told us about sarajevo and zagreb as well. We learned a lot from him.
My next croatian experience was an overly crowded overnight train, immediately following the train ride where we made our aforementioned friend. I didnít have a seat so I was out in the hall with the school group. Because of this I got to have a conversation with a group of croatian 13 yr olds. It was the ultimate 'geising' experience. (did I ever write about that?) when asked how things are now after the war there the response was, "people are happier now." It seemed a nice way to put it.
So we arrived in split, on the adriatic coast, around 8am. We were met at the train station with a room offer we accepted and followed a nice croatian woman home. It was a great room! We had a nice comfy bed in a building in one of the old town areas of split. It was in an entirely pedestrian area with a good crowding of houses. The location was great.
The big thing in split in that it was originally a retirement palace for the roman emperor dioclesius. (spelling?) it is this big marble complex that is now crammed with little streets and lots of houses with laundry hanging out to dry. It is hard to walk on with shoes. it is right on the water with lots of beaches, mostly rocky with lots of fish too.
The water of the adriatic is amazing. It is like the mediterranean in its crystalline quality. We took a boat from split to dubrovnik, a 10 hour ride through the dalmatian islands. It was gorgeous, though a little too sunny. =) the water is the most amazing colors of blue and green. Wow!
Dubrovnik has a stunning, walled old town. It is quite amazing. It sticks out right into the water. It was, unfortunately, quite damaged during the recent war there, but has been superficially repaired. if you didn't know differently, you wouldn't know it was damaged. it is quite the tourist attraction too. We had fun wandering the old town with a friend we made at the hostel as well as a friend we made on the boat. We felt a little conspicuous in such a large group though.
My favorite experience in dubrovnik, however, had nothing to do with the old town. We went to a once shelled, now abandoned hotel on the water with its own rocky beach. Our new friend had brought goggles and was nice enough to share. It was fantastic! The water is so clear and the fish could hardly care less about our presence. We could hang around in the shallows looking at the fish there, or we could swim out a ways and stand on the huge rocks just under the surface there to rest while looking at the wildlife. There were so many types of small fish hanging around. there were also tons of sea urchins hanging out on the sides of some of those deep rocks. I, unfortunately, got a little to close and now have a couple of dozen splinters in the bottom of my foot. Oh well, it was fun nonetheless! It was an extremely memorable experience even before that.
So far all we have seen of croatia is the touristy part. I couldnít begin to make any generalizations about the people or the land at this point. The dalmatian coast is beautiful and hot. It is still relatively inexpensive (though not by eastern european standards) so a good tourist destination. I hope we get to spend time in zagreb to get a better idea of
© Copyright Cheryln Crowl 2000