I feel Iike I’m missing something with Croatia.
Everyone harps on about it, but I’m just not feeling it.
Perhaps it’s because I’m here in autumn and didn’t go sailing or to the islands, or perhaps it’s because Bosnia spoilt me to bits, making Croatian people feel unfriendly, food average, sights mediocre, coastline not a dent on New Zealand, and price for learning all of the above – quite expensive.
So about Dubrovnik, don’t get me wrong wandering around the old city walls were a very pleasant way to spent my last day travelling with the gypsy.
But…. and there’s a but, I just feel like I’ve seen it all a thousand times over in Europe.
It was seriously a bit like – oh look there’s a nice fountain, oh look there’s a nice plaza, oh look there’s a nice church, oh look there’s a tour group fresh off the cruise ship with the earphones in following a lady with a flower and generally looking bored and miserable.
I actually hate myself for saying all this. I know I sound so ungrateful. I know I should be excited to be here. I know I should be amazed. I’m just not.
And in many ways Dubrovnik reminds me a lot of Venice in the sense it’s no longer a real city.
It’s all for show, it’s all for the tourists and the only signs of real life I got while wandering the old city walls was this woman hanging out her washing (thank you to the gypsy for this covert photo).
And, this man and best friend fishing.
As for my last night travelling with the gypsy… It was spent in a stoney silenced standoff after we got into a fight over how he was logistically going to get to Romania.
Luckily we mended frayed nerves by the time he boarded his bus to Romania and me to – appropriately named given the circumstances – Split.
I spent the next two days in Croatia’s second largest city thoroughly enjoying my own company and walking for miles in every direction happily camera snapping.
The city felt a lot more lived in than Dubrovnik and my favourite daily escapade was strolling around the local fruit market munching on pomegranate seeds.
I also devoured a lot of seafood given I was near the sea and travel by the golden rule – if you can’t see the sea don’t eat the seafood – though I wished I hadn’t after I counted a good dozen of these osmositised rats on the walk home.
And just in case you’re blind.
But the one thing that was truly outstanding about Split was the quality of the hostels for the price, with hot showers complete with nozzles actually attached to the wall, big beds, overly helpful staff, huge lockers and for the first time in a long time – camera Skypeable wifi.
But I think the fact I’ve now reduced myself to writing about the quality of Croatian hostels is perhaps a sign I should just stop writing about Croatia full stop.