The train ride down to Croatia was quite nice, especially when we passed through the mountains in Austria and Slovenia. I arrived rather late in the evening, so I just went straight to the nearest hostel and went to sleep. It turns out that it’s more difficult to fall asleep on European trains than it was on Amtrak because there’s no lounge car. I’m not a huge fan of the six person cabin arrangement, either.
The next morning, I set out to explore Zagreb. I walked towards the main square in the city, passing through a nice park along the way.
I then continued up the hill towards the cathedral.
After that, I walked through a neighborhood and up a long staircase to the top of the hill, where the residents of Zagreb play tennis. I walked back towards the city.
I walked along a pedestrian avenue with many cafes.
I spent a while searching for a restaurant called Mali Medo, where I had some traditional cevapcici. Then I got on the train to Split.
When I arrived In Split the time was around 7 AM. The first thing I did was explore the Diocletian Palace, the ancient Roman palace that forms the core of the city.
Walking through there felt like traveling back in time, with its narrow streets and stone architecture.
I walked through the Pazar market and eventually found a place to stay.
I left my bags there, since they wouldn’t allow me to check in yet, and headed west towards Marjan.
Marjan is a large park situated just outside of Split. I hiked up to the top of the hill, stopping a couple of times to listen to some music I had been meaning to listen to. The view from the top was decent.
I noticed there were a few beaches to the South, so I continued walking and eventually found a narrow path that led down the hill towards the beaches.
The beaches in Croatia aren’t sandy like pretty much every other beach I had previously been to. Instead, they are composed of many small pebbles. Although this is less comfotable to lay on than sand, I actually prefer it because you don’t have to worry about sand getting everywhere. This was especially important for me as I had recently transitioned from carrying a suitcase half full of books to carrying the equivalent of a hundred suitcases full of books on my phone. I went swimming for a while, but unfortunately I didn’t have any sunscreen. I ended up with probably the worst sunburn of my life. Nice water though, quite relaxing to just float around in.
The next day, I hopped on the ferry towards the island of Brac. Or so I thought. When I arrived, I realized that I was actually on the island of Solta. I had taken my suitcase with me as I was planning on spending the night on Brac, the going to Hvar, then to Korcula, and finally to Dubrovnik. However, ther were no places to stay on Solta. I ended up just hauling my suitcase around the whole day. I spent an hour or two on a nearby beach, and then took the bus to the far side of the island. I was hoping to sample some Soltan honey (apparently the third best in the world and the only honey made from rosemary), but I couldn’t find it in any of the stores or markets. It turns out that the honey farm was located several minutes away from the nearest town (by car) and no buses went to it. It would have been ideal to rent a moped and explore the island that way, but that was a bit out of my price range. I made my way back to the ferry, walking the last few kilometers.
I ended up catching the ferry right at the last minute.
When I got back to Split, I had to find a new hostel. After walking around to a few places, I finally found one called the Adriatic Hostel. This was ideal because it had a kitchen and was located next to two supermarkets and the Pazar market. The only downsides were the price and the fact that they had only one knife in the entire kitchen.
The next day, I took the ferry to Brac, making sure that it was the right one this time. There were a lot of cool things to see on Brac, but I ended up just spending the whole day on Zlatni Rat beach. It’s an interesting triangle shaped pebble beach.
I reread the first three books of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.
After having my usual breakfast of yogurt, fruit, sausage, and some donut-like Croatian pastries (all for about $4) the next morning, I set off for Hvar. I spent a while exploring Stari Grad, taking several photos of the buildings and boats.
I had some sandwiches for dinner and then started hiking around the island to the place where I thought the boat was departing from.
I walked by some interesting rock formations and passed a nude beach area, eventually reaching a dead end.
I then walked back towards Stari Grad and, much to my dismay, saw that the boat was actually coming in on the other side of the town.
I walked quickly towards the ferry but missed it by about 20 minutes.
Then I just listened to some music for a couple of hours and watched the sunset from some rocks on the shoreline.
I made sure to be on time for the final ferry of the day.
The next day, I took the advice of Irish people I met and took the train to Lake Bled in Slovenia.