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Adventures of a short vet

Split & Krka

CROATIA | Sunday, 1 May 2011 | Views [925]

The following day it was still raining and since there is nothing better to do on a rainy day than travel I caught the bus to Split. It was a beautiful trip with all the low-lying clouds clinging to the hills and the valleys emerging out of the mist to show off their lakes and inlets of water. Just a pity we didn’t have photo stops. I arrived in Split around 6pm and walked to the “Australian owned” Booze n’ Snooze hostel, which was advertised as the best hostel in Split. No kitchen or common room though, which makes it a bit anti-social when the rain stops you using the outdoor terrace. I also seemed to be the only non-American staying there at the time! I ended up going out to dinner with my roommates to a local pub called “Fife” where you sit at big trestle tables and eat massive plates of food for next to nothing. Always go to the local places if you want good food. 

Split is a lovely town and I got a nice overview of the area the next morning by climbing up the hill to where the zoo is located. I spent a good half an hour watching a peacock strut his stuff in front of the ladies, which was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen, especially since they all ignored the poor guy! I also saw what looked like a wolf wandering through the surrounding woods, but after getting excited about spotting some random wildlife it turned out to be wearing a collar so I assume it was someone’s dog. After the Croatian version of subway for lunch (but cheaper and much nicer), I toured the Old City with its four gates named Gold, Silver, Brass and Iron. With its tiled streets and city walls it reminded me a lot of Dubrovnic but without quite so many tourists. There is an underground souvenir market that is definitely worth the visit just to walk through the old cellars of the palace. I wound my way through narrow alleyways and higgldy-piggldy streets to Jupiter’s Palace and the old cathedral before heading back to the hostel. There I met a pretty interesting Aussie called Di, who’s been backpacking all through India and had some great travel stories. We ended up joining the rest of the hostel out on the terrace for a few too many drinks before heading out to the hostel-owned bar, Charlies. They conveniently have a 10pm quiet time when they then take all the half-drunk travelers out to their bar and get them to spend more money. Very clever. Later the hostel guys led us out to the beach where there was supposed to be an “amazing club”. Unfortunately, after 30 minutes of walking we arrived at the club only to find it was closed! We retired to another bar but it was starting to spit with rain so a couple of girls joined me in heading back to the hostel before the rain set in, and we managed to stay dry unlike the others who soon followed us home!

I awoke the next day to the rain pelting down and decided it was time to have a lazy day doing nothing. Sightseeing is tiring! I dragged myself out of bed in the late morning and spent a couple of hours wandering around town before stocking up on popcorn and lollies and heading back to the hostel to watch movies online. We had a quieter night as we were planning on a daytrip to a national park the following day.

The next day I joined the three American boys from my room: Logan from LA, Eric from Sacramento and Alex from Philly, on a bus trip out to Krka National Park. Our driver, who had about four teeth and even fewer words of English, drove us the 1.5 hour trek inland where the vegetation gradually became drier and sparser the further north we traveled. Logan said that it really reminded him of California in the few minutes he was actually awake on the drive. Finally we reached the park and the driver showed us where to catch the boat up the river and into the park. We should have stayed on the boat to head right up the river to the monastery but instead followed the crowd off at the first stop like little lemmings. But we had fun wandering along the paths to check out the amazing stepped waterfalls of the park, exploring little caves and watching Eric hunting for turtles and snakes. We decided we couldn’t pass up swimming under the main waterfall, no matter how cold the water was (and it was ball-shrinkingly cold, or so I was told). Despite nearly having heart-attacks as we jumped in we managed to make it out to a little rock near the waterfall where we tried to warm up in the sun with the sound of the falls thundering around us. Definitely worth the near-hypothermia. After a much quicker swim back in the current we sat on our own little island and dried off in the sun while watching a loud group of guys losing their manhoods as they braved the icy water amid feminine shrieking. It was a very quiet trip back as we all passed out in the van like little kids after our big day swimming. We arrived back to town starving and managed to find the best burgers at a little place called “Popeyes” before heading back to the hostel and the biggest round of “Circle of Death” I’ve ever played (2 decks and 20 people makes for a hilarious game). After heading out to Charlies, where we were all now BFF’s after our trip, we headed to a closer club, where the poor boys tried to avoid being hit on by a very drunk older woman (and no that was not me!).

Tags: beach, krka national park, split, waterfalls

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