16.07.2007 36 °C
My ambition with this message board was to draft an entry for, at minimum, each city where I chose to spend the night. Seemed reasonable enough, but the free market has in recent days, again, proven to my demise. Internet is readily available on the Dalmation coast, but for 30 Kuna an hour I found it only prudent to check my email - and my first place fantasy baseball team - and move on. For those who are not familiar with the Croatian currency and exchange rate, thats about six dollars an hour, which to me would be better spent on plenty of other things one can do here on the coast. Lets just say mom isn´t too happy about this decision - received several emails concerning my having gone silent. So mom, I´m quite safe, and having a great time, and will check in with you soon. I promise, you need not worry.
This past week has been busy, but still quite relaxing. Having moved on from Zagreb, I have spent the past four nights on the coast in Dalmatia, which is quite different from Inland Croatia. Situated on the Adriatic, it has more of a Mediterranean feel and garners greater influence from Venice, then the more Habsburgian Capital which, like Slovenia, seems far more akin to Austria. The first three nights I spent in zadar, an interesting though by no means special coastal town about 5 hours ride from Zagreb. Its most interesting aspect is its diversity of architecture, with buildings from many different ages sitting in close vicinity to each other, a result of many different sieges on the city. It was nice to be back on the coast, to have a chance to spend a few hours each day reading on the beach. From here, I was also able to take two day trips, one to Sibenik, also on the coast and home to what many describe as the most beautiful cathedral in Dalmatia, and the Plivice Lakes National Park. This second trip I had been looking forward to for a long time and still met my ambitious expectations. It consists of a series of 18 lakes - water with greenish tint - which pour from one to the next, with waterfalls of all widths, heights passing from one to the next. It was a whole day event, and quite pressure filled/agonzing at times as missing the last bus - at 5:20 - is a frequent problem for ambitious travellers. It is a must see though on a trip here and best done on your own terms, without the time constraints and pressure which to an extent took away from the beauty of the moment.
I am now in Split, Croatias second largest city and main transportation hub to the islands. It is as great as I expected. Since I am running out of time, I will write about this next time - and there will be a next time as I have found much cheaper internet here. That said, from here I go to Mostar, then Sarajevo, and it seems to my moms relief, I might have a travel partner for these two destinations. When I was up Bled I met a kid from Connecticut with a similar Balkan itinerary. We went our separate ways after a night of talking about our intentions and other travel stories, only to stumble into each other again here in Split, same hostel, same room no less. So, as we both intended to go to these stops next, we will to an extent be moving together. Anyway, a weird coincidence from the road, but one which seems to happen more often than you would think and more so in the balkans where there are much fewer of us backpackers - cringing as I call myself that - to go around. Anyway, im out but its been good to be writing again and hope my next one is sooner than later.
Pices from Plitvice Lakes National Park: