Trip Start Aug 26, 2006
Trip End Dec 07, 2006

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Flag of Croatia  ,
Tuesday, November 14, 2006

In China, it's quite apparent that having male children is heavily favored over giving birth to females. In Croatia, I think it's the opposite, and not only that, I think they only let the hot ones walk the street because I think the area just breeds good looking people. I'm not sure where all the ugly ones are locked up, but damn.... Okay, enough of being a male chauvinist eh?

Croatia, while being another place I probably wouldn't have chosen to visit on my own, especially since it's only an eight hour ferry ride away from Italy, is truly an amazing tourist spot...... in the summer. The problem is, we came in the winter. In the summer, the area is a haven for extreme sports, and I desperately tried to find a travel agent that had information on paragliding, bungee jumping, windsurfing, white water rafting, or ANYTHING, but nothing is going on aside from in the summer months. However, I did have luck seeing some of the more scenic areas, and all of the lines are shorter and hostels/restaurants are cheaper, so I guess that's a plus.

The first day we docked in Dubrovnik, which is a sea faring town, kind of like Gallipoli in Turkey. The area is lined with unattended bars and restaurants, leading to "old town," an area that was bombed about ten years ago during the war. It's been completely restored and looks amazing thankfully, but the country still has some remnants (mainly in the form of land mines scattered throughout the area in off-beaten paths.... Aka- good luck hikers). After walking into the hillside city with its narrow streets and cobblestone roads, we went to a side restaurant that offered cliff diving. I didn't do it because the water was ice cold and I didn't have anything to change into, but a lot of other SAS kids plunged the 80 feet (one girl got hurt and was sent home, so maybe I made a good decision).

The next day, Pat and I decided we wanted to try the other tourist attraction city "Split," and caught the 8am bus there that actually travels through Bosnia. The city has the same kind of setup as Dubrovnik, and the same kind of tourist options in the winter (aka-none). We went into the city area and climbed the St. Domnius tower, which gives an aerial view of the entire city. When we walked up, there was this couple behind us, the guy giving us dirty looks the whole way. At the top, he seemed to just be staring us down, telling us to leave with his eyes, but we ignored him. After an hour at the top, we looked over and he was on one knee proposing to the woman he had brought up there, so we jetted out of there quick. It was kind of cool to see him giving his proposal speech in a language I didn't understand, even though he went through the same traditional motions as we do in the states (down on one knee, slips on the ring, and I think she said yes, because she wasn't running away with us afterwards).

That night, after booking a stay for $12 in a local hostel, we saw the movie "Borat" at the local theatre, which was being promoted city wide. Afterwards, we went to some club Metropolis and then walked through a car party with locals. Well, I don't know what it's called, but a bunch of street racing cars were parked all over this parking garage while blaring different kinds of music, as the owners walked from area to area swigging whatever it was that was in their brown bags. I guess that was their pre-gaming before they hit up Metropolis with us.

The day after, we hit up the ferry to go to Brac Island, the windsurfing capital of Croatia, which has an amazing beach called "Bol." Once again, it was pretty dead, but scenic so I was still happy we went. When we got back to Split around midnight, we were stuck without a place to go and finally ended up running into other SAS friends (completely random and lucky run-in down the narrow alleyway), and ended up crashing on the floor of their hostel. Good thing too, because we may have been street bums otherwise since the city seems to be dead after midnight. After a quick nap of a few hours, we were out of the hostel without waking up anyone, and then caught a 4 hour busride to the Plitvicka Lakes national park. We got off the bus in the middle of this wooded area that looked like the middle of nowhere, but eventually found our way to the lakes. The Plivicka Lakes national park is a beautiful area with tons of waterfalls that crash into a series of lakes, all the while flowing down a mountain side. We hiked the whole area for the day, taking a ton of pictures (well, Pat took hundreds, and I just plan on stealing all of his like I usually do). We ended up catching a 1:30am night bus back to Dubrovnik and I ended up spending the last day walking around Old Town again, and stopped at an internet café to download the latest "+44, Tenacious D, and My Chemical Romance" CD's. It's not really illegal if they haven't been released here yet right?

Well ladies & gents, I only have one more country left, and the plan is to meet my cousin Tommy and head out to Madrid and Barcelona. Hope it all works out, because after that, it's a short 10 day sail home back to the states.

"To have purpose and meaning in everyday life occasionally defeats the spontaneity of living."
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