Wednesday, October 17, 2012

50 charming things about Croatia...

  1. Wherever you find grapes, eat them. They are delicious.
  2. The Adriatic will feel so salty at first, but after a couple dips it is a soothing and therapeutic as a spa
  3. The mountains and islands offer a harsh, barren landscape – yet are so fitting for the Country
  4. Rent a boat and island hop – without a route. Simply wander and explore.
  5. Then rent another boat the following weekend and explore the other direction. You have an entire sea in front of you.
  6. Jump off the cliffs on Mana Island, but make sure you have a boat waiting for you on the other side. Do not attempt to get back on the Island.
  7. If you spot ruins, weigh anchor and hike to the top - the view and experience will be worth it.
  8. You can swim with Dolphins. Go out in a boat in the morning and you'll find them playing in the sea.
  9. Eat the figs, fresh or dried. The flavor is unparalleled.
  10. There is a rooster in Pakostane whose internal alarm clock is about 3 hours off.
  11. Wine is cheaper than soda.
  12. Order a gemist  (wine spritzer) so refreshing but gives you the buzz you need.
  13. Stumble upon a local pub and make friends with the bartender.
  14. Find “the pirate bar” in Pakostane.
  15. Find a lookout point, take in the view, and count your blessings.
  16. Watch out for sea urchins, but don’t wish them away – they mean the water is clean
  17. Try to speak the language as much as you can – your efforts will go a long way and mean a lot.
  18. That being said, learn some of the bad words.
  19. Exercise in the outdoors, not in a gym. Run, swim, hike, bike, play.
  20. Konzum is a mini-market that will save your life.
  21. Pag Island is a party island. Stay up all night or sleep in a car, don’t waste your money on accommodation. There is an abandoned pizza place on the main road, chat up the old lady and park there for free.
  22. Plitvice is as beautiful as they say it is, you will never see water that shade of blue again in your life
  23. BUT you can swim at Krka.
  24. The salt lake on Kornati Island is shallow and feels like pee water; but, the donkeys by the lake make the trip worth it.
  25. Burek is the best hangover food. Cheese or meat.
  26. Smokiis or Bobbi’s are the best snack.
  27. Order cevapi, with extra ajvar. Cheap meal and so delicious.
  28. Sit by the sea organ in Zadar during sunset – it is the most spectacular view. Be grateful for that moment.
  29. Old Town Hostel in Zadar is a great deal. Stay there.
  30. Go bungee jumping off the Sibinik bridge. The guy you meet before you jump is amazing. You will not be afraid.
  31. Then go bridge jumping off the bridge to Krka. There should be a rope swing there (unless it is temporarily taken down). Jump from the highest point. Then go back and jump from the railing. You will feel alive.
  32. Then go into the nearby town and drink a Mojito by the water.
  33. They do not make iced coffee there. An iced coffee to a Croatian waiter is ice cream, milk, coffee, few ice cubes, and whipped cream. It’s delicious.
  34. The ferry from Split to Korcula on a windy day is a 2-for-1 special: roller coaster and ferry ride. Don’t eat a big meal beforehand.
  35. Korcula Island is wonderful. A mini-Dubrovnik.
  36. Go to Lombada Beach in Korcula and stay on the bus until the very last stop. Where the path forks, go right and follow the vineyards. It will lead you to an amazing beach. 
  37. Grab some grapes for the walk.
  38. If you want to see Dubrovnik without the tourists, go at 7am. The city will be your own.
  39. Balance on the Dubrovnik Maskeron – the gargoyle head in the old town that will bring you good luck. 
  40. Be wary of ghost gypsy girls in Dubrovnik.
  41. In Europe, breakfast is not the main meal – adjust your appetite.
  42. Eat fresh produce everywhere you go.  Eat the apricots and figs off the trees, grapes off the vine.
  43. Radler – flavored beer: pear and lemon are so refreshing.
  44. Watch out for the poskok snake – apparently you do not have much time to live post-bite.
  45. Also, check your beds for mini scorpions.
  46. Make friends with the local vendors; they'll give you free ice, offer deals on rentals, and serve you first.
  47. Croatia-time is very different than America-time. Slow down and be patient.
  48. Wear sunscreen. Seriously. The sun does not feel as strong as the Caribbean, but will turn you just as brown.
  49. Stay "unplugged" as often as possible. Detach yourself from the real world.
  50. Bask in the warm sun and swim in the blue sea and enjoy every moment of it.

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