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Zadar


Posted by | Evil Kristos | June 8, 2011 | No Comments

I did manage to get up in the morning. I am very much impressed with myself. I even arrived at the train station with time to spare. Since I was starving I went to Scottish restaurant that serves coffee and fast food. I always thought that a McShit is equally bad all over the world. I was wrong. It isn’t very good in most places but the Ljubljana train station branch is horrendous. The coffee was shite and the burger disgusting. At least I wasn’t hungry anymore. At that stage I actually doubted that I would ever be hungry again. I felt soiled. At least I was on the move again.

I do like trains. They are comfortable and somehow graceful. One is travelling in style when on a train. It is slightly more expensive and often enough slower but it is much more enjoyable than the bus. I had no choice anyways since there were no direct busses to where I wanted to go. I had to do a detour to the Croatian capital. At least Zagreb wasn’t too far away.

I passed out for a bit despite the screaming little brat two rows down. Three nights in a row with little sleep took a toll. For all I care there is nothing better than a little nap anyways. It comes with age I guess. The only problem is when you wake up and have no idea where you are. The train went to Zagreb but that wasn’t the final stop, When I opened my eyes I panicked for a second. I had absolutely no idea where I am.

According to my neighbours time piece only an hour had passed. No way I could ha missed my stop. What I did find odd though was that we weren’t moving. Even worse; according to my mobile network we were still in Slovenia I though that country was tiny!

20 odd minutes later we reached the border. How could I tell? Well put it this way; I didn’t get my passport stamped, at least within Europe, since I first got it. Croatia is different. The have grim looking border guards who actually check you and you do get a stamp in your passport. Odd!

Much worse was, they did take their time checking people. We were going to be late and that was bad news. I had a 45 minute time window in Zagreb and I had no idea were the bus terminal was. Not much time to spare and the last thing I wanted was to get stuck in Zagreb. he place is a shit hole. When we finally arrived I was slightly alarmed. I had hoped that the bus terminal would be next to the train station but of course it wasn’t.

I asked the information guys for details but they were utterly useless. Outside the train station I saw a Canadian couple heading for a taxi. I joined them. In the taxi I realised that Croatia wasn’t a Euro country. You can tell how well prepared I went on this trip. Obviously I hadn’t exchanged any money but fortunately the Canadians were better prepared than me. They paid the 70 whatever currency the have here. Next stop was currency exchange. I was curious and I was right. The two minutes taxi ride had in fact cost us 10 Euro. Greedy little midgets.

At least we managed to catch the bus.

The destination of choice was a natural park called Plitvice. It looked pretty cool on photos so I was considering to spend the night. Unfortunately, when we got there, the weather wasn’t particularly good. I was reconsidering my plan. I suddenly didn’t really fancy staying there. I also wanted to see the park. Coming back here wasn’t an option so I checked the time table. I had roughly three hours to catch the last bus. I gave it a go. The map sad 4 hours for the short tour but they probably thought about grannies in high heels when estimating that. I was confident.

The park is indeed beautiful but three hours isn’t enough. To make matters worse I screwed up. Instead of having a good look at the map and checking out the coolest spots I simply started running. How difficult could it be?

The path was pretty enough but it didn’t look anything like the pictures. I was a bit pissed off. And I was knackered from running like an idiot. The three to four hour tour had taken me less than one hour. I had to push a few elderly Japanese out of the way but I am good at that. When I finished the round I actually had time to spare but I couldn’t guess if I had enough to go to the other part. While I was thinking about it I actually had a good look at the map and discovered my error. I was at the wrong entrance. The stupid bus had dropped us at the not so impressive part of the park rather than the main entrance from where the big waterfall was just half an hour away.

I was thinking about it for a second. I still had a good hour and a half. It really pissed me off since I am confident I could have made it had I consulted the map first and then start running. That’s not the way I travel though. That’s for light weights. It was pretty cloudy anyways and about to start raining. Obviously it wasn’t meant to be. Time to move on.

My plan B was Zadar; a town at the coast. It sounded pretty interesting so I actually considered taking a break there. While I was waiting for the bus a taxi pulled over and offered a ride for the same price as the bus. Most of the people went for it and so did I. I didn’t mind arriving there a bit earlier. I hadn’t planned this far ahead and literally no idea where I was going. I was relying on the other people.

Again I was lucky. A couple of Dutch girls had a guide book so I just followed them. We managed to find a place but it was expensive and not very good. One night only then.

What bothered me much more was something else. The town was nothing I expected. Quite frankly; I didn’t care for it; at all. I don’t know where Zadar gets its reputation. It’s neither a looker nor chilled out. On top it’s quite expensive. The only entertaining bit was when we got lost and arrived at a bar where there was some sort of wedding or may be graduation. Everybody was dressed up, so sweaty little me with my backup and soaking wet shirt wouldn’t fit right in. The guys seemed to like it though. I was asked to pose for a picture with them. How could I possibly say no.

Looking back I should have stayed there. Even Zadars biggest attraction “Greeting to the sun” didn’t impress me much. It is basically a glass circle with a light installation that starts firing up at sunset. It is located at the tip of the peninsula and fairly popular with tourists and locals alike. I’m not surprised. There is fuck all to do in Zadar. People are getting desperate. It’s not bad but certainly not a good reason to go to Zadar.

So far I am not overly impressed with Croatia I must say. I start wondering what kind of people they try to appeal to. Certainly not backpackers on a tight budget. I may have to reconsider and come up with a new plan. If my next stop sucks as badly as Zadar I am out of here. Primosten better be good.

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