Last weekend we had a 4-day weekend because of Labor Day here in Hungary. My friends and I decided to rent a car and drive down to Croatia to enjoy the Adriatic Sea. When I say that it was the most beautiful place I have ever been to, I am not exaggerating. I hope my pictures make you all just a little jealous.
We started off driving 5 hours to the Plitivice Lakes National Park. Luckily it didn’t feel so long thanks to the awesome mix CDs we had made. We had a little trouble at Border Control entering Croatia/exiting Hungary, where we forgot to give the guards our residence permits. After seeing our passport stamps were over 90 days old, the guards asked us to pull over and questioned us, because you are not allowed to stay in Hungary for more than 90 days without a visa. We quickly realized our mistake, showed them our residence permits and with a laugh the guards let us continue on our way.
The Plitvice Lakes were stunning. We hiked for about 3 hours to see the waterfalls and took a boat around the lakes. The sun was shining which we were thankful for at first, but by 1pm it had become pretty hot out and we were thankful that we had opted to rent a slightly more expensive car that came with air conditioning.
Then after another 3 hour drive, we arrived at our rented apartment in Slatine, a small island (connected by a bridge) to the larger town of Trogir. The houses in Slatine were gorgeous and were all right on the beach. The people who owned our lodging were so lovely, they even brought us food as a welcome gift! Our apartment was right on the beach, but we were told that in order to get to the best/most relaxing beach on the island we had to take the one road on the island (yep that’s right, there was only one road in the area) and “drive until the road ends, and then keep going”. This proved to be more difficult than we imagined because the road turned to dirt pretty quickly, but never seemed to really end. Nevertheless, we managed to find (what we think is) the best beach, and we relaxed there for the next to days. The beaches along the Adriatic in Croatia are all white rock beaches. While this means its harder (quite literally) to take a nap on them, it also makes the water insanely clear and beautiful. In the morning, the water was a teal/turquoise, which turned to amethyst as the sun sunk lower in the sky by late afternoon. We also took trips into the nearby town of Trogir, a palm tree lined city, with an outdoor market where we got awesome figs and fresh pressed olive oil.
The people were so nice in Croatia. We went out to dinner one night and were given free appetizers and dessert because the waitress “thought we looked too thin”. So great.
Unfortunately, we had a bit of bad luck on our way back to Hungary. We decided to leave bright and early on Tuesday morning, so we could get back to Budapest by late afternoon and still have time to unpack/do homework before we had to go to school on Wednesday. But about 1 mile out of Trogir, our car broke down. We sat on the side of the road as the sun beat down on us for about 5 hours before we figured everything out. The combination of the fact that the rental agency workers barely spoke English, and that we only had 2 phones that worked in Croatia made the whole situation a little stressful. To make matters worse, since it was Labor Day, no mechanics were working, so the rental agency wanted us to stay in Croatia another day until a shop would be open and fix our car. After a lot of phone calls we were finally given a replacement rental car and were able to continue on our way. I was totally happy to stay in Croatia for another day, but my more studious friends acted as the voice of reason and convinced the rest of us that we couldn’t miss class. SIGH. Who knows, maybe if it weren’t for them, I would still be in Croatia right now – never to to return. Do you think I could transfer into Croatia University class of 2013?