Croatia in three parts: 2

Day two in Croatia, we woke up and went down to breakfast at the restaurant beneath the hostel, called De Belly. There were eggs and half-toasted bread with strawberry jam (that’s like a thing in Europe, half-toasted bread. You get used to it.). After breakfast we went back upstairs and got ready to go to Brac, an island off the coast of Split. We all trailed down to one of the piers and got into a boat that had a lower deck with wooden tables and an upper deck with benches. There were so many of us that we pretty much filled both decks. As we left the harbor people were laughing and screaming but I mostly watched the sailboats out on the water. I met another girl who joined our group, Arin, and we talked about school and the places we wanted to travel to.

Split and mainland Croatia as our boat was leaving the harbor:


They served us lunch on the boat–spaghetti for me, but everyone else got a fish. Just a whole fish. It was kind of freaky.



There was also an unlabeled bottle of mysteriously strong wine.  I tried some and felt like my throat and mouth and chest were on fire.  It was the kind of stuff that doesn’t even hit your stomach, it goes straight to your brain.  Everyone else was pretty wary of it, so we avoided the bottle altogether and just drank water.

We stopped in a little town on Brac called Postira.  When people saw our boat come into the harbor, they set up impromptu gift shops and postcard stands.  There were men playing cards and smoking outside a pub and a black dog running around by the water.  The buildings were either whitewashed or stone with red roofs, and there was a sweet little church that I wanted to go into.  Unfortunately we had limited time in Postira, so I bought a floaty for when we went swimming and a postcard, then went to the supermarket with Grace and got a huge bottle of iced tea and some plums.





We got back on the boat and went around the island to another cove, and the water was amazingly clear.  I don’t know how deep it was, but I could see the sea-grass and rocks passing beneath us.  We docked in a tiny harbor, and people jumped off the top deck of the boat into the water.  Then they swam under or around the boat to reach the stone stairs that went up to land.

While walking to the beach with Grace, I blew up the floaty I had bought in Postira and discovered it was about the size of my head.  It also had cute orange fish on it.  The walk to the beach was nice, if longer than I expected.  It was hidden a cove along a little road lined with houses and gardens.  Every now and then someone would zip by on a Vespa or bike.  The beach was rocky and was also home to an orange and white cat (I took home a rock that now resides on my dresser).

After sunbathing and drinking tea and eating plums for a couple hours, I decided to go in the water and try out the floaty.  As suspected, the floaty failed at life!!!  I sunk up to my shoulders, and it basically just kept me from sitting fully on the ground.  The water was cold but incredibly clear, and I could see how the roots from a nearby tree dipped into the water and dug back into the ground.  The rocks on the bottom were orange and green and blue.

That night, Klaire, Grace, Mel and i went to Trogir with some other people that didn’t want to go on another pub crawl.  I got mac n’ cheese gnocchi, which was amazing, and we threw french fries to a black cat that was wandering around the outdoor patio.  Trogir was magical, like it was stuck in time, and there were old women walking around and gelato shops still open, and I walked around the narrow streets for 15 minutes or so looking for somewhere to get a postcard, and the streets were so narrow that if I stretched my arms out I could touch the walls on both sides.



Ok, bedtime.  I’ll leave you with this picture that I love.



Cinque Terre

In September, CEA took us all to the famous Cinque Terre.  We left Firenze at 7 AM on a bus to go to the train station in La Spezia.  A lot of people slept on the bus, but I stayed awake because I like to look out the window.  I got to see the sun come up over the Apennines (the mountain range that runs down the middle of Italy).  We passed Carrara, which is where the quarry is that Michelangelo went to go get marble for his sculptures.

In La Spezia we all got a special ticket that let us stay in and travel around the Cinque Terre area for the day.  We also got maps so we could take the trails between the five towns if we wanted.  Cinque Terre is Italian for ‘five lands’, and the five towns are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso.  I took the train all the way to Monterosso and stayed there all day, mostly due to falling asleep on the beach.  Me and a couple other girls went into a little tourist shop, where I got a cool swimsuit coverup.  Then we went down to the beach and sat on our towels taking pictures.

the beach at Monterosso


Brie and Nicole showed up later (Emily was still exploring the other towns) and we went swimming.  The beaches are really cool.  The water is about ankle to knee deep for a while, and then suddenly drops off, which is why in pictures the water is always light blue and then dark blue.  I have this weird fear of water I can’t see the bottom of, basically anything that isn’t in a swimming pool, so I was standing on the edge and Brie and Nicole and this old Italian guy were all urging me to just jump in.  So I did.

Later, Emily showed up with some other people.  We only had about an hour before we had to be back at the La Spezia station, so Em, Brie, Nicole and I went and got gelato.


By the way, this was the last day I had long hair.