Monday, October 22, 2012

Split, Croatia-first impressions

After a much-dreaded bus connection into Split town, which turned out to be far easier than the Internet made it out to be, I was in a hot, sunny, very scenic little port town. Immediately I walked inside the walled city, and, used to walking large distances, completely overshot my hotel and ended up in a maze of narrow alleyways until I reached a Dome-like building, whereupon, stupefied by the amazing singing, I found a small group of men singing in a “traditional Dalmatian style”, which was truly breathtaking. Taking that as my warm welcome into the city, I returned to my quest of finding my “hotel” which is really just restyled apartments, noticing all the scrumptious- looking food as I went. Turns out, that wasn’t too difficult to find either There are still quite a few tourists even though it is the off-season already. Overall, the town looks simple but charming, you can feel how ancient everything is, the amazing layers upon layers of history...but most importantly,  I cannot wait to try all the snacks, food and sweets.

The night prior to coming here, unable to sleep with all the excitement of going somewhere new again, I got completely overwhelmed by all the stories out there about how Croatia, even Split in particular, can be a dangerous place to visit and how one should absolutely not even think of going out alone at night, never mind if you're a single white female under 30.

This made me reconsider my trip to the point that I was extremely hesitant to get on my plane, looking for any "signs" telling me it's not a good idea to go. For the first time in my life I was not only hesitant to travel, I was begging to be taken back home to my cold, gray and rainy little town...but, I am thankful for my frugal nature not letting me waste my hard-earned dollars, forcing me to go ahead and face whatever happens next.

So, I am not sure where my fear was coming from. I would be inclined to think it was the fear of the unknown, combined with being tired of planning ahead for everything, having to gather information, etc. However, as soon as I was on a bus arriving into town, the familiar feeling of excitement from exploring a new territory returned to me. It is a bit more subdued this time, maybe because I have had enough for now, maybe because I know Hawaii is coming soon and nothing can top Hawaii. But yes, I am actually happy I wont be doing any airfare trips again before my leave for Canada and then, subsequently, Hawaii. I am much happier with daytrips, weekend stays in hotels nearby-the ones easily reachable by ground transportation, or somewhere I've already been before, to minimize all th planning stress.
 But overall, I am noticing, I like the comforts of home, which is so contradictory to my nature…maybe it’s the season too, now I am already in the winter mode, where I am happy with my routine, which involves working  during most of the day and partial nights and seeing my friends, going out to the caf├ęs in the old city, going for a run/swim, etc- turns out I like all that more than I’d thought. In a way, I am happy this is my last trip of exploring Europe- a nice short 3-day stay in Split, one of the oldest cities with such string ties to the Roman Empire.