As my first week in Croatia comes to an end, I wish I could report more exciting news.
Like: “I’m volunteering for an organization that is restoring the historic buildings here in Old Town.”
Or maybe: “I’m sailing around the islands on a catamaran.”
Even: “I’m helping out in a family-run restaurant.”
Sadly, no. The truth is I’ve just been soaking in the European vacation life – minus the sunbathing and smoking.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the cafes along the Riva. It’s perfectly normal in this culture to sit down at a table, order of coffee, and stay for an hour or two without ordering anything else. A full meal with a group of friends (or laptop, in my case) might take 3-4 hours, no problem.
I’ve also done a lot of walking. I’m probably averaging 5-7 miles a day up and down the beach, promenade, and cobblestone streets. I even went running a few times, enjoying the funny looks people give me. I guess running isn’t so big here. After one of my runs, I swore I was going to jump into the Adriatic Sea for a swim. But the cold water scared me off. Maybe when we’re sailing…
My apartment has been good, not great. It has a kitchenette, so I’ve saved some money by eating breakfast and a few dinners at home; and I usually pack a sandwich and fruit for lunch on my walking adventures. That said, I’ve also had a few typical Croatian meals; my favorite thus far has been the slow-cooked lamb at Pikulece.
I love Split, but I'm already feeling the urge to see other parts of Croatia. So as of this morning, I've turned in my keys to the apartment and am now sitting at my favorite cafe trying to figure out transportation north. My plan is to swing by the marina in Trogir, drop off my sailing gear, and travel light to northern part of the Croatian coastline – Vodice, Zadar, and Opatija.
At least that’s the plan as of 10:30am this morning. The fun part is, it could all change again tomorrow!