Trigger warning: this post deals heavily with content of a shameful nature, avert your gaze if you’re politically correct.
So we made it to Croatia! I’m currently writing this entry on a ~4 hour bus trip to Split, so excuse the inevitable confusion between past and present tense.
We spent the first two nights staying in a little hostel run by nuns. The room was bright and cheerful and it was close to the Old Town.
It’s worth explaining for anyone who hasn’t been to Croatia and may think it reasonable to assume that google maps will give an accurate representation of the topography of the country. It doesn’t. Places that appear close as the crow flies, or even as the crow walks, chills out, visits its side crow and then flies to the wife on maps don’t actually take into account just how hilly the country is.
Our place was close to where we planned on spending the day. Yes. But they don’t show 235719420 stairs on the app because I’m certain it would put people off. Luckily for us we went blindly into the sunny alleyways, steps and cobbled paths and made it to Old Town Dubrovnik.
I am sure that everyone knows this is where Game of Thrones was filmed, and you can definitely tell this is Kings’ Landing the second you set foot inside the walls. It’s a very unique sort of beauty.
Each building is the same off white colour adorned with a terra cotta coloured roof. They’re stacked along the side of the rolling hills; occasionally there will be the crumbling ruin of a house from yesteryear, beautiful in its own right. At the next turn, you may stumble upon a glorious monument, fountain or church. In summer, it’s a melting pot of tourists from all walks of life, overpriced breakfasts, souvenir stores and the raw normalcy of the locals obtaining produce from the markets.
We decided to do the walk around the wall, which costs 150 kuna. [Side note: whilst on the topic of money, most places seem to take euros and kuna interchangeably, but hardly any take card.] The views were amazing and you could picture Cersei on her walk of shame.
We essentially walked all day. We checked out the area where the sailing tours departed and all I can say is thank god I’m not doing one of those. The smell of vomit and shame was overwhelming.
Speaking of shame, a fun little anecdote for you:
Have you ever heard the saying that there are three things you should never bring up in conversation (especially with someone who is a representative of a religious body) are money, politics and religion? Of course you have.
Anyway, it was boiling hot outside so there was definitely an element of heat stroke contributing to this conversation, but basically as part of an innocent conversation about bus timetables, someone in our traveling party of two managed to alert the kind nun to the fact that in Australia, religion isn’t really that much of a thing anymore. I won’t go into detail, but lets just say as the terrible interchanged continued and more verbal holes were dug, this kind sister’s facial expression transformed from open and welcoming to curt and stormy.
She must have some prophetic insight into the weather (or someone in our party of two really made god mad) because, I am being 100% serious when I say this, no sooner were we back in our room sitting in our room deciding what to do next, did the thickest blanket of dark grey clouds roll over and it started booming with thunder and pelting down rain. We were cowering under our crucifixes pinned to the headboards of our beds, praying we wouldn’t be struck by lightning.
It was at this point, one of us started repenting, and the other started googling evil nun movies. I’ll let you decide who did what.
“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before,” – Dalai Lama