So, the trip has started. As so often in these situations, the event seems ever far ahead, until the day it is there when it comes almost as a surprise! I had not even packed the morning of my departure. I just yanked random stuff in my bag, and just made it to the train in time to head for the airport. Such was the rush that I had no idea where I had packed what into my backpack and if I had not forgotten something crucial. But then again, this is basically a Europe trip, so what is the worst that can happen? 😉
Heading for Croatia as my first destination I had actually not done too much research. I have been here sometime before, in 1987. Wow, staring at that number makes you realize your own age. Anyhow, back then we never made it to the Plitvice lakes – against all advice and common sense – which I attempt to rectify on this trip. This has always been on my agenda since back then, and now the time is nigh.
Zadar was a random choice to fly into, since it was the cheapest destination, close to the lakes. However, arriving here I realized it is far from the hamlet I had expected (I really neglected research this time, I become sloppy). Not big at all it is, though bustling due to its historic and Mediterranean appeal. This is not high season in its strict sense anymore mind you, but the little alleys are packed with folks spending their holiday of the year, not minding the expenses that they face. And they are hefty. Zadar, as so many places in Croatia nowadays, is pricey to the point of irritation. I spare you the comparison with the 1987 prices though.
That being said, it is picturesque and pleasant to the senses. Whiffs of hearty Croatian food mix with the sweet perfume of holiday goers. The warm cobblestones radiate pleasantly at night, while the temperature finally becomes moderate. The sea softly rocks the many sailing boats in the many harbors around the semi-island of Zadar old town, and the smell of the sea is always present.
Young couples cuddle by the seafront and experience their first summer love (or so I allege). Old folks take a walk by the sea, enthusiastically involved in verbal exchange, young parents try to keep their youngsters from accidentally hurling themselves into the deep blue water beyond the quay wall. And I cannot believe my damn luck. Feels good to be alive, doesn’t it? 🙂
I have not taken that first part of my RTW trip too seriously, so now I am starting with all the planning, of what is hot, and what is not. Where to go, and how to avoid the masses of people, I don’t really need right now. It will be a tough one. However, I have managed to book a bus to Plitvice today, so the lakes are next. Rectification, here I come your way!