13.05.2007 - 18.05.2007 30 °C
13 hours later the train rumbled down the hill over looking a stunning vista of terracotta tiled roofs and light blue Adriatic Sea as it pulled into Split. I had managed to get a whole cabin to myself and had a great sleep across three seats all the way from Zagreb. It was slightly disconcerting to find the door was open slightly when I woke, but my valuables were well hidden so happy days.
I arrived at my hostel which turned out to be a bloke by the name of Marin's apartment with three rooms kitted out with bunk beds. This place was awesome, like having your own house rather than a dirty hostel. Marin had it sorted, he was in his late 20's and did web design from his "hostel" which he ran as a side line. After checking me in he turned to me and said "Dave these friends of yours that are coming, you can look after them when they arrive, I’m going wake boarding" and off he went.
No worries, the girls didn't arrive until the afternoon so I was off to explore. First was the local fruit market to sort out dinner, it took an hour of wandering around bargaining and trying the produce but I came back with bags full of the freshest fruit and veggies ever. Besides the locals were very friendly and it was great fun having a bit of banter and just shooting the breeze. The currency took a bit of getting used to, from good old simple Euros, to Kuna, which come in the hundreds. I had to keep my wits about me though I was laughed at when I handed over three times too much money for a coffee and she gave it back to me telling me "it's okay its early in the morning".
I walked around the old city, then the boutiques sporting the latest fashions, and eating ice cream on the ultra modern waterfront under a blazing Croatian sun. Then it was time to pick up three very tired Swedes from the station. The girls stumbled off the train struggling under their back packs in usual fashion after their 18 hour journey from Venice. This included a sleep in Zagreb train station were some joker had threatened them for money. Well, Rayen and Elisabeth for money, Ullrika had slept on her back pack right through the whole ordeal on the ground besides them. So with the team reunited and Mr T returned to the rightful owner, plans were made to spend time on an Island off the coast called Hvar.
After stepping off the ferry we walked along the water of Hvar (eyeing up all my future yachts) and found the lovely lady holding a sign for us so she could take us to our apartment. Then it was off to the beach for a swim in the cool clear water and to relax in the sun. This was basically the routine of the next week apart from small variations such one day we hired scooters and explored the Island. This was fun although a little nerve wracking to start with, for Dave, who found himself responsible for driving on the wrong side of the road with screaming Swedish girl on the back. However after five minute and spectacular coastal views it becomes the highlight of our stay.
Of course the night life was sampled, while walking along the water front we stumbled onto a group of Germans having a dance outside their yacht; of course we joined in with the plan of getting on board for a few free drinks. This plan failed however when there was a rather large splash and after running to the waters edge to investigate I discovered a French guy by the name of Ben being fished out of the sea after he had the same idea to get on board but had tried to accomplish it "Rainbow Warrior Style" by climbing up the mooring line. This cost him his passport, ipod, wallet and driver’s license but won him the sympathy of the girls so we all went out for a few drinks.
So after an enjoyable week in Hvar it was back to Split and to the harder realities of travelling, having to say goodbye to really the cool people you meet along the way. After trying to get on three different buses mine finally turned up and goodbyes were said and I left girls to their retail therapy in Split and headed south to Dubrovnik.
“Ka Kite Ano” girls I look forward to night clubbing in Gothenburg in March. Enjoy the rest of your trip.