First of all, I almost didn't make it there! Wednesday I woke up extremely sick, and I missed a free trip to the largest mosque in Italy, as well as my Wine class (I heard the wines that my class tasted weren't so good, so I wasn't TOO bummed). However, it was probably a 24 hour flu because I woke up on Thursday morning ready to leave that afternoon!
I feel like I cheated, because I didn't plan this trip. We went through a travel company that has semi-inexpensive weekend trips for college students, called Euroadventures. But, it was a lot cheaper than the flights, which would have cost more than Euroadventures charged for transportation and rooming. Anyways, after a 3 hour train ride from Rome, me and my friends Krista and Erika made it to the port town of Ancona on the coast of Italy and the Adriatic Sea. From there, we took an 11 hour boat/ferry from Ancona to he port in Split, Croatia! We had a hard time sleeping on the boat, because there were a bunch of college students drunk and walking around slamming the doors of the airplane-type seat rooms we were in. However, we got into Split at about 9am Friday. We were then taken to the apartment we stayed at for the weekend, which we shared with 3 other girls, also studying in Rome for the semester. It definitely was not the nicest apartment, where the stairs were so steep (Krista and I were on the 3rd floor, a long climb up), and the bathroom was nasty. The shower sprayed everywhere, so it was never dry in there. After getting a little settled, we walked around old town Split, where we saw the fresh fish market, Diocletian's Palace, the markets where there were chicks, bunnies, ducklings for sale, as well as home-made white beautiful cotton table runners, doilies, and lavender smells all over.
The apartment we stayed at, so skinny!
The walkway between restaurants, stores, and the water.
Old woman selling her veggies by the fish market.
The Last Supper sculpture made for the Easter holidays, inside Diocletian's Palace.
After getting our bearings, we went down to the beach!! Where we got pretty burned, but it was worth it. This beach was so beautiful, whereas the water was so clear and blue. We sat out for a while, got some delicious sweet-cheese pastries, and went back to shower for dinner! We ended up going to FIFE (fee-fay), the restaurant that the tour coordinator highly suggested. We sat at an outdoor table with a view of the water, and ordered very interesting (and curiously strong) wine. Erika got stuffed peppers, but Krista and I ordered fish. Now when we ordered it, we had no idea it would come out still whole, still with the head, bones, tails, and fins on it! It was surprising, but absolutely delicious. We ate until only bones and a head were left. As we were finishing our wine, a cute old man walked up to our table and told us how funny our faces were when the fish came out. He looked like he was in his 80s, and he sat and talked with us for a while. We found out he is a lawyer, speaks perfect English, Italian, and of course Croatian, and at the end of our 20/30 minute chat he bought us a 1/2 liter more wine! he was so cute, and it was fun to talk to him about his life in Croatia. He was also impressed at our living in Rome all semester! We finished the wine while laughing about our awesome new friend, and met up with some of the other students on our trip. We all went to a bar, but it was not fun, so we went back and passed out in our odd apartment.
Me and Krista in our ISU Roamin' Redbirds shirts!
The water was so clear!
The old man in middle was our little friend.
My dinner? So yummy though!
The next day we woke up and got on a boat! It was pretty small, so we decided to sit on the top (which was a bad idea, as our thighs got super burned!). It was a beautiful 3 hour ride, which we stopped at the island Bol first. Bol is the famous island where the Triangle beaches are. We were sadly there for about an hour until we had to get back on the bus. Because of the short time, we didn't make it to those beaches, or we would've been there for about 10 minutes before we had to go back (it was pretty far up the coast). After we got back on the boat, we were served lunch, and surprise for everyone but us it was a whole fish again! It was yummy, but the wine wasn't. It tasted like sour grapes, but worse. Ew. While eating, we took a 30 minute ride to Solta, which was a very small town, where no tourists really go. We were riding back from Solta as the sun was setting, which was a beautiful sight off the water. We all wished we spent more time on the islands, but the travel times between each place was longer than expected. We got to split, changed, and went to venture out for food, any food. We ended up at a really little place by the water, where we were given a delicious cream cheese-like spread with our butter, and ordered the best food ever. I ordered seafood risotto, which was the BEST thing in the world, but I was so tired, that for some reason I couldn't finish it all! I surprised myself, and was sad, but we barely made it home before passing out in bed after a very long day!
Sweet-cheese danish before going to the boat!
On our way, view of Split from the water.
Me and the coast of Bol.
The boat we came on at the port in BOL.
Triangle beach, you can see how it juts out into the water on the left.
Lunch! and the nasty wine next to the plates.
EASTER SUNDAY was the best day of the trip. As we were walking to the bus to go WHITE WATER RAFTING on Cetina River, we saw families full of young and old people going to and leaving from Easter mass. We took a 2 hour bus to the town Pavića Most, where we were given a wet suit, oars, and were divided into groups. There were 7 people in our raft plus the skipper, including me, Erika, Krista, and 2 couples from Germany. We went into the water and learned the commands from the skipper, who would yell "right side forward/backward" or the opposite. He would also yell "BUMBA" when the rapid was too crazy, so that we would crouch down in the raft and just let him steer. He was really funny, and kept us entertained throughout the 4-hour rafting adventure. It was difficult throughout the whole thing because I of course am not used to rafting and paddling, but it was mostly because the 4 Germans did absolutely nothing. I would look back at them and they would not be paddling, just sitting and talking to one another. SO annoying, so the 3 college girls with no strength did all the work. Halfway through the rafting, we got to cliff-jump! I don't know how high we had to climb, but I can tell you it was so much higher from above than looking up at it! To get up on the rock we had to step on this little bit of rock that was big enough for half your foot, then step on a tree branch, then push off the branch to get up. It was so much fun to free fall-down into the freezing water! Afterwards, we came upon a rapid that was too dangerous, where a few years ago 2 skippers and 1 tourist had died, so it was deemed illegal to take tourists down it. The skippers were the ones that went down it, as we walked around on land, and continued down to the end. Great experience!!
Me and Krista in our wet suits ready to raft!
The whole gang ready to go!
Row, row, row your boat....
After we got back to Split, and were starving, so we got pita-type burgers, which were so delicious, at a hole-in-the-wall "fast food" place. We went back to the boat, and headed back to Italy. We were supposed to dock at 7:30, and our train to Rome was a 8:20, and we thought we were going to be late! We were the first 3 people through customs, ran to get a taxi, and made it with 10 minutes to spare. We took the train to the metro, and the metro home to Rome! Such a great Easter weekend!
Roamin' Redbirds saying goodbye to Split and Croatia!