Croatia’s Dalmation Coast is a cheaper, less touristed French Riviera. Incredibly beautiful and a great place to spend a week if not three, I think the name comes from the Archipelago “spotting” the coastline but even with a name like Crap Islands this place would rock.
I met up with Tina, from the transformed prison hostel in Slovenia, in Split where we took in a public concert featuring Cesara Evera, a popular Portugese singer. After wasting a night at a club full of teenagers with sunglasses and superbly geled coifs, we went sightseeing in the palace. Much of the city is inside the palace walls built for the Roman Emperor Diocletion. There are some underground tunnels which I imagine may have been quite spooky (especially if you were a Christian waiting to be fed to a lion) but today are filled with a flower exhibition.
A nice day on the relaxing if somewhat breezy beach and we caught a bus down the coast to Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is a bit like Venice–a touristy Disneyland for adults. Instead of trapping you with water, however, they herd you into Stari Grad (the old city) and warn you about leftover landmines dotting the area outside the city. We still managed to have a good time and the place is very beautiful. We saw what were purported to be Jesus’s diapers. I didn’t have the heart to ask if they were his baby diapers or the ones he wore later on when he was preaching. And we even took in a movie. Tom Cruise tried to top his previous couch jumping antics by jumping between skyskrapers in M.I.3. Here are a few shots of us: Tina’s portrait with a piece of found art, her attempts at fire eating, and me demonstrating just how alone (and subsequently, liberated) we were while smoking our cigarette. The last shot is beautuful Dubrovnik seen from outside the old city walls.
From Dubrovnik we went to the island of Hvar where we should have spent the entire week. Not yet the party season, we had a great time going to the beach every day and cooking dinner every night in our rented apartment.
Here I am on the scooter I rented. Notice the absence of Tina on the back. Well, this was my first time riding a scooter which is really fun, by the way. Due to a minor accident in the morning when I was still learning, Tina refused to go near the thing all day, despite my obviously improved abilities as the day progressed.
Needless to say, we rented a car instead the next day and travelled all around the island. Intending to see Roman villa remnants, Illyrial Burial Grounds, and natural caves, we took a scenic drive over hills and through tunnels to beautiful beaches and small villages, one of which is guarded by two dogs that nearly took a chunk out of me. Here are some photos of the island.
And here is a map of Hvar complete with legend so you can see for yourself the many sights the Tourist Board claims exist despite our inability to find just one.
Still, we had a great time. Here is a shot of me right before I robbed a beach cafe and made a getaway on my scooter and another shot of Tina near the harbor of Hvar Town, the island’s main town.
From there we stopped in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, and Tina headed back to Ljubljana but not before we checked out the Studio Mestrovic. Some of these sculptures remind me of Peter Chung’s (creator of Aeon Flux) style. I wonder if he knows Mestrovic. Check out the chunky hair and the angled faces.
Speaking of improbable inspiration, could this be the very same font (not to mention first four letters) found on De La Soul’s – Stakes is High album? Did Croatia even recycle back then? You have google; you be the judge.
Here are some shots of the sights in Zagreb which consist mainly of churches. One of the coolest churches I saw has a tiled roof.
And another free, public concert–this one celebrating 80 years of Croatian radio. I heard a rousing rendition of Eddy Grant’s – Walking on Sunshine performed by a guy dressed as a sequened leprechaun, as far as I could tell.
I think it’s obligatory, at this point, that I include at least one photo for those of us with a base sense of humor (all of us?). Let’s thank the Croatian people for making it so easy for me.
Today I went record shopping and next stop Budapest.
Posted from Hrvatska (Croatia):
posted Saturday March 2014