Tuesday, April 28, 2015

herring sissy vaca: Croatia

Onto the fourth country on the Herring sissy vaca: Croatia! 

If you'd like to see the first three, you can click these links: 
1. Prague, Czech Republic
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Budapest, Hungary

We arrived in Zagreb at night. The train station was pretty confusing. Bink found us a hostel, but we had to figure out the tram system. We rode for too long, and missed our stop, but finally found our hostel, Chill Out Hostel. 

There was a big benefit concert going on downtown when we arrived, which is why we couldn't figure out the trams (the one we needed wasn't running because of the concert). I remember being very hungry, so we found a little pizza stand, and got a slice before heading to bed. 

The next day, we agreed that we had been going and going at every stop, that we would take a day to relax and not push ourselves so much. We walked around Zagreb, saw a few sights, ate some lunch, went shopping. 

I thought this advertisement was really cool, with the soccer ball as part of the spider, and the shoes as the teeth. 

We bought some fresh strawberries at this outdoor market. 

We had a delicious dinner at Leonardo.

I thought this bronze art piece of the whole city was really neat. 

We went to this bar/club. Is this light wall awesome or what?!? 

It constantly changed colors. Very neat. 

I tried to make Bink pose in front of it.

We went to this big outdoor area after that. There are tons of tables sitting outside, and they are for multiple different establishments. 

When we got back to the hostel, our laundry was finished! If you can believe it, this hostel would do your laundry for free! Very convenient for the middle of the trip.

The next day, we were off to the most magical place: Plitvice Lakes National Park! We were able to sign up for the trip through the hostel. We were with 4 other travelers plus our guide. We took a van from Zagreb a couple of hours to the park. 


Do you see the little dots above the waterfall to the middle-left? Those are people. That's how big this is. 

Can you believe this place?! It's like a real life Fern Gully. 

I wrote earlier that Budapest was my favorite city on this trip, but Plitvice was by far my favorite place. 

There are 16 lakes, and they cascade into each other. 

A big thing I noticed was how there were no railings. You could basically fall to your death into an awesome swimming hole. 

There were lots of fish in certain lakes. 

It had rained a lot, so they put these super safe boards on the path so you could step over the overflowing water.. 

This dropped off a good forty feet. No big deal. 

Again with the boards. I have no idea how people didn't fall. It started raining a bit, and a giant tourist group all broke out their umbrellas right here when we were walking down. 

We asked if people were allowed to swim, and they are not. It's to preserve the ecosystem, but man did I want to jump in. Apparently there's another waterfall park in Croatia that does allow swimming, sooo next time I'll check that out. 

We were able to walk into this cave. 

Of course, we had to get some panos with this glorious landscape.


Our tour group! 

We took this ferry from one side of the lake to another. There was a long line to get on the boat, and our guide told us it was about 12 times as long later in the summer. This group of tourists that were on the boat loaded on, but wouldn't go to the end of the benches because they were wet. It was quite an ordeal, getting yelled at by the captains while we tried to figure out what was happening with the seating. Bink and I ended up sitting in the puddles on the edge of the bench. 

Obviously fine by me, better picture taking from the "window seat". 

Oh my word, handrails! 

More panos! 

We could climb down to this little point to take pictures, but Bink's ankle was hurting her (from a previous injury), so I had to get a solo shot. 

After we left the park, we stopped on the side of the road to get pictures of this awesome spot. 

It looks so man made! 

We stopped for some food on the way home, and finally got everyone's names in our group haha! 

The restaurant didn't get the memo about Comic Sans, but the food was delicious!

We tried to get the meat they cooked on the spit, but they had run out. Then our guide Mikey told us about this delicious beer, but they were out of that too. So they brought us shots. I love Croatia! 

Those are the Aussie girls in our group, Pru and Kate, along with Felipe from Brazil and Daeyzop Lee from Korea (I had him write that down so I could remember haha).  We were asking our tour guide Mikey some Croatian words, and he wrote out United States of America in my little journal: Sjedijene Americke Drzavg. There are some marks over some of those letters, but what a mouthful! 

Mikey ordered this GLORIOUS MEAT PLATE for us! 

After several more beverages, we jumped back in the van, and Binky played Beyonce for everyone. 

It was hilarious!

We basically had van karaoke. No one had heard Beyonce's new album, so we blasted other classics such as Michael Jackson, who we all know is universal. Afterwards, we tried to find real karaoke. We met up in the lobby of the hostel and headed out. I should also point out that we were going to check out on this day, but decided to stay another night without telling the front desk. They thought we had ditched without paying. It seemed they'd been bad mouthing us all day until we returned from the excursion. Not good. The room we had previously been in had been rented out, so we ended up bunking with the Aussie girls! So much fun. They had been traveling all over the world for like 8 months! That's a thing in Australia, and it sounds awesome. Banks will loan you money to take a year off to travel. So so cool. 

We ended up not finding karaoke, but we did all go to a bar for a bit. It was fun to hang out with a group for a change. 

The next day, we checked out of the hostel and walked to the train station to get our tickets and lock up our packs for the day. 

My lovely guide

Every time I saw a dog, I would go "daawwwww look at dat baaaaabbbyyyyy!". By about the third day of the trip, Binky banned me from saying it, but it didn't stop me from getting pics! 

We walked back by the nifty bronze cityscape. 

We checked out the Museum of Broken Relationships, a hilarious little kitschy museum. 

There was a story along with an item from the relationship. People sent in items from all over the world. 

I got a pic of the Croatian Kuna (their currency). It was about 7 kuna to 1 USD. 

Bink was having some stomach problems, so we had to find a pharmacy and explain with hand motions what was going on. It was HILARIOUS. 

Of course to help the problem, we decided to get some healthy snacks for the train.

Look how big this thing is! 

On our way out, there was yet another concert going on! 

Once on the train, we found an empty car to enjoy our meats, cheeses, chips, and salsa (which ended up being more of a ketchup in a jar. bleck). 

Mmmm lukewarm beer on a train! 

Bink feel asleep pretty fast. I played Sudoku (yes, I brought some puzzle books). While I was sitting there, this random guy comes in and sits next to me in our little car. After about an hour, he left. So bizarre. Of course I was on high alert purse watch haha. 

We woke up in Munich, LAND OF BEER GARDENS! 

I feel like Croatia seems kind of obscure, but everyone I talked to before we left on this trip that had been told me to go, and I say the same! 

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