Where to begin…Croatia was such an amazing time. The trip started out with over 15 hours of traveling. The bus ride to Croatia took just as long as the plane ride from Chicago to Rome. However, the bus ride was part of the reason why the trip was so fun. Not because the bus ride itself was necessarily so much fun- but because we were so pumped to finally get there and make the most of every second we had there. We left Rome at 5 pm on Thursday and we got into Split, Croatia at 9 am. We had two hours to get ready and settled, eat breakfast, and then meet again at the dock for white water rafting. Since Jenna, Alex, Kim, Tawny, Stephen, Ben, Garrett, and I all shared a hostel room it was pretty hectic getting ready. We were all cranky and exhausted but at the same time we were really running on adrenaline and excitement of finally being in Croatia.
White water-rafting. Not what I expected, way better. The river was calm at times so it was manageable for us to really take in the scenery. Not only that, but our tour guide was pretty hysterical. We would try and race other rafts and what not. We were rafting on the river for about 3 hours. It was pretty exhausting at the more active points of the river, but most of the time it was very relaxing. About 2/3rds of the way down the river we went cliff jumping. It wasn’t easy getting me to try and do it. At first I sat in the raft and just watched everyone jump off and look at his or her ridiculous expression. It wasn’t until I heard one of the tour guides say “You have to push yourself…test your limits” to some girl that I realized I had to do it. When was I ever going to get the opportunity to cliff jump in Croatia again? Well….the answer is most likely never. So…next thing I know I am walking up this cliff. Let me say, it seemed a lot higher when I was walking up it. I started second guessing myself but still carried on forward. All of my friends went before me. They reminded me to make sure to jump far out. One by one, it was slowly getting closer to being my turn. Finally, it was. I stared down….rookie mistake… and then plunged off the rock. I felt like I was in the air for a while because I remember cussing. Once my body hit the water I was stricken cold…I mean really cold. It was hard to swim and move my muscles. Although, this was nothing compared to the cold we felt when we swam in the Med Sea in Capri. Nevertheless though, it was shocking. After the eventful day of rafting and cliff jumping we headed back to Split for a pub-crawl. Everyone on the bus2alps program was interested in doing the pub-crawl. Supposedly it was absolutely worth the 16 euro.
The man running the pub crawl brought his dog with to every bar. The best part was that the dog really like beer… I mean I have never seen anything like it! I saw the sly little guy trying to knock over people’s cups and drink the beer. The man warned us all about it, but I didn’t completely believe him until I saw it for my own eyes. Anyways, the night was a blast. I met people from all over the world and also enjoyed being with the other Americans in the bus2alps program.
The next morning was the private island hopping tour. We woke up around 10 in order to be down at the dock by 10:45. There wasn’t one cloud in the sky! We brought drinks and delicious calamari with us. One of the bartenders on the ship started out the journey by walking around pouring shots for everyone. It was hysterical, although I wasn’t quiet up for a shot that early. When we got to the first island some of my friends jumped off the top deck of the boat into the water and then swam to shore. It was really entertaining to watch. The tour guide Lauren joined us at this cute little bar overlooking the water. Afterwards, we went to the beach and relaxed before it was time to head out to the next island. The next island was hysterical. My friend Stephen and Jenna both drank a little too much and were the life of the party…or so they thought they were. We played bocce ball in the sand and relaxed in the sun.
The way back to Split was pretty entertaining. Everyone was rallied up and mingling. The best part was…. there was no language barrier! It was strange being with so many American again. The night wasn’t as successful because most people were burnt out from the long day. I had an early night because the National waterfall park was in the morning. This by far was the coolest part of the trip. I don’t think I have ever seen nature be so beautiful. Even just breathing the air in the park had this refreshing feel to it. It was a great day and then after viewing the park we had to head back on the bus.. back to Rome. This bus ride was not as pleasant because there was nothing to look forward to anymore.