This time, I unfortunately cannot give you some information about the planning process and stuff like that. But what I can give you with this blog post, is a small glimpse into what my birthday in Croatia was like.
Usually I am not the birthday-type, not even close to Sarah- she loves birthdays and always tells others that she is the superstar today. Through Sarah, I kinda learnt to be the superstar on my birthdays too.
Long story short. Driving to Berlin on a, I guess it was Thursday, sleeping at friends and taking the plane the next morning to wonderful Zadar, Croatia. That is where our homebase was for the next 4 days. Sarah rented a wonderful AirBnB in the outbound of Zadar. Just imagine a small village, located right at the water, a small harbour and with one small church. Our appartment was located next to the church, which really made the nights short- which is okay when you travel, because you want to make sure to have long days full of exploring and new impressions.
After being tired like s*** and arriving in rain unfortunately, the host offered us "Rakija" for welcoming us. "Rakija" is some sort of booze, which is really characteristic for Croatia. Of course we have been almost drunk after two or three shots of it- after almost no sleep, no breakie and quiet a journey behind us. What a welcome!
After the really warm welcome, especially warm for our bellies, we put our stuff into the room, which had a really huuuuuuge (and I really mean "HUGE") terrace, and looked into some maps until we were not drunk anymore. We started walking through the small village and Sarah freaked out whenever she saw a palm tree- oh babe, I love you for your curiosity. After dozens of palm trees and freakouts of the same amount, we finally made it to the harbour where we checked into the first restaurant. Fact: Croatia is not that cheap as we expected it to be. But maybe they raise the prices a little, as long as there is no season. The Season was just about to start in the middle/end of June. Okay, fully bellies: exploring mode on...we went back to our place, because our hosts had bicycles. We grabbed one, we grabbed two...filled the empty tires with fresh air and...damn...I think they haven't been ready for non season travelers like we were in that time. So, we had to fix them first and took off. The first day was just about cycling alongside the coast with unbelievable views and the clearest water I have probably seen in my entire life (there is rarely sand in Croatia and that is why you will find the clearest water ever), falling into a bush of roses and Sarah having a flat tire 8km from our place, before we headed to the center of the city for dinner.
Zadar is a very small town, compared to others, on the coast of Croatia and 350km away from Dubrovnik, which every Game of Thrones junkie is probably familiar with. The old town, which is accessible through a bridge only, is located right in the water (yep, the clearest water ever). It holds a very medievil atmopshere and is also know for its mirror-like shining pavings as well as old and majestic looking buildings. It was the perfect ending of our first day there, walking through small and very old streets, with one awesome looking and smelling restaurant after another. We called it a day and went back to our place.
On our second day, we made something I love since I was in Thailand in 2014: renting a scooter and going into the very exploring mode.
We took the same direction as the day before and went North-West, in direction of Kanye and Kim Kardashian child ("haha). Usually I have wanted to go to the mountains, because as much of a beach person I am, I still love being in the mountains for the views. But as everybody can relate, because of the huuuuge size of mountains, they always appear closer than they actually are. So, we headed in that beautiful, greek-styled small town called Nin, 15km away from zadar. We have heard about a lagoon, which we supposed is really worth to go for. Our first stop was the lagoon. We headed down to the beach, had some relaxing hours getting some tan and photos, before I recognized that "oooops my phone is gone!!!". I have gone back to where we parked our scooter of trust and searched the whole area....finally I have found it, laying on the ground. Imagine it to be a movie...some people who are almost dying of thirst, looking for water, stumbling through the desert, death close to them...and then BOOOOOOM they find that bron or oasis, which is brighten up by a ray of sun....well, the desert was a forest and the oasis was my phone...damn, Instalife saved.
After I almost dropped my phone into the water when I climbed down to the lagoon and Sarah could not stop laughing about me, falling into the mud, holding my phone up high...we went on and headed to the center of this wonderful city of Croatia, which looked more like Greece somehow, roamed the streets, slaughered a pizza and had several cokes and went back to our place to get ready for dinner time and Zadar old town. If I am honest, Zadar is just worth two or maybe two and a half days. But on our second day, there was so much more to find out about this place.
If I am honest, Zadar is just worth two or maybe two anda half days. But on our second day, there was so much more to find out about this place. For example the square of "the Greeting To The Sun", which is like a solar-panel-looking square, which changes its colors randomely. We stayed there for sunset, which was probably the nicest I have ever seen, had some wine, which we have bought in advance (usually we are low budget travelers) and observed the kids playing around and listened to the musicians as well. BEST MOMENT OF THIS TRIP!
Third day meant birthday, meant to be a superstar for 24h and of course my girl treated me well by having a trip to the famous and incredibly awesome Plitvice Lakes national Park organized, which was a 2,5h bus ride away from where we stayed. What is beter than to get up early on your birthday? To be honest: a lot. haha
But when we arrived in the Nationalpark, I was totally blown away by the beauty of this place. Unfortunately we had six hours only to roam and discover this amazing place...but six hours have been fairly enough to see pretty much everything of this place (the main stuff). Bu what should I tell you? The place is just everything a true explorer can wish for: high mountains with crystal blue lakes at their bottoms, continuing with huuuge waterfalls between greens you will not find anywhere else! Have a look for yourself and tell me you would not wish to go there for your birthday!
After the best birthday ever with super rad impressions and experiences of a place, I have always dreamt going to, we started pretty slow into our last day in Zadar. We had an awesome brekkie on our huuuuge terrace with overviewing the water and the mountain silhouette in the back of it. After that, we started to pack our things a little closer together as we wanted to make the best of the day and to discover what Croatia has to offer for us one last time.
That is why we made our way to Zadar center and rented a scooter one last time to explore the beaches and sceneries south of Zadar. We went through amazing and really east european industrial areas, passed a ferry harbour, a fancy yacht harbour and awesome small villages as well as a huge party beach, where the majority of the tourists might go to party and have the worst hangover of their lifes afterwards. When we finally have found a comfy "beach", completely full of stones, which is very common in Croatia, we grabbed two beach chairs and called Croatia an end with talking and exchanging our impressions, feelings and made up plans for our upcoming trip to Bali, about which you can read in the blog section as well.
Thanks for reading fam! love, tommy