Beautiful Croatia

I am not crazy about Croatia, I am ga-ga about the place, I am hooked on it, I am addicted to this land. She is under my skin. I dream about her day and night. No sooner am I back when I start thinking about next year’s visit. From all the places that I have visited, and where I have lived, it is the most beautiful country in the world.

A few years ago I was sitting in my hostel in Budapest, when Dominic walked in. He was from Zagreb and “escaped” because of girlfriend problems. We hit it off, spend the evening together, having a few beers, eating pizza and walked back to our hostel later that night. We talked about a lot of things, including his girlfriend problems, but the one thing that stood out in my mind, was his love for his country, which he described as “the most beautiful country in the world.” Now, I did not pay a lot of attention to his comment about Croatia being so gorgeous as most people feel that way about their countries. Before we went to bed, his cell rang. Yeah, you guessed it. It was the girlfriend. They sorted out their problems and the next morning he went back to Zagreb. I went on to Bratislava. Sitting in my apartment on the Danube one night, I was watching CNN and saw a commercial. About a country. It was jaw dropping beautiful. It was a commercial for Croatia. I got off my butt and went to an internet cafe where I googled Croatia and realized that Dominic was telling the truth. As I was coming to the end of my trip, I decided to go the following year.

In 2009 I started off in Zagreb. Loved the place. Not a lot of sights, but the hustling and bustling reminded me of my beloved Johannesburg in the 70s. While in Zagreb (stayed in an incredible place, Hobo Bear) I met a young girl from Norway who urged me to go to this “park.” Of course I did not (more on this “park” later) and when I eventually did, I kept on thinking back about this conversation. From Zagreb I flew to Dubrovnik. OMG, it was love at first sight. Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

I took the bus from Dubrovnik to Split and that was the first time that I encountered the Croatian coastline and the Croatian riviera. It is breathtaking. It was the first time that I came under the spell of the Croatian coastline. I did not care for Split and upto this day, I do not like the town. I took the bus back to Zagreb and knew I had to be back for more. There was just too much that I wanted to see.

The summer of 2010 I went back, I started off in Rijeka. Then Rovinj (OMG!). Pula (home of the Roman amphitheater). Zadar (from where I visited the Plitvice Lakes national park … yes, the “park” that the Norwegian girl urged me to see a year earlier while I was in Zagreb! Plitivice is on of the top three sites of all times). Further down you can watch a video of Plitvice during winter time … just imagine what is like during the summer! ┬áTrogir (day trip to Primosten and Kastella). Hvar (going back next year as I have discovered once I was back that there are several towns/cities/villages on this island). Korcula (OK, but not as great as Hvar). Dubrovnik (visited the island of Lokrum … and once again was under the spell of this city).

And then I moved on to other previous Yugoslavian countries: Montenegro. Serbia. Bosnia & Hercegovina. Then I started wondering: is it possible that the previous Yugoslavia is the most beautiful country in the world and that Croatia is just part of it? I will be back in Croatia next year. As well as in Mostar. And would like to include Slovenia.

On the home page is a video on Croatia. Watch it and you will understand …

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