buh bye Dalmatia. you will be missed…

After spending three marvellously lazy days in Bol, Madeline and I needed to move on.  I needed to get on the mainland to catch a bus back to Dubrovnik and Madeline wanted to hop over to Korcula, an island on the Dalmatia Coast.  We picked Makarska as our next stop.  It’s on the mainland, on the Makarskan Riviera.  In order to get to Makarska, we needed to bus from Bol to Sumartin, and then ferry over.  Being as ridiculously lazy as we were, we didn’t bother to check the schedules nor with the info centre for the next available ferry.  As a result, we missed all the ferries and busses going to either Sumartin and Makarska.  There was one other choice though: take a private boat from Bol to Makarska.  The cost is about the same.

On the boat, waiting to leave.  You can’t tell, but I’m burnt.  Sleeping the night before was absolutely the most painful sleep I’ve had in a loooong time.  I actually had to get up in the middle of the night and take a cold shower.

Instead of a state-of-the-art, fast ferry, we took a old school fishing boat.  Turns out, the fishing boat is a tour boat.

Madeline looking über stylish.

Shortly before leaving, the boat loaded up with tourists.  The bar opened up, the beer flowed, the Croatian techno/folk music blasted.  The crew passed out shots of  Rakia, which they poured out of a duck-taped water bottle.  We were also pretty sure our captain was cruisin’ n boozin’.  The best part of the whole boat trip was the docking.  The captain, now definitely drunk, tried docking in the main port of Makarska, where all the tourist cafes are lined up.  Tourists and locals watched in awe as our captain shimmied the old boat, bumped into the dock once or twice.  On top of this, drunk tourists on the boat were dancing to the Village People “YMCA” that was blasting on the speakers.  Priceless.

Finding a place to sleep in Croatia is pretty easy.  You get off the boat, bus, plane, train, whatever.. and people left and right swarm you with cards saying “Sobe Rooms Zimmer”.  Eventually, the tourist office managed to hook us up with a room about 200m up the road.  The owner showed up ten minutes later and drove us to the apartment.   Him and his mother (or grandmother) were so sweet and nice.  People on the Dalmatia Coast are like that: friendly, kind, and even cheeky, but it’s kind of cute.  Even if we don’t speak Croatian and they don’t speak English, somehow you can manage to figure things out and have a good laugh.

The next morning, we hit up the beach.  Well, not really the beach.  Along Saint Petar Park, there’s the beach and there are rocks.  The beach gets filled up quickly and there is very little space to spread out.  By the rocks, the municipality has cemented some spots, holes to make some private little flat deck area, ideal for picnics and beach chairs.  We ate our breakfast on one of these little platforms and went for a swim.

The beach in Makarska is more like a giant lake.  The water is so warm;  the warmest water I swam in all summer. The beach also has free fresh water showers just next to the beach.  In Bol, you need to pay 7 kuna (about 1.5CAD) to use the showers.

The little flat cemented parts between rocks allows for beach chairs to be set up.  In Bol, you had to pay for the beach chairs, so Madeline and I just stuck with the warm pavement.

After the beach, we planned on making our way back to the apartment to pick up our stuff, then hit up the bus/ferry.  Of course, we got a little distracted by the market.  It’s a really cool set-up.  It’s just next to the beach and it looks like a giant donut.  And I bought a dress!

Makarska. The boats docked are also like the one we took the day before: private touring boats.  There’s actually something called a “fish picnic” and they’re pretty popular here in Dalmatia.  Most of these private touring companies do them.

A few hours later, we took the bus from the Makarska depot heading to Dubrovnik.  Madeline got off at Drvenik, about 40 minutes South of Makarska.  I took the bus all the way Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik, arriving from the North, nearing sun down.

As per uze, I refused to take a cab to the apartment.  On hostelbookers.com, the apartment was advertised as being a short, 10-minute walk from the Dubrovnik bus depot.  Sure. Ten minutes of uphill walking.  Would it kill them to give us a little heads up?!  That’s okay, though.  I got my workout for the day.

View of Dubrovnik from the apartment balcony once I finally found it.

Another view from the apartment balcony.

Zio, the owner of the apartment, was super cool.  He has daughters around my age, so he treated me like his own daughter.  He even offered to drive me to the airport the following morning…at 5AM.

Old Dubrovnik. Even though I was only in Dubrovnik for the one night, Zio insisted that I go check out the Old Dubrovnik.  One of his daughters drove me and Lily, another girl staying in the apartment, to the Walled City.

If my hair looks greasy, it’s because it is.  I’m now used to being completely drenched in sweat.  Hey: it’s better than being hot and dry.

I will really miss Croatia.  I think I may even return later this summer before going home.  A week was definitely not enough.  For the last few days, I tried desperately to miss my flight back to Rome just so I would have an excuse for staying in Croatia.  If you get the chance, schedule at least one month for the Dalmatia Coast alone.  There are some many small towns along the Coast and on the islands, you almost want to visit each.  Earlier this week in Split, I met two guys who were roadtripping down the Coast.  Not a bad idea…

Until next time,

🙂 Julie

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