First stop in Europe, Croatia

The first 3 months in Asia have ended, and I’ll be in Europe for another 3 months. This is my first time in Europe, and I don’t think we could have chosen a better starting location. From the magnificent sunsets and tranquil coastal waters to the historic buildings and magestic landscape, Croatia is an incredibly beautiful country with equally beautiful people. I stayed in Split and also visited Dubrovnik, both towns have such a deep rooted history that is so wonderfully preserved in the architecture of the buildings as well as the ruins. Just walking through the old town areas gives you a constant urge to take photos.

Along with the all the outstanding beauty and rich history to explore, Split and Dubrovnik also happens to be major scene locations for the popular HBO series Game of Thrones. YES, I am an avid fan of GOT and still cringe whenever people bring up what happened to Ned Stark. It took a lot of energy to not get all geeked out while visiting these locations. The town of Dubrovnik is the shooting location for King’s Landing, and there are locations in Split that were used for filming the city of Meereen as well.

Dubrovnik aka King’s Landing

Beyond all of the excellent game of thrones tours available, there are lots of tours about the history of Croatia. Visiting the ruins of Salona, the fortress of Klis and taking a walking tour of Diocletian’s Palace truly enhanced my experience of staying in Split. The Croatian people add their own pleasant charm to the country. Most of them are very laid back with a great sense of humor. My friends and I managed to befriend a few Uber drivers in Split because Uber is still so new there that we often interacted with the same drivers regularly. At first, this seemed a bit creepy, but we got over it quickly as the drivers were polite and often expressed their sympathy for the results of America’s presidential election.

Walking through the town occasionally brought about very random and often amusing interactions. I came across a group of carolers that were singing Christmas songs as they passed. An elderly man in the group and his wife noticed me and could tell of course that I was a foreigner. They stopped to shake my hand and asked where I was from, but they weren’t able to understand my accent when I said I was from the Caribbean. After repeating it a couple of times, his wife came to the assumption that I was saying Colombian and so for the next few minutes of the interaction I became Colombian. It just seemed more appropriate to go along with the flow of things at that point cause I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t have been able to get them to understand what I was actually saying.

At another point in time, I was serenaded by a drunken stranger singing a local song (in Croatian so I couldn’t understand a word) who then wrapped up by letting me know that “It doesn’t matter if your black or white, when you come to Croatia everyone is beautiful!” and then proceeds to give me a firm bear hug. I’ve seen my share drunken personalities, and if people in Croatia are that kind while intoxicated, I think they could lead the world in hospitality and tourism. So far Croatia has been my second favorite stop on my travels with Remote Year, the first being Koh Phangan, Thailand which is pretty hard to beat. I have every intention to return to Split one summer to see how different it is compared to the winter and to explore some of the small islands nearby.