Croatia


Sorry I’ve been delayed in writing. Ummmm, I’m in off-season on the island of Hvar so not so easy to find places open – except cafes! I’ve been drowning myself in espressos – yum!

I explored Zagreb on Friday. I missed the bus to Plitvice because I slept until almost noon! It was raining anyway and the girl at the hotel said it wouldn’t be a good day to see it, but now I won’t see it at all because I don’t have enough time when I get back to Zagreb.

Zagreb is a cute city – very quaint and easy to explore. I wandered through flower, fruit, veggie and clothing markets. It drizzled all day but I brought my umbrella so I held my umbrella in one hand and camera in the other. It was maybe about 60 degrees but as long as I was walking, I was warm. The stone streets curve up and around the town with lots of cafes – it must be nice enough to sit outside all year round. It’s fun to sit facing the small streets to people watch. A lot of girls wore long boots with their pants tucked in. I’ve seen some layering outfits, very 80s. I went to a museum as I started to get chilled – so interesting but I wished I would have started with the paintings – I had to rush through them because they were closing. I saw ancient artifacts and pieces of old crap from Europe – statues and such. They had paintings by Degas, Rubens, Suerat, H. Bosch, Manet – that’s all I can remember right now. So beautiful – I love paintings because I can see the story in them (even if it’s my own made up story!). I went to dinner that night and back to the hotel. Dining is an experience that will require it’s own blog.

Stacy came in on Friday night. On Saturday, I showed her all the sights I had found on Friday. (Let me tell you, you should be impressed with my typing right now – the keyboard is a little different than ours and I keep making mistakes. And it has cool characters like čćžđš). So back to Stacy – when we went down the the main square there was some kind of rally going on. The first one looked religious by the signs they carried. Then they had this huge video screen up in the center – all this old history, stone buildings and trolleys on wires around the square then then a huge modern TV screen. I found out later that they have elections in a month, so they might have been talking about that.

Most everyone speaks English and people are very friendly. Croatians love their dogs, I’ll talk about that later.

We flew to Split on Saturday afternoon – warm! So beautiful and on the water . . .

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But oh my god am I tired right now. So I’m not sure if this will make sense. It’s interesting, I forgot how you really have to go with the flow when traveling. Because the shit flies.

My plane was delayed from Chicago to London, no big deal. It seems as though United flights are always delayed for me. As I got on the plane and wandered through, salivating on first class, business class and then economy plus, I found my seat at the back of the plane. With the other Eliza Doolittles (or Elizer as they say). My first thought was that it sucked because I had gotten used to flying the upper classes with Lynda and Carol when they worked at the airline but then I realized I had a whole row of seats to myself. All six so I could lay down and sleep. I wasn’t ready for that yet, but then after the flight took off a lady sat in the middle, one seat away from me. Then laid down on four seats – what a bitch! I maybe got a couple of hours of sleep on that flight. Then had to run for my flight (went through the wrong security) through Heathrow to Croatian Airlines.

As I sat and waited to board to Zagreb, I got a text message from Stacy saying that she missed her flight! She won’t arrive until tomorrow (Friday) night. I was so bummed. I at least wanted one of us to have brains when we first arrived in Zagreb. Once on the flight, which was also delayed I convinced myself that I needed to be positive. It was hard because I was tired and hungry.

One thing that came to mind was that in Chicago when the flight was delayed, the captain got on the intercom and apologized and such. But in London, there were no excuses and no one pacing getting furious because the flight was delayed – people seemed better equipped to go with the flow. I sometimes feel that I have such a grip on things in my daily life, that when things go wrong I get mad but really should learn to laugh or shrug my shoulders. Just let things happen. I remembered this from traveling, but haven’t traveled in awhile so I wasn’t using it.

Well, I had to remember this when I arrived at the hotel in Zagreb and they told me they didn’t have a room for me.  I had been traveling for good 12 hours or so and that was the last thing I wanted to hear. I did end up getting a room, but had a brief thought, as the lady was looking into it, that there are other hotels. I’ll deal with it.

After I got into my room, I walked over to a restaurant. They didn’t have menus in English, so I told the guy I wanted a vegetarian meal. I thought he said shrimp and cheese. I was wrong. My plate came out with breaded cheese and breaded mushrooms. I almost laughed. Whatever, I dug in.
It’s only about 7:15pm right now (I think I’m 7 hours ahead of Chicago) and it’s time to go relax. See if I can find any English channels on my TV (I can’t believe I have a TV!). I have a big day tomorrow in Plitvice!

If you’d like a postcard from Croatia, please email me (asilpeterson@gmail.com) or post here. I unfortunately don’t have time to jot down everyone’s address.

I never thought I would create a blog but was inspired by my upcoming trip to Croatia. I leave tonight. Instead of the usual bragging emails I send from remote places – telling about my exciting days as you sit in a cubicle pounding away on your computer – I figured I would leave it up to you to visit my posts. Ewww, I’m already bragging.

A couple of weeks ago, Ananda told me that I should journal before my trip which sounds like a great idea but the most journaling I’ve done recently is the lists of things I have to remember to do. I’ve never been to Croatia, how do I feel? Well, I’m the type of traveler who doesn’t like to do much research before my trip, which sometimes gets me into trouble but also lets me sniff the air when I get there to see where I’ll go. Spontaneous. I have to confess, though, that I’m not real worried because I’m meeting Stacy at the Zagreb airport, and she’s been there before.

We’re landing in Zagreb on Thursday and staying there until Saturday afternoon (planning a day trip to Plitvice – haven’t told Stacy this, yet, but I’ll convince her). We take a flight to Split on Saturday afternoon and spend the night there. Now it gets a bit fuzzy – our idea is to go to a couple of islands, Brac and Hvar. I’d love to go to Dubrovnik but probably don’t have time because I like to stay in places for a few days to soak up the atmosphere. We fly back to Zagreb on Monday, Nov. 5th and then home on the 6th.

So, welcome to my blog – and hopefully I’ll be posting on a regular basis. I do believe that Croatia has the internet (hah! just kidding), I know they have the internet. Later!

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