June 2nd was officially my last day travelling solo around Europe. On the 1st, I took a Flixbus from downtown Budapest, Hungary to Zagreb Croatia. That night, I stayed in a very Aussie hostel where I met some Alabama folk and played some beer pong. Then, on the second, I made the final leg of my solo journey which took me straight to Cavtat, Croatia (near Dubrovnik). It was in Cavtat that I patiently waited almost a full day for my friend, Cailee, to arrive from Canada.
From June 3rd – 21st, Cailee and I traipsed around Croatia, diving in to as many of the country’s nook’s and crannies as we could. For the most part, we made up our daily itineraries as we went along, and kept ourselves open to whatever new experiences jumped in our path. We learned some beautiful things, some interesting things and, quite frankly, some unsettling things about the country. Historically, aesthetically, and culinarily speaking though, Croatia was incredible.
On June 21st I hiked off to Toronto – my first visit back since I moved away – and closed off the month there visiting friends.
Where I Went
Dubrovnik & Cavtat
Island of Mljet – Pomena, Polace, and Mljet National Park
Island of Hvar – Hvar Town and Stari Grad
Split & Krka National Park
Zagreb & Plitvice National Park
It was brutally hot, it was crowded to the tits with tourists, and ice cream was painstakingly hard to find, but my favorite place visited in June was Krka National Park.
Krka is often held up in comparison to Plitvice National Park, and, while Plitvice is absolutely gorgeous, you can swim at Krka. It’s simple. However, Cailee and I found that without much advance planning, Krka was hard to get around simply because of its immense size, so we stuck to the tourist trail and went to the main waterfalls.
I was completely in awe of the waterfalls upon waterfalls upon waterfalls, the way the fish swam and the water rushed right under our feet while on the boardwalk, and the way the hundreds of blue dragonflies hovered and watched us. We walked around for a few hours before taking a dip near the main falls, which, of course was warm and perfect.
Hiking to Odysseus Cave on Mljet Island
During our stay on Mljet Island, Cailee and I rented a little buggy of a car that we named Babino (after Babino Polje, a small town on the island). With this car, we were able to zip ourselves over to where we’d begin our hike to Odysseus cave.
Legend has it that Odysseus was shipwrecked near the cave and remained trapped there because of the nymph Calypso. The exact same legend is also found in Malta though, so let’s just say Odysseus got around. To get in the cave we had to hike about 45 minutes down to the edge of the rock, and then jump in the sea and swim through the most gorgeous blue water. We had no idea what to expect, and had no idea how long of a swim it would be as we plummeted into the salty water below.
Parasailing in Cavtat
On one of our first days in Croatia, Cailee and I decided to try out parasailing. Before we went, I researched safety, techniques, death rates, etc. I really worked myself up into a fret, but of course, my worries were for nothing.
The company we went with sent us up in the sky at sunset with champagne so they could take photos of us for their new ads, and as we sailed it felt like we were floating. There was no wind rushing by our ears, no fear of the line breaking, and yet I knew that if I leaned back just a little too far, I’d be a goner.
As I wrote about in my May review, I stress-fractured my foot in Prague. Still a major challenge for me, although the feeling in my toes came back!
What I Read
Back in January I made the decision to participate in a reading challenge courtesy of The Girl Who Wanders. The challenge is to read 26 books over one year, which is roughly one book every two weeks. The challenge outlines different criteria for each book selection to help with book choices.
This month I read:
“A Book Set In Your Hometown/State”
Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay
“Alone in the Classroom” is not a long novel, but boy did it take me a long time to finish. A slog to say the least. Hay’s writing style is, at times, very cohesive and structured, but I can’t say the same for this novel as a whole. Hay jumps from scene to scene with barely a thread holding all the parts together.
What was this book about? The murder of a young girl? The romance between teacher and student? The subsequent romance between the teacher’s niece and that same student? The assault of a different young girl? If Hay had stuck to one of these ideas and rode it out, this novel would be much more coherent.
“A book based in another country”
‘Without You, There Is No Us’ is an incredibly captivating piece of journalism that gives the reader just a glimpse of what life is like for North Korea’s elite students. While this novel was quiet and contained no central moment, Suki Kim does an excellent job at spelling out the immense pressure and surveillance that she, and everyone around her, was under at all times.
Before reading this, I only knew about NK from what I’d seen in the news, and this book has made me want to delve deeper in finding out as much as I can about the world’s most isolated country.
What I Listened To
Yes, I know it’s literally the same riff over and over, but Queens of the Stone Age put out a new song.
Most Popular Post
Ummm. I didn’t write at all in May.
Most Popular Instagram Photo
On The Side…
Okay, so even if I didn’t write here, it doesn’t mean I didn’t write at all.
Some more Plaid Zebra posts for you reading pleasure!
June 2 – Backpacking hammock: Pros and cons
June 12 – How to host your own full moon party
Saskatchewan! As far as I am aware, I will be spending the rest of the month getting to know my home province a little bit better. And, you know, working on projects while healing this broken foot of mine.