HVAR, Croatia.

The beautiful thing about Hvar was that everyone seemed happy with what they had. There was a real sense of community about this island that I’ve never experienced before,probably because you could walk from one side of the island to the other in about 20 minutes, so everyone knew everyone. There was a view of the ocean everywhere we went and the locals milled around as if the 30-degree heat was nothing (and then there’s me, wishing I could acclimatise quicker), just fishing or tending their boats. There was such a spectrum of people, some with yachts that carried a full team of staff, whilst the owner sauntered around the stern, flaunting the glamorous, pocket size, sparkling princess he had on his arm to the rest of the port. Others sat happily selling fresh lavender from their teeny tiny stall half way up to Hvar’s fortress, dreaming the day away.

It really is one of the most beautiful places you’d even struggle to imagine. The heat really hit us (me) hard to begin with, when we arrived with our 13kg backpacks, that after less than 2 minutes of leaving the Catamaran, stuck to us with sweat and sun cream… so we stopped for food, obviously. We thought the 10-minute walk to our hostel would be super easy and scenic and picturesque; which it was indeed; what we hadn’t realised was that the walk up to our hostel DINKS PLACE, was literally uphill at a 90-degree angle… you can imagine the despair, thankfully it was only half way up the hill.

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Dink’s was a complete change from the apartment we started with in Split. Going from our own private space with peace and quiet and massive bathroom, to a 5-person bedroom being shared with two party animal Mexicans whose names I could not pronounce and a bathroom with a shower of questionably coloured water. However, these things didn’t matter to me in the slightest. As for 1) I am an incredibly heavy sleeper and 2) the views and pleasantness of the staff hugely outweighed the major simplicity. Dink greeted us with the most beaming smile and water, then gave us the complete run down of the island. The hostel was basically a little house with a surprising number of rooms, a patio and shared kitchen. It was a gorgeous little place that was made private by the green vines that had entwined themselves up and around the railings and walls of the villa. If you re after a hostel with a really intimate atmosphere and big into meeting new people and socialising, Dink’s is 10000% your place. After we’d unpacked and settled, we spent the afternoon walking up the hill to the fortress, well, the ruins of it. Although despite it being called the ruins, it was beautifully – still together! And I’m not joking, we just sat and stared/glazed/ogled/fell in love with the view at the top for a good half an hour. I mean how can you not be mesmerised by this?

13728278_651470708350444_1887401180_o (Photo credit: Noah Wright)

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We decided to have dinner with a view that night, so picked up some baguettes from the supermarket and sat right by the sea, as well as picking up some local drinks…and how do you decide what to buy? You pick the prettiest label of course!

Anyone ever heard of Pelinkovac? Yeah, me neither…According to Google, it’s a herbal liquor. Consider yourselves lucky. Good grief.

Our second day was spent at what our host classed as ‘the most beautiful beach in Croatia’. Pekonji Dol was about a 20 minute walk away from us and obviously we chose the hottest point in the day to head over! We had to drag ourselves up the rest of the hill and over to the other side of the island, where we were greeted with this sweet little view.

13898324_1399892440027084_1550556064_o                                         The view of Pokonji Dol from the top of the hill13646796_1399892430027085_1525055640_o

Although it looks and was such a tiny beach, there was so much character to it. Another thing about Croatia was that the lack of sand or space on the actual beaches does not stop people sunbathing. There were people sprawled out on the paths, the rocks and even in the trees where we ended up basing ourselves. Well, not exactly in the trees…amongst the trees. It was such a cute little spot, tucked away in partial shade and close enough to the sea that we could jump up and leap straight in. We spent the morning/afternoon lazing, reading, snoozing, swimming, getting attacked by ants, laughing and just loving exactly where we were. There were so many more things we could have done with our time in Hvar like go on the insane bar crawls (that did look spectacular) but to begin our journey we all really just wanted to relax while we could, after so much stress over the previous months and slowly work our way up to the chaos and business of the cities we were yet to explore. This without a doubt made it into my top 3 days of the whole trip.

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Now I know what you’re thinking, this is the most thought out and professionally taken photo of a landscape you have ever seen…. But it gives you an idea of our little base for the day!

That evening we again went for the cheap option and made dinner back at Dink’s, where we met some lovely people and stumbled across our new roomate, Phil! (no more snoring Mexicans!!) A super lovely Aussie who told us all about his solo travels whilst on break from university in Paris…he’s living the LIFE. He also did mention though about how he wished he was travelling with someone, which made me really think about how lucky I was to have these two fantastic and grumpy lumps with me. This whole trip would not have been the same without our constant laughter or shared unspoken fear of if we’d make it through the night.

I love Hvar and everything about it. Everyone needs to go and experience it’s glory.

Here’s to Zagreb,

Marika x

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