When I signed up for SAS, I didn’t really think that I would love Croatia. I didn’t exactly know what to expect. If you’ve seen Eurotrip … well I kind of imagined that desolate eastern European wasteland those guys get stuck in after hitching a ride with that trucker mixed with that one episode of Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches on the Travel Channel. I’m happy to say I was totally proved wrong! Dubrovnik, Croatia is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. My pictures really won’t do it any justice. Since my expectations were almost embarrassingly ignorant and very low, Croatia definitely surpassed them.

Day 1
After getting off the ship, the girls and I exchanged some US currency for Croatian currency – the kuna. Let me just say that the rate is $1.00 = 5.7 kuna. So we got plenty of dinner bills for 400+ kuna .. while that wasn’t much considering there were a bunch of us splitting the bill .. it def took some getting used to! My first day in Dubrovnik was spent exploring Old Town and kayaking. Old Town is the walled part of the city that is right on the water. There are shops, cafes, and souvenir stands all over, along with churches and guided tours.

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Inside the city walls 

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Croatia! 103 View of Old Town Dubrovnik from the water

After a little shopping, we met up with some other SASers and our kayak guide, Marco. The kayak company actually overbooked for the day, so we ended up with a private guide who was supposed to take us on an easy kayak trip with a stop at a deserted island for wine and cheese before kayaking back to shore.


I figured that it couldn’t be too hard of a kayak trip if we stopped for a little happy hour on an island. Boy was I wrong! We kayaked for FIVE HOURS! While yes, it was over crystal clear waters in the Adriatic Sea, it was still five whole hours. I started out the trip excited and full of energy.


But by the end ….


 I think the picture speaks for itself. 

Finally, the group made it back to shore around 8:30. After cleaning up and putting the kayaks back on the racks, we finally headed back to the ship around 9:30. I was salty, sweaty, and cold. I NEEDED a shower. I still can’t believe this, but when we got back to the ship, the water had been shut off!! We had known that it would be shut off at 10:00 pm, but we figured we would either make it back, or that it wouldn’t be shut off at exactly 10:00. We were wrong. And salty, sweaty, and smelly until the next morning.

To make matters worse, we were all super hungry  and the ship was done serving food for the night. We headed out to this little pizzeria near the ship .. the pizza was good .. the free beers were better! The owner was a  young guy named Murat.. he was nice and kept the place open late for us because there was no where else to eat!  However, like most things in life, it was all too good to be true. Right before our food arrived, we saw a mouse scuttling across the floor and into a hole in the wall.

I was way too tired, salty, and hungry to care.

Day 2
Obviously the first thing I did on the second day was take a longggggg hot shower. After that, Mollie, Victoria, Caitlin and I set out to find this little place called Cafe Buza that Caitlin had heard about on wiki travel. It’s basically a little cafe that is carved into the rocks on the seaside .. my pictures won’t do it justice. There are rocks that you can cliff jump off, lay out on, and there are places to get into the water and swim. It’s AMAZING!

Croatia! 054 View from the entrance

Croatia! 058  Caitlin & I on the rocks

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View of the water from our table

After spending the day swimming and laying out, we decided to see what Old Town at night had to offer. We went to a “pop lounge” called Gil’s which was so fun, I could have stayed all night. It had the cool vibe of a club, the lighting and music, but places to sit and chill while enjoying a drink, like a bar.

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After a round or two of drinks, we attempted to meet some other SASers at a different club, but we decided against it because we had early plans the next day.

Day 3
This may have been my favorite day in Croatia. Us girls woke up early and headed into Old Town to catch a ferry over to Lopud Island.
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Croatia! 097  Jamming to cheesy techno music before leaving

Once we got to Lopud, we ate some pizza (for the millionth time), got some coffees, and did a little bit of shopping (not much mom, I promise!!). The island is very small and has two sides. The side we got dropped off on was more of a boating, shopping and eating side, whereas the other side was more of the beachy, lay out side. We ended up trekking over to the other side which wasn’t very far, but it was up a huge hill. Once we got to the top and could see the beach, it made it all worth it.

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The beach was a half moon shape in this little harbor. It was so cute! The water was separated so that boats could anchor off the shoreline, but there was plenty of space for swimming too. Unlike the beaches I’m used to at home in Florida, this sand was a mix of white and black and it was HOT. While the water was clear, there were tons of rocks littering the shoreline, so it made it a little hard to walk in. There were tons of fish, big and small, as well as sea urchins and crabs.

I did a lot of observing for my ecology class at this beach. I think it’s easy to forget sometimes, because I’m doing and seeing so much, but I  am actually taking classes when we are sailing between ports. I’m really learning a lot, but it’s not as interesting to write about, especially because there are no pictures of it.

Anyway…. after getting back to Dubrovnik that night,we went back to Murat’s pizza shop for some beers and to use the internet! (I finally got to skype Rob!!!) Murat was super friendly, and invited us to this club that a bunch of SASers were going to that night. It ended up working out perfectly, because when we arrived, no SASers could get in, but since we had Murat’s phone number, we called him and we got to cut the line and get in for free! Once we were in, he pretty much ditched out on us, but we were all kind of happy about that! We only saw him one more time that evening, and he asked us if we were having a good time and to have a good rest of the night.

Day 4
On our last day in Croatia, we headed back to Old Town to go to Cafe Buza. Only we didn’t  go to Buza, we went to another little cafe on the rocks that we thought was Buza. It’s hard to find these places because they aren’t marked. Finding them is like doing a scavenger hunt.
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The signs for Cafe Buza and the “No Nudist” cafe

Once  you see these signs, you have to kind of walk down alleys and up staircases until you find the right place. It’s actually really fun, and once you find the entrances, it’s such a feeling of relief!

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So we finally arrived at the cafe, we put our stuff down and set out on our mission. We had to go cliff jumping. At the cafe, there are stairs to get in and out of the water, but to get up to the cliff, you have to climb the rocks and scale the side of the cliff to get to a “safe” spot. I think the climbing was a lot scarier than the actual jumping. The jumping was a total rush. I looked out into the horizon, had my friends do a countdown, and took the plunge.

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After jumping, we laid out, swam, and hung out for a little before heading back to the port. We had plans to go back to Murat’s for some pizza and to use the free internet, but the line was so long that instead we hit up the grocery store right by the port for some snacks and sunscreen before hopping back on the boat.

All in all, I don’t think 4 days here was enough. I feel like I did see most of what Dubrovnik had to offer, but I would have liked to head out to Split or into other countries like Montenegro. Croatia was so amazing.. if you’re thinking of going, DO IT! Seriously! Oh, and so unexpected, but EVERYONE here spoke English! I communicated with people so much better here than I did in Italy, I really wasn’t expecting that!

I think Capri has been my favorite place, but if I had to choose a favorite country, Croatia would definitely be it!

So far anyway …