Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I’m on a Boat

Hopefully, you will get two posts today.  I ran out of time and didn’t finish this post, so you should get it.  Then, I’ll post about yesterday.  The big X-factor, however, is the internet.  The wireless at the hotel, which is only available in the lobby and the bar, has been out all morning.  I will pitch a fit until they fix it.

The drive to Croatia took awhile, but not as long as I thought.  We randomly found a dog show at a rest stop, discovered a mini-grand-canyon, and got to play on a pretty awesome play ground.  Prof. Washington’s son provided us with Ice Age III for entertainment for awhile (Prof. Lee’s two children also came along – the young blood has really livened us up and given us a fresh perspective on our travels!)

Not many people get to say that they’ve been to Bosnia.  But here’s proof that I have:

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Apparently, after the war in the 90’s, it was a really big deal to Bosnia to have a coastline, and Croatia graciously donated the above 10km of coast.  And we go to drive through it and stop at a rest stop.

You might be thinking, “That coastline is too beautiful to just give to Bosnia.”  And you’re right – it was beautiful – but I don’t think Croatia misses it much; for this is the view from my hotel room in Mlini, Croatia (a suburb of Dubrovnik):

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We got in and decided to sample the local fare.  It was delicious, but I’m not used to heads still being attached to everything.  I got over it and enjoyed fresh seafood.

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And then had this waiting for me when I got back to the room again.

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I should take a moment to whine about my room that I’m sharing with Ryan Harbin.  She’s a 1L from GSU.  The room is tiny and dank smelling.  The beds are slightly softer than the one in Linz, but not by much.  And the shower leaks excessively.  We constantly have about an inch of water in our bathroom floor.  It gets real gross real quick.  But there is a great view.

On Sunday, we rented a boat.  This was my favorite choice made for the entire trip.  Five of us chipped in to rent a boat about the same size as Dad’s (laid out differently but size wise, comparable) with a 5 horse power engine.  With the five of us, it came out to only around $20 a person to have the boat from 10am to 7pm.  The guy who rents them was this cool beach town guy.  He was a Croat marine who did all his training in the US then started a family and decided to retire to the beach to rent boats and run a sports/coffee bar.  He took us in his car to a grocery store so that we could buy supplies like sunscreen, ice, and beer at the local prices instead of going broke in the tourists spots on the same items.

We first went out to some of the islands right off the Mlini coast.  There was some cliff diving, some wine, and then the anchor got stuck.  Alex had to swim over to the scuba divers stopped near us to convince one of them to come back with her to get the anchor unwedged from two or three rocks.  It took about an hour, hour and a half.

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Next we putted over to what we think was “Split” to grab some lunch and restock on supplies.  Then, we putted around the corner looking for a beach to camp out on.  We thought we were going so slow – the old couple hiking on shore were going faster than we were – and lamented not having a stronger motor.  Then, Captain Chris noticed a rope still in the water.  And on the other end of that rope was our anchor.  So we forgot to bring it up when we left Split.

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No matter where we were, no matter what time of day, everywhere we looked, there were amazing views.  We finally found this great little alcove private beach.  Only about 20-25 people would fit on it comfortably, but we had it all to ourselves!  The beaches are rocks, not sand, so we quickly engaged in rock-skipping contests (which I lost miserably) and trying to hit various targets with rocks (which I held mine own in).  We stayed there until 6:30 when we had to return the boat.

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One final note, Croatia has been awarded for having the clearest/cleanest water in Europe.  Even in a fuzzy photograph, you can make out rocks at the bottom of the water at least 16 feet deep:

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We could see our anchor stuck and the rocks it was wedged between.  You can see the fish swimming beneath you.  It’s absolutely amazing.

After dinner, I went to bed early not wanting to go to class the next day!  How can we take notes when the above scenes surround us at all times!?  My sunscreen skills for that many hours in the sun were pretty awesome.  Between my hat, sun glasses, and SPF 50 on my face, I still look paler than pale from the neck up.  The rest of me is getting nice and tan, with the exception of this one rectangular area on my mid-back that I guess I just missed.  It’s only on my right half of my back, so I guess I did the left and forgot the right.  Regardless, I earned the nickname - “Red Rectangle.”

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