Day 65. I grew geographically claustrophobic at the thought of being squared by cities. Brussels, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Berlin; all amazing places, but all big cities, in the very middle of the country, surrounded by tall buildings and cars. I needed to see the sea, the ocean, or at least a huge lake. I needed to not be able to see the end of the water, to feel like it’s never-ending, like there’s no way to grasp it all or even to see it all. I dread finality. “Arrived to destination” is my biggest phobia.
So I flew to Croatia, that land embracing the sea. (Also, I kinda needed to get out of the Schengen Zone for a few weeks because of that little Agreement thingy.) But mostly, I wanted to feel like anywhere but in a city and the Balkans are amazing for that.
I arrived at precisely one o’clock in the morning, and since I had booked an airport pick-up with my hostel, for the first time in my life a stranger was waiting for me holding a crippled paper with my name on it. I couldn’t help grinning.
But half-way to the hostel, the driver tells me he can’t drop me at the door.
“What’s that?” I ask.
“No cars allowed in Old Town. You room in Old Town.”
Out loud: “Oh, I see.”
Interiorly: “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”
“You not worry. You walk the rest. I tell you the way. Very simple.”
It’s one o’clock in the morning, if I get lost, I have no clue where I am, no way to contact anyone. No way.
The streets must be quiet after 10 p.m, so there’s no one around, and it’s basically a maze of old stairs. But it is easy to find the place, as long as you don’t lose the number of streets you pass, because the names are all the same to a tourist. Kovačka, Zamanjina, Boškovićeva….
Like the driver had said, there was a key in the mailbox for me, so I could access my room and that room was just amazing. Old and amazing and I couldn’t help dancing without music for a wonderful moment, then I slid into bed, feeling that good old rush in my belly: I couldn’t wait for morning to come and that quiet rule to rise so I could explore all of Dubrovnik.
The next day I went to the beach since I’d been dying to see the sea. Then I spent an afternoon in a café, just writing and thinking about what I’d be doing in Europe for the remaining time I had–a month precisely. On the second day, I woke up super early to be the first one in the City Walls, and it was fantastic. The whole city was asleep, the weather was crazy perfect, and the scenery was a jump in the past (or in a Game of Thrones episode). Then I hopped in a boat and spent the rest of the day on Lokrum Island, where you can sit on the throne of the famous TV show, run in the forest, jump in the Dead Sea, and feel like the only one in the world.
***Translation = happiness***
And yeah, I missed the boat back and ended up waiting two hours on the island for the next one, but, um, I didn’t care.
Fail Count: 2