Do do doo! Do do doo! Do do doo! Ooh baby! Sorry about that, where was I? Oh yeah, Zadar!
The plan wasn’t to go to Zadar, we had done the proper travelling method and picked a random place that sounded cool, and our choice was Rijeka. We were in Venice and the angry tour guide said we could get to Croatia but had to go to Trieste first. I asked how to get to Trieste and he looked at me angrily and shouted “Do you want to go to Trieste or Croatia?!?”
“Croatia…” I whimpered “But you said we had to go to Trieste first…”
“No I didn’t!” Replied AngryItalian version 2.0
Turns out we did have to go to Trieste, and when we got there a slightly more helpful lady got us tickets to Croatia. We wanted to get as close to Split as possible so when we found a bus that went straight through Rejika (which I couldn’t remember the name so I kept calling it Fake Reykjavik…) onto some random place called Zadar, which sounded more like a Street Fighter character than an actual place. However we assumed it was an actual place and booked it anyway…
When we arrived in Fake Reykjavik I got some Croatian money out and stared at it like bad tourists do. Then I saw some of the Croatian girls. They were drop dead gorgeous! They also had drop dead stares though, and when one looked in my direction before I even had the chance to smile she stared straight through me so hard that it genuinely scared the fuck out of me!
So after being in Croatia for less than 5 minutes Me and Matt had decided that Croatia was full of angry people. We kind of muttered to each other that we didn’t really like Croatia so far and I was counting the seconds until we could be spat out the other side into Albania or somewhere we were less likely to get killed in…
Triple M (My mate Matt) then booked a hotel in Zadar. When we booked it the website immediately said that check in closed at 8pm. Great! Except our bus was arriving in Zadar at 8:30. Not only that, the bus station was 5 miles away from the apartment. Suffice to say we were French Connectioned before we’d even arrived in Zadar.
However fortune was about to turn massively in our favour, We got into Zadar and I bought a Cevapi, a traditional Croatian meal from two friendly Croatian people who were having their own mini rave in the fast food shop. A cevapi is basically a few small local sausages in a large bap with a herby tomato based sauce. I munched my cevapi whilst listening to Snoop Dogg in his prime, watching the Croatians enjoy themselves and I thought “Maybe Croatians weren’t as angry as their first impression suggested, but those particular people were just angry because the bus ride was – to put it politely – shit.”
Then Matt showed me his phone after connecting to the Wi-fi. Turns out we had been dropped off by the old train station, which was literally a two minute walk away instead of a five mile walk. I high fived Matt in happiness and thought at least we were in the area of cheap(ish) rooms so when we booked another room it wouldn’t cost us that much.
We walked to the apartment anyway just in case. It was 300m away so there was no harm in it. As luck would have it the receptionist was just about to leave and asked Triple M “Are you Matt?” In a friendly tone. He resisted the urge to say “No, I’m Triple M!” and said yes. Then the girl took us to reception and showed us our room.
This girl was beyond stunning, and I wasn’t getting nervous around her like I normally do with girls (presumably because of her open and friendly nature) and I was even dropping a few jokes here and there. Things were going well until Matt pointed out that I had red cevapi sauce all over my face…
I wasn’t going to let that deter me, so I confidently wiped it away from my face and laughed it off, asking if it was all gone. Matt then burst out laughing and said there was some stuck on my chin.
“Would you like a tissue…?” The receptionist asked politely, holding a box of tissues. I’m no dating expert but I’m pretty sure if there was any chance of me getting that girl’s number it most likely evaporated in those couple of sentences. Well done Lewis you stallion…
Short memory!!! It was time to explore the new country, let alone city! It was unusually cold with an extra icy wind, so me and Matt literally ran to the old town. I wanted to turn back and call it a night as it had been a long day, but I’m glad Matt made me perservere:
As you can see the old town is incredible! It’s actually an old Roman town and the concrete slabs on the floor are actually so smooth they are borderline slippery. Good for defending your castle from intruders thousands of years ago who aren’t aware of how slippery the ground is, but not good for us English on the lash trying to find our way through the streets!
We found a bar and got some local drinks. I always drink spirits and I had a Jaguar which is pretty much a cheap Jagermeister. And the coke was more than the spirit! We had one then Matt wanted to catch some Pokemon so we wandered for a bit. We then took some more pictures before heading home satisfied with the evening’s work, feeling 100% better about Croatia than we did 6 hours beforehand.
The next morning the receptionist was there with a friendly smile. I thought I’d try and talk to her about the possibility of teaching in Zadar because I really liked the feel of the town. I asked and she wasn’t sure. Then I thought I’d keep in touch with her just in case so the plan was to really smoothly ask her what her name was and if we could keep in touch. Of course that was the plan, but this is me we are talking about…
“Are you on facebook?” I blurted out unnaturally. She was on her laptop on Facebook, and her laptop was facing me, so it’s not as if she could say no (And if she did that would have been pretty brutal…) Fortunately she said yes and I added her, so I have a Croatian friend. Yay me!!! Which is cool because I’d love to come back to Zadar one day, even if I can’t find work as a teacher it would still be a nice place to holiday for a few weeks due to the culture, energy and the nightlife. And it’s always good to know locals because they will always take you to the local treasures, like what I found out in The Philippines when I went there and met some friends that were scattered around the country.
So overall, our accidental stop turned out to be one of the best so far! I’d even rate it as high as Cervo on my list of favourite places. Next stop; Split. Sorry Split, but you’re gonna have to do very well to top Zadar…