• alissaward

Captivating Croatia

Updated: Aug 8, 2021

Anyone who asks me, “what was your favourite place,” gets the same response, “by far Croatia.” This country when we visited in 2018, was populated mainly by other European tourists as opposed to overcrowded with North Americans. As such, the overall tourist culture was significantly diminished. We kept referring to Croatia as the Mexico of North America in that it was extremely inexpensive and tropical, but contrarily felt extremely safe. We were not constantly being approached to purchase pointless souvenirs, we wandered the streets at all times of day and never felt uncomfortable. We visited Split, Korenica, and Zagreb.

Korenica was yet again another astonishing city, although away from the coast and the Adriatic Sea that we all appreciated dearly. The day we arrived we settled in and learned there was a moderate difficulty hike for sunset that our hostel notified visitors of. Given that we were walking an average of 20+ kilometres a day and felt fairly confident in our hiking abilities, we figured this would be a good activity to fill the rest of our evening. Were we ever surprised… never trust the Croatian’s loose use of the term moderate. This was scaling the front side of a cliff, Mrsinj, that seemed never ending. Regardless of the steep climb, the view was gorgeous which overlooked a forested area and the developed aspects of the city, with only a few other people from our hostel at the top. We had originally planned to go to Korenica simply for the Plitvice Lakes, which still none of us know how to pronounce correctly. This National Park can fill most of your day, by the time we stopped for many picture ops and had lunch, we spent about 6 hours there doing the longest loop possible. On our last full day in Korenica, we figured why not attempt the Pljesevice Mountain Trek, the term trek could not have been more accurately depicted. After a 45 minute walk from our hostel to the base, we scaled another mountain face, as if the first one wasn’t enough, taking us 3.5 hours to reach the peak through various rocky terrain that took us to a final incline of 1649 meters. This was one of those hikes that leaves you forever changed. Although the view was really just a bunch of trees, overlooking the city that was nowhere near bustling, there was an overall sense of calmness that washed over all of us. We luckily had the top peak, featuring an incredibly picturesque boulder, all to ourselves for the whole 2 hours that we stayed up there, taking in the beauty and appreciating the Bosnian border on the other side of the cliff face.

Zagreb, the capital and our final Croatian city was much more inland and offered definitely different experiences. The city overall had much less to do in terms of activities, but offered a great deal of history into not only Zagreb, but all of Croatia. In addition, it housed one of the two locations throughout the world, for the Museum of Broken Relationships. We definitely went into the museum as it is one of the city’s top attractions, proving how much (or little) the city had to offer, yet was incredibly interesting. The museum serves as a place were individuals can submit artifacts from their failed relationships as a means of letting go and sharing their story anonymously with whoever chooses to visit, not all are romantic relationships, some were between family members as well. The museum manages to be both incredibly therapeutic and heartbreaking at the same time. So if you’re ever in Los Angeles or Zagreb, check out what the museum has to offer.

Long story short, I have an undying love for Croatia and how it left us astonished; that really is all I have to say about the wonderful country, sorry if you spent all that time reading my post.

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