My LAST stop on my solo travels- CROATIA!
I flew out of Barca early in the morning to catch a flight to Split, Croatia because I had gotten tickets to an EDM (electric dance music) festival called Ultra. Ultra has these huge festivals in every continent, the one in North America being in Miami every year. I was so excited, because I got my tickets in March with one of my friends who was studying at another university in Austria from Laurier.
The hype was real! Sitting in the airport in Barca (classic Spanish time…flight was delayed several hours,) there were so many people flying to Split for Ultra. It was an exciting atmosphere, and everyone had huge headphones in getting pumped for the weekend. Ultra is a 3 day festival. Some of the DJs that you may recognize were Deadmau5, Armin Van Buuren, Martin Garrix, and David Guetta. There were about 100,000 people there in the 3 days. It was absolutely insane. I was staying with two friends from Laurier at the Ultra Campsite.
It was quite the adventure getting there… I think it took me over 3 hours to get there from the airport on city buses with my huge knapsack. It was basically a hurricane, and the worst weather Split had apparently seen in years, which was just so lucky for us. I finally arrived to the campsite, which I’d like to remind you I was supposed to be sleeping in a TENT, to my friends at the front telling me that we’re finding an apartment because there was no way we were sleeping outside. I was so relieved, it was the best news I heard all day. We got an apartment across the street from the campsite, so we were still able to get on the shuttle bus that would take us to the arena everyday for the festival.
It was so much fun, and I’ve never seen crazier people in my life. People from all over the world coming together and flying in especially for this world renowned festival. It’s funny, because stereotypes of each country come to life when people are partying, and they know it.
My next and last stop was Dubrovnik. I took a bus from Split which took about 3.5 hours. The drive was so beautiful, because it was right along the water. Unfortunately, I was asleep a majority of the time…but when I was awake, it was beautiful.
I arrived at my hostel, only to have the worst experience. After a long weekend with little sleep, I was so excited to chill for a 4 days, sleep in, and explore Dubrovnik before meeting up with my dad to travel for 2.5 weeks.
I have to explain this hostel. Dubrovnik is pretty touristy so hostels are quite expensive. And being the end of the trip, I was ballin’ on QUITE the budget. Aka, I was just surviving until my dad came. Anyways. I get to my hostel, and it was on top of a bar. There were about 20 people in my room, there was no security so people from the bar could just wander in and out of our room, the lights were left on the whole night, and it was so overwhelmingly terrible. It was the first time on my travels I felt super unsafe. I woke up really early, and checked out immediately. There was only one hostel available that night in the city centre, which was way more than I planned on spending, but I needed to get out of that place! My next hostel was a lot better, but I was only there for the night because it was booked. My last hostel was unreal, it was right on the water, and I met so many cool people I hung out with for 2 days.
If you’ve seen Game of Thrones, you’d know the walls that surround Dubrovnik are used in the show. Every few steps it seemed, there would be an advertisement for Game of Thrones, whether it was a tour or gift shop. I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t do a walking tour in Croatia, but it was pretty easy to navigate around and understand the history. I absolutely loved it. It was a huge main street within the walls, and then you could walk up little alleys on the side, that were filled with hidden shops and restaurants.
My second last day in Croatia, in my final hostel I met a group of solo travellers from Austrlia, Canada, and Sweden. And somehooooooow I agreed to go cliff jumping. It was one of those moments I had where I thought to myself “when in Europe…..” Apparently I don’t clue into logic, but I ended up convincing everyone to do it because it would be “so sick!” And “we’re in Dubrovnik, we HAVE to go cliff jumping.”
*As I was googling this, I read the title “cliff jumping in Dubrovnik kills dozens each year.” ALRIGHTTTTTT.
Anyways, people sit at the Buza Bar, and watch all the crazy “yolo” traveller make stupid choices. Yes, me being one of them. I’m sorry to my family.
This is me telling new friends to jump so you can get a really cool video to freak your family out. Mission accomplished. EXCEPT, I was the last one to go because I freaked out right before, and decided I was too young to die and didn’t want to die this way. Right before I went, some girl from Spain says to me, “you’re going to look so dumb if you’re all the way up here and don’t jump.” Peer pressure is actually so real, I hate to admit. But WHAT an adrenaline rush. I 100% do not recommend to do it again. But definitely try it once and don’t tell your parents!!!!! Or, send your family a video before to confirm you’re alive and well, and will make better choices next time.
That wraps up my time in Croatia, and my last trip of Backpacking 2016! I was off to Vienna next to meet up with my dad to start our trips throughout Budapest, Prague, Berlin, Thessolaniki, Florina, and Banitsa. It was so sad leaving Dubrovnik, but I was so happy with all my adventures. I learned so much, I took risks (I maybe should not have…) and I became really confident and independent. You really learn to take care of yourself when you’re on your own, and I can’t think of a better place to learn these life lessons.
Until my next adventure,