A weekend in paradise

By Holland Finley. Holland is a currently studying abroad In Prague with the University of Texas, and is a full-time student at the University of Texas. Check out her full blog about her time abroad “Passport Portfolio

Croatia is perhaps my favorite place in the entire world. After being landlocked in a very chilly and rainy Czech Republic (which is still beautiful, of course), I could not express how excited I was to take a weekend to get away to the gorgeous country of Croatia. I had heard nothing but good things about it, and was determined to get there. However, actually getting there posed quite the challenge. There were NO buses or trains, and the cheapest flight was 550 euros! It was looking depressing, and then, we met Allison with Bus2Alps. Alli was so kind and helped us set up a private bus trip to Croatia for an extremely affordable price. We had an awesome guide, Alex, and each had two seats on the bus on the way there, which made the 13 hours each way bearable.

Alex, our tour guide and me

Actually, the bus was more than bearable, it was fun! We watched movies, napped, and all got to know each other better. The trip consisted of BHP kids, MPAs, and 3 girls who were studying at Charles University. Everyone was ready for some sun and in a great mood.

We arrived in Split around 11:30 on Friday morning after spending the entire night on the bus. After eating a quick breakfast at the Goli and Bosi Hostel, we all sprinted up to our rooms, which were awesome, and threw on our swimsuits. A day at the beach was the perfect remedy for our colds and pale skin, and everyone soaked in some much needed R&R.

Our Room in Goli and Bosi
Goli and Bosi Hostel
Morgan and Me by the Sea
First Day at the Beach!

View from our hike in Split

That night, we all gathered for a pub crawl around Croatia. The first bar we went to was an open bar through the entire Germany-Greece Eurocup game, which made out for a lot of fun. Almost too much fun for a couple of our crew! The whole pub-crawl was a blast, and we meet many international friends from Australia, Norway, England, France, and more.

The next morning was a tough one for everyone to wake up, but when we did we got to get on a boat for an Island Hoping tour! Can you say paradise? We sailed for around an hour and a half, visited two different gorgeous islands and beaches, had a delicious meal, and soaked in even more sun. All I could think the entire day was how can people do bad things when there is such beauty? I even had a little inspiration for my Plan II Senior Thesis while sitting on an overlook searching the sea.

Morgan and me on the Island Hoping Tour
Shaun and me on the boat
Our first Island. Extremely local. That lady was scaling her fish.
The lunch on the boat (sadly I did not participate, but the chicken was good too!)
The second island’s beach. There was sand!
For Ranny. BHPoint. 

After we got home from the island hoping tour, we all rushed to change and then boarded the bus again to journey to the nearby town of Trogir. Let me tell you, the bustling nightlife, incredible food, gorgeous food, and white washed architecture stole my heart. I cannot wait to go back, because all I can say about the city is that it is absolutely enchanting.

Split’s port
In Trogir, Croatia. A town that comes straight out of the middle ages. 

Sunday morning began early as I walked through the market to explore the fruit stands and flower markets. Even at 8 am, the market was bustling as everyone retrieved their ingredients for the day. I seriously craved having a kitchen so that I could explore all of the flavors available in the market.

Diocletian’s Palace in Split
The flower market in Split. Some of the most beautiful arrangements I have ever seen. 

Shortly after leaving the market, we all boarded the bus again for the long haul home. But first, before the 13 hour stretch, we stopped at Krka National Park, which by far was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. We walked on platforms that were just surrounded by running water and saw hundreds of little falls, and a couple of really big ones too. My breath was taken away by the sight and sound. Words literally could not describe the elation everyone felt in witnessing such a powerful force of nature. At the end of the hike, we all jumped into the refreshing waters of the falls and were showered by the falling water. A couple of photo shoots ensued, and everyone had a great time.

Krka National Park. 
The most beautiful place in the world
Morgan, Shaun and Me in the waterfalls
Aw yeah, we’re strong. 
Climbing and exploring
Hook ‘Em. 
I could stay here forever. 
As Shaun put it, I saw two of my favorite places in the world in 12 hours. I would definitely call this weekend a success. Croatia, take me back. 

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