Croatia July 7th-July 10th
Hello from aboard the MV explorer after an amazing time in Dubrovnik, Croatia and Athens, Greece. This was my second visit to Croatia; I was pleasantly surprised by how this city and its people opened their arms in hospitality and experience. In 1991 Croatia was at war with Serbia. Serbia was trying to expand their boarders and desired Croatia’s beautiful land, it was an unsuccessful attempt and now Croatia is a free, independent land. Croatia became a Christian nation after the war and in the Old City (a 500 year old area in Dubrovnik that is a major tourist attraction) there is a cross at the top of the hill that is illuminated at night to represent peace after the war and the decision to make this nation a Christian nation.
We docked in Dubrovnik and a few of us headed out to explore the city. We walked a few miles into the Old City, toured the walls and walked along the clean streets of the city. There were a few points that locals pointed out for us to go to, one of them was a bar that was built on the side of rocks with about a 40-50 foot cliff that some of us jumped off. (I did it the last day, my back still hurts!) My friend Nicole and I enjoyed the day walking around, getting a nice lunch, eating gelato and exploring the city. It was nice to have a break from the busy tourist placed of Spain and Italy where there was an overwhelming amount of sites to see. That night we ate dinner at a local sandwich shop (after that we went there everyday because it was amazing!) and went to a few bars where we enjoyed each other company and met a few locals who showed us around. We went to this place called “The Rocks” where the ocean met the land outside of the city walls, and watched the lightening strike in the sky and the moon rise above the hills as the ocean waves splashed against the rocks. It was calming and comforting and with the great company of the group of friends I have become very close with, it was the perfect place.
The next day we woke up and planned a day of water sports!
We took a taxi to a hotel where they offered banana boating accompanied by a beautiful view. Banana boating is one of my favorite things to do, and sharing it with friends who love to laugh makes it an unforgettable experience. We took it easy the rest of the day, enjoying the sun and doing a little shopping in Old City. That night one of my friends- Sami, turned 21 at midnight and wanted to celebrate it at our spot (The Rocks), we relaxed and counted down the minutes until her birthday! A few of us stayed and talked with the locals about how the war affected them, our friend Jacob explained his vivid memories of his house getting bombed when he was young and being scared for his life. It amazes me how much people around the world know of America’s history and political life, and we hardly know much about Croatia, or any county for that matter. Jacob became a very good friend to our group.
The third day we relaxed and prepared for Sami’s 21st birthday dinner. Jacob worked at a local restaurant and set up a beautiful dinner on a private terrace with candles and flowers for 13 of our closest friends. It was a very memorable night as the moon lit the water by the terrace and the boats bounced back and fourth in movement with the currents.
It was a very memorable night as we enjoyed time with locals, good dancing and good friends. The last day I made the big jump off the 40-50 foot cliff and came back to the boat to rest before classes. This morning I woke up feeling very sick (sickness spreads like wildfire) because a lot of people are sick on the ship. With a hurt back from jumping off the cliff, and a sore throat I managed to get to my 8 am class but had to leave in the middle of it because of seasickness. It is difficult to have one day of classes after a few days at port. Tomorrow is the Sea Olympics, a day without classes and fun with games.