When I booked my trip back in January, I had strategically chosen Croatia as my ending point.
Well, at the time it was my favorite place in all the world. Until I was introduced to Spain.
But, as Katie and I boarded our bus to Brela from Mostar, I couldn’t help but feel an outpouring of affection for the country we were about to spend time in.
I love Croatia. Even with Spain taking my heart, I still love Croatia.
The bus ride was painless, we drove through mountains, hit the border, then began the stunning ride up the coast towards Split. (Hint — if on this bus heading north, sit on the left side).
“OK, our stop should be soon,” Katie said, pulling out the directions.
“There,” she said, pointing to Hostel Casa Vecchia, a white house towering above the sea, out the opposite window. “There is our hostel.”
We kept going.
And, then we stopped.
We grabbed our packs and began to backtrack to the hostel.
I looked down to the Adriatic below. Crisp, electric blue water against neon green pine trees crawling up the hills to the street where we had been dropped.
“Oh my goodness, I love it here,” I said to Katie, wanting her to embrace the country the same way I had a year earlier. “Just look at it …”
We got to the hostel and dropped our bags. David, we were told, was already down at the beach (he had arrived the day before). Greg, the owner of the hostel, offered to drive us down.
I looked out the terrace towards the water way, way, WAY below.
“Great,” I said, thankful we wouldn’t have to walk down the hills or climb the 500-plus stairs.
We found David rather quickly, he was walking by us as we sat down to lunch.
Brela is a beautiful beach town with German tourists everywhere, which is very different than the backpacker tourists that crowd other towns in the country. It isn’t a party place, but a place where you can grab a cocktail and sit on the beach and look at the stars.
The three of us spent the day on the large-pebble beach — it was too chilly to go in the water. And, when the clouds rolled in, we headed back up to the hostel.
That night, we spent it on the covered part of the terrace sipping cold red wine and chatting with Greg while a thunderstorm whipped rain everywhere.
“You goin’ down to the beach tomorrow?” Greg asked us.
“Yup,” we repsonded.
“That water is going to be really fresh!” He said, rubbing his arms to show how cold it would be after the night’s rain.
It didn’t matter to us. Cold water or not, we had a date with the sea.