I landed in Croatia a couple of days ago and thought (seen as though I’ll be here for a while) that I’d tell you what my initial reaction to the country was. Obviously I landed in Zadar and have only seen a very small part of Croatia soo my opinion is based primarily on that.
The flight got in pretty late so we had to find our hire car in the dark and then find our Air BnB in the dark.
All good, we were prepared.
We had printed out directions from Google Maps and thought we’d find it no problem… Yeah, it didn’t really happen that way. We stopped at a petrol station and brought a proper map of Zadar and I asked the very pleasant Croatian gentleman to point us in the right direction. He was lovely and very helpful… good start Croatia.
As I mentioned, we were staying at an Air BnB just outside of the centre and the host had phoned my mum to tell us that his mum would be waiting on the corner for us. When we got there she waved us down the drive with a huge smile on her face (even though it was 11 at night) and welcomed us with a huge bowl of fresh cherries from their garden.
The next day we woke up fairly early and was brought some fig liqueur that the hosts parents had made themselves. It was 7am and I for one wasn’t aware that alcohol was a normal breakfast tipple, but when in Rome right? We shared a little shot with the hosts dad who again spoke very little english but made every effort to make us feel comfortable (probably why he was trying to get us drunk!) He showed my mum around the allotments in the back where they grow all of their own fruit and veg and was fixing up a bike so we could take them around Zadar for the morning. They were genuinely lovely people and if anyone is ever in Zadar let me know and I’ll pass on their details.
gracefully on our bikes (which the hosts happily let us borrow) and made our way into the centre. It wasn’t very far and we soon found our way in. I was surprised by how clean and quiet it was. For a city centre anyway. I also noticed how little I worried about personal safety, obviously I wasn’t wandering around with my money wafting around but I didn’t feel the need to constantly keep an eye out and a hand on my bag, not like in Rome or Athens. I just felt safe and was happy to wander around taking in the sites.
It really is a gorgeous place with friendly people and a view that takes your breathe away.
We drove down to Sibenik on the second day and found exactly the same thing there. People are kind and happy to help if they can. It isn’t over run with tourists (yet) so it still has a very authentic feel about it (both Zadar and Sibenik.) After seeing my first Croatian sunset I think it’s safe to say I’ve fell in love with Croatia already and I can’t wait to spend the summer here.
Have you ever been to Croatia? What were your first impressions?