So far I am strangely managing with the Croatian language - it's almost like Russian transliterated into English. More strangely is that I am communicating is Yiddish, that's right, Yiddish! The older generation speaks in German, so for us to negotiate anything, I have to pull out remnants of my Yiddish skills from the fifth grade..."gib a kook"!
A few hours train ride from Hungary brought us to Zagreb, Croatia. We were greeted by our couchsurfing host, Domagoj. But it's not like he came by car to pick us up, he came by tram to bring us back to his place. His sister, Eva, and twin brother, Mislav, are also so nice.
Eva and Dom gave us a great tour of Zagreb. We were walking up to the old city when all of a sudden there was a large boom! I thought it was a bomb and I was ready to duck...apparently it was a canon that goes off every day at 12 noon. At night Mislav and Dom took us to a restaurant to eat Pljeskavica, Serbian "meat balls"...so good.
Our next stop was Plitvice National Park. I have never seen such natural beauty in all my life! There are lakes, waterfalls and greenery everywhere. There are a total of 16 turquoise colored lakes with varying elevations. The water cascades from from one lake to another forming the most picturesque waterfalls.
Here we met Uwe, a Canadian, German, American, Nicaraguan airplane pilot that lives in Bahrain. Also, he could be a double for Dan Akroyd! It was great to spend time with him. Thanks for the great stories, jokes and bottle of wine.
The second day we wanted to go into the park again. We didn't know if our ticket was still valid and we didn't want to pay again. Along the highway, we found a pathway into the park so we were in. The park was just as amazing the second day as the first. Also along the highway, we found wild mini strawberries that were smaller than my pinky nail and sweeter than sugar.
From here we made our way to Zadar, a coastal town. Honestly, we kind of regret coming here. The beaches are not so nice and are located right by the marinas. The old city center is interesting but there is not much to do for more than a day. The cool thing about the old town was the water organ which uses under water currents to create "music". As I understood, water enters pipes with different diameters which then displace air creating sounds, kind of like blowing over the top of a bottle.
We are now on a bus to Split and I hope it will be as amazing as everyone says it is.
This is my first blog entry and so I have a bit to contribute.
I truly believe that this trip was meant to be. In the past few weeks, everything somehow came together: I sold my junky car, found someone to take over my cell phone contract and even gave away my MCAT books on the very last day (thanks Melina!)
We are now in Lima, Peru and I´ve suddenly realized that this trip is for real! It took about 24 hours to get here: Calgary-Vancouver-Dallas-Miami and finally Lima. It was on the Dallas to Miami flight that we sat beside Mr. Van Murphy. This man is not only a pilot, he is a volunteer sheriff, writes a blog for the Panthers, paints, designs shoes and is an air marshal (I sat on a plane beside a guy with a gun!) After the flight, he took us into the cockpit where we could play with all the controls...
So far Lima has been lovely. The hostel is located in an upscale neighborhood called Miraflores. I managed to get my Brazilian passport in a fraction of the time and price of that in Canada. We strolled down the beach and spent the day recouperating.