Crisis! Our iPod touch crashed! It just doesn't work. We lost all our music, our documents...everything. This is no laughing matter. The iPod is our life line...we use it for everything! We use it to steal WiFi, Skyping to talk with our families and entertainment for those long journeys. Somehow I feel lost without it. Sniffle, sniffle...
Okay, enough whining and back to our travels. Next destination: Dubrovnik. Guys, there is a reason this town is so popular, it is simply beautiful here! The downside side is that there are way too many tourists and it is quite expensive.
The second we got off the bus, we were flocked by people trying to rent their apartments out. It was like a pack of wolves fighting over fresh meat. They yell and push so we decided to go with the nicest lady who approached us quietly (she also offered a great price).
We spent our days walking around the old town. We particularly liked the city wall tour. There was also an interesting memorial for the Defenders of Dubrovnik in the Homeland war of 1991. It is very hard to imagine that Dubrovnik was at war that recently. The town was bombed extensively, but walking around, you would never know it.
We then began our long journey back from Dubrovnik to Budapest. This included an eleven hour night bus to Zagreb which brought us in at 5am. The six hour train ride to Budapest didn't leave until 10am so we spent five hours sitting on park benches. Fun times...
We are now back in Budapest, taking it slowly. Our couchsufer, Dinah has an amazing apartment in the center of town. It is walking distance to everything! We are trying to see and do the things we missed out on the first time here.
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.