Saturday, 13 September 2014

Croatia: Chapter 7 - Homeward bound

Arriving back in Split we felt something new: familiarity. Having moved about so much you would only just get used to one place before you left but as we were here just over a week before we had the rare delight of already knowing where everything was.

We went back to the same hostel as before and heaved the cases up the same 3 flights of stairs probably taking less care than we did last time! We were even in the same room but had different beds this time. We spent some time relaxing and getting ready to go out. We met some more travelers and I remembered how self conscious I was at sharing a room with people I didn't know before but from the look on the boy's face who was on the bunk opposite mine, he probably got an eye full at one point.

Having saved a fair bit of money from not going out the night before and since it was our last night, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner in a place that TripAdvisor was raving about. It took us a while to find it as it was in the part of town we hadn't explored much but eventually we found it hidden away in a side street of bars and restaurants. We weren't the only ones who had this place in mind and we had to be put on a waiting list. We went and had a drink in their sister bar nextdoor but 30 mins later we were seated. I had a delicious steak and Ami said her risotto was great too. However 300g (10.5 oz) of steak beat me and we decided to skip dessert.

At this point the wind was getting up and there was the odd speck of rain so since we were both fairly scarred from the storm yesterday we decided to head back promptly. Thankfully this time the weather didn't come to much.

The next morning looked sadly overcast but we packed up and headed back to the beach we found last time. We nearly had it to ourselves this time and Ami determinedly went for a swim but I abstained and finished reading Stephen Fry.

We headed back to the hostel to pick up the cases which we had left in a rather spooky store room on the ground floor. I stayed with the bags while Ami went upstairs to use the loo and change. I had nipped into the store room to change out of the bikini but I heared people coming in and out of the doors near where we had left our cases so half changed I waited with them till Ami got back.

Being back in jeans and a normal top felt quite odd after our week of leg freedom and non-under-wired comfort. I never think of jeans as being constraining but they definitely felt claustrophobic.

We got the shuttle back and checking in easily. This is where I made the mistaken logic of thinking if we went through security now then we wouldn't be worried about time and there would be something to eat on the other side while we were waiting for the plane. Wrong! The only things on the other side of security were an odd duty free section of perfumes and chocolate and a bar with exactly 2 types of sandwich both equally unappetizing looking. We bought some sandwiches and I was convinced what mine was made of wasn't fit for consumption but the duty free had some boxes of biscuits and the same type of jam filled haribo that had amused us on the flight out so I wasn't totally without food.

The flight was quick and easy and we arrived 25 mins early due to a tail wind. Baggage reclaim was simple but it became apparent that my suitcase must have been treated roughly or squished as the extendable handle now wasn't extendable. It was however there so better than nothing! We headed off to the station to see when the trains were. True to my usual style I had decided I would wing the train times on the way back and had an open return ticket. Ami had been sensible and guaranteed herself a seat on a specific train. However on this occasion luck favoured the unprepared and due to our early arrival and a delay to the train there was one going north due in 3 minutes! We had a very quick goodbye and I rushed off to jump on the train. Having touched down at 8.05pm I got back to my flat in Manchester at just gone 11pm. Poor Ami was forced to wait for her booked train and didn't get back to her place in London till 2am! Both of us had work the next morning so bed straight away for both.

My whole trip

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my little adventure in Croatia. I wonder how many miles I covered? 882 miles (1420km) according to a quick distance calculator! Work is now far too boring and coming home to the same place feels odd but its nice to have a place of my own again without half a dozen strangers in with me. So as I finish the last of the giant bag of haribo I can reflect on how amazing it's been to be traveling again though and just the 10 days away have made me realise how much I miss it. I must firm up plans to go see other places. I have friends all across the world from school and previous travels that I have been meaning to visit so I may double my efforts to save some travel money. I'd much rather have memories than things anyway although my shoe collection says otherwise!