Friday, August 31, 2018


And so begins the round-up of the last month of my life! I’m having to accept that I’m a bit of a living cliche; I graduated from university in July and promptly went off travelling to, like, tOOOtally find myself (or to avoid getting a grown-up job for at least another month). You will probably have seen some Instagram posts that I spent far too long on, interspersed with a bunch of half-arsed Instagram stories, and they may have given you a vague idea as to where on the continent I was. 

I’ve had this interrail trip planned for about a year. I’ve wanted to go around Europe ever since I moved back to the UK, and finally found a unsuspecting victim willing partner, my boyfriend Chris, to make the trip with me.   And so, we started saving up our pennies and roughly mapping routes and looking at potential hostels. We eventually settled on a plan and worked on scraping the funds together. It felt like f o r e v e r waiting for the 21st of July to come around, but it finally did. 

So without further ado, here’s a roundup of my time in Croatia...

The alarm went off at 2:45am. A bloody joy, if I ever experienced one. Chris and I had caught the train out of London to Chris’s mum’s house the night before, as the first leg of our trip was to be spent together with Chris’s family. Our flight was leaving Gatwick at silly o’clock (ten to five in the morning, if I remember rightly) but that didn’t stop any of us from heading straight to the airport ‘Spoons and necking a bev. We got a little bit carried away with our 4am proseccos and g&ts and ended up panicking that we wouldn’t make it to the gate on time, but after a casual jog through the terminals, we made it on fine. 

We landed in Split at about 9am. And it was hot. *insert inbetweeners movie meme here*. We got an Uber to the Trogir marina where Chris’s stepdad, Tony, had arranged for us to get the yacht. I’m no sailor. I’ve been on about 3 boats in my entire life, but when I was invited along to the family holiday, I just went “yeah, sailing, easy, no problem”, like a knob. Well, throughout the week I realised that I loved parts of sailing; sunning myself on the deck, drinking rosé at 11am, jumping into crystal blue waters etc etc etc. However, the actual sailing became a bit of a stress-factor for me, as I decided I love everything about sailing, apart from the actual sailing itself. It's scary!

So the first day was a bit of a blur (which probably had something to do with the one-hour-sleep, breakfast g&t, aeroplane rosé, mojito upon arrival at the marina and however many more ‘I’m-on-me-holidaaaays’ wines I decided to have after that). We took the boat round into a little cove that was close by for a swim, and after much encouragement, I actually got in the bloody sea. I’m v v v scared of fish so this was gr8 for a massive pussy like me. Might have had something to do with the Dutch courage? 

But we did get ourselves slightly spruced up for a wander around Trogir’s old town, which gave me slight Italian vibes and was very very beautiful. We found a restaurant in a little square to have dinner, and the food was amazing. Chris and I decided to try something we’d never had before - veggies and vegans LOOK AWAY NOW - and chose veal steak. I’m not gonna lie, it was bloody lovely. (But I do still feel very guilty about it, especially because I did see a very cute baby cow yesterday and I’m struggling to reconcile my love of steak with my love of animals ok????!!!)

When we woke up on day two, we nipped into the marina for a shower, and then got ready to take the yacht for an explore. Chris’s stepdad had organised something of an itinerary for the week (thank god, because we’d never have had a clue where we were going). We were off to Milna, a small but beautiful town with a little marina and some bars and restaurants. We stopped in a shallow spot on the way there so we could jump off the back of the boat and swim for a bit...and pose for the ‘gram. When we arrived in Milna, we had dinner and drinks, and argued about the rules of card game ‘Bullshit’ for most of the rest of the evening. After that, it was bedtime on the boat. Our cabin had ceilings approximately 20cm above our heads, so if I wasn’t hungover most of the week, I was almost certainly concussed. 

On day three, we embarked on another sail to another Dalmatian island. This time, we moored up in Sv. Klement and walked through the woods to a secluded burger bar. If there’s one thing I can say about Croatia, it’s that they take their food extremely seriously; I didn’t have one bad meal. Every single piece of meat I had while I was there tasted absolutely amazing. It’s a carnivore’s paradise. So with that being said, these cheap burgers were flipping stunning. Take that with the view out from this little bay, a litre of white wine to share, and you’re laughing. 

On day four, we arrived in Hvar, and it was my absolute favourite place. This is undoubtedly the ‘party island’ of all the ones we visited during our time on the Croatian Coast. We arrived at around lunchtime, and by day, it is a small-ish town of sandy coloured buildings, palm trees, inconspicuous restaurants and cafes. We had the most incredible chateau brio for lunch, medium-rare, with mushroom cream sauce, with roasted vegetables and fries. It was the best meal I’ve ever had and it brings a tear to my eye to remember it today. By night, however, most of the harbour-side restaurants become clubs and bars, with loud music blaring out and h u n d r e d s of people milling about. 

We had a small dinner and some drinks on the boat (some pasta with marinara sauce, if I remember correctly), and then we realised we’d run out of beer. The yacht was moored about 6 metres from the actual walkway, so we had to use the dinghy to reach the pavement. Me, Chris, Hannah (Chris’s sister) and Matt (their stepbrother) decided to go to the shop. Getting there went off without a hitch, but when we returned from the supermarket with a fresh crate of beer, some wine, some salad ingredients and a few other bits, the sea had become pretty choppy. We loaded our shopping onto the dinghy and all climbed in, even rescuing a rogue tinny from the sea that had fallen out of our crate as we were getting in the stupidly small boat. Surprisingly, I didn’t fall in. However, unsurprisingly, one of us did. Chris’s sister Hannah went flying trying to reach the back of the boat from the dinghy. 

After the traumatic events of the supermarket trip, we all decided to drink some more. I had no clue we were planning on heading out, and by the time everyone was ready to go, it was about ten o’clock and I was shitfaced. Oh well, on with the show! I don’t remember much from the night. I know we met some Essex girls who were really friendly. I met a Syrian man, and when I asked him “what are you doing here?”, he replied “well, I don’t want to be there!” (Touché, Syrian man. Touché). We got to one of the bars and the bartenders were lining up probably a hundred jäger bombs for everyone. I grabbed one for myself, one for Chris and one for Hannah, and we necked them, only for some angry girl to turn around and start shouting at me in Croatian. they weren’t for everyone. Woops.

The next day, and extraordinarily hungover, we sailed to Split for our final stop before returning the boat to Trogir. Chris and I had mixed emotions about Split; we found the centre of the city (the main high streets, shops and promenade) soooo beautiful. It’s all very clean, glamorous and, most importantly, INSTAWORTHY. However, the second you get a little bit out of the main strip, it’s a little bit run down and sketchy. As we walked further through the smaller streets to find a cheaper bar, we spotted a few rowdy groups of people, and even some red lights shining out of upstairs windows *wit-woo!*, so that might be something to bear in mind if you’re planning a visit.

Chris, Matt and Tony quite fancied a night out, but the girls were shattered after literally days on the sauce. So we compromised and did what the girls wanted (insert winky emoji here), and stopped off at Toto’s Burger Bar for some of the most amazing burgers the world has ever known. Chris and I shared the Brie burger, but they also had vegan pasta dishes, sandwiches, smoothies and side dishes. They’re very highly rated on TripAdvisor, and rightly blimmin so!
Our final day with Chris’s family saw us sail back to Trogir, organise our bags and tidy up the boat so we could give it back to the marina. We decided to get showered and made up for our final night together, and went back to the restaurant that we found on the first night. Chris and I shared a meat platter, and we all sat around talking about our favourite bits of the week. 

The next morning, we shared a taxi back to the airport with Chris’s family and got a shuttle bus back into Split where we  i n t e n d e d  to spend the day exploring. LOOOL, no. The shuttle dropped us in the more run-down area of the city where the bus and train stations are. Basically, I was getting bitchy because I was starving so I dived into the first cafe I saw. I ended up getting a tuna wrap, and upon biting into it remarked “Oh, how lovely that they’ve warmed it up”. SPOILER. They had not warmed it up. My tuna mayo wrap had been sitting in a hot shop window for hours and I had started eating it. I literally got about three bites in before I had to make a dash to the toilet. 

After half an hour of hiding in the loo, I hobbled out and asked Chris if we could go and sit on the train station platform while I started to feel better. We sat there for about ten minutes before I (very glamorously) emptied my stomach onto the platform near the seats. We ran around the corner to find a shady spot. Our plans to explore more of Split were dashed as I proceeded to lie on the platform for the next six hours praying for death. Oh, and paying 50kn every time I needed to throw up (or do the other thing) in the public loos outside the station. We did manage to catch our 14-hour overnight train to Budapest, which left at 6:30 that evening, which is just as well, considering that train only runs twice a week, and we’d have been stranded otherwise. Upon pulling away from the platform, I noticed my 8-hour-old spew still decorating the platform floor. Stunning!

Keep a look out for the next post about our month-long eurotrip! 
Next stop: Budapest, Hungary!

Lots of love,
Jasmine x

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