I could say that I had a rough night on the deck of the ferry, but that would be a complete and total lie. And this isn t Lonely Planet; I actually do everything I write about.
I had a berth. And it was amazing. I swear it was like being back in the womb, tucked in a snug bottom bunk, being rocked back and forth by the boat. There were three Italian girls in the room with me, all friendly and non-English speaking, but we managed by pointing and smiling a lot. I woke this morning when soothing Italian opera music was piped through the speakers at 5:50AM. And I was refreshed and ready to go, a feeling I have not experienced often on this trip.
One of the (many) perks of having a berth was the free breakfast that went with it. I came out of my room and squeezed past all of the backpackers sleeping fitfully on the floor by the stairs. For a second, I felt like a fraud. Backpackers don t have berths! That feeling didn t last long, though. My bed was so good. Breakfast was bread, meat, cheese, and muesli, of course. I sat at a table next to a porthole and watched the sun over the water.
Then two little Italian nuns sat next to me. This was sort of awkward because it made me feel guilty, though I wasn t sure why. I m not Catholic and I hadn t done anything wrong, but nuns have that effect on me, making me feel like I should be a better person in general. They made the sign of the cross and began eating, sneaking looks at the blasphemous girl next to them who took her food for granted. Once they found out I was Inglese and not Italiano, they stopped attempting conversation and my guilt ebbed away.
I put my pack on and walked onto Croatian ground for the first time. Instantly I started sweating in the brutal 7AM heat, and was a slick mess by the time I got to Hostel Best, where the 24-hour reception was closed. A little band of backpackers grew, waiting on the stairs in front of the door. Around 8:15 an angry woman came out in her nightdress, told us to quickly put our bags in reception, get out, and come back at 11:30 for check in.
According to the poll on the righthand side of the page, people have voted that I should eat the most random local food I can find. Thanks a lot, voters. Which means I ll keep my eyes peeled and do that this evening. In the meantime, I have already sussed out where the beaches are. I am kind of tempted to see if they ll let me sleep on the ferry again, but I might end up back in Italy, and right now I am loving Croatia.