First night in the town of Starigrad, Hvar. The fat boy is at home with a TrustedHousesitter and her son. He soon made friends as he saw they had food. Unfortunately for him it was vegetarian. He is a persistent little bugger though and tried again, but not sure dhal is where it’s at for cats….
I had done the classic of booking an early morning flight to make the most of the first day in a new land. Forgot that bit that meant you were waking up in the middle of the night practically jet lagged before you started. Faffage also meant it was gone 11 before I crawled into bed, still half dressed to take the pain out of dressing at dark o’clock. It didn’t matter how tired I actually was, my inveterate fear of not being late meant I never really slept and was up, albeit not really awake, at 2.20am.
The journey turned into one of the smoothest I’ve ever encountered, what was actually going on??? No panics about forgotten bags, no creating near carnage on the roads, no losing and refinding and relosing items….heck, was I actually finally getting better at being organised at travelling? Jury’s out, let’s stick with fluke for the moment, or maybe the universe is saying to skip that long haul malarkey…
So Luton, so easy peasy. Car parked, bus to LLA – Welsh for Airport perhaps, or the new funky logo for (not)-London Luton Airport. Bit of a queue at security, but, they proactively opened up another lane. Breakfast was bob on, then time to go to the gate. No EasyJet hassle about having a big bag, too many bags, not enough bags, nothing. By this time I was thinking that maybe I could have taken some time to a) brush me huur that morning and not tie it back in two bunches, b) put some make up on so I didn’t look as if I’d packed my luggage under my eyes, c) dressed for the occasion, as opposed to like a bag lady smuggling her extra clothes on her body than risk a bag in hold incident by the airline. Consequently, I looked on in amazement at the big traveller family who were travelling on our flight. The girls (and they looked like girls, you couldn’t tell who were the mums of the smaller ones, and who were the smaller ones) were impeccably made up in that fresh orange fake tan way, tan so orangely toxic it’s not actually stored in plastic, in case it melts, false eyelashes (that once batted can cause a hurricane to happen on the other side of the Atlantic), newly dyed hair so jet black that you knew even Jon Travolta was going to struggle to get a dye job this month, and so much makeup so you didn’t know if there was a 60 or a 16yr old under it. Actually you could tell who were the older crew, proper battle axes, with dyed blonde hair tied back with scrunchies or with those hideous 80s clips with fake pearls on, with walking sticks that’d take your legs out at 20 paces and a voice that could cause a crack in Etna. They took over the plane with their bags, babies, and fast paced babbling, it was non-stop, and very entertaining. Even better was the EasyJet stewardess who kept them all under control in a schoolmarm-ish firm but funny way. Thankfully I was so tired, I actually slept through some of it but did hear one of the guys asking a woman where she was from and I heard a vay nice Home Counties voice say ‘I’m from a small place in Hampshire, and what about you?’, he replied at a million miles an hour ‘We’refromIrelandbutwetravelaroundEnglandwe’retravellers,goalloverwhereaboutsinHampshireareyou?’ Then I fell asleep.
I woke, surrounded by fellow mouth breathers, nice to know I had been in good company with others looking like they were audition for best Alyssa Edwards impersonation and then just passed out whilst parodying her tongue click. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DghOSByt6gg
Off the plane, out into SUNSHINE, yes people, it’s still out there, just waiting to be found. The airport was one of those where you walk off the plane and next thing you’ve literally hit the customs cubicle and then a spit away is baggage reclaim and a set of doors brings you out into h’actual Croatia itself. And right into a full on meltdown / screaming session being had by some worked up British gal doing us proud as a nation, as she screams, cusses and generally works herself up into a fit of Olympic proportions. Her and her patently bored partner built up quite the following as she verbally assaulted him from one end of the airport car park to the other – admittedly, not that long but long enough for us to watch and try and figure out what she might have been on and what had actually happened – had they missed a bus to a resort, or missed a flight, or did she lose a shoe, and not just her mind. Couldn’t figure it out, and didn’t really care.
Meanwhile, Croatia has it’s public transport schizzle down to pat…there’s a bus waiting for the flights (amizzin’), and it then takes you all for £4 all 25kms to Split town, right by the ferry terminal, where…dun, dun, daaaaah – your ferry is also waiting so you can hop right on. None of that ‘I’ll best allow a good 4hrs for connections’ that comes with arriving into India….
So, there I was, an hour after I had got out of the airport on my ferry to Hvar, on a comfy sofa, listening to a man talking on his phone, which was on speakerphone so we could all hear. I thought he was ‘doing business’ but he was actually drinking beer from a plastic 1ltr bottle and was probably deaf. This whole having no consideration of others in a public space appears to be the ‘thang’ right now, have your phone on speaker SO LOUD we can all hear about the AMAZING TIME YOU’RE HAVING IN CROATIA RIGHT NOW. Plus we also get the lowdown on what the person on the other end of the phone is also doing, ‘OH SO YOU’RE NOT GOING TO THE CINEMA NOW? YOU’RE JUST WALKING DOWN THE STREET, LIKE I AM EXCEPT I’M IN CROATIA – LOOOOK….’, as they swing their phone around, because, yep, gotta FaceTime too, so you can see their ugly mug as well as hear it all. Seriously, what happened to awareness of others….???
Coming into Starigrad was magical, with the bluest of blue seas sparkling in the sun, and the sky so clear. In the distance was pine forests. It looked stunning, and as we decamped into the port I wasn’t disappointed. Even walking along the main road to town was a joy, albeit one that kept you on your toes so you didn’t lose your wheelie to an oncoming car.
My Airbnb is perfection. A balcony that overlooks the little harbour , where all the yachts moor up. The host was Jesus in socks and sandals, coming up with grilled mackerel doused in olive oil and salt, fresh red wine, and a cheesecake. I sat and ate it overlooking the harbour soaking up the sounds around me. I think I might like me this Starigrad.