Slovenia And Croatia - Part 2: Spies And Beautiful Women

The other day, I told you half the story of my trip (click here if you missed it), but I left you wondering about my prison story.

Day 5 (continued):  After the caves, we went back to Ljubljana and went directly to jail.  We didn't cross go, and we didn't collect two hundred dollars.  We did, however, have to pay for jail, because it was just a hostel built in an old prison.

I got you!

As a matter of fact, it was a very nice prison.  It was crowded, colorful, and had bars on the windows.  Plus, the receptionist was quite possibly the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.

Another cool thing about it was it's location.  It was next to a very interesting part of the city.  I don't really know how to describe this place, but when I was told about it I thought it was "trendy".  It was explained to me by another beautiful Slovenian woman (a very nice pattern that I noticed in the country).  She described it as a place where all the young people go that is decorated by a lot of graffiti - in a tasteful fashion.

I hope she never has to describe a criminal to the police.

Instead of "trendy", it looked like a mix of a ghetto and punk rock heaven.  There was graffiti everywhere, abandoned looking buildings, weird statues, and very interesting people.  I thought it was awesome.  My travel companion, Heather, thought it was horrifying.  We first saw it in the day, and I couldn't wait to go back at night.  It was a letdown, though, because it was just crappy bars with middle old people drinking.  I'm determined to find out when it's crowded and go back.  I want to climb the treehouse.

Day 6:  Our prison escape occurred bright and early.  Now that we felt like fugitives, it was time to leave the country.  Croatia here we come.

Get out a pen and write this down:

Zagreb.

The Croatian capital is now one of my favorite cities.  No one had told me anything very positive about it, so I wasn't expecting very much.  Instead, I found a nice city full of very stylish people.  It wasn't touristy at all, and it had a very large cafe culture.  It's a nice unspoiled city that tourism has yet to discover.

I loved it, and I could see myself moving there if I get tired of living in Hungary.

Day 7:  We, regretfully, left Zagreb and went to a national park.  It had lakes, Koreans, and Lady Gaga.  It may not have really been Lady Gaga, but there were some bizarre people who looked like they were traveling with a musical group because they were dressed in a really strange manner.  Also, I overheard them talking about doing things during performances.  I can put two and two together.

The park wasn't that great, but it was okay because we had to rush through it to not miss the last bus to Split.  We made that trip in record time, because our bus driver's previous job was as a stunt driver in James Bond movies.  I've never seen a giant bus pass someone on the outside lane of a dark mountain road.  It was incredible.

The bus driver even knew the best places to stop.  We had a break at a rest stop that had cages full of peacocks, mutant deer, and bears.  Fortunately, there was a thin chain-link fence to protect the bears from escaping and eating anyone.  Who needs any more protection than that?

Day 8:  Our stay in Split was short and sweet, and then we took another bus along the coast to Dubrovnik.  It was beautiful, and we stayed in a big house up on a cliff overlooking the city and the sea.  One night was too short of a stay.

Day 9:  We went back to Split where we impatiently killed time before our sleeper train that night.  Most of the tourist shops were closed, so we followed my suggestion and went to a bar.  It made my 10 million degree train bunk that much easier to sleep in.

Day 10:  I wish I could always wake up on a train.  The conductor knocked on the door and gave me a cup of coffee and croissant - that's nicer than being at home!

Back into the city we went.  After coffee and breakfast, we passed our time hiding from a Brazilian at the train station.  We met him in Dubrovnik and rode on the bus with him.  That's when Angie noticed he had gross, open sores on his head that he kept picking at.  Let's not sit with him on the train like we said we would.  He was on the platform, so we dashed on the train at the last second to ensure he didn't see us.  It was just like a spy movie.

I had hours and hours and hours to look at Hungary before I got home (Lake Balaton is much bigger than I expected).  As soon as we crossed the border, I could already notice physical and architectural differences.  It never ceases to amaze me how different European countries can be from each other, even though they are geographically so close together.

Traveling is one of my favorite hobbies, but it's always good to be home - no matter where home is.  This is the good life.