Croatian Bus Lines

Well we left Dubrovnik today at 4am to head to Hvar Island. Julia and Chris (not me, her sister) were also planning on doing this so we decided to coordinate efforts. We caught a cab to the bus station at 4am and then waited for the 5am bus to Split to show up. We didn’t have tickets for the bus yet and the office was rumored to open at 430 so we had to get there early. When we got there we were greeted by about 30 people sleeping on the concrete waiting for buses. It looked like a refugee camp.

By 445 the bus had arrived and people were getting on it, but no one had opened any ticket windows. We couldn’t miss the bus so we ended up getting on without them. This ended up okay for us because we had the cash to buy tickets on the bus (cheaper than had we pre-bought). It did not work out for some kids who were trying to do the same thing though. The only had Euro currency, no Kuna (dont know if I covered that, the Kuna is the money in Croation…5Kn ~= $1). Here are two facts i learned about the Croatian bus service.

1) The bus does not take Euros, and
2) The bus does not let people ride for free.

So, about 4km into the ride, the bus stopped and the kids were kicked off on the side of the road. I was very happy we went to the ATM the night before.

I slept for a little while; it was to be a 5 hour ride. We were woken up at one point to show our passports as we passes through a brief section of Bosnia. So yeah, I’ve now been to Bosnia…kind of.

Sleeping was actually starting to go well as I had managed to contort my body in such a way that VJs arm wasn’t elbowing me in the chest, my left foot was shoved in between the seat in front of me and the aide of the bus, the seat reclining lever (which was useless because my seat didnt recline) wasn’t stuck directly up my @ss, and my head wasn’t crashing into the window every five seconds. It wasnt all roses though this coastal highway makes US1 (or whatever the coastal highway in California is) look like the Dumbo ride and you have to exhibit a tremendous amount of core strength to stay up right.

Another fact about the bus is that they don’t stop letting people on. About 4 hours into the ride, locals starting boarding the bus an standing in the aisles, sitting on the entry steps, and crawling into the overhead compartments. (okay the last one isn’t true). Sleep became impossible at this point so I stayed up and watched what I could see. What I could see I that the Croatian coast line is breathtaking. Also, that the Italian language is very annoying when you are tired. (there are Italians everywhere)

We got into Split at 10am and booked passage on a ferry that left at 1130 to Hvar. We had an hour and a half to kill so we went and pre-purchased our train tickets to Ljubliana on what I think will be Friday as I have almost completely lost track of what day of the week it is. We also got a Ćevapčići sandwhich with ajvar. Ajvar (I might have mentioned before but now remember the name) is a red pepper and paprika sauce that is my new favorite condiment. The meal was 14Kn and I realized just how inflated prices in Dubrovnik were where the same disb would be 50Kn.

The ferry to Hvar was a giant high speed catamaran that had airplane like seats. A short 1 hour trip (during which I snoozed my face off) and we had made it as planned. We found the hostel, took showers and then took some serious veloci-naptors (VJs term which I like enough to steal) to recover from the sleep loss.

Hvar is awesome, but I’ll cover day 1 here in my next post.

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