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White Water Rafting & More Fun in Croatia

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

I had a great time this weekend in Croatia and the Dalmatian Coast and met a lot of cool people.

We arrived into Split at around 7:30 AM on Friday after a ten hour bus ride from Florence.  The bus was really uncomfortable and had no legroom, so I was only able to get 2 or 3 hours of sleep.

When we arrived, we immediately went to our hostel to eat breakfast.  It came with two slices of cheese, two slices of meat, tomatoes, bread, and coffee.  It was good, but not as filling as I would have liked.

After breakfast, I met up with a few people and we walked around Split.  The downtown area is very small and quaint, but it has a lot of history.  1,700 years ago, the Roman emperor, Diocletian, built his retirement palace in Split.  The town was built around and even inside his estate – there were stores and restaurants on the ground levels of his palace.

Gate to the Palace

Gate to the Palace

Oldest bell tower in Europe

Oldest bell tower in Europe

I took a picture with Jesus Christ at The Last Supper

I took a picture with Jesus Christ at The Last Supper

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After about an hour, we met back up with the rest of our group to go white water rafting.  I had been looking forward to going white water rafting since I booked this trip a little over a month and a half ago as it was something I’d always wanted to try – doing it in Croatia was just icing on the cake!

We met our rafting tour leader and hopped on a bus for a 45 minute bus ride to the river.  Our guide, Stephon, gave us a tour of the important things we passed like a pirate’s fort.  When we arrived at the river, we changed into wet suits (like scuba diving suits) and got waterproof socks, life vests, and helmets.  After putting our sneakers back on, we divided into four teams.  Our raft guide was the owner of the company, Stephon.  Then, we got in our raft and got a crash course in white water rafting.

We had a blast.  We rafted 30 kilometers down the river over the course of two and a half hours, went swimming, found fresh mint plants, submerged ourselves under a waterfall and drank it’s fresh water, and they went cliff diving!  We rafted up to a level three rapid (out of six levels).  Our raft guide was great and told us all about Croatia.  It is truly an experience I will remember for the rest of my life!

We got back to our hostel at around 6:00 PM and checked into our rooms.  It was a very nice hostel and reminded me a lot of the hostel I stayed in in Paris – each bed had a privacy curtain on it.

After I changed, I met up with a few people for dinner.  We went to an Italian restaurant (as if I don’t eat enough Italian already) and I had tortellini in a cream sauce.

The next morning, Bus2Alps arranged for a day on a boat to the island of Brac with lunch on the boat.  We met at 10:15 AM and were on the boat by 10:30 AM.  The boat had two floors, so we all climbed the ladder to the top floor to enjoy the ride – it was a cold trip!  We arrived into Brac at noon and waked around until 1:30 PM.  We went souvenir shopping, saw the beach, and went to a cemetery that had a mausoleum that looked like an ice cream cone.   Then, we went back to the boat to eat our lunch.  I had chicken, but we also had a fish option.  After lunch, we went back onto the island to explore a bit more.  At 3:00 PM, we left Brac and went back to Split.

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The water was so clear

The water was so clear

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We arrived in Split at around 4:00 PM.  After changing at my hostel, I met up with a few people to walk around Split for a bit more.  We found a really cheap sweets shop and I had a cup of Chocolate Mousse for the equivalent of $1.80 US!

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At 7:15 PM, Bus2Alps arranged for a free bus to the island of Trogir which is known for good food.  We stumbled upon a restaurant that had a four course meal for the equivalent of $14 US.  We had a beef broth soup, salad, marinated beef with gnocchi, and a crepe with jam.  It was so good!

Then, we went back to our hostel, packed, showered, and fell asleep.  I woke up this morning at 7:45 AM to eat breakfast and catch out 8:45 AM bus back to Florence.  We will have about a one to two hour layover in Florence and get back to Rome at around 11:30 PM.

This week is going to be awesome.  Tomorrow night, I’m going to see one of Rome’s two soccer teams play to keep their playoff fate under their control.  Tuesday night, a few people from my Italian class, film class, and two Italian teachers are going to see a new movie by an Italian filmmaker, Nanni Moretti, and eat dinner afterwards.  It should be fun!

Note: This post was originally published on May 1, 2011 in a blog entitled “Romeing Around Europe” which chronicled my study abroad experience.  

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