August 10, 2010

Croatia: Cres

Cres, pronounced quite unexpectedly as Sa-ress or Tsa-ress depending on who you're listening to, was our first island stop during our trip through Northern Croatia.
Marina on our first night in Cres
I should give you some background on our strategy in Cres, mainly to do with housing. Basically, we had no idea if there would be anything available for us and Greg kept hoping that we'd be sleeping on the beach that night. I was more optimistic because I didn't want to hyperventilate at the thought of freezing all night. You see, in Croatia, they have sobes where local people rent homes or rooms to travelers. To find one, you either look for the blue signs advertising vacancies or you go to a travel agency.

In Cres, we headed to the travel agencies once we got off our bus at 8:30 pm, close to closing time for some of them. The first place we went to had no rooms left - my heart sank. But the second place had one room left! She called the owner, Greta, who came to pick us up a half hour later. As we walked to her place, Greta told us in pretty good English all about her life living in Cres for the last 25 years and how much she loved island life. Our room turned out to be an attic room (with a private bathroom) atop her house - comfy and surprisingly close to the clock tower that rung 4 times an hour every hour. By the second night, we were used to it though. It was fun to be a little adventurous and get to know a local at the same time!
Flowers at the middle of our hike on Cres island

Hike back towards Cres along the coast

Cres was just beautiful and the perfect island town - colorful flowers overflowing; fresh daily fruit and vegetable stands lining the marina square; sweet-smelling bakery just down the street; private rocky beach coves waiting to be discovered; boats floating happily in the marine; and olive tree plantations lining the hikes through the countryside (Greta said that she received a plot of olive trees with her house - she sometimes collect the olives and sends them to someone else to press them for her into olive oil). Cres was so relaxing because the only things we had to worry about were where to wander to and what to eat next.
Clouds rolled in and out on our last night in Cres

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