Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mali Losinj, Croatia

“This is my new favorite place.” I declared having been in there a mere 2 hours. Mali Losinj is a small town on the island of Losinj. The town is on the eastern, sunny side of the island.

It is a 6-hour ferry ride from Zadar. Well, a 2-hour ferry ride, but they don’t run on Tuesdays, so we took the cargo ferry.

Distractions for 6 hour ferry ride. 

As our ferry approached, the city looked adorable. Very quaint as we pulled into the harbor. Very vertical as we wheeled and dragged our suitcases to our apartment. We climbed nearly 100 stairs from the port to our front door.

After cleaning up and putting on our suits, determined to find lunch and sea swimming, we walked around the restaurant-lined harbor. We munched on calamari and mixed salads. Slight dread crept into our thoughts as we worried their may not be any swimming in this harbor town.

View of harbor from our lunch spot

Preposterous! I thought. This is an island for goodness sake.

I pulled out our tourist map and quickly saw over a dozen umbrella symbols (meaning beach) littering the map. Whew.

We headed to the closest one as it was nearing 5pm and the sun was heading to bed soon. Once we arrived, I was again faced with an alternate “beach” I’m accustomed to.

No sand. No umbrellas. No rent-a-chairs. Just miles of sea and large rocks from hilltop to jagged coastline.

We found the least jagged rock patch, dropped our things there, stripped down to our suits, and jumped in the sea.

The waves here quite a bit more rough than Zadar but nothing like the ocean. I loved it immediately, feeling overwhelmed with an utter sense of contentment. I went so far as to quote Kurt Vonnegut.

“If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

Selfie at the beach

We spent that evening down in the harbor. Earlier, when we had calamari, there were probably a dozen or so people milling about. Clearly nighttime is when the town comes alive! There we hundreds of people out. Games, restaurants, live music, pop-up stores everywhere. Kelly and I grabbed some chicken and beers and sat along the harbor to people watch.

Since the town is built on a hill, the streets are very steep. And my sandals are very slippery. I fell. 

The plan for Day 2 was a beach day! We headed to the other side of the island this time. It was much different than the day before. Decks and concrete ledges replaced the jagged rocks. It was more crowded than the beach before, as there were many hotels in the area, so there was easier access to the water and other tourist conveniences.  

Panorama from our beach spot Day 2. 
After a good 7 hours by the sea, only slightly sunburned and dehydrated we headed back to get ready for our last night on the coast. Both of us were craving seafood, even having whispered earlier in the day to a fish swimming beneath me – “I’ll see you on my dinner plate later.”

We found a restaurant along the harbor and ordered a bottle of the local white wine and the fish platter for 2. Entire fish bodies, grilled squids and mussels oh my! We were hoping for something delicious and authentic and that’s exactly what we got.

We ended the night at an outdoor café singing along to a cover guitarist and his adorable speaker drummer licking cones of banana ice cream.

The Route from Zadar to Mali Losinj 

From Mali Losinj, we took a bus and ferry combo to Rijeka. Kelly took a bus from Rijeka back to Zagreb. I took a flight from Rijeka to Stuttgart and then a combo of trains back to Kasierslautern. It was a long, 13 hour travel day but it was worth all the memories created the past two weeks!

Our journey. 

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