First off, as a kid, I had seen so many pictures of Europe and the things they do there for fun was always part of my bucket list. I had never imagined it would become a recurring dream, let alone reality. At that point, Europe was a question for science fiction writers in my life considering I was never, ever even thinking about travelling to Croatia seriously.
Indians travellers and the Visa regulations
As a kid you are so fascinated by everything international that even chips in a different country would apparently be the best. And why is that “because you can’t have it” – oh now everything makes sense? It is the same with women, food and far-fetched Oscar awards (sorry for the sneak-peek into my head, my bad). Actually because of visa regulations, Indians need to have realistic dreams of travelling, otherwise, it gets very frustrating. It isn’t as easy they show in Bollywood movies to just ‘fall in love and then sing in a foreign location’ – you would be stopped at immigration with a single question “Your purpose of visit”.
I paved the way for Indians to travel to Croatia
Even with a valid reason I was stopped at Croatian immigration’s. Okay, to explain – My best friend and his fiancé were getting married (M&M) – they are Croatians – and I was staying at the groom’s house in Split (their hometown). Now, every other nationality, skin type or sized person was going through immigration’s the way Gabriel Iglesias kills tacos or chocolate cake – but me, I was questioned right there over and over again. They were quite stunned to see such natural chocolate skin beauty that, there were more admirers over a point of time looking at my passport and then me – all the while my friend was standing behind the booth and telling them that I’m a guest. What freaked them out, even more, is when I spoke Croatian (because Marty and I prepared for the moment) – he taught me exactly what needed to be said (i.e. where I’m staying and why I’m in Croatia). Basically, I paved the way for Indians to travel to Croatia because now they believe we are extremely decent looking versions of their tanned friend.
Bravvos of Game of Thrones
As soon as you walk out of the airport the whiff of the sea completely engulfs your senses. The sun is shining and your body knows that it is a holiday. The drive towards the city is quite intimate and leaves you wondering how well this place has evolved after the war (1991-95). Marty’s best man (Tony) who would be Ross among three of us (because the debate of who is Chandler and who joey will always go on between Marty and me) graciously agreed to take us to the house and show me around. Marty told him I was a huge game of Thrones fan, and the first thing he does was show me Bravvos, the little market/port where Arya Stark had come to. I screamed like a little girl in excitement and could see the entire scene happening in front of me. It was beautiful, magnificent, and simple in so many ways.
The place where Khaleesi kept her Dragons
As Marty was pointing out his childhood, I was reminded of old Dubai a lot. There was a certain aura that reminded me so much of old Dubai. From the street planning to the way, shops looked, very homely and inviting. His house was a minute walk away from the City Center (where Khaleesi kept her Dragons – I’m coming to that soon – exciting) which let me be even more spoilt as a tourist.
Split, the most beautiful place on earth
The walk into old town is the most mesmerizing feeling ever. The walls that guarded the city, the church that protected the faith and the sea that provided to the economy – you understand the way of life almost immediately. From fruit to fish, the markets were buzzing with people – while the cafes were filled with older men and women chugging coffee (they love their coffee). There is an ancient fable to the city of Split on how it came into existence – apparently, a king had ordered his ministers to find the most beautiful place on earth and they found Split. I can’t agree more.
I felt like a Croasian (yes I made that word up) and it’s because we as Indians aren’t too different – we have the same ideologies of having fun and relaxing. Over the course of my next few articles, I’m going to show you Croatia like you will never experience. From people to beach games – there will be something for everybody. Just remember eventually you could also become a Cro[Asian].
If you are a Game of Thrones fan and love travelling to Croatia, read about Game of Thrones tour of Split, Croatia