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By Anthony Nelson

How to spend 6 days in Croatia like a local

Day 1. Roaming through Rovinj

We started our trip in one of the last traditional fishing towns in all of the Mediterranean. After checking into a quaint little place off of the port, we headed out to absorb the culture. Balbi Arch was a must see, and the little statue of the boy with the fish is a great place to sit and people watch. The narrow streets of Old Town are a wonder themselves and seem to burst with vibrancy. Later we ate at La Puntulina, a little slice of paradise that situates you right on the rocks of the Adriatic. We dined on Crni Rizoto, had a glass of wine, and watched one of the most splendid sunsets on Earth stain the ocean in its warm embrace.

Day 2. Playing at Plitvice

It's easy to get lost and feel as though you're the only one journeying through this pristine natural preserve, which is one of the most endearing of its charms. Hike over winding wooden bridges and water so clear you can practically see what the fish are thinking. We wandered through trails and enjoyed the local flora, all with the backdrop of sixteen interconnected waterfalls. Supljara cave was a special piece of nostalgia for the inner nomad and left us with a deep respect for Mother Nature and her art.

Day 3. Zest for Zadar

Next, we stopped at the port of Zadar, where we were greeted by a large circular plate planted into the stone – The Sun Salutation. This work of art installed by Nikola Basic is placed to work in conjunction with the Sea Organ. Unassuming by day, it lies dormant, soaking up the sun as the sea organ uses pipes retrofitted into the marble stairs leading to the ocean to serenade us as we lounged. When the sun went down, the salutation sprang to life and mesmerized us with stunning displays of randomized LED lights.

Day 4. Pluto or Pag?

Approaching Pag Island by boat left most of us feeling as though we were going to another planet. The rocky surface seemed to leap from the ocean in alien splendor, imploring us to explore her otherworldly depths. When we arrived, we found the air to be sweet smelling and later learned it was because of the sparse patches of thin grass that mottled the island. The locals were friendly and wasted no time showing off their humble surroundings. We basked in the peaceful serenity of the Olive Gardens of Lun and swam down the pebbly coast of Zrce beach. Before we left, we were given a sample of world-famous Pag Cheese, the pride of the island, and its rich flavor won't soon be forgotten.

Day 5. Knee-deep in Krka

When we made it to Krka, the intensity of Mediterranean foliage caused a collective gasp from our group, and that was only the beginning. While indulging in the natural beauty, we made our way through various historical monuments woven into the very fabric of the forest. Hidden deep in the park amongst rocks and scrub lies Burnum, the remains of a Roman Legion camp from the first century. We also came upon Croatia's first hydroelectric plant, which was opened on the Krka River in 1895, displaying its picturesque sophistication. Finally, we ended at Skradinski Buk. This was the most handsome end of the park, and though it overflowed with sunbathers and swimmers from all walks of life, it was nice to submerge in the healing waters of the carbon carbonate whirlpools and share in the blissful societal blend of both man and nature.

Day 6. A day in Dubrovnik

By far, the most aesthetically appealing architecture on our journey resided within the high walls of Dubrovnik. From the grand baroque imposition of The Assumption Cathedral to the aged noblesse of The Franciscan Monastery, we engrained ourselves in the maelstrom of marble and bronze that sidled up to greet us. After filling up on the sights we headed over to Pantarul, a restaurant in the midst of Dubrovnik that boasts a mixture of local delicacies skillfully combined with modern cuisine.

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