Zadar and 30 man bar brawls

Monday 20 May

Zadar is stunning.  Watching the sun go down across the bay and you know that ol’ hitch was right.  Gloriously lazy skies awash with the brush-srokes of a master painter.  Sun-kissed narrow old town streets with historic charm and intrigue.  Wonderful sea-food restaurants, and of course the finest hostel I’ve ever stayed in.  Oh and the women.  Quite simply the most gorgeous women I’ve ever seen on my travels.  To be honest this place needs little introduction, you should just come and experience it for yourself.  Croatia is going to be hard to beat.

I’ve spent a day shuffling around the centre just enjoying the weather and the pace, and I decide to take in a beer or twenty in a local bar after sundown.  Within a few minutes of arriving in the kilt, I’ve been offered free food anytime from a guy that works in one of the take-away places in town.  By the way the finest chicken burger you’ll ever taste.  Don’t think burger, think chicken.  Anyway the next thing I know and he’s arranged for me to have a blow-job from this 20-something girl standing next to him.  I’m wondering if he’s some kind of mafia boss.  Regardless I decline, as contrary to popular belief I am not a hoe-bag.  If that’s the correct spelling of the word and I’m not calling myself a carrier of gardening equipment.

Fast forward a few hours and I’m throwing some serious shapes on the dance floor.  I’m getting drinks bought from me by some cute girls who call me “the best dancer of the night”, when all hell breaks loose.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  A 30 plus man bar brawl that would put WWF to shame.  Bottles, tables. wicker chairs, the air turns black.  Cars pull in and drivers leap out to get involved.  It’s carnage.  One guys face is pissing blood so much he looks like Carrie.  I’m standing next to a chatty French guy, and we’re doing our best to shuffle out the way every time it comes careering towards us.  Just when you think it’s all over, somebody else gets involved and randomly slaps some dude.  Then it all kicks off again.  No police.  Apparently it would be worse for them if they turn up.  After a while and as the dawn breaks, I decide to spend some time drinking wine and coke with some drug dealers on a park bench.  As you do.

I’m making my walk of shame the half an hour to my hostel, singing to myself with a spring in my step.  Nursing a beer on the front porch in the early sunlight, I contemplate the days events, and a satisfactory smile creeps to my lips.  Outside of film, music, beer, sex and football; traveling is the best thing in the world.

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The Wild Fig Hostel

Monday 20 May

Right people listen up.  Get your butts to Zadar.  Live at the Wild Fig Hostel.  Make tons of new mates and stay up every night until the sunrise and then throw yourselves into the Adriatic sea three sheets to the wind, slicing your hands on rocks.  I promise all kinds of fun and debauchery.  Not with me.  I’m going through a patch so dry you could use my penis as sandpaper.  It’s not through lack of trying either, whipping out the guitar, impressing with magic tricks, telling hitch stories.  You can’t make this up how unlucky I’ve been.  Girls with boyfriends, girls recently out of relationships but want nothing to do with me, immature girls, man-hunk New Zealand handy-man dudes with solid game, unobtainable girls waiting for ‘the one’ to arrive, girls who don’t get with strangers; and; lesbians.  Hot lesbians who are even worse than a room full of dicks.  You can’t have them, and they’ll cock-block you with the gorgeous chick who wants a girl encounter because she’s on holiday.  The only thing I’ve managed is a sympathy snog at three am over a pan of bacon.  She liked bacon.

Joking aside, I am having the time of my life.  I never write reviews for anything, but I felt I had to with this place.  There is something special here.  You arrive as a stranger, you leave as a friend.  If I ever leave.  I’m now staying way beyond my original plans, as I have a bed for free and I’m helping to paint the new hostel dorm room.  Everyday there is something different.  By different I mean knocking back 4 bottles of red in the garden as the sun comes up, talking utter nonsense with some of the best people I’ve met on the road.  This hostel is unique.  It’s not about the showers, the building, the beds.  It just seems to attract the finest of folk.  Now I just need it to attract a single one with massive boobs.

I may be here for some time dearest readers, so  I suggest you come and do the same.  I’ve been allowed to write the blurb for the hostel booking websites, and uploaded only my second trip-advisor review.  Have a gander if you’re interested when they go live.  It’s wonderful to know that no matter what crap life throws at you, you can find family just around the corner.

The Wild Fig is family.





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Zagreb to Zadar

Sunday 05 May

Alfred Hitchcock famously waxed lyrical about the stunning sunsets in Zadar on a visit there in 1967.  I think.  They’re very proud of this fact, and if it’s good enough for Hitch it’s good enough for me.  I’ve not taken one photograph in Zagreb, and a glance at the weather for the week ahead confirms I have today as a window for escaping before the heavens really open.  I set out early under grey skies and light rain.

Following the (fittingly) hitchwiki directions to a potential pick-up spot and I find myself in the middle of a roundabout on a motorway.  This doesn’t look good.  A quick call into the ever English speaking McDonald’s confirms this is indeed where people get rides from, so I change my sign slightly for a lift to the toll booth.  Sure enough I wait five minutes before I’m dropped at the start of the main drag South.  This could go either way, as without a ride you’re potentially stranded indefinitely.  I decide to try the ‘India’ sign, as I’m in remarkably high spirits considering the location and weather.  It goes down well too, pleasing to hear the hearty laughter of truckers through rolled down windows.  A ride arrives on the hour mark with a crazy Bosnian guy who doesn’t speak English.

Some time, a few heavy thunder storms and a sleep later and I’m deposited on the hard shoulder at the turn off to Zadar.  Not really what I was expecting.  I passed out in the car, something I have refrained from doing as I consider it rude, not to mention potentially dangerous, but here I am walking some 500 metres down a slip road to a toll booth.  It’s not as bad as I fear, and within ten minutes two American guys in a hire car have swung in to a stop.  Several hours later we’re watching the sun come up on the Adriatic, drinking gas-station beers, and playing guitar with three Irish girls and a Frenchman.  I think I’m going to like it here.


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A heartfelt apology to the rest of the world from a former resident of the UK

Saturday 04 May

World.  I’m sorry.  I’m genuinely sorry for the knuckle dragging neanderthals that infest your beautiful countries and destroy whole city centres in running battles of drunken carnage stag nights.  From the UK.  And Ireland.  Every corner is represented.  And by every corner I specifically mean English.  English animals.  Brits abroad.  We watched in utter disbelief as an idiot dressed in a crap wig and hot pants vomited up the street, while his stag cohorts attempted to steal bicycles and broke into locked buildings along a cafe-culture street.  Totally out-of-place.  Totally not welcome.   Locals and travelers alike stared on as yet another group of sex tourists gave rise to this alarming phenomenon;  fly to a European capital city, get pissed up and wreck it, because we can leave on the plane and they’d never catch us.  Shit in someone else’s back yard.   They’re everywhere, and they’re giving us a bad name.

They’re easy to spot wearing similar “humourous” t-shirt prints with nick-names on the back and the drunken face of the stag on the front.  Loud.  Obnoxious.  Rude.  Sexist.  Insulting.  Groping.  One approaches me with heavy booze breath, hooded eyes and beetroot face, his trite ear piercing and shit tattoo’s a dead giveaway.

“Henry!  HEeyey…hennry.  hic.  Whersyougoin?”  He slurs.  I’m not called Henry.  “Whersssgood to go. hic?”

“I don’t know mate I’ve only been here a few days.”

“FUUUCKME YOU’RE ENGLISH!”  His face cracks like a burst baked potato.  I don’t answer.  Is he so ignorant to presume I could speak his language?

“Isss this your Croatian girlfriend?”  He turns his attention to my new hostel buddy from Manchester.  Before I have time to answer he’s slurping on her hand.

“If you find somewhere to go let us…hic…know.”  Aye right pal.  I’ll come back and find you and your feral companions.  I can bet my bottom dollar you’ll wind up in a brothel with a pathetic attempt to get it up after twelve hours of drinking and a gram of coke.  Either that or some loose type will give you a sloppy hand job down an alley.

So I’m sorry world.  We’re not all like that I promise.  I’ll admit I’m no angel, but however drunk I get I certainly still hold a respect for the people and the place I’m be lucky enough to be in.  Apart from that time when I got into a bar brawl in Nicaragua.  But that wasn’t my fault.  Honest.

Oh and that time I…


Just forget I said anything.





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