Chapter 15: Cliff Jumping in Croatia

From the Adriatic back to Hungary

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Saturday, October 9th

Sunny and 60 degrees, a perfect October morning. I grabbed a banana and protein shake from the grocery store and headed down to the beach. Split has an outdoor gym similar to Barcelona’s, but there was no crowd in October. I walked past cruise ships and ferries on the way to the gym, and I saw the ferry that I was initially planning to take from Italy to Split. Rental car was definitely a better move.

After working out, I walked around the pier for a while. I saw all of the boats and ships that we had jumped on the night before. The pirate ship that we took over was now taking people on tours of the coast. Little did they know, we had commandeered their ship just hours earlier (or maybe they did know. It probably happens a lot).

I grabbed brunch at one of the local breakfast spots, then popped in Zara to do a little shopping. It’s cold, and I needed a new jacket. If you’re ever in Europe, always shop in Eastern countries. I got a $100 jacket for $46 thanks to the exchange rate. USD is still king over here.

I got back to the apartment around 1:30, and the boys packed in the car and headed to the edge of town. There was a rocky beach and several cliffs where you can jump in the Adriatic Sea, and we wanted to check it out.

Pro of cliff jumping in October: no crowds.

Con of cliff jumping in October: it’s cold.

We stripped down to our bathing suits, climbed the rocks, and jumped in. Jason didn’t get in the water, but he got footage of the whole day on his drone.

It looked frigid, but the water was surprisingly warm. The problems were 1) climbing out of the sea, and 2) dealing with the wind when you’re wet and back on the rocks.

Some locals were looking at us like we were crazy, but we had a blast. Collin climbed up to a higher cliff that would need a really long jump to clear the rocks below. He got a running start and sent it.

After cliff diving for a while, we grabbed the soccer ball (excellent acquisition from the beach back in Italy) and went to the shore. We played soccer keep-away for like two hours, and it was a blast. Great cardio, even for guys like me who suck with their feet.

Jason made a video of the whole Croatia trip. Check it out.

After the beach, we headed back to the apartment to cook dinner. We had bought a ton of pasta, sausage, and marinara sauce, and the chefs of the group (not me) whipped up a fat spread. Mark grabbed some neapolitan ice cream from the store too, so we had a spread: White wine, 2 liter beers, pasta, and ice cream. A European feast. We had some “ice cream soup” leftover after dinner. I said I’d drink it when we got back.

Like the night before, we headed to Charlie’s bar, as it’s the main spot for backpackers and locals alike.

Some highlights:

  • I somehow ended up in a chugging contest with a German dude. I got smoked.

  • Collin got (accidentally) punched in the face by an engaged girl. Her entire friend group then cheered for him as he finished his beer.

  • I met a British dude also named Jack. He was chill.

  • Mark convinced a Croatian girl that his name was “Little Foot”, he was a Navajo Indian, and he didn’t have a cell phone. He had to hide his phone all night to keep the story alive. Note that this chick actually believes the microchip vaccine conspiracies, so this wasn’t too hard of a story to tell.

We ran into Sym (short for Symantha. It’s like Samantha, but it’s not Samantha. It’s Symantha), another Americano now living in Spain, at the bar. She hung out with us the night before. We also found out the engaged girl that punched Collin was part of a big study abroad group from Ohio in Split for a week. We all headed back to the pier after midnight, same as the night before.

I kicked it with the study abroad people for a while, and met back up with my friends when they went home. Some Croatian girl had been walking around with an orange balanced on her head for like 3 hours, and I finally saw her drop it. 50 Germans were butchering some terrible German rap music, Tanner and Mark were talking to a Croatian girl about Mark’s time living as a Navajo Indian (note, Mark looks like a completely normal white dude. He’s from Toronto), and Sym was trying to get someone to get in the water with her.

Casual night in Croatia I guess.

Jason and I decided to see who could throw rocks further in the water, and some random Brit kept hitting us with Peaky Blinders lines.

We bounced around 2 and headed back to the crib. Sym came back and hung out at our place. She was staying with her Uncle, who lived in Split, for a week or so. We sang some living room karaoke, drank some leftover ice cream “soup”, and had the classic deep life conversations that people have when they’re with people they don’t know that well. Sym crashed on our couch, and we all called it a night around 4.

At 6 AM, a siren started going off in our room. I was completely disoriented and had no idea what was going on.

Tanner was just now getting home, and he couldn’t get in. Turns out that the buzzer to our apartment sounds like a tornado siren. Horrible way to get woken up.

Sunday, October 10th


Sike, the weather sucked. It was rainy and cold. I had let Tanner wear my new jacket the night before, and he hadn’t taken it off in 24 hours. He offered to just buy me another one if he could keep mine, so we went back to Zara and I grabbed another one. We got brunch at a fire spot by the pier, and the other guys explored town while Jason and I headed back to the apartment. I spent most of the afternoon writing, while Jason put together a highlight video of our time in Croatia. Dude is a legend with video and photography.

Jason and I were on chef duty tonight, and we made bacon, egg, cheese, and spinach wraps. First meal I’ve cooked since August. Not too shabby. We had wanted to check out Albania, Serbia, or another southeast European country, but the COVID rules are so weird that we decided to run it back in Budapest. Since it was a Sunday night, and the weather sucked, and we had to drive in the morning, we made a responsible decision and went to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Lmao yeah right. Here’s what really happened.

Me: We doing anything tonight?

Mark: *cracks beer* that’s my answer.

Tanner and Jason: We might take it easy.

Collin: I’m down to see if anything’s going on.

Tanner: I guess I can take a lap.

Jason: Same.

So yes, we did take a lap. We went back to Charlie’s, and it was once again popping for a Sunday. I was talking to one of the study abroad girls, MK, outside the bar, and some dude walked up and said “Can I slide by for a second?” I said, “Sure.”

Homie proceeded to box me out, start talking to her, and kept asking if she wanted another mojito bucket. They walked back inside, and Mark came up to me and said, “That dude did the same thing to me last night. He’s the worst.”

Well he and MK came back out, and I said, “Can I slide by for a second?”


MK asked if I wanted some of the drink, and I said sure. I proceeded to delete half of the bucket in front of the dude. Thanks for the free mojito playboy. He scampered off pretty soon after.

The bars closed at 12, and everyone went back down by the water. We met some dudes from Iceland, and they were hysterical. Iceland is now a bucket list spot.

*Paging Joe Stark, Iceland is looking better and better. Big Northern Lights vibes.*

Collin played some dude’s guitar, we saw the girl with the orange on her head again, a blind crackhead kept trying to sell us drugs, and some 70 year old guy walked up to us at least 5 times and said, “Hi, I’m from Croatia.”

Split is such a fun city.

Collin and I walked back to our place at 1:30, hung out for an hour or so, then cashed out. On to Budapest.

Monday, October 11th


Road trips are awesome. We grabbed some coffee, loaded up the T-Roc (best dang car in the world), and plugged Budapest in on the map. We spent two hours discussing zombie apocalypse survival plans, and we came to the conclusion that because Jason and Tanner could both fly, we would try to secure a plane and get to Iceland. With a decent climate, small population, and several remote areas, Iceland is the best area to outlast the walking dead. Lmk if you have a better idea.

We got to Budapest around 6 and parked at our Airbnb. This place is hysterical. $60 a night total, with a decent living room. The “bedroom” is a loft with 5 twin mattresses on the ground. Barrack style, baby.

Jason said a bar in town, Morrison’s 2, had $1 beers on Mondays, so we headed that way. This place was nuts. It was under a hostel, and it had like 12 bars in one. The best part? The karaoke room.

All Star by Smashmouth? Check.

Mr. Brightside? Check.

Wonderwall? Check.

Tanner walked in another room, and some girl had gone postal with a can of pepper spray. He got caught in the crossfire and was instantly blinded. He stumbled out of the bar to a grocery store, bought some milk, and dumped it in his eyes lmao.

We headed back around 3, but Mark had disappeared. We passed out at 3:30, but we left the door unlocked for Mark. Mark got back at 4, tried calling us, and passed out in the hall because he thought the door was locked. He ended up getting up later and making it inside.

That’s all for today. Budapest is sick; best place in the world. Come check it out.

*Jake Mezei, tell your Hungarian grandpa to hit me up if he wants to have a fun Tuesday night.*

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