Sunday can be an odd day when travelling – especially on a weekend break.
For me, weekend breaks mean fitting as much as possible into the short time available. On the other hand, Sundays usually mean relaxing and spending the day in my slippers. You can see how combining the two can be a problem.
This was definitely true during my long weekend in Zadar, in Croatia.
Despite the hostel receoptionist’s assurances that nothing would be closed and life went on as usual on a Sunday, I woke to a definite Sunday feeling. Peels of bells rang out the from the numerous churches across the Old Town, and although in most of the touristy shops it seemed to be business as usual, other places seemed all shuttered up.
The theme continued as I made my way to the ticket office for the Jadrolinija Ferries. The ticket office was open, but only one ferry was running – to the town of Preko, on Ugljan, the island I could see just across the water.
Still, I had pretty much exhausted all my other options, so I bought a ticket.
Fortunately, I only paid 30kn return (about £4), because there wasn’t exactly much to do in Preko.
I suppose on any other day, I might have been able to get a bus and explore the island, but this was a Sunday. Buses weren’t exactly one-a-minute – more like one every four hours.
So I wandered along the harbourfront. Apart from a couple of restaurants and bars, everywhere was closed. There was hardly anybody about, and the sea would have been too cold to swim in even if there had been a nice beach somewhere nearby. I was feeling thoroughly disgruntled.
And then it struck me: I suddenly felt like a spoilt brat, and thoroughly ashamed of myself. Here I was in this new and beautiful place, and all I could feel was dissatisfaction!
Perhaps the beautiful old streets of Zadar’s Old Town, and the vibrant landscape of Plitvice Lakes the day before, had blinded me to the more everyday, understated beauty of Preko. Perhaps I’d just woken up on the wrong side of the bed.
Either way, I resolved to instantly become more positive and enjoy this new place. After all, a new place is a new place.
When you travel a lot, it becomes easy to take new places for granted. But once you start doing that, it’s a slippery slope. Once you started taking places for granted, I feel like you’re missing the point of travel. True, you don’t have to like every new place you visit, but at least give a place a chance.
So I spent that afternoon in Preko wandering back along the harbour front, where I found a little restaurant overlooking the sea. I sat outside, writing postcards, reading my book, and eating delicious grilled tuna steak.
In other words, I spent the day relaxing, soaking up the surroundings and taking time to just be.