I dreamed I was in a strange place last night. A place that doesn't exactly exist, but it sort of does. It was very specific.
I was traveling by myself in a group of island countries, out in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, which was much farther north than in reality. There were three countries in the group. Norway, Franz Josef Land, and Icretile Island (which doesn't exist anywhere, to my knowledge). They made a sort of crescent shape with a bay in the middle that faced east. Like the letter C. Norway at the south, Franz Josef Land at the north, and Icretile making the western edge.
Each of the three countries was an island of its own, but the distance between them was not more than a hundred yards of water or so. So you could swim from one to the next pretty easily.
The coasts of each were steep wooded rocky slopes that went right into the water with very little beach. So it was a little tricky to get down one, swim across, and up the other, but it made for a great evening adventure.
Both Franz Josef Land and Norway had modern civilizations, but totally unlike their actual cities, I am sure. I didn't spend much time in the former, but the latter seemed much more like Cuba might be, in reality. Old cars, dirty but charming buildings, nice dark skinned people. Lots of motorcycles with two or three people on them. No real tall buildings, but lots of unorganized streets and alleys and restaurants, all scattered about and bustling. People everywhere. I assumed Franz Josef was the same.
But Icretile had nothing. No inhabitants whatsoever.
I was sitting on the northwestern coastal ridge of Norway, looking across the straight to Icretile, and wondering about what might be there. I occurred to me that every island story may well have taken place there. Robinson Crusoe, Godzilla, Jurassic Park, on and on. It was a dangerous, ravenous place that people had simply avoided for the most part. All anyone knew about it was that there were grizzly bears there, that sometime swam across the straight to scavenge the coasts of Norway and Franz Josef Land.
It was nighttime and the major cities of Norway were behind me, further up the ridge and over, making the night sky dark and huge. The stars were absolutely mind bending. You could literally sit and watch them move, like you see in time-lapse photography, only way faster. It was amazing and hypnotizing.
I was sitting in a rock outcropping near the water, hiding from the wind, when I noticed a grizzly bear climb out of the water and disappear behind a rock to my right. He was coming up the side of the ridge.
He appeared again much closer to me, and I stayed hidden as well as possible. He didn't seem interested in me, or that he even noticed me at all. It was loud out there, with the waves crashing down below and the wind moving over the rocks. He was looking for dead birds or something anyway.
Regardless, I didn't want to hang around to find out what would happen if he did find me. So I snuck out from my perch and scrambled quietly back up the ridge and into town below on the other side.
They spoke a language I wasn't familiar with, but sounded close to something I knew. It could've been Portuguese. I asked someone where I might find a decent meal and a hotel room. They told me a few things, which I basically understood, and walked out from the lively courtyard I was in to an alleyway that led into another less busy street. I found the place, which served good salsa and cold light beer. I sat there a while at a streetside table, watching the people walk by and laugh, sometimes glancing at me.
After I ate I paid the bill and rented a room for a week in an apartment/hotel above the restaurant. I unlocked the door, dropped my backpack on a chair, and fell onto the bed. The windows were open to the street below and the linen curtains moved slightly in the faint evening breeze.