And so Croatia via a quick walk around Porto Montenegro, a short cut by ferry & an hour crossing the borders out of Montenegro & into Croatia, not bad.
We got to Dubrovnik, our first port of call and checked into our Airbnb before wandering down into the magnificent old town. Pretty busy but after taking in the sights we looked for something to eat and came across a band playing some old standards and sat down to watch them. Great players and the lead was a guy that looked like one of the chuckle brothers!
As is our wont we did the walking tour on our first morning in Dubrovnik- pretty good it was too - Freetour.com
Clearly there were a lot of Game of Thrones references including
Black water bay (colourina bay) and the
Walk of shame. The guide told us that during filming the locals on that street wanted payment of 100euros per window per day otherwise they would open them and get on their phones. Also as the market was towards the end of the street they had to buy all the stock of the stall holders in order to stop them carrying on
We found out also we were lucky while we were there as their was only one cruise ship coming in (5 on the day we were leaving).
Walking the walls of Dubrovnik is an absolute, 5.30-7.30pm was a recommended time as it’s slightly cooler. The Minceta fortress, the highest point of the fortifications and the separate Fort Lovrijenac ( which was housing Shakespeare’s the play of Romeo and Juliet every night ). We caught a bit of a rehearsal.
We found a great bar called Buza which hangs on the side of another fortress above the rocks- a great place just to look out at the pink sky but also to watch the young(er) things cliff jumping into the sea.
The next day we got a few hours of kayaking in along the coast, dodging a few little ferries.
3 nights in Dubrovnik flies by, it’s incredible, if a bit busy at times. So off up the coast and our first stop was Ston and Mali Ston which between them had the longest city walls in Europe - 5.5k.
We managed to climb one side across from Ston to Mali Ston - straight
up and over in 35 plus degrees heat so Sue decided she didn’t fancy walking it back. I went back to get the car while she had lunch. Good workout with terrific view of the salt flats and either side of the peninsular.
Off then to Oberic a small town on the coast opposite the island of Korkula where we could just walk down 5 minutes and fall into the sea. A lovely and unspoilt part of the world.
Korcula island was only 15 minutes away so we took the passenger ferry across the next day and found a cocktail bar set atop a tower which had been recommended by Sue’s nephew Oliver who was there the year before. Interesting climb up with a narrow opening that stops many a person from climbing up. Once there we met a group of Aussies who were doing a tour of this coastline then a river cruise up the Rhine.
Next day was a first for me - an Ebike ride along the coast and across the peninsular - I had resisted E Bikes but the bike renter said if we wanted to go to Loviste across the mountains then
an e bike was essential unless you were a regular cyclist. And although fairly fit I am not a cyclist. To be fair she was right - a couple of very long 9% incline rides plus some steeper shorter ones would have finished me. An enjoyable day.
Then back to Korcula for our final day in the area and to join in the celebrations of half new year! Who doesn’t enjoy a parade with folk in costume and masks and some fireworks.
After the parade found some seats at Servantes bar where a blues band was about to start. Over the evening musicians joined the band including a terrific saxophonist. The band were great and their rendition of Hey Joe was superb.
Next day we caught the ferry to Split from the other end of the island rather than take the ferry back to Orebic and then drive for 4 hours - great choice passing through the Croatians islands of Hvar & Brac along the way to Split & then a short drive to Trogir.
We stayed just outside (20 mins walk) of Trogir in a great apartment with a pool and shade provided by a kiwi
tree. Within 10 minutes we could be down on the waterside and our first night we ate at a place called frankies restaurant. After some time I chose my meal and Sue was persuaded to go down and check out the fish. Two minutes later I was having something different - a Dentex which is known as the King of the Adriatic Sea - very nice it was too, a bit like Sea Bream.
Next day we did absolutely nothing till about 5pm. Just sat by the pool and collapsed for a bit - great. At 5ish we wandered into Trogir which was another Unesco heritage town and we both managed to get our hair cut and watch a choir from Oxford perform in the Cathedral before heading back to watch the England women’s football semi final against USA. Good game shame about the result.
Then off again this time to Krka, a Crotion national park and lake. On the way we stopped at Primostem - a small town that Sue visited with her parents & friend Joanne when it was in in Yugoslavia 41 years ago. A picturesque town with water on 2 sides - it was
We then set off for set out the KRKA national Park and waterfalls. We walked the trails and along the boardwalk above the water and came out to this lovely waterfall setting with a lovely pool you could swim in below - so we did. After expecting it to be cold from the waterfall we were pleasantly surprised at the temperature of the water.
After an overnight stay in Korenica, recommended by a couple of Americans we met in Dubrovnik we set off early next morning for Plitvice lakes and National Park which was 15k away. For a change we saw clouds and the temperature was in the teens rather 30’s which we had got used to - probably not a bad thing for the long day ahead of us.
This felt more like a national park than KRKA with bigger woodlands, bigger lakes and bigger waterfalls. After walking the boardwalk and trails for the lower lakes and waterfalls where we saw the waterfalls running through grass which was unusual, we got on a ferry across the largest lake enjoying the cool temperatures and relative lack of crowds this early in the season ( still busy
A few pics later and we were back in the car heading out of Croatia to Slovenia where we would be meeting up with some old friends from Olney.
Goodbye Croatia we’ll miss the coastlines, the beautiful warm and clear sea, the friendliness of the people and as we travelled to Soit the calm seas and beautiful islands.
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