Islands of Dalmatia, Dubrovnik & Montenegro
15.06.2007 - 30.06.2007 35 °C
Sitting at a bar on the dock of Trogir the night before our 7 day cruise we were very excited and also very curious as we had booked it over the internet & weren´t sure about the boat or the clientele it would attract. When we spotted the ´Otac Ivan´ we were quite relieved that it was quite an impressive looking boat so our only worry was that we may have been the only english speakers on the boat.
On boarding we quickly figured out that it was a much older demographic on board and everyone was either speaking German, Dutch or Austrian. To our relief there were 2 other Aussies & 2 Americans so out of 34 people we at least had some other english speakers on board.
The cruise was absolutely fantastic experience and we made some great friends from Holland who spoke fluent English (Hi Sylvia & Peter !) and Aussies Kim & Derek. The islands were spectacular to see and we stopped at Korcula, Hvar, Vis, Lastovo, Brac, Bisevo and Solta along the way.
We visited the Blue Grotto in the island of Bisevo an amazing blue water cave where the light shines under the mountain rock and produces an amazingly blue water cave.
It was a nice change of pace for us not having to worry about finding accomodation or a place to eat. We just relaxed in the sun for 7 days as all of our meals were provided by a chef who seemed to work all day every day preparing the food which always tasted great. The crew on board also made it quite a memorable experience especially Capitan Branimir who could hardly speak a word of english but always managed to get his message across.
The Adriatic is a great place to swim with the water so warm albeit extremely salty. At the start of the week the water was 24 degrees and by the end it had reached 29.8 which was really warm. We were warned about the sea urchins in Croatia so rock booties were our first purchase in Croatia. They also came in handy when walking along the rocky beaches.
After the cruise we ended up going to back to Hvar and staying for 3 nights also where our Aussie friends from the cruise were also staying. Hvar is an unbelievable place with the most picturesque little harbour and funky bars. One day we hired a scooter and drove around the island stopping for swims along the way at the most fantastic little coves. The roads were really scenic and it was quite an experience riding thru the lavender scented mountains with Elise hanging on for dear life on the back.
Next stop after the cruise was Dubrovnik the amazing old town that was unfortunately bombed during the civil war here in the early 90s. Although the war was some 15 years ago it is still a sensitive topic with many of the locals and it was strange to be walking around the old town where you could see where the bombs had left their impression. We did a night tour about the 'War history of the Balkans' which was really interesting. A kayak tour was also a nice way to check out the city walls.
From Dubrovnik we took a day trip to Montenegro where Elise was in search of Daniel Craig but to no avail. Kotor is a beautifil little town and although it was only 1 hour from Croatia it did have completely different feel.
We definately will be back to Croatia one day. It is the most spectacular place which unlike Italy, Spain and France does not feel that turisty (I hope it stays that way!) We were not expecting Croatia to be such a culinery delight but we have had the freshest and best seafood to date, plus it is relatively cheap compared to the other more well known tourist spots.
Croatia is also one of the best places to people watch. The locals love congregating in squares to chew the fat. I just loved getting a coffee and watching the world go by.
Next stop is Krakow in Poland where we are planning a day trip to Auschwitz.