Entries in Croatia (7)

Friday
Aug302013

Sailing Croatia {Dubrovnik} *GRAND FINALE :)

Last stop (7 on the map): Dubrovnik!

Dubrovnik has a well-deserved nickname: "The Pearl of the Adriatic". It sits atop a little shell, jutting into the sea, and indeed is a gem of a city that is unique and fascinating. As a history student/then teacher in the 90's, I remember the Balkan conflict and the siege that horrified the world as such a beautiful city bled under gun fire. Of course, the real tragedy was the loss of human life but 20 years later, the city is restored to it's former glory. It was interesting to talk to the few locals that we did about the war and how it affected them. Our captain was pretty ambivilant about it all and felt like it was a lifetime ago. Our Bosnian tour guide, however, lived in bombed out hotels for a few years of her life and felt quite strongly about that period of time. Then there were the few museums we toured that certainly gave their side of the story with gusto. We were just so grateful that the conflict is over and we were free to see this beautiful part of the world and share it with our children. We hope the peace continues for when our children take their children! :)

This really was the Grand Finale of our Croatian adventure. If you have ONE stop in Croatia, then it would have to be Dubrovnik, hands down. We loved it so much that we ditched the plan to drive to Montenegro for a day trip so we could stay longer there. Staying IN the city walls is a MUST, as well as walking the walls in the early morning. One of our favorite experiences here in Europe.

First up: last hours on the boat, and excited about our approach to Dubrovnik..
we spent a lot of the day exploring the city, having gelato and enjoying a little elbow room in our 4 story apartment with the killer rooftop view :)


We showered, changed and enjoyed the sun set from the roof (And a few great photos ops) :)
one thing to note about Dubrovnik: there's a LOT of steps! Great for photos.. bad for suitcase lugging :)
Next day, we decided to stick around and spend more time in Dubrovnik. first on the list was a walk around the old city wall. ALL TIME FAVORITE with stunning views! I hear it can get quite crowded in the summer when the cruise tours hit, but my friend had warned me and we were on those walls when as soon as the ticket booth opened. Hardly any crowds to be found.. only sweeping views.
as you can tell, another reason to hit the wall early is the heat! It can get upwards of 100' in the summer (although it was more in the 80's- 90's when we were there).. but we were glad to be done before the mid-day sun bore down and after a rest in the apartment, went for a dip outside of the walls..
for sunset, we went to the highest point overlooking Dubrovnik via cablecar, Mount Srd. There's also a museum and fort at the top that were quite interesting for trying to understand a bit of the 1991-1995 conflict here in Croatia.

Can you spot our cable car below?


at the top
and the reward :)
You can see the "shell of the oyster" well here and the wall that surrounds it. Isn't it amazing?

The last supper in Dubrovnik.. sidewalk cafe.. sardines tapenade, for the adventurous ones :)
last day in Dubrovnnik.. few faves to share. thank you for hanging in there thru Croatia. I hope you enjoyed the tour and it makes its way on your bucket list :)
Next stop: Mostar, Bosnia!

Wednesday
Aug282013

sailing Croatia {Miljet}

Kuddos to you if you've read the entire Sailing Croatia posts! I hope I'm not boring you with all these blue seas and skies! ;)
Map time: Day 6 is up. Miljet! (pronounced like Mil-yet)

This was our last full sailing day.. from Korcula to Miljet. I've a friend that loved Miljet and recommended that we take the time to stay and see the island, which is a bit off the beaten path for most tourists. And indeed it was a nice break from the busier ports with little crowds and great small-town service at the port.

First up: a few sailing pics. This might be my favorite pics of the kids on the trip!
a few more fun shots..
stopping for a dip..
can you spot Mamma and T-Tom below?? :)


We docked fairly early and had some time to swim and bike around the small island. The lake (that's the special part.. the lake's ON the island.. pretty cool!) was a crazy color that reminded me of Plitvice. Croatia really knows how to do their lakes! (Texas, you should take some lessons!) lol


We had an amazing dinner on the dock and this was the only photo I got.. you could say I was relaxed?? :)
Thanks for looking!
Next stop was an all time favorite: Dubrovnik! So check back for another great adventure.

Sunday
Aug252013

Sailing Croatia {*Korcula}

* family fave :)
Excited to share day 5 with you!
As you can see on the map, we're nearing the end of our adventure. Just 1 more island stop (Miljet), then a FANTASTIC few days in Dubrovnik with Mostar, Bosnia being the icing on the cake. But Korcula was a favorite for all of us I think and you're about to see why!

Our snorkeling cove on this day. I even look back at these photos and can't believe I was there!? :)

Love this pic of the Wheatley boys jumping in!
happy, happy campers
now THERE'S my coppertone girl that we all know and love! (after living in Belgium, we're all more like the pillsbury dough color than coppertone :)
we left our cove and set sail for the island of Korcula.
We cleaned up in the marina and headed into the Old Town for a memorable afternoon and night. Korcula was founded by the ancient Greeks, occupied by the Romans, then Venetians. It's like a mini-Dubrovnik, all enclosed by an ancient wall and as Rick Steves says " a nice laid-back island village to take a vacation from your busy vacation". ;) We certainly found that to be true and we enjoyed one of the best sunsets of the trip as we dined on.. yep.. seafood!.. overlooking the harbor.

inside the city walls..
love that these little bejeweled feet have traveled to such amazing places in their 9 years of life :)
we spot a tower. must climb.
views from the top:
stunning. Not even sure I did it justice!
so if you've been to Venice, and been on a Gondola ride, you've been shown Marco Polo's house. I always kind of assumed he was born there. Nope. Born in Korcula and wow are they ever proud of their native son, even 800 years later! (1254 A.D.)
more Old Town views..
taking in the sunset..
love the one below of my in-laws
and a final few faves to share..
Thank you for stopping by. We LOVED Korcula and would highly recommend if you get a chance to stop over in between Split and Dubrovnik! Next stop: Miljet!