Getting Lost in Dubrovnik

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

I'm just going to ignore the fact that this trip now feels like a lifetime ago. I am clearly not consistent with posting. 

From the island of Hvar, we arrived back in Split, where we started our journey to the popular city of Dubrovnik. The drive took about three hours and provided stunning scenery. We stopped at a few roadside stands for fresh strawberries, sugared orange peels, and fresh juice. So good and highly suggest it if you find yourself making the trip. 

If you are going to drive from Split to Dubrovnik make sure that you bring your passport as you will cross the border into Bosnia and will go through a boarder crossing check point. 

We stayed in the Lapad area which is about a 5-10 minute drive to the old town of Dubrovnik. This was more affordable than staying near the city walls and was a great base. 

Dubrovnik surprised me in a lot of ways. I knew it would be crowded but was not expecting the abundant number of tour groups that would line the streets. It almost made it feel like I was in Disneyland. It, however, did not take away from it's old world beauty. 

We tucked in and out of alleyways, side streets, and found a cute cliff side bar called Buza Bar. It was a nice reprieve from the amount of steps we were climbing throughout the city. We lucked out and grabbed prime seats for our drinking and viewing pleasure. Rose, please. 

A must do while in Old Town Dubrovnik is walk the ancient city walls. The walk takes you around the city and provides panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and the sea of orange rooftops. It takes about 2 hours to complete. 

Just when we thought the views couldn't get any better we took the cable car to the top of Mount Srd. 

The number of photos that I took of laundry is, well, excessive. I'll spare you all but one. 

From the marina in Old Town, we took a 15 minute ferry to the island of Lokrum. The island is known for the peacocks that call the island home. Almost immediately, we were greeted by a few who were showing off their fancy feathers. We spent the day exploring the island's fort, ruins, and taking a dip in the chilly sea. 

We took the last ferry back to the city and grabbed dinner. I particularly loved the city at night. Local musicians would line the streets and music would echo from the buildings. The crowds would thin out, slightly, and the streets took on a soft glow from the shop windows. It's not hard to see why this city is on everyone's list of places to see in Croatia. 

Island Life of Hvar

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Our next stop on our Croatia road-trip was the island of Hvar. We arrived to Hvar by car ferry from Split and settled right into island life. 

Well, it took us a while to actually find parking. Then, even longer to find the hotel as we roamed aimlessly around town. Once we finally found the hotel we were advised we needed to move the car. It was parked on a cliff that we (when I say we, I mean Jer) would have to climb an abundant amount of steps to reach. With the help of the hotel staff, to assist with the luggage, Jer went on a mission to move the car. Upon his return, he was dripping in sweat. I offered him a nice refreshing cucumber water. Then settled in. 

We stayed at the Hotel Park Hvar which is located in the heart of Hvar town. Upon entering our room we were greeted with amazing views of the marina, the blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, and Croatia's iconic orange roof tops. The charming room had a separate living space, two balconies, and finally a closed in shower! I don't know what it is about European bathtub/shower combos but water gets everywhere due to the partial glass enclosures. It's really the little things that excite me.

Each morning we woke to church bells in the distance and sea views. Can we stay forever, pretty please?!?

Hvar Town is known for it's nightlife and attracts people from all over the world. It has glitz and glamour with mega yachts surrounding the promenade. You can hear champagne glasses clinking to another beautiful day. But, this small town also has an old world charm that I instantly fell for.

If you are looking for the best views of Hvar town and Pakleni islands, lace up your walking shoes, and climb to the town's fortress. I let Jer lead the way which turned out to be the wrong choice. His sense of direction was a bit suspect. In the end, I guided us in the right direction as we zig zagged our way to the top.

It was built in the 16th century by the Venetian to defend the town from the Turks. The fortress is well preserved and it's historical importance alone is worth a visit. Come for the history, stay for the views.

We had a bit of fomo (fear of missing out) watching all the people enjoying themselves on their yachts. So we decided to rent one for the day. Ours was not a yacht but it did the job. We cruised around in our ten horse power dingy all day. Tucking into coves as we anchored to enjoy our surroundings and a few adult beverages. 

With Jer at the wheel, we cruised into a small enclave. As we were nearing closer I noticed fishing nets. I yelled multiple warnings but he forged on. The fishing nets got wrapped around our propeller as we came to an abrupt stop. Jer jumped into the water to assess the situation. The verdict was bad. Without a knife or cell phone, we were stuck. It took us (and by us, I mean Jer) well over an hour to unwrap the fishing net from the propeller. Even with this small mishap it was one of the best days of our trip.

The cost to rent a small boat was very reasonable at about $150 for a full day. Highly recommend.

Three days was not near enough time to explore the entire island. We had a plan to visit as many beaches of Hvar as we could. Our first stop was Dubovica. We parked on the main road and hiked down to the beach passing lines of olive trees. It was a perfect setting for a few hours of relaxation with blue/green water, a unique stone house perched on the water, and the cobble stone beach that gave a nice massage on the back. The hours passed quickly. We did not realize how much time had past until the sun was about to set. Our plan to visit other beaches was nixed due to growling stomachs and lost daylight.

We packed up and headed back to Hvar town. We had dinner and toasted to an unforgettable stay. 

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