Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day 15 - The End

Our last day was,as intended, pretty devoid of anything substantial.  Laid out by the pool.  Went parasailing.  Walked the Old Town for dinner and souvenir shopping.  And that's all she wrote.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day 14 - And Now For Something A Little Different

It wouldn't be one of our classic summer trips if we didn't hit at least 3 countries, and today we did that by going to Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  A formerly war-torn town in a formerly war-torn country, here you can really see why "Yugoslavia" was never really one country, as the Muslim influence here is, while relatively benign (few hajibs, etc.), so contrasting to everything else we've seen.  The old bridge is a spectacular site, and we were able to see one of the bridge divers jump, after walking around the small town streets lined with vendors of every kind, from cheap trinkets to some very nice art galleries.  All in all, a nice diversion for the day.

Home in Dubrovnik was another evening stroll on our second-to-last day of vacation.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Day 13 - The Laziness Continues

Today we left Korcula, first by water taxi, and then a two-hour spectacular drive along the coast to reach our final destination, Dubrovnik, and our nicest hotel.  Arriving around 1 pm, we were met by Antonia, our JayWay representative, who was just as lovely in person as on the phone.  We hung inside our (viewless) room for a bit, then the seaside "beach" area for linch and a swim, before walking into the Old Town, arriving just in time to take an early evening stroll along the town wall.  And it was beautiful and enchanting, as we were told it would be.

Then it was time for a dinner stroll through the Old Town, teeming with people and restaurants and life.  A very nice evening.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day 12 - Korcula By Day

Today was a slow, lazy day around Korcula.  A visit to the Marco Polo museum, a stroll around town, swimming on one side of the city, then on the other.  Finally, we took in the traditional Moreska sword dancing show.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 11 - By The Pool

Our last day in Hvar, and really, we had no problem leaving,  Sitting by the pool is nice and all, but for how long?  For us, today, it was all day, until it was time to catch the ferry to Korcula.

Korcula is a very different place, thankfully.  Smaller, quieter, more restful.  Our sobe owners are a warm and wonderful couple, who welcomed us with wine and cheese and tons of suggestions and comfortable beds and lavender-scented sheets.

But we didn't just fall off to bed.  First we did the nightly stroll. Here,the street musicians are back, instead of the loud DJs.  There are more adults and children, and few 20-somethings. And there are quality shops and good art and good food.  I like it here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Day 10 - Hvar, on a boat

Today was one of those do-almost-nothing days.  The morning was spent poolside, doing nothing.

Then we walked into the Old Town and went sailing - kind of.  The lack of wind resulted in most of the trip being under power, but we still took a nice spin around the nearby Pakleni Islands, dropping anchor twice for a brisk swim.  Although we had snorkeling gear, this really isn't a snorkeling place - because it isn't hot all year (although it is burning hot now) there is no coral and, consequently, just a few boring fish.  But the water is crystal clear; you can easily see 15 feet down or more.

After, we had a nice dinner on the bay and then walked into town to see the nightlife - which is much younger, wilder and drunken than any of the other places we've been - a scene that I'm too old for and Ellery is thankfully too young for.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Day 9 - Split, Hvar, Croatian Towns are all looking the same now

Seen one Dalamtian port town, seen them all.  Today we saw three, starting with Bidding farewell to Trogir around 8:30 a.m., as the massive crowds were beginning to arrive.  Scooted out of there just in time to get to Split for the car drop off.  And while we had several hours to wander around, it was much too hot to do anything but take a simple stroll through the Old Town! Complete with Roman ruins and reenactments, and then wait in a shady cafe for our ferry to Hvar.

Eventually we made it to Hvar, and our first upscale hotel of the trip, although it won't be winning any Conde Nast surveys, I'm afraid.  But it has a beautiful location, a beautiful pool, and all the amenities.  So, after a walk into the - where else - Old Town for an early dinner, we're spending the night in for a change, and looking forward to a solid night's sleep with no place to go and nothing to do in the a.m.   We can do the "night thing" tomorrow night.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day 8 - The Lakes

Since a walking trail ride was not enough for Ellery, we arose early this morning, skipped out on breakfast, and headed back to the stables so Ellery could get in a 2 hours galloping session before we hit Plivice Lakes. 


Once she was done, we headed for the lakes for a spectacularly beautiful 4 hour hike.  The park was packed to the gills, but still magnificent.  It reminded me of the waterfalls in Laos, but on a much bigger scale.  Then again, unlike in Laos, no swimming was allowed.  (For those interested in such things, it is possible to hike in flip-flops if your feet are still too blistered from the prior hike to put on real shoes, but you may regret your decision when you stub your foot on a few sharp rocks).

After the lakes, we drove several hours to our next destination, Trogir, stopping for a quick lunch and some nice views along the way. 

 Trogir was also packed full of people, as we took the obligatory nightly stroll through the Old Town which, although tiny, had some happening nightlife and some nice little quiet spots.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Day 7 - The Road

Not much to report again today.  Mostly a nice drive from Rovinj to our hotel near Plitvice Lakes.  We stopped for lunch in a seaside resort called Opatija.  Very Austrian, definitely high class, and pretty boring as well.  I'm wondering if this country has a middle ground between tacky and yawn-inducing.

After Opatija, the drive was quite scenic.  Large mountains and huge valleys of farmland, and so we had to stop for cheese - well worth it.  Then we drove through dense forest, very reminiscent of South Dakota.

We got to our hotel about 3 - too late and too hot to start on the lakes.  So instead, around 7, we went riding, a one hour trail ride through the forest, which was even more beautiful on horseback.  Since it was a walking ride, Ellery was left frustrated, so we'll be back tomorrow so she can get some galloping in.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Day 6 - Relaxation

Today we did ... Nothing.  Slept in.  Took the ferry to St. Catharine island.  Sat on the beach.  Swam in the ocean.  Slept.  Read.  Took ferry back. 

And then, walking back to the hotel, we heard something familiar - the street musician who had so captivated us in Ljubljana was now in Rovinj.  So we sat on the street and listened to him play until the streets were nearly empty.  Spent some time talking with him in between his sets.  Bought a CD of his music - Vincent van Hessen.  From Tel Aviv and Amsterdam, played in the subways in New York, makes quite a good living traveling the world and playing in the streets.  And it's no surprise, as he had the entire town captivated.