The Croatian Coast
28.05.2012 28 °C
We get why Croatia is so popular and we're delighted that we got to experience it out of peak season when the cruise ships reign. Sparkling turquoise water and dead calm seas framed by stark and baren mountains, it's more rugged than the Italian coast and less populated than any place we have been so far this trip. Having shaken off the bloody wars of the 90's, tourism has taken over and you get the sense that this is what Greece was like before it got too overcrowded.
We start in the medieval town of Dubrovnik which gives us a good entree to the people, the food, the landscape and the raw beauty of the coast. Walking the city walls was the perfect way to view this compact and romantic port, decked out in its old stone and red roofs. A few cold beers at a pocket bar on the seaside parapet then seafood feast down below and we feel lucky to have dodged the crowds that decend by the thousands.
Braving the Croatian roads, we track north to Split where we found a great apartment in Diocletian's palace. Split is a fascinating place in that it was originally the emperors retirement palace when Rome was still rich and now it is a fully functioning town centre, so instead of ruins you have bars, shops, restaurants and apartments like ours. Tourists seems to stick to the main square so wandrering the tiny alleys which make up the town, it's all local and you get a real sense for life here. Got lost, loved it and stumbled across a guitar duo so stopped for a vino or two.
Split is also to launch point for many of the key islands so we hopped a car ferry to Hvar for sun and relaxation. There are over 1200 stunning Croatian islands that are all jewels of the Adriatic I'm sure, yet if you should choose one, Hvar has it all. The water, the beauty, the seafood, the nightlife and lucky for us, the sun. A whole day of nothing but swimming, eating and drinking was our order with a seaside walk into town to see the yacht set come ashore for cocktails and gen y warm up for a night of DJs and partying.
Loved Croatia and would like to see more of the north but after drinking in as much sun as we could handle, we got back on the car ferry and highways up to Zagreb to catch our early morning flight. Transfers in London and Kuala Lumpur see us to Denpasar, Bali. We've checked into the villa and picked up the scooter. Now looking forward to spending the week with Lee's family and our Bali style wedding on Thursday.
Will try to shoot off another entry before heading back and load some photos.
Keep well. CP & Lee