Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Croatia/Mostar trip with the ladies

Three of my best mates and I flew off to Split, Croatia in the wee hours of the morning last Wednesday for fun in the sun. We arrived there to 31C (around 90 degrees) to a beautiful albeit a bit smelly city (almost as smelly as Venice) with many shiny smooth stairs to climb which I fell down on a regular basis. I still have a few cuts and bruises. After finding our guesthouse, the German/Croat proprietor told us in broken English, 'my life, my life', and Emma used what little German she knew to figure out she wanted us to wait there. Her husband (her life) came later and took us to another apartment on the other side of town where we cooled off in the AC, changed into our swimsuits to start the trip off with a dip in the sea. Later that evening we walked around the old town, strolling through little alleyways, checking out the shops and statues, finding a nice place to eat.

The next morning we took a bus to Mostar in Bosnia (a separate blog entry to follow) and then the following day another bus to Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is even more step oriented with many stray cats and an old town surrounded by a great wall. I can't imagine being wheelchair bound living in the city. We had a lovely little modern house with a nice outside space where we had breakfast and a dinner and although it was touristy, there were just a lot of people, we met a few locals and people were friendly. The second day in Dub we took a small boat to another island close by where we spent the day exploring the tides and dipping into the blue sea. In this island they had a lake called the Dead Sea where they had a rope swing which we swung off of, well my friends swung while I slept. We finished the day off with a tour of the stone walls viewing the city from above and with cocktails at sunset.

Two days after arriving to Dub we set off for some island play. Unfortunately we just couldn't get up to make the ferry so we missed the fast one to Mijet or Korkula (islands we wanted to go to) and instead had to ride on a boat for six hours, oh the pain, (just kidding!) to Hvar. The boat ride was refreshing and it was nice to people watch and see the boats passing us by. Hvar is a cool island, but a bit Ibiza-esque which really isn't my scene. We did a lot of swimming there and my friend Steph coincidentally had mates staying on the island too. We met her friends for dinner and it was such great fun. They were out there just to party and relax and to stay put on the one island (I would have gone stir crazy), but they were really funny and it was non stop chatter from all of us. In the morning B and I decided to go back to Split where our journey started. Belen and I had a nice view of all of Split where we stayed, the balcony opening up to the water and the old town. It was a home stay or hostel, a typical accommodation there. There were bands playing at a free festival in the city when we arrived. Stephanie and Emma continued the party on Hvar and didn't sleep a wink, taking the first fast ferry in the morning to get to the airport bus we all had to catch. We all made it on the plane.

We heard Croats were unfriendly and that it was expensive and the food wasn't very good. We found lots of kind people who helped us along the way. Except for a few waiters with attitude which you find anywhere, everyone was really cool. Each night we feasted on fresh fish, or oysters, fried calamari and salads, and on occasion ice cream. We drank the local lager, Karlovacko, which hit the spot when hot and in terms of funds, and their wine was better than anything I've enjoyed here in England.

I'd recommend Croatia for a visit, do it now before it gets in the European Union and their Kuna currency becomes worthless....also I'd recommend maybe April or September to beat the super hot heat and all the people, it can be a bit touristy.

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