Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dubrovnik the jewel

After catching a bus and a short ferry ride we arrived in Dubrovnik with great anticipation. It is the one place you see on all the travel shows. It was also the main focus of the war that destroyed a major part of the city that finished in 1995. The scenery was truly out of this world. We have never seen such clear azure seas. Croatia is very clean including all the waterways and the seas. Dubrovnik shows little signs that they suffered in the war. The rebuilding that has gone on is amazing to say the least. We managed to find some photos of the bombed and destroyed streets and being there to see the renewal was incredible. All the buildings in the old town have always had the same orange tiles. So many roofs were destroyed they had to find other countries to supply them, like Italy. You can tell the rebuilt ones as they are different shades of orange. The old town where we stayed is a walled city. Staying in there was a strange experience. We did not venture out on foot until the last night. The place is thriving once again and full of tourists. Just as well it is not summer. The boat harbour is the place to be to feed the fish.(Nick and Adam wishing we had rods to catch them).

Right through Croatia the sea life is so abundant. We walked for nearly 2 hours around the wall one morning. That was incredible. It would have to be the best walk we have done around a walled city. From the sea views to see exactly how the city was built was very special. The city is so squashed in with very narrow lanes. It is a great feeling in Croatia everyone is friendly and most speak English. This would have to be the easiest travelling we have done. After the wall walk we boarded an old boat to travel to the Elafiti Islands. We visited 3 of them. That was fun having time to swim , have coffee and icecreams and of course to marvel at the scenery. On board they cooked up a delicious seafood lunch that was so tasty We are so lucky to have experienced all this. Back to the mainland to watch lots of kids jumping off very high rocks into the ocean. A little scary for us. There were a few Australians in there as well. I recckon our daredevil Paul would have done that too.. We would have done it but we did not bring our bathers.

Korcula the island holiday from heaven

Next stop was a 3 hour ferry ride to Korcula an island off the Dalmation coast, it is 47 kms. long. It was full of olive trees and vineyards and the bluest seas. We stayed in an apartment right next to an inlet with views overlooking a marina. Poor Nick he desperately wants a boat, and with all these boats sailing and laying idle is like rubbing his face into it. Adam reckons if I did not spend the money on the kitchen (now called the galley) Nick would have a boat. The walk we did to the next village Lombarda for 45 mins was fantastic as was the village itself. After climbing numerous steps we discovered the vineyards. Walking through those was something out of a book. We found our way back to the sea and discovered a little restaurant tucked away under vines.

The smells emanating were inviting to say the least. After sharing a plate of local fare and a few beers and the free local liquer we realised the last bus was leaving soon. As we scrambled across the white rocks we realised we were not going to make it. Luckily they had a water taxi who took us across the water to our town. That was great. What a day we had ! Great to share that with the others. Off to our next adventure to the well known Dubrovnik.


Split is a very large plce, second largest in Croatia. The harbour in the old town was stunning with a new promenade next to the Diocletians Palace. As usual every one and his dog has taken over Croatia at some time in its past.

Diocletians Palace is a Roman ruined town in itself. 3000 live in it, so it is a living mesuem. At night, having a coffee on the steps facing the still standing facade was a great experience. The footpaths of the towns we have visited have all been paved in marble, and one can't dismiss the fact thet this is the same marble those Romans were walking on. And while talking about beauty the tourists are dressed immacuately from Italy, Germany and France. We stayed in rooms which were in an apartment block only a couple of km from the coast. That gave us a lot of exercise. we are eating and drinking well. Seafood is abundant, so we have been taking advantage of being on the coast and eating lots of it. The beer is great. The Dalmatian ham, similar to prosciutto, and cheese are fantastic. Yum..


One thing we have found in Croatia is relatively slow internet and most do not allow access via USB ports, but at last we have found one will be able we hope to upload some pictures. We landed at Zadar and managed to taxi to our accommodation, which was right on the coast and from the balcony we could see the ocean. In the morning as we walked around Zadar we found that the water was incredibly clear and clean and there were plenty of fish. No fishing rods, bait or fridge to keep them in though. As we walked we could hear some haunting "music". Located right on the water front was the source of the music, seahorns, which made organ like noises with the action of the waves. Very impressive. There were also many Roman ruins. We travelled by bus to Split and what beautiful scenery. There were so many small coves and villages, each with their own marinas. And so many boats. We would love to know what they do with all of the old boats as these were all new and big. The buildings are all creamy white with orange terracotta tiles. It is all very uniform and picturesque. The land is very rocky and stony. Lots of walls made with grey stones everywhere

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Blue, blue Adriatic Sea

We left Scotland, reluctantly and travelled with Adam and Eva to Croatia. You have to love Ryan Air with their .01p flights. We arrived in Zadar after following the beautiful coastline. It would have to be one of the nicest approaches to a country. Through customs and off to our accommodation in a villa that we had prebooked. The host was very friendly and helpful and after we had settled in drove us to a restaurant where we ate croatian style pizzas. Next day we explored the old town of Zadar and then travelled on to Split by bus. The road was very scenic, it was a 3 hour trip, but passed very quickly. The road followed the coast and we sighted many small villages and towering cliffs and lovely little bays. The seas must be the bluest that you are likely to see anywhere. The buildings are mainly white with red or orange tiles. Beautiful. There are still Roman ruins in Split and many cafes abound. We walked many kilometres and rested with nice coffee. Europeans love their ice cream and we have had some great flavours.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sunny Scotland

Photo : Just to prove we were in Scotland Adam and Eva's accommodation
Five flights later and some 30 odd hours and several meals later, at last we land at Glasgow airport. We wandered into the Arrivals lounge and there was the reason for our trip. Adam and Eva were there waiting for us. Many hugs and cuddles later we were in their rental car and headed off to Inveraray. Scotland, everything is beautiful and green and as a sign of things to come, we had the windscreen wipers on for the entire length of the trip. The drive there was spectacular with Lochs and steep mountains, bare of any vegetation above the snow line . The pines and the fir trees were very pretty. As we rounded the bend coming into their village it was fantastic to see the pure white painted buildings with black slate tiled roofs fronting onto the Loch Fyne. What a sight that was. After seeing their photos and hearing all about were they were living we were actually there. They are both looking great. Lost a fair amount of weight... not that they were overweight but they have toned up. Eva has lost a couple of dress sizes and Adam has lost his dresses and now wears kilts exclusively.... only joking. Our first afternoon we walked to their castle, well, not actually theirs but the Duke of Argyll's and he and his family still live there for part of the year. We knew we were in Scotland then. It is quite a forboding sight to come across in the misty rain. There were babbling brooks and much water everywhere. Everything is so green.The bluebells are out. Whole fields of them. It is so pretty. Very hard to describe how stunning it is here. The loch is a sea water one and is affected by the tides, the water rises and falls a fair bit and mussels and weed abound. We have been eating well, probably too well. The George hotel where they work has great meals, last night mussels in provencale sauce for about #6, but there were about 30 or 40 good size mussels. Yesterday Thursday Adam worked in the day until 6 and then Eva worked from 6 to 10. We left the hotel after 10pm and it was still quite light. The sun was gone, but it was still very light. The hotel has a very family atmosphere and all the staff look after each other. Adam and a couple of others went about a km up the road to prepare a patch of ground for the growing of vegetables and herbs. The hotel wants to start using its own organic produce.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Well, time passes suddenly. It was only a short time ago there was to be a takeover of the national airline, Qantas, and there were many references to honouring the frequent flyer program. Immediately we thought, use them or lose them, that is frequent flyer points, so we decided we would have a quick trip to Scotland to see Adam and Eva, who have now been overseas for nearly 10 months. What an opportunity, we could visit Adam for his birthday in May and then visit some people that we had met in other travels. It quickly came together and we are off tomorrow 15 May with a Frequent Flyer paid trip.
We intend to visit Adam and Eva in Inveraray, Argyll, Scotland and have a quick look at the west coast of Scotland, then we are off to sunny Croatia for a fortnight before returning to a whirlwind trip of Ireland and finally Edinburgh, Scotland arriving home 15th June. Whew!! It sounds like a bit of a rush after our last few trips, but we always enjoy ourselves and each other's company, so I can picture us enjoying a lovely coffee overlooking the beautiful Adriatic Sea between all of the sight seeing.