ok, so, when deciding to visit a country, you gather quite some information on the places to visit, you take a virtual photo tour somehow of everything in your itinerary. and you get a point. usually, a good vibe on what's to come. but when the real thing surprises you even more, then the amazing feeling you had before leaving it's far more intense.
yeah, this is me excited about it even before telling the story.
and actually, we didn't do anything out of the ordinary. i didn't go scuba diving or snorkeling or other things like that, which i wanted to, but it was great. and the best thing for me was definitely the clear blue greeny water. i mean, the cities, split, dubrovnik, hvar, zagreb, trogir, plitvice (the park) were just great. but the water...you couldn't get me out of there. not to mention the simple pleasure of laying down on your back with your feet in the water.
no sandy beaches, as you might know, except for a few ones, no tons of chairs on a sqm, no fancy shmansy people to look over your shoulder. mountains on one side and the city on the other. in the middle, the sea, the pebbles and me, of course.
after driving for more than 15 hours, the reward was at least gratifying.
as for the road, that's because we listened to the stupid GPS, which followed some route of its own, through Serbia, Bosnia and then Croatia. so imagine showing the passports for quite a few times and also staying properly in line for quite some time. at least, we got to see a bit of sarajevo and a lot more of the destroyed buildings.
arriving in Split was like the biggest accomplishment. good thing with the nice apartment (close to the center) and the good late pizza that put us to rest unil 10 am. just enough to admire the diocletian's palace the next day, the tiny streets and the beautiful city of split.
as split had been reserved one night only, our second stop was Hvar. the island and of course the city. our reservation this time was in Basina, somehow further away from the Hvar city.
due to some technical problems, we didn't get to that apartment. this is the only thing i am sorry about (besides drowning my canon camera shield :)) , as it looked like staying in a house just in front of the sea.
we got to stay with this strange woman instead, in her own apartment, with sheets that didn't seem to had been changed for a while, with the most strange smell in the bathroom and the clothes laying around everywhere. that was quite terrifying, but we survived. i think it's the only night in my life when i didn't moved an inch in my position in bed. slept like a stone. but a stone with the hearing sense way too developed. as i felt i was hearing things most of the time. God! good thing we got out of that one.
although the woman was quite funny in her own way and the experience seems now a funny one also.
unfortunately, we didn't have much choice. after looking for an apartment or anything to stay in Hvar -and of course, not finding any- when we saw the woman with the poster saying 'room to rent', we didn't hesitate. maybe we hesitated a bit when she climbed us all the way to this apartment at the end of the world.
in the end, we thought we should have decided to sleep on the so called beach, on some chairs they had. pure nature would have been better than silent fear.
the city and the views compensated though the accommodation. we also took a trip to the island of Brac - in Bol, with this nice captain called Rade, which proved to be very helpful as well (when he helped us with another route to go and take the ferry instead of coming back to Hvar). Brac was surprisingly beautiful. i would have expected just another island. but the the little forest leading your way to the beach, the nice people with their lovely houses with garden along, the serenity feeling, the sculptures here and there, the strategic benches placed in order to have a constant view of the sea and the way the shades cross the trees on the island, made me change my opinion.
nb: the ferries from split to hvar are very crowded this time of year. your only choice is to take it from Split to Stari grad and then from Stari grad, take the bus to Hvar.
as for the schedule, it's here. one trip is around 6 euros (42 kunas). if you want to carry your car along, that makes for about 40 euros.
in Dubrovnik we had a better treatment with the apartment (dubrovnik summer apartments) as it was newly built and decorated. therefore i recommend it with pleasure: the apartment with the nice balcony and the interesting paintings, the owner - andrea, the restaurant downstairs, Bueno, everything was very nice.
and the city was a delight. it was breathing mediterranean all through the coast. besides visiting the center, the old town, the cathedral, the little squares, the palace, the fortress walls, it's more than recommended to wander around, make a left, make a right and see where it gets you. you might arrive in some one's garden, but that's not a problem. maybe they'll serve you the great dessert, gibanica and you're feel more than spoiled.
we had to cross off the list Motovun, Pula, Korcula island, Lopud island, even Ljubljana (as i thought we would have the time), but then again, Croatia is just 1000 and so km away and doesn't leave anywhere.
if you go, have your own nice trip to Croatia!
other phtotos, on facebook.