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There are 1244 Islands in Croatia - Senior Travel with Karen (kk)

On the ferry ride from Hvar, we were surprised to learn there are 1244 islands in Croatia.  All beautiful!  Dubrovnik has a population of about 42,000 and is not as old as Split, BUT still very old in USA terms🤪. This “old” town has been surrounded by a rock wall since the 1500s.

Senior Travels with kk and Dian

History says if a person wanted to live within the walls, they must bring 2 eggs and a rock as payment.  The eggs were mixed with sand and used as the mortar to build the rock wall.  Within the walls are hundreds of alleys with shops, bakeries, gelato stores, small restaurants, bars and churches.  You never know what you’ll find down an alley but it’s impossible to get lost in the maze because they all dead-end at the Wall.

This town and its surrounding area is where the major films like Star Wars, Robin Hood and Game of Thrones were

filmed.  It has become a cruise ship destination and to avoid  overcrowding within the walls, they passed a law in 2019 that allows a maximum of 2 cruise ships a day to dock.  Our apt was about 3 miles from Old Town in front of the

Marina.  Of course, we were upstairs …better view.  AND, I must mention our huge balcony… plenty of room to air your laundry (no dryers in most of Europe) and spend a lazy afternoon lounging and enjoying the view of the water and boats after a heavy morning of sightseeing.  There was a small eatery next door, Peppers, that actually made margaritas (or tried their best) and had great food that we sampled multiple times in 3 days.  We ventured out via a Tuk-Tuk to see the surrounding area and learn a little history.  

The Bridge they built in 2002 was very impressive and it lights up over the water and can be seen clearly from the city at night. Napoleon took over in 1801 and we saw the rock walls constructed specifically for Napoleon’s army to do target practice.  This “hill” was also where the Serbian army in Bosnia fired their cannons down on the Old Town starting in 1991, but since Dubrovnik Old Town is a UNESCO protected city, the United Nations got involved.  Luckily, the Croatians won in 1995 and got their independence.  If you choose not to ride up in a car or a Tuk-Tuk, there’s a cable car that runs up the mountain…most of the year.

Season starts May 1 and it gets extremely crowded.  April weather is best and no crowds, but some shops and services are not yet open.  And, the locals say May & June are the prettiest with all their wildflowers blooming.  The entire coast is lined with yellow bushes….some had already started to bloom.

Fun facts…           

•           It Snows about every 10 years…2017 was the last time.            

  •           2 types of honking…short beep means “thank you” & long honking mean they are calling you ugly names.

What would a trip be without stepping out of your comfort zone…. This trip will be marked by crossing over the border to Bosnia.  We even had a hard time finding a driver, although it’s only a little more than an hour away.  We quickly learned, there’s no problem going in to Bosnia (which is part of the Republic of Serbia) …but bribery (not money…juice 🙃) is involved to get back into Croatia.  We had researched a small family vineyard, Andelic Vinski Podru,  that had been in business 20 years, and located not far over the border …and once our driver finally found it (after a few dead-ends) we were not disappointed. The winery wasn’t open for season yet but let us come in and taste.  They produce 350,000 liters a year…and it was great wine.  

Our bags are just getting too heavy to carry any more wine home😛One thing I always look for when traveling is local jewelry.  Croatia is famous for Filigree jewelry…filigree is metal work created by molding a length of wire, usually gold or silver, into an ornate pattern or ball.  Dating back over 5,000 years the traditional Croatian Filigree ball pieces were worn by the Etruscans, Ancient Greeks and the Romans. The last 3 days have been fun & memorable, but time to move on.  Next stop…Sicily.



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