Tag Archives: Croatia

Croatia, Dubrovnik Revisited

The water taxi took about thirty minutes to make the short journey from Mlini to Dubrovnik and even though large cruisers anchored up outside the harbour spoiled the approach the old town fortifications looked spectacular as we sailed into the harbour and once off the boat we transported into an alternative world of narrow medieval streets, magnificent buildings constructed of white Dalmatian stone and a riot of red tiled roofs.  We knew that we had all day to explore the city but we were impatient so purchased our tickets and climbed to the top of the walls for the two-kilometre walk around the magnificent tenth century guard’s walkway.

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Croatia, The Siege of Dubrovnik

The taxi left from the little harbour in the village and we waited in the already hot sunshine until it arrived at ten o’clock and then selected seats on the upper deck and sat and sweltered while we waited for it to leave.  Eventually the crew cast off and followed the coast towards the city and then we saw something unexpected and nothing like we had seen before on previous visits to Croatia, a string of war damaged bombed out hotels at regular intervals all the way to Dubrovnik.  This we learned later was the legacy of an invasion by Montenegro during the secessionist wars of the 1990s.

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Croatia, Mlini and a Croatian Beer Dilemma

It was a small and simple little shop and I quickly selected a screw cap bottle of wine but at the beer fridge I couldn’t remember from last year which one I preferred, was it Karlovačko, Ožujsko or Laško?  So I did the sensible thing and bought one of each so that I could try them all just to be sure.  Back at the room I tried the red Karlovačko first of all and it might have been that one but I knew that I couldn’t really be certain until I had sampled them all.

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Croatia, Cavtat

As usual the Easyjet flight was late taking off and also arriving so added to its statistic on late or delayed flights that Michael O’Leary delights in gloating over when he provides benchmark statistics in the Ryanair in-flight magazine each month.  Easyjet are frustratingly relaxed about flight times and I think on the whole I prefer the Ryanair approach.

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Pula, The Venetian Castle

Venetian Castle Lighthouse Croatia

After a leisurely lunch at the Orfej where the staff seemed genuinely pleased to see us again and where we would surely soon qualify for a discount loyalty card, we walked back through the quietly relaxing streets with their laid back atmosphere and we made our way to what was the only remaining site to visit, the Castle Museum which was inside the star shaped fourteenth century Venetian castle that had been upgraded by the Austro-Hungarians as a look out tower to watch over the port and the fleet in the bay below.

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Pula, The Shipyard and the City

Pula Croatia Door

Kim had determined the itinerary for today and had plotted a pleasant stroll to the coast with navigational assistance that was optimistically restricted to an aerial photograph on a tourist information pamphlet.  From the outset this looked rather challenging and an ordinance survey map would have been far more helpful but we decided to trust to a natural sense of direction and we set off on our chosen route.

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Pula, The Meat, Fish and Vegetable Markets

Pula Croatia Vegetable Market

We woke to a fine morning and after the usual continental breakfast we went out into the town to visit the market that was close by.  There was an outside area with rows of colourful pitches with stalls straining under the weight of fruit and vegetables all presented for purchase in an untidy but satisfying way but the best part of the market was the covered building constructed of iron and glass which housed the butchers and the delicatessens and best of all the fishmongers.

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Pula, Amphitheatre and other Roman Ruins

Arch of Sergii, Pula, Croatia

I have to say that the town didn’t look especially interesting or picturesque as we walked along a busy industrialised harbour front that was fronted with bleak marine associated offices and was sadly without bars and cafés, but things improved as we walked back from the dockside and into main town street behind and we found a pleasant looking restaurant called the café Orfej advertising very reasonably priced meals.

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Pula, Croatia

Pula Croatia

A week or two after returning from Riga there had been a very minor snow fall over the south of England, certainly no more than a flake or two, but predictably this had resulted in total travel chaos and the motorways and the airports had been brought to a ridiculous standstill.  I had contrasted this with the heavy snowfall in Riga on the day that we arrived that had been dealt with quickly, efficiently and caused no disruption to transport arrangements at all.

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Croatia, Primosten

Continuing north with the Dinaric Alps soaring above us inland and catching the clouds as they rushed in from the sea we stopped again at Primošten, not because there was anything in particular to see there but just because we liked it there.

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