Thursday, November 29, 2012

Touring Croatia - The final part

I found Opatija a rather noisy city and when fireworks went off at midnight the first night we slept there, I got quite a fright.  With reminders of the war all over the country I didn't know what to expect and believe it or not, friend Karin, slept through it all.  There I was not knowing whether to run in my PJ’s without her, wake her up to run with me……. No one knows where the two of us would run to or just await death in a hotel room.

Half past 8 our bus left for Pula where we had a stunning tour guide, Erika, taking us to the amphitheater.

Done here we went further to Rovijn where Erika went on to tell us all about St Eufemia in whose honor a church was built.  This was a Christian girl who was fed to the lions because of her religion and according to the stories even though the lions killed her, they never ate her but only licked her feet.

Then it was back to Opatija where with its 12 km long promenade running next to the Adriatic ocean.

Back in Opatija we decided we had to try out a shooter Erika told us about called Meditsa and had time to enjoy our last day as tourists in Croatia which obviously included a couple more foreign drinks.

After an extremely early rise the following day, we drove back to Trogir to catch our flight to Istanbul.  There we had to wait for more than 10 hours for our connecting flight to Johannesburg which meant Turkish airlines provided us with a hotel in Istanbul.  This we hardly used as we wanted to explore what we could for the short while we've been there.

 Not much happening on a Sunday in Istanbul though (when you don’t have your own transport I suppose) so we settled for drinks in the hotel garden.  Fellow Bloemfonteiner, Marti was clued up about the drinks and we tried as many as we could.

Home sweet home, touching money we’re familiar with and quitting our drinking habits before the men got to fetch us!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Touring Croatia - Part 16

We could at least sleep late one morning as our bus only left for Stari Grad at 10 am.

 From there another 2 hour ferry trip to Split and on this ferry Karin didn't feel too good and took a tablet from Rina.  Big mistake…… she slept where and whenever she could after this!

 This ferry was even bigger than the first and we could sit (sleep) indoors.

Done with the ferry it was back on the bus immediately to drive 5 hours to Opatija but luckily we had a pitstop in Krka again to enjoy lunch.

We only got to Opatija late that evening traveling past ongoing rocky land and uncountable tunnels running through these!

Again Karin and I had an amazing room in the Hotel Palace-Bellevue with a balcony overlooking the town.  And the hotel beds got even closer……

The hotel was build where a small river originally ran but due to ongoing building this was stopped in its flow . The foyer of the hotel however was built to show where the river used to run into the lake and eventually the ocean.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Touring Croatia - Part 15

We got up at 5 am or as Karin would say, in the middle of the night, to have our breakfast at 06:15 as we left again by bus to Drvenik.  The first thing to do at any stop was to find a Wi-Fi hotspot to update the families of what we were up to.

From Drvenik we took a ferry to the island Sucuraj.  Not using ferries in South Africa seeing our bus come along on the ferry was really amazing.

Views from the ferry.

Once we arrived in Sucuraj we went by bus further to Hvar which was a nightmare of a road especially on a bus! Here we did a little sightseeing and had a drink.

We then got back on our bus to travel to Jelsa where we’d spend the night.  We had time to take a walk on a beach but the little pebbles (being used to sandy beaches) hurt like hell. 

After exploring the area around the hotel, we had a couple of drinks and here Karin can be seen contacting husband number 2 before dinner.

In every hotel our beds got closer and closer together.  We should just have shared a double bed, not that I think sleeping with someone who covers your face with her pillow during the night, is that much fun. Doesn't she look lonely here?  I think she missed husband number 1.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Touring Croatia - Part 14

The next morning we had a guided tour to see the old part of Dubrovnik and I always take photos like these just to help me find my way around – getting lost is one of my specialties.

Dubrovnik was founded by Roman refugees and this old fort with its hanging bridge was built to protect Dubrovnik against the Venetian forces.

Inside the Dubrovnik Museum

In 1667 a huge earthquake hit the country and many of the old buildings were destroyed but there was still many more left for us to admire.

We took a glass bottomed boat ride from where we could see the land from a different angle.

And then a little sad history.

Done with the guided tour we traveled to Cavtat and after browsing through the local shops we started cocktail tasting.

Mellow enough after this we sat waiting for our bus before we headed back to Dubrovnik as we had an extra early start planned for the next day.