Saturday, 29 August 2015

02/08/2015 - 28/08/2015 - Croatia - Montenegro - Croatia

02/08/2015 - Rijeka, Croatia

Well we made it safely across the border and headed into the town of Rijeka - for an overnight stopover.  It was a really cute little town.

03/08/2015 - 05/05/2015 - Plitvick National Park, Croatia

After leaving Rijeka behind I let Dave know that we have just over a 2 hour drive to get to the National Park where we are booked in for two nights.  Well it should of been just over 2 hours, but one of us used the wrong address - it was for our next stop in Trogir.  At least I didn't get all the way there before I realised my mistake we had only past the National Park turn-off by 50kms - not much really, only added 100kms to the journey. Mmm the Big Fella wasn't impressed - yep you guessed it I still haven't let it down and I don't think I will for a while.  He is calling for his old navigator back - 'Callum'.

So after a lot of huffing and puffing like only the Big Fella could, and me making promises on how I could make it up to him we made it to our accommodation.

The National Park was stunning.

05/08/2015 - 12/08/2015 - Okrug Donji, Croatia

Yes - first thing Dave says to me when we get in the car - have I got the right address in - I guess I deserved this, and will be hearing it for a while.  As we are driving along all I can say is yes Dave you've seen this before - yes Dave more than once, yes Dave from both sides - oh the penance...

We are staying in Okrug Donji for a week of relaxation - we have been doing it tough and thought we deserved a break.  And what a bonus to find we have two bedrooms - I really will get a break.  The Big Fella is happy too, he has a TV in his room with some English Channels.

We have a good view looking down onto the beach, whilst it is great to be up on the hill for the views, the walk back up the hill isn't so great when you need to get home.  Well they call it a beach, to me a beach needs sand - and there isn't a lot of that around - lots of pebbles and rocks - so I've started wearing shoes when I go swimming.  The water is still magnificent.  The temperature is around 28 degrees and it is unbelievably crystal clear.

Dave has been doing an excellent job of driving, I have been amazed at how he has been able to get us out of some dead end streets and what they refer to over here as a street is really a small lane way to us.  But unfortunately, his luck ended when an older guy was driving down one of these so called streets and obviously couldn't see the white line, he was way over our side and there was nothing that the Big Fella could do, we were lucky just to escape with a bumped side mirror.

We have had a couple of day trips from here to Trogir and Zadar.  Both lovely coastal towns.

The family whose apartment we stayed in have been ever so welcoming, especially the 7year old boy - so Callum you will be happy to know your birthday present (bat and ball set) has found a very happy home - oh and Karls that McDonalds hat that you must of accidentally left here has also found a happy home.

On leaving we did receive a bottle of home made fruit brandy 'Rakia' with honey in it - yep just what I need more alcohol and sugar.  Apparently Rakia is 40% alcohol - think we will be drinking this one slowly.

The drive to Mali Ston was just one of the best we have done - the scenery was mesmerising.

13/8/2015 - 14/08/2015 - Mali Ston, Croatia

We had a one night stop over in Mali Ston, a town known for its oysters - and yep they were good.

We went to a little beach called Prapratno Beach for a morning swim, it is just amazing the clearness of the water and the temperature.

13/08/2015 - 15/08/2015 - Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dave wasn't too excited about going to Dubrovnik (he said whats to see or is just another Old Town) until I told him that this is where they have shot some scenes from Game of Thrones - I haven't been able to get into the series, but Dave just loves it.  Our first night here, we wandered around the local beach (this one was cement) and up to the promenade for dinner oh and ice cream - when we were leaving the ice cream parlour I heard a couple of heavy thumps, I quickly looked around to find the Big Fella had just caught himself from falling.  He did twist his back and knee but at least he did gather some composure and didn't fall like a bag of shit, and didn't spill his ice cream.

The next day we wandered into the old town and did get to see all the sights the Big Fella wanted to see from the Game of Thrones Series, it was just way to hot for us, around 42 degrees and there wasn't any breeze at all in the old town and it was crowded.  So home to the air-conditioning we went, we had planned on going back in later, but never quite made it, down to the local promenade for dinner.  The Big Fella needed to rest his back and knee so this was a good excuse as well.

We have both decided that Dubrovnik Old Town has been one of our favourites so far.  So the next day we decided to go on a Kayaking / Snorkelling trip to see it from the sea.  We have had no wind and really hot days so far but not today there has been a lot of wind, so they have had to adjust our course. Of course we go to get into our kayak, and they tell us to wait, we need a bigger Kayak - mmm so they bring out the Queen Mary of Kayaks.  It was a great day out and we kayaked about 5kms, so a bit of exercise as well.  The Big Fella kept asking me to not adjust the tempo that I was kayaking, hey I have no rhythm so what does he expect. So I had to keep counting 1, 2 in my head to try and maintain some consistency.

15/08/2015 - Dubrovnik - Split - Dubrovnik, Croatia cruise.

Our arrival onto the boat saw a few clouds and a forecast for storms for the next day or two - mmm I don't seem to have much luck with cruises - but on the other hand we are happy to have some cooler weather.  Our first night was a meet and greet with everyone.  The Cruise that we are on fits 38 people and is booked out.  About half the people on this cruise are Australians or New Zealanders.

16/08/2015 - Dubrovnik - Mjlet National Park

The morning brings with it a cloudy day, and forecasts of storms - which we can clearly see from the ship.  So the hatches are battoned down and of we cruise.

We visited the Mjlet National Park, the weather hadn't cleared up and we were still experiencing rain.  So after our walk into the National Park, we went back to the boat had our showers, settled into the back deck with a couple of friends, Len and Leanne from Melbourne, and started drinking.  We had planned on going to dinner a bit earlier than when we went.  But it seemed every time we finished our drinks it would start raining, so we ordered another one - needless to say the next morning was a slow start.

17/08/2015 - Mjlet National Park to Hvar

On our way to Hvar we got a quick stop for a swim in the lovely Adriatic Sea. 

Hvar is known as the party island and as soon as we get near to the dock the music is rocking and there are a lot of people dancing on tables etc..  This is one place I think you should visit when you are younger and definitely not have a hangover for your first day at least. 

We had a tour of Hvar City before settling down for a lovely steak dinner.

18/08/2015 - Hvar to Split

Unfortunately, we wake to another day of rain - we had originally planned at having a stop over on the Island of Brac and visit Bol - which is apparently one of the best beaches in Croatia - but the weather is not looking good so straight to Split.  We were disappointed as this was to be a highlight for us.  Of course on our tour of Hvar we were told that they expect rain on the 15th and /or 16th August - mmm no wonder there is no Croatians on this cruise.

19/08/2015 - Split - Pucisca -Makarksa

After another swimming stop near Pucisca, the cruise takes us to Makarksa.  Where yet again we eat and drink too much (the fish that we had was Lubin and it was excellent - it was the best fish I have had in Croatia).  Leanne and I were the only ones up drinking Baileys on Ice at midnight when they shut the bar.

20/08/2015 - Makarksa - Omis - Korcula

Another day on the beautiful Dalmatia coast, with a stopover in Omis and then an overnight stopover in Korcula.  Korcula is reportedly the birth place of Marco Polo.

21/08/2015 - Korcula to Dubrovnik

Our final leg of our cruise took us back to Dubrovnik.  We had a restful day before heading out to dinner to a great restaurant with Leanne and Len.

22/08/2015 - Dubrovnik, Croatia to Kotor, Montenegro

After saying goodbye to everyone and getting back to our car to find out that a bottle of alcohol had spilt in the boot of the car - so now our car smells like a brewery.

22/08/2015 - 28/08/2015 - Montenegro

Our drive into Montenegro was a bit longer than expected the delays at the border crossing into Montenegro cost us about an hour - but we were so glad we weren't going the other way, it looked like they had a good 4 hour wait.  We settled ourselves into Kotor for the next 5 days.

For the rest of our time here we drove along the coast line, swam, ate and drank - oh and we did talk about loosing some weight before we get home.  Some of the beaches are ridiculously crowded with umbrella and deck chairs - you can hire them for about $15.00 a day - unbelievably expensive for here.  We did have another delicious fish dinner - their local salted fish.  It is baked in the oven in an enormous amount of salt.  When it is taken out the salt is caked on about 1inch thick and they remove this be cracking and scraping and pouring cognac over the top to soften.

Karma found me , after Dave's near fall on the steps in Croatia, I was walking up the uneven concrete steps in Kotor with arms full of shopping bags, and all of a sudden I came crashing down - no grace whatsoever - so I did end up with a couple of scraped shins....

On our drive back into Croatia we decided to catch the car ferry across the Bay of Kotor which cuts down our travelling time by about an hour - which made both of us happy as the roads and drivers in Montenegro leave a lot to be desired - it has definitely been the worst country for driving.

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