A Travellerspoint blog

Korcula

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The ferry to Korcula was a good one taking about 1.5 hours for a cost of 50 kuna ($8.00) per person. Great value. We arrived at 8 pm and darkness had fallen. The harbour was lit up and provided a nice backdrop to the city which spread out behind it. We had a rough idea which way to go to get to our hotel so off we went. The Park Hotel is on the harbours edge opposite the ferry terminal area up a hill and by night it has a nice perspective. We checked in not knowing what to expect after our Travel Agent from Hells previous efforts coupled with Trip Advisor comments. Yes it is old. Yes it is in need of major work ( reception told us they are closing down soon) But it seems comfortable and our view from our balcony looks over the harbour and looks lovely at night. We headed back out after dropping the cases in our room to a little eatery we saw on the way to the hotel and had the best pizza we have eaten for a long time. This coupled with a beer for me and Celeste with a Mogito saw us content for the evening. We awoke to the sound of Church bells ringing and looked out onto a bay glistening in the morning sunshine. Breakfast was O.K. then we headed for the Old Town over the other side of the harbour. You guessed it, another old rambling set of laneways and walls with shops and accomodation tucked in. Very ancient, very interesting. Cobblestone paths and roads certainly make for fun wandering and adds to the feel of the whole town. Worn out and hot we headed back to our accomodation, changed then headed for a sun lounge by the waters edge below our room. No sand, just smooth pebbles running into the turquoise water.The water is crystal clear and in we went. Bracing cold at first then we found it was not that bad after all and we floated around as the water makes us very bouyant due to the heavy salt content. Sunning ourselves we reflected on where we are and felt very fortunate indeed. Must be time for a drink so off we went to the eatery from last night for a beer, Mogito and pizza. Mmmmm just as good as we remembered. The afternoon rolled into the evening and as darkness fell on this lovely day we changed then headed out for dinner ( and a drink, maybe another Mojito for Celeste ) It must be the mint in the drink!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Last day in Korcula
Today was a very busy day. Awoke to a warm 30c for the day ahead. Breakfast in a little cafe in town followed by a walk then back to the hotel for a swim in the sea. Being Saturday the local kids were out in force playing in the water and having fun. By the afternoon the adults had made it to the pebbly beaches. We rallied for some lunch at Celeste's mojito stop then a rest. Dinner then we are done. Korcula has been a lovely stop for us with friendly people and a quaint, seaside aspect. It was interesting to find out that from October to June there is not much activity on the island as ferries are cut back due to winter and a lack of tourists. Hard to figure from my perspective as the weather stays mild according to the locals with winds being the main nuisance. All in all a lovely place to stay. Dubrovnik here we come.

Posted by pjandc 18:40 Comments (0)

Hvar

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All packed after a better nights sleep. Either we got used to the drunk Croatian men under our window or they left early. 11 am for Catamaran trip to Hvar. This is one big boat as it held about 300 people and luggage. Leaving Split we looked back and it was a picture with its Mountain backdrop, old buildings, large liners and boats on blue water. The trip took about 1.5 hours and we cruised into Hvar Harbour. It is a haven for yachties and lots of them were docked and looking for berths with the Port Authority guy going up and down the dock on a Segway turning them away to deeper water. Boy was there a few unhappy skippers! They were only letting Catamarans or small boats moor at dock due to stability of masts if the weather turned and they started to bang into one another. I digress. Our Travel Organizer, who is as useful as a holey bucket, gave us the wrong address. We jumped in a cab and up into the hillside we went. Hang on a minute, this accom is supposed to be near the harbour with a seaview. After beating the mountain goats to the top we found our accomodation thanks to the Cabbie who recognized the name of the owner! The accomodation is sparse but comfortable, and we did walk down to the harbour and back again with supplies after looking around. But! it is really a yachties stop over and although very pretty it does not warrant a two night stay in my opinion or three days in our case as the travel agent had not worked the transfers properly. The ferries only leave of an evening to Korcula. If you visit Hvar make sure you get accomodation at the harbour as it is mountainous anywhere else. So we bit the bullet, bought a ticket out of here on tomorrow afternoons ferry for Korcula and we will leave a day early than planned. We are looking on the bright side but so far any downside we have encountered has been when we let the Travel Agent suggest and book for us. Mmmmm she has booked Korcula for us too! It is frustrating as we used a Specialist Croation Travel agent for this leg to make sure ferry connections and locations were going to work for us but we have ended up doing a lot of adjustments ourselves.

Hvar Day 2

As predicted by Segway guy yesterday it blew for most of the night and I wonder how the yachties he turned away fared. Still gusty this morning but a sunny day predicted. All packed we took a walk to the swimming area at the bottom of our mountain before going to the ferry for the trip to Korcula later this afternoon. The walk was very nice as we skirted the bottom of the mountain and wandered along the foreshore. People swimming, walking and sunbathing in the warm sunshine. No sand , just rock and pebbles to sit or lie on with a guy selling Sun Bed spots along the shoreline. Aparently there are sea urchins along the Coast and many swimmers wore boat shoes into swim.

Posted by pjandc 18:37 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Split

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Sufficiently recovered we bid Plitvice Lakes goodbye, loaded the cases into the buzz box and set Gavinshka on her next target, Split. 3.5 hours was the time and away we went. Around the lakes national park and onto windy roads past small villages then onto the highway. These guys know how to build highways!! No mucking about 2 or 3 lanes each way and if there is a mountain in the way then we go through it. One such tunnel went for 6 kilometres and you don't slow down ( sorry I meant you slow down to 100kms). The scenery went from thick forest to Mountain Range then back to forest with towns dotted along the way. We also saw in the distance an amazing mountain range that we would skirt around and through. Meanwhile Gavinshka let us go and buzz box settled in at about 120kms. The kilometres screamed by and the terrain started to turn rocky and sparse about 1 hour out of Split. Gavinshka came back into the game and we turned off the highway after 180 kilometres and we came to the outskirts of Split. At first we saw industry and grey buildings in desolate surroundings then it turned into a town.We turned a corner and there was the ocean. Gavinshka was working hard now as we are staying in the "Old town " which is alleys and small one way streets. It was hard driving while going oooh and aaah but we made it. We found the car rental office and said goodbye to buzz box and made our way to the Old Town which was a 3 minute walk. We were very close to our accomodation but mildly confused so we stopped a guy to check directions. Turned out he was an Aussie who had lived here for 20 years. He jumped on his phone to ring our apartment and above our heads a young girl stuck her head out of a second storey shuttered window and waved at us, we are getting good at this! The apartment is lovely and is in a great location with restaurants, small alleys and tucked away shops all around us and we are on the edge of Diocletians Palace. Nida (the owners daughter ) showed us through the apartment then took us on a tour of the area and marked a few of her favourite haunts. The place is a rabbit warren of old old old houses and cobblestoned streets and it will be great fun to get lost in. The harbour is only 3 minutes away and is teeming with cruise liners and boats. They leave in the afternoons for their next destination and the town is left to the locals and a few of us lucky ones that can stay a few days.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 2. Exploring
Ventured out to dinner last night and it was a warm balmy evening. Every one seems to be out on the streets just sitting or socializing. We had a delightful local dish called Pasticada. It was beef in a rich sauce and gnocci, very filling. A local beer and I was done in. Slow walk along the harbour and back to the apartment. It seems to be a mans world here as many cafes and bars are full of locals drinking beer or coffee all day and into the evening. Lots of local women have very nice shoes! This morning we had breakfast in the Palace square. It is a very warm morning and is due to get to 28. After people watching for a while we headed off into the lane ways. Diocletions Palace is not what I imagined. It is the walls, alley ways, squares and rooms of a Palace built thousands of years ago that have become inhabited by a new generation of Croations. It is facinating and a hive of activity but as you wander you can only imagine what it would have been like living here all those years ago. The harbour this morning has 3 cruise ships and a massive sailing ship in port with their cargo of tourists spending up for the day. Eating and drinking is not a problem as every nook and cranny is used but it has not lost its charm. Some of the small lane ways have washing hanging way up overhead which adds to the atmosphere. We stumbled down an alleyway and found the oldest Jewish Synagogue still active in Europe. It was built in 804ad. The Palace walls housed many individual courtyards and dwellings of various Princes from over the years. The afternoon was spent wandering the alleyways and along the harbour. We did think about getting more adventurous and walking a bit further afield but it was only a fleeting thought. Out to dinner and magical Split is almost done. Ferry to Hvar tomorrow.

Posted by pjandc 18:36 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia

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A leisurely breakfast in this lovely Hotel Lectar then off to Plitvice Lakes. Gav the Nav is now known as Gavinshka with an english accent as its a she who must be obeyed! Set off and Gavinshka said 3.5 hours to our destination. With Celeste relaxing as the kilometres click by, the scenery unfolded. It is beautiful with many small villages along the way dotting the landscape and each with a church and spire.The highway system is brilliant in Slovenia and buzz box is settling in at 120kms with not to much shaking ( I am talking about the car not Celeste ). Stopped at a checkpoint, passports stamped and we leave Slovenia and enter Croatia. Cars whistle along as the speed limit is 130 with many doing more than that. I am glad we bought Gavinshka as it would have been more difficult despite what we were told about finding our way around. Up up into the mountains we go and after winding around ravines and curving slopes we get our first encounter of what is to come. A river and a waterfall that flowed under a house. Go figure but Celeste said it was impressive as I was told "keep your eyes on the road ". Arrive at Plitvice Hotel on the edge of the Plitvice Lakes, checked in and had a drink. Should be a great day of exploring tomorrow.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Lakes

Today we walked Plitvice Lakes system both upper and lower. It was an early start as we wanted to try and beat the hoards that would be arriving. It was exquisite. The boardwalks are made of felled logs and it winds up and down valleys, across streams and through dense forest. You can go from silence to the sound of rushing water at the turn of a corner. The park is clean and very serene. Although the main falls were not flowing as hard as in the middle of winter it was still very beautiful. The walk took us about 4 hours and was well worth the effort. The Birch forest has just started to turn colour and they look very pretty with some a golden hue. After the 10 klm trek we retired to the hotel for a well earned rest ( and drink).

Posted by pjandc 18:31 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Radovljika

A Car, A Destination, A Challenge


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The day started full of expectation then bang!! "so sorry no sat nav " Its easy for directions! Rubbish.. We searched all around and finally we found a Garmin retailer. We bought a Sat Nav. It only took 2 hours of frustration and a truck boring up my rear end on a street where I was making a turn from the wrong side of the road,the side I am used to, with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car! We set off again tentativley at first then got into the groove. Hey nothing like motoring along at 130 in a shoebox! For the record I wanted a Porche...... we got a Suzuki Swift. Anyhow it is reliable so far. Along the way Sat Nav cracked the sads so instead of checking in to our accomodation we went to see Lake Bled. The journey there was spectacular with mountains,ravines and small towns. Lake Bled is beautiful and after calming down we took a boat out to the island. The scenery was really pretty with the Alps in the background and the water still warm from the summer sun, glistening an opaque blue.We went into the sweet church and rang the bell then decended the stairs back to our boat. Off we went with Sat Nav, now known as Gav the Nav in control. Down the mountain we went along beautiful scenery and feeling a bit more in control. Radovljica was only 15 minutes away according to Gav the Nav then he took us on a tour! Gav was suspended from duty and we asked a local. We found our accomodation eventually ( this will make for another story some day ) and it is absolutley fantastic. Pension Lectar is a family run establishment that is in the old square of Radovljica and it has a working gingerbread shop in the basement that is over 200 years old. Our room has a terrace that looks out onto the valley and across the Austrian Alps. Magnificent!!! The day has been very mixed but right now looking over this beautiful scene it sets the world right. Tonight is beer and dinner in the restaurant downstairs and with baited breath we will head for Plitvice Lakes tomorrow. Gav the Nav better get his act together or we may sack him.
STOP PRESS.. Had the most amazing meal at Hotel Lectar. Farmers meal was a taste plate full of Venison,Pork,Bratwurst, potatoe and a few other things I have no idea.

Posted by pjandc 00:10 Archived in Slovenia Comments (0)

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