24 June: Exploring coastal Croatia

Author: Mrs A

Location: Korčula, Croatia

First of all, sorry for the multiple emails coming through, those of you who are email subscribers. We are continuing to try and pinpoint the issue and will try to resolve it as soon as possible.

Monday: Our cycle for the day commenced at the wharf where we had docked, and had us riding off at 8.30am.

Before long we arrived at the town of Korčula, where we parked up our bikes and Gordy, our local host, gave us a run down of the town’s history.

The old town of Korčula – building outside of the walls was not permitted until the 1800s
Team photo in the square down by the water
Gordy explains the town’s history. In the background, H, our cycle guide
Starting our visit beside the old town walls

The town sits out on a peninsular, with the mainland a short boat ride away. Apparently it is subject to strong winds in the winter, often up to 200km/hr so the old town has been built in a herringbone pattern – allowing a breeze to filter down to all homes, but without the damaging winds.

The old town is walled, and all streets are stepped, with the exception of one road which rings the town known as ‘the street of thoughts’, where residents could walk and think without the need to watch their feet.

As we entered the town of Korčula through the gate, Gordy explained the symbolism of the lion with the book carved on a stone. The book is open, showing the town was founded in peaceful times. Had it been closed, it would have been during a time of war.

The town coat of arms featuring a lion on the entrance gateway through the walls

The town’s main claim to fame is the birthplace of Marco Polo, with strong evidence to suggest he was born in a house here, something that is hotly contended by the Italians who claim him for themselves. It seems the Marco Polo Wikipedia entry has been written by the Italians rather than the Croatians!

The cathedral of St Mark – complete with working moon clock – built 1301-1806

There are many ‘Marco Polo’ related hotels and restaurants here and in the surrounding countryside.

We had a couple of hours to explore the town, browse the jewellery stores and refresh ourselves ready for the next ride.

Coffee and a snack for some of the gang
Plenty of steps to climb up
Mr A admiring the interesting architecture – a mixture of Greek, Venetian and more
Every street has quirks and unique architecture – and not busy outside of the school holidays
Old cart wheels put to use

Looking out towards the ‘new’ town
Even the pets here are tastefully colour coordinated to fit in with the scenery
A heavily pregnant cat decides to adopt me…
‘Please don’t go!’ – clearly I am emitting ‘I love cats’ vibes!

Our time exploring up, we rode off along the coast to our next destination. While not massively steep, the coastal road was rolling hills, and again I was grateful to be on an electric bike. The way my airway is right now, there is no way I would have enjoyed riding manually without a great deal of coughing and wheezing.

A water break at Kneza

We concluded our 20km ride at Račišće (don’t ask me to pronounce it!) where the boat motored on around and met us. Lunch was soon served and we continued cruising around to the top of the island to the port at Vela Luka, where we were to spend the night.

Vela Luka as the sun sets
Sunset over Vela Luka as we disembark and head off to find dinner
Looking back towards the harbour
The town had been celebrating St Ivan’s Day and was quite lively

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore the town by day, but apparently it is famous for having a cave with evidence of human habitation from 20,000 BC – our hunter gatherer ancestors. They had a very pretty home!

We ate and retired to the boat to sleep. We’re setting off early in the morning for our next destination, Stari Grad on the island of Hvar.

24 June: Exploring coastal Croatia

Author: Mrs A

Location: Korčula, Croatia

First of all, sorry for the multiple emails coming through, those of you who are email subscribers. We are continuing to try and pinpoint the issue and will try to resolve it as soon as possible.

Monday: Our cycle for the day commenced at the wharf where we had docked, and had us riding off at 8.30am.

Before long we arrived at the town of Korčula, where we parked up our bikes and Gordy, our local host, gave us a run down of the town’s history.

The old town of Korčula – building outside of the walls was not permitted until the 1800s
Team photo in the square down by the water
Gordy explains the town’s history. In the background, H, our cycle guide
Starting our visit beside the old town walls

The town sits out on a peninsular, with the mainland a short boat ride away. Apparently it is subject to strong winds in the winter, often up to 200km/hr so the old town has been built in a herringbone pattern – allowing a breeze to filter down to all homes, but without the damaging winds.

The old town is walled, and all streets are stepped, with the exception of one road which rings the town known as ‘the street of thoughts’, where residents could walk and think without the need to watch their feet.

As we entered the town of Korčula through the gate, Gordy explained the symbolism of the lion with the book carved on a stone. The book is open, showing the town was founded in peaceful times. Had it been closed, it would have been during a time of war.

The town coat of arms featuring a lion on the entrance gateway through the walls

The town’s main claim to fame is the birthplace of Marco Polo, with strong evidence to suggest he was born in a house here, something that is hotly contended by the Italians who claim him for themselves. It seems the Marco Polo Wikipedia entry has been written by the Italians rather than the Croatians!

The cathedral of St Mark – complete with working moon clock – built 1301-1806

There are many ‘Marco Polo’ related hotels and restaurants here and in the surrounding countryside.

We had a couple of hours to explore the town, browse the jewellery stores and refresh ourselves ready for the next ride.

Coffee and a snack for some of the gang
Plenty of steps to climb up
Mr A admiring the interesting architecture – a mixture of Greek, Venetian and more
Every street has quirks and unique architecture – and not busy outside of the school holidays
Old cart wheels put to use

Looking out towards the ‘new’ town
Even the pets here are tastefully colour coordinated to fit in with the scenery
A heavily pregnant cat decides to adopt me…
‘Please don’t go!’ – clearly I am emitting ‘I love cats’ vibes!

Our time exploring up, we rode off along the coast to our next destination. While not massively steep, the coastal road was rolling hills, and again I was grateful to be on an electric bike. The way my airway is right now, there is no way I would have enjoyed riding manually without a great deal of coughing and wheezing.

A water break at Kneza

We concluded our 20km ride at Račišće (don’t ask me to pronounce it!) where the boat motored on around and met us. Lunch was soon served and we continued cruising around to the top of the island to the port at Vela Luka, where we were to spend the night.

Vela Luka as the sun sets
Sunset over Vela Luka as we disembark and head off to find dinner
Looking back towards the harbour
The town had been celebrating St Ivan’s Day and was quite lively

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore the town by day, but apparently it is famous for having a cave with evidence of human habitation from 20,000 BC – our hunter gatherer ancestors. They had a very pretty home!

We ate and retired to the boat to sleep. We’re setting off early in the morning for our next destination, Stari Grad on the island of Hvar.

24 June: Exploring coastal Croatia

Author: Mrs A

Location: Korčula, Croatia

First of all, sorry for the multiple emails coming through, those of you who are email subscribers. We are continuing to try and pinpoint the issue and will try to resolve it as soon as possible.

Monday: Our cycle for the day commenced at the wharf where we had docked, and had us riding off at 8.30am.

Before long we arrived at the town of Korčula, where we parked up our bikes and Gordy, our local host, gave us a run down of the town’s history.

The old town of Korčula – building outside of the walls was not permitted until the 1800s
Team photo in the square down by the water
Gordy explains the town’s history. In the background, H, our cycle guide
Starting our visit beside the old town walls

The town sits out on a peninsular, with the mainland a short boat ride away. Apparently it is subject to strong winds in the winter, often up to 200km/hr so the old town has been built in a herringbone pattern – allowing a breeze to filter down to all homes, but without the damaging winds.

The old town is walled, and all streets are stepped, with the exception of one road which rings the town known as ‘the street of thoughts’, where residents could walk and think without the need to watch their feet.

As we entered the town of Korčula through the gate, Gordy explained the symbolism of the lion with the book carved on a stone. The book is open, showing the town was founded in peaceful times. Had it been closed, it would have been during a time of war.

The town coat of arms featuring a lion on the entrance gateway through the walls

The town’s main claim to fame is the birthplace of Marco Polo, with strong evidence to suggest he was born in a house here, something that is hotly contended by the Italians who claim him for themselves. It seems the Marco Polo Wikipedia entry has been written by the Italians rather than the Croatians!

The cathedral of St Mark – complete with working moon clock – built 1301-1806

There are many ‘Marco Polo’ related hotels and restaurants here and in the surrounding countryside.

We had a couple of hours to explore the town, browse the jewellery stores and refresh ourselves ready for the next ride.

Coffee and a snack for some of the gang
Plenty of steps to climb up
Mr A admiring the interesting architecture – a mixture of Greek, Venetian and more
Every street has quirks and unique architecture – and not busy outside of the school holidays
Old cart wheels put to use

Looking out towards the ‘new’ town
Even the pets here are tastefully colour coordinated to fit in with the scenery
A heavily pregnant cat decides to adopt me…
‘Please don’t go!’ – clearly I am emitting ‘I love cats’ vibes!

Our time exploring up, we rode off along the coast to our next destination. While not massively steep, the coastal road was rolling hills, and again I was grateful to be on an electric bike. The way my airway is right now, there is no way I would have enjoyed riding manually without a great deal of coughing and wheezing.

A water break at Kneza

We concluded our 20km ride at Račišće (don’t ask me to pronounce it!) where the boat motored on around and met us. Lunch was soon served and we continued cruising around to the top of the island to the port at Vela Luka, where we were to spend the night.

Vela Luka as the sun sets
Sunset over Vela Luka as we disembark and head off to find dinner
Looking back towards the harbour
The town had been celebrating St Ivan’s Day and was quite lively

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore the town by day, but apparently it is famous for having a cave with evidence of human habitation from 20,000 BC – our hunter gatherer ancestors. They had a very pretty home!

We ate and retired to the boat to sleep. We’re setting off early in the morning for our next destination, Stari Grad on the island of Hvar.

22 – 23 June: Cruising Croatia!

Author: Mr A

Location: Dubrovnik, Mljet and Korčula, Croatia

Saturday: Those of us who had been out late were pretty dusty….some more than others! It was time to go and board the boat that was going to be our next mobile home for 7 days of cruising up the coast of Croatia from Dubrovnik to Split.

Our home for the next week
Someone had to try the Titanic pose…and that someone was Tim
Our top deck ensuite cabin

We settled in to our cabins and met the other passengers who would be our fellow cruisers. We moored up in a lovely bay after and threw ourselves in the azure waters of the Adriatic.

Our swimming location…not bad!

That brightened up a few of us. We then moored up in the harbour at Pomena on the island of Mljet, the largest and most forested in the Adriatic chain. Mentioned in Greek literature since the 4th century BC, it has a lovely laid back feel to it.

Our local harbour
The resident lame ginger kitten…no vets on the island so when it was hit by a car in the winter its broken leg healed crooked. He seems to get around ok on three legs and gets a huge sympathy vote from diners in all the restaurants
Dusk sets across the village
Perfect reflections
Night falling over the harbour

We found a little cafe for dinner right on the water, and the local stray cat soon found us and was suitably rewarded with chicken….happy purrs ensued.

Dave and S-J heading back to the boat for the night
OE is surprised by another birthday cake baked on board by chef Rosa
And the sun sets on our first night’s cruise

Sunday: A lovely breakfast and it was off on our bikes in one large guided group to have a poke around the national park which was a short ride down the road.

Team photo before we set off

The park contains two saltwater lakes joined by a narrow channel, and had the clearest blue water we have seen so far.

Many butterflies in the national park

It was an easy potter around the lake edge, then we had been briefed by our guide to wave a flag to call over a little boat that would ferry us over to a little island….all very cute…so we did. So that’s an island in a lake on an island. Officially this geographical phenomenon is called a “lake island” – how did they think of that?

The monastery within the lake…these days also a cafe
The boat man spots us waving the flag and comes over to collect us

A round of coffees and a quick look round the Benedictine monastery and we were off again on our ride.

Lovely architecture of the monastery
Music of monks singing is playing inside, making it very atmospheric
The monks must have had very narrow shoulders…or entered this door sideways!
A peaceful outlook across the lake from this terrace
Lovely old clematis on the walls of the monastery

We just had to have a swim in that water though before heading back to the boat.

We then motored off to our next island, Korcula, though some pretty choppy water. The crew did an admirable job of serving lunch whilst performing balancing and acrobatic manoeuvres. All very amusing.

We moored up again for another swim off Karcula Island. I’ve never been a great lover of throwing myself in. We live off a fantastic beach in Sydney and can go for a whole summer without swimming in the ocean, but on this trip I’m really enjoying it. The water is just so clear and inviting, plus there’s no nasties lurking underneath like in Australia.

Tom leaps off into the water

Our night was spent in Lumbarda, a small settlement to the south of the island. A fifteen minute amble around the bay brought us to a fabulous little restaurant, Gavuni, serving local dishes and drinks overlooking the water, all very reasonably priced.

An evocative war memorial beside the bay
Sunset drinks are going down well
Not game to order the local wine, Mrs A sticks to vodka!
Loving the location!
Palm tree scratching posts for the local cats here!

We returned to the boat for sunset and nightcaps.

Lovely watching the ever changing light across the water
Sun has almost completely set
The final sailing boats coming into harbour

20-21 June: Two nights in beautiful Dubrovnik

Author: Mrs A

Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Thursday: Our ferry from Split pulled into port at around midday, after just over four hours of travel. The passenger ferry had called in at many of the islands we are about to visit on our cycle-cruise and we had tried not to look and spoil the delights to come.

Once we had disembarked from the ferry, we put our backpacks on and jumped on the bikes to ride half an hour to our Airbnb. There were no cycle lanes and the pathways were quite busy with tourists, so it wasn’t as easy as we expected. And of course the roads were quite steep, so we were grateful for our electric motors.

Our host, Ela was there to meet us, and let us into the four bedroom terrace house with courtyard. What a perfect place! We had found this online back in January, knowing nothing about Dubrovnik. It sounded nice, just outside the walls of the city. It was much better than we even expected. Air conditioning in every room, just two minutes walk from the entrance to the city, with a little bay less than a minute’s walk away.

The entrance to our accomodation, complete with courtyard

We settled in and before long got a message from our friend Owen to say his flight had landed and he was on his way. Once he had unpacked, the three of us headed into the city to meet up with some of the other friends and Owen’s family who had also travelled over to join us.

We were congregating here specifically to help Owen celebrate his 60th birthday. All in all about 18 people had flown to Dubrovnik tor this auspicious occasion from around the world, including California, Switzerland, Australia and the UK.

We met at a bar in the centre of Dubrovnik Old Town, sharing some wine, beer and nibbles as we caught up with old friends and got ourselves acquainted with new ones.

Getting acquainted over drinks in the old town

Friday: Our day began early with an 8am tour around the walls of Dubrovnik.

Nowadays a park, this used to be a moat around the city
The streets are blissfully quiet at 7.30am
100 steps up, I was grateful not to be climbing up these every day

It was the day of Owen’s birthday and also the birthday of our tour guide, Vlaho. We had found him via Tours By Locals, a company which organises city tours by those who live and have grown up there. Vlaho had excellent reviews and not only was a long-time resident of Dubrovnik but also had spent some time in Australia living in Sydney, so understood our sense of humour and was able to give us pertinent examples.

Punctual Vlaho is there waiting for us under the clock tower at 8am
We learn that cats have been revered in Dubrovnik since the Black Death, which killed a third of the population
‘The walk of shame’ steps – a scene from Game of Thrones for a team photo. L-R: Nic, Oliver, Anton, Lisa, Mrs A, Mr A, Donald, Gayle, Tim P, S-J, Amy, Dave, John, OE, Tim C and Tom
Mr A finds the earphone is a little too small for his ears
The little port

A lovely calm day with not a cloud in the sky…it was warm up on the walls

Team photo around the walls.
Terracotta rooftops as far as the eye can see – mostly replaced post the war in the 1990s
The tower in the background has a significant part in GOT, with many fans visiting
Owen and Nic admire the views
Views out across the viaduct into ‘new’ Dubrovnik
Looking across the city from the highest point on the walls
Starting early in the morning and at a time before the cruise ships disembark means you can get some time without people
By 10am the city is already much busier

For the Game of Thrones fanatics out there we were shown some of the top filming locations, along with photos of particular scenes that were shot. There were many people dressed up in wigs and costumes, dragons on their shoulders and suchlike posing around the city…weirdos!

For us though, most of the focus was on the history of Dubrovnik along with the stories of how it survived the war in the early 90s, not without a great deal of hardship. Vlad was one of the residents prepared to give his life protecting the city, and he is a very proud and respected man for it.

After the three hour tour, some group members headed off in search of beer and lunch while Mr A and I instead decided to go for a kayak. Just around the corner from our accomodation was a rental company, so we jumped on a double and paddled out.

It was stunning escaping the crowds and being on the water was so refreshing. We followed the city walls where they plunge down into the Adriatic Sea. We then paddled out to Lokrum, an island just 600 metres from the city we had spotted during our tour.

Happy to be away from the crowds and much cooler out on the water
Beautiful colours along the coast
Crystal clear water

A cheeky dip in the water
Crystal clear water in the caves
Coming around the southern most point of the island
Back around to the little port where we started our tour this morning
And finishing up where we started near our accomodation

We stayed out for a couple of hours, enjoying a swim or two along the way, before returning home to get ready for the evening.

Housemates (minus Oliver who was on a work call) ready to go. L-R: Dave, S-J, Owen, Mrs A & Mr A “Happy birthday Owen!”

We then caught taxis up the narrow winding road to the top of the hill overlooking Dubrovnik for our meal at Restaurant Panorama.

Our first view down the coast as we arrive at 6.30pm
It’s like being in an airplane
Table 1: LHS from front: Donald, Gayle, Tim, Amy & Tom RHS from front: Oliver, Mr A, Mrs A, Tim & Owen
Table 2: LHS from front: Fay, S-J, Dave, John and Lisa, RHS from front: Otto, Paul, Steve, Claire, Anton
Birthday boy
Amy and Tim bathed in sunshine
Tom enjoying his prime seat
Looking up towards the islands we’ll be sailing around from tomorrow
The sun sets inland, looking towards Bosnia & Herzegovina
Surprise birthday cake for OE
The city looking lovely at night

Owen’s birthday celebrations continued back at our courtyard, with music, more beverages and lots of laughter…and clubbing for some who are never too old to drink shots and dance to awful music!

*****

Footnote: apologies to our email subscribers who have been receiving many duplicate messages recently. This is an error with WordPress, not us, and we are working with our web hosts to try to resolve this issue. Please be patient with us while this happens, and sorry again!

20-21 June: Two nights in beautiful Dubrovnik

Author: Mrs A

Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Thursday: Our ferry from Split pulled into port at around midday, after just over four hours of travel. The passenger ferry had called in at many of the islands we are about to visit on our cycle-cruise and we had tried not to look and spoil the delights to come.

Once we had disembarked from the ferry, we put our backpacks on and jumped on the bikes to ride half an hour to our Airbnb. There were no cycle lanes and the pathways were quite busy with tourists, so it wasn’t as easy as we expected. And of course the roads were quite steep, so we were grateful for our electric motors.

Our host, Ela was there to meet us, and let us into the four bedroom terrace house with courtyard. What a perfect place! We had found this online back in January, knowing nothing about Dubrovnik. It sounded nice, just outside the walls of the city. It was much better than we even expected. Air conditioning in every room, just two minutes walk from the entrance to the city, with a little bay less than a minute’s walk away.

The entrance to our accomodation, complete with courtyard

We settled in and before long got a message from our friend Owen to say his flight had landed and he was on his way. Once he had unpacked, the three of us headed into the city to meet up with some of the other friends and Owen’s family who had also travelled over to join us.

We were congregating here specifically to help Owen celebrate his 60th birthday. All in all about 18 people had flown to Dubrovnik tor this auspicious occasion from around the world, including California, Switzerland, Australia and the UK.

We met at a bar in the centre of Dubrovnik Old Town, sharing some wine, beer and nibbles as we caught up with old friends and got ourselves acquainted with new ones.

Getting acquainted over drinks in the old town

Friday: Our day began early with an 8am tour around the walls of Dubrovnik.

Nowadays a park, this used to be a moat around the city
The streets are blissfully quiet at 7.30am
100 steps up, I was grateful not to be climbing up these every day

It was the day of Owen’s birthday and also the birthday of our tour guide, Vlaho. We had found him via Tours By Locals, a company which organises city tours by those who live and have grown up there. Vlaho had excellent reviews and not only was a long-time resident of Dubrovnik but also had spent some time in Australia living in Sydney, so understood our sense of humour and was able to give us pertinent examples.

Punctual Vlaho is there waiting for us under the clock tower at 8am
We learn that cats have been revered in Dubrovnik since the Black Death, which killed a third of the population
‘The walk of shame’ steps – a scene from Game of Thrones for a team photo. L-R: Nic, Oliver, Anton, Lisa, Mrs A, Mr A, Donald, Gayle, Tim P, S-J, Amy, Dave, John, OE, Tim C and Tom
Mr A finds the earphone is a little too small for his ears
The little port

A lovely calm day with not a cloud in the sky…it was warm up on the walls

Team photo around the walls.
Terracotta rooftops as far as the eye can see – mostly replaced post the war in the 1990s
The tower in the background has a significant part in GOT, with many fans visiting
Owen and Nic admire the views
Views out across the viaduct into ‘new’ Dubrovnik
Looking across the city from the highest point on the walls
Starting early in the morning and at a time before the cruise ships disembark means you can get some time without people
By 10am the city is already much busier

For the Game of Thrones fanatics out there we were shown some of the top filming locations, along with photos of particular scenes that were shot. There were many people dressed up in wigs and costumes, dragons on their shoulders and suchlike posing around the city…weirdos!

For us though, most of the focus was on the history of Dubrovnik along with the stories of how it survived the war in the early 90s, not without a great deal of hardship. Vlad was one of the residents prepared to give his life protecting the city, and he is a very proud and respected man for it.

After the three hour tour, some group members headed off in search of beer and lunch while Mr A and I instead decided to go for a kayak. Just around the corner from our accomodation was a rental company, so we jumped on a double and paddled out.

It was stunning escaping the crowds and being on the water was so refreshing. We followed the city walls where they plunge down into the Adriatic Sea. We then paddled out to Lokrum, an island just 600 metres from the city we had spotted during our tour.

Happy to be away from the crowds and much cooler out on the water
Beautiful colours along the coast
Crystal clear water

A cheeky dip in the water
Crystal clear water in the caves
Coming around the southern most point of the island
Back around to the little port where we started our tour this morning
And finishing up where we started near our accomodation

We stayed out for a couple of hours, enjoying a swim or two along the way, before returning home to get ready for the evening.

Housemates (minus Oliver who was on a work call) ready to go. L-R: Dave, S-J, Owen, Mrs A & Mr A “Happy birthday Owen!”

We then caught taxis up the narrow winding road to the top of the hill overlooking Dubrovnik for our meal at Restaurant Panorama.

Our first view down the coast as we arrive at 6.30pm
It’s like being in an airplane
Table 1: LHS from front: Donald, Gayle, Tim, Amy & Tom RHS from front: Oliver, Mr A, Mrs A, Tim & Owen
Table 2: LHS from front: Fay, S-J, Dave, John and Lisa, RHS from front: Otto, Paul, Steve, Claire, Anton
Birthday boy
Amy and Tim bathed in sunshine
Tom enjoying his prime seat
Looking up towards the islands we’ll be sailing around from tomorrow
The sun sets inland, looking towards Bosnia & Herzegovina
Surprise birthday cake for OE
The city looking lovely at night

Owen’s birthday celebrations continued back at our courtyard, with music, more beverages and lots of laughter…and clubbing for some who are never too old to drink shots and dance to awful music!

*****

Footnote: apologies to our email subscribers who have been receiving many duplicate messages recently. This is an error with WordPress, not us, and we are working with our web hosts to try to resolve this issue. Please be patient with us while this happens, and sorry again!

20-21 June: Two nights in beautiful Dubrovnik

Author: Mrs A

Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Thursday: Our ferry from Split pulled into port at around midday, after just over four hours of travel. The passenger ferry had called in at many of the islands we are about to visit on our cycle-cruise and we had tried not to look and spoil the delights to come.

Once we had disembarked from the ferry, we put our backpacks on and jumped on the bikes to ride half an hour to our Airbnb. There were no cycle lanes and the pathways were quite busy with tourists, so it wasn’t as easy as we expected. And of course the roads were quite steep, so we were grateful for our electric motors.

Our host, Ela was there to meet us, and let us into the four bedroom terrace house with courtyard. What a perfect place! We had found this online back in January, knowing nothing about Dubrovnik. It sounded nice, just outside the walls of the city. It was much better than we even expected. Air conditioning in every room, just two minutes walk from the entrance to the city, with a little bay less than a minute’s walk away.

The entrance to our accomodation, complete with courtyard

We settled in and before long got a message from our friend Owen to say his flight had landed and he was on his way. Once he had unpacked, the three of us headed into the city to meet up with some of the other friends and Owen’s family who had also travelled over to join us.

We were congregating here specifically to help Owen celebrate his 60th birthday. All in all about 18 people had flown to Dubrovnik tor this auspicious occasion from around the world, including California, Switzerland, Australia and the UK.

We met at a bar in the centre of Dubrovnik Old Town, sharing some wine, beer and nibbles as we caught up with old friends and got ourselves acquainted with new ones.

Getting acquainted over drinks in the old town

Friday: Our day began early with an 8am tour around the walls of Dubrovnik.

Nowadays a park, this used to be a moat around the city
The streets are blissfully quiet at 7.30am
100 steps up, I was grateful not to be climbing up these every day

It was the day of Owen’s birthday and also the birthday of our tour guide, Vlaho. We had found him via Tours By Locals, a company which organises city tours by those who live and have grown up there. Vlaho had excellent reviews and not only was a long-time resident of Dubrovnik but also had spent some time in Australia living in Sydney, so understood our sense of humour and was able to give us pertinent examples.

Punctual Vlaho is there waiting for us under the clock tower at 8am
We learn that cats have been revered in Dubrovnik since the Black Death, which killed a third of the population
‘The walk of shame’ steps – a scene from Game of Thrones for a team photo. L-R: Nic, Oliver, Anton, Lisa, Mrs A, Mr A, Donald, Gayle, Tim P, S-J, Amy, Dave, John, OE, Tim C and Tom
Mr A finds the earphone is a little too small for his ears
The little port

A lovely calm day with not a cloud in the sky…it was warm up on the walls

Team photo around the walls.
Terracotta rooftops as far as the eye can see – mostly replaced post the war in the 1990s
The tower in the background has a significant part in GOT, with many fans visiting
Owen and Nic admire the views
Views out across the viaduct into ‘new’ Dubrovnik
Looking across the city from the highest point on the walls
Starting early in the morning and at a time before the cruise ships disembark means you can get some time without people
By 10am the city is already much busier

For the Game of Thrones fanatics out there we were shown some of the top filming locations, along with photos of particular scenes that were shot. There were many people dressed up in wigs and costumes, dragons on their shoulders and suchlike posing around the city…weirdos!

For us though, most of the focus was on the history of Dubrovnik along with the stories of how it survived the war in the early 90s, not without a great deal of hardship. Vlad was one of the residents prepared to give his life protecting the city, and he is a very proud and respected man for it.

After the three hour tour, some group members headed off in search of beer and lunch while Mr A and I instead decided to go for a kayak. Just around the corner from our accomodation was a rental company, so we jumped on a double and paddled out.

It was stunning escaping the crowds and being on the water was so refreshing. We followed the city walls where they plunge down into the Adriatic Sea. We then paddled out to Lokrum, an island just 600 metres from the city we had spotted during our tour.

Happy to be away from the crowds and much cooler out on the water
Beautiful colours along the coast
Crystal clear water

A cheeky dip in the water
Crystal clear water in the caves
Coming around the southern most point of the island
Back around to the little port where we started our tour this morning
And finishing up where we started near our accomodation

We stayed out for a couple of hours, enjoying a swim or two along the way, before returning home to get ready for the evening.

Housemates (minus Oliver who was on a work call) ready to go. L-R: Dave, S-J, Owen, Mrs A & Mr A “Happy birthday Owen!”

We then caught taxis up the narrow winding road to the top of the hill overlooking Dubrovnik for our meal at Restaurant Panorama.

Our first view down the coast as we arrive at 6.30pm
It’s like being in an airplane
Table 1: LHS from front: Donald, Gayle, Tim, Amy & Tom RHS from front: Oliver, Mr A, Mrs A, Tim & Owen
Table 2: LHS from front: Fay, S-J, Dave, John and Lisa, RHS from front: Otto, Paul, Steve, Claire, Anton
Birthday boy
Amy and Tim bathed in sunshine
Tom enjoying his prime seat
Looking up towards the islands we’ll be sailing around from tomorrow
The sun sets inland, looking towards Bosnia & Herzegovina
Surprise birthday cake for OE
The city looking lovely at night

Owen’s birthday celebrations continued back at our courtyard, with music, more beverages and lots of laughter…and clubbing for some who are never too old to drink shots and dance to awful music!

*****

Footnote: apologies to our email subscribers who have been receiving many duplicate messages recently. This is an error with WordPress, not us, and we are working with our web hosts to try to resolve this issue. Please be patient with us while this happens, and sorry again!

20-21 June: Two nights in beautiful Dubrovnik

Author: Mrs A

Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Thursday: Our ferry from Split pulled into port at around midday, after just over four hours of travel. The passenger ferry had called in at many of the islands we are about to visit on our cycle-cruise and we had tried not to look and spoil the delights to come.

Once we had disembarked from the ferry, we put our backpacks on and jumped on the bikes to ride half an hour to our Airbnb. There were no cycle lanes and the pathways were quite busy with tourists, so it wasn’t as easy as we expected. And of course the roads were quite steep, so we were grateful for our electric motors.

Our host, Ela was there to meet us, and let us into the four bedroom terrace house with courtyard. What a perfect place! We had found this online back in January, knowing nothing about Dubrovnik. It sounded nice, just outside the walls of the city. It was much better than we even expected. Air conditioning in every room, just two minutes walk from the entrance to the city, with a little bay less than a minute’s walk away.

The entrance to our accomodation, complete with courtyard

We settled in and before long got a message from our friend Owen to say his flight had landed and he was on his way. Once he had unpacked, the three of us headed into the city to meet up with some of the other friends and Owen’s family who had also travelled over to join us.

We were congregating here specifically to help Owen celebrate his 60th birthday. All in all about 18 people had flown to Dubrovnik tor this auspicious occasion from around the world, including California, Switzerland, Australia and the UK.

We met at a bar in the centre of Dubrovnik Old Town, sharing some wine, beer and nibbles as we caught up with old friends and got ourselves acquainted with new ones.

Getting acquainted over drinks in the old town

Friday: Our day began early with an 8am tour around the walls of Dubrovnik.

Nowadays a park, this used to be a moat around the city
The streets are blissfully quiet at 7.30am
100 steps up, I was grateful not to be climbing up these every day

It was the day of Owen’s birthday and also the birthday of our tour guide, Vlaho. We had found him via Tours By Locals, a company which organises city tours by those who live and have grown up there. Vlaho had excellent reviews and not only was a long-time resident of Dubrovnik but also had spent some time in Australia living in Sydney, so understood our sense of humour and was able to give us pertinent examples.

Punctual Vlaho is there waiting for us under the clock tower at 8am
We learn that cats have been revered in Dubrovnik since the Black Death, which killed a third of the population
‘The walk of shame’ steps – a scene from Game of Thrones for a team photo. L-R: Nic, Oliver, Anton, Lisa, Mrs A, Mr A, Donald, Gayle, Tim P, S-J, Amy, Dave, John, OE, Tim C and Tom
Mr A finds the earphone is a little too small for his ears
The little port

A lovely calm day with not a cloud in the sky…it was warm up on the walls

Team photo around the walls.
Terracotta rooftops as far as the eye can see – mostly replaced post the war in the 1990s
The tower in the background has a significant part in GOT, with many fans visiting
Owen and Nic admire the views
Views out across the viaduct into ‘new’ Dubrovnik
Looking across the city from the highest point on the walls
Starting early in the morning and at a time before the cruise ships disembark means you can get some time without people
By 10am the city is already much busier

For the Game of Thrones fanatics out there we were shown some of the top filming locations, along with photos of particular scenes that were shot. There were many people dressed up in wigs and costumes, dragons on their shoulders and suchlike posing around the city…weirdos!

For us though, most of the focus was on the history of Dubrovnik along with the stories of how it survived the war in the early 90s, not without a great deal of hardship. Vlad was one of the residents prepared to give his life protecting the city, and he is a very proud and respected man for it.

After the three hour tour, some group members headed off in search of beer and lunch while Mr A and I instead decided to go for a kayak. Just around the corner from our accomodation was a rental company, so we jumped on a double and paddled out.

It was stunning escaping the crowds and being on the water was so refreshing. We followed the city walls where they plunge down into the Adriatic Sea. We then paddled out to Lokrum, an island just 600 metres from the city we had spotted during our tour.

Happy to be away from the crowds and much cooler out on the water
Beautiful colours along the coast
Crystal clear water

A cheeky dip in the water
Crystal clear water in the caves
Coming around the southern most point of the island
Back around to the little port where we started our tour this morning
And finishing up where we started near our accomodation

We stayed out for a couple of hours, enjoying a swim or two along the way, before returning home to get ready for the evening.

Housemates (minus Oliver who was on a work call) ready to go. L-R: Dave, S-J, Owen, Mrs A & Mr A “Happy birthday Owen!”

We then caught taxis up the narrow winding road to the top of the hill overlooking Dubrovnik for our meal at Restaurant Panorama.

Our first view down the coast as we arrive at 6.30pm
It’s like being in an airplane
Table 1: LHS from front: Donald, Gayle, Tim, Amy & Tom RHS from front: Oliver, Mr A, Mrs A, Tim & Owen
Table 2: LHS from front: Fay, S-J, Dave, John and Lisa, RHS from front: Otto, Paul, Steve, Claire, Anton
Birthday boy
Amy and Tim bathed in sunshine
Tom enjoying his prime seat
Looking up towards the islands we’ll be sailing around from tomorrow
The sun sets inland, looking towards Bosnia & Herzegovina
Surprise birthday cake for OE
The city looking lovely at night

Owen’s birthday celebrations continued back at our courtyard, with music, more beverages and lots of laughter…and clubbing for some who are never too old to drink shots and dance to awful music!

*****

Footnote: apologies to our email subscribers who have been receiving many duplicate messages recently. This is an error with WordPress, not us, and we are working with our web hosts to try to resolve this issue. Please be patient with us while this happens, and sorry again!

20-21 June: Two nights in beautiful Dubrovnik

Author: Mrs A

Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Thursday: Our ferry from Split pulled into port at around midday, after just over four hours of travel. The passenger ferry had called in at many of the islands we are about to visit on our cycle-cruise and we had tried not to look and spoil the delights to come.

Once we had disembarked from the ferry, we put our backpacks on and jumped on the bikes to ride half an hour to our Airbnb. There were no cycle lanes and the pathways were quite busy with tourists, so it wasn’t as easy as we expected. And of course the roads were quite steep, so we were grateful for our electric motors.

Our host, Ela was there to meet us, and let us into the four bedroom terrace house with courtyard. What a perfect place! We had found this online back in January, knowing nothing about Dubrovnik. It sounded nice, just outside the walls of the city. It was much better than we even expected. Air conditioning in every room, just two minutes walk from the entrance to the city, with a little bay less than a minute’s walk away.

The entrance to our accomodation, complete with courtyard

We settled in and before long got a message from our friend Owen to say his flight had landed and he was on his way. Once he had unpacked, the three of us headed into the city to meet up with some of the other friends and Owen’s family who had also travelled over to join us.

We were congregating here specifically to help Owen celebrate his 60th birthday. All in all about 18 people had flown to Dubrovnik tor this auspicious occasion from around the world, including California, Switzerland, Australia and the UK.

We met at a bar in the centre of Dubrovnik Old Town, sharing some wine, beer and nibbles as we caught up with old friends and got ourselves acquainted with new ones.

Getting acquainted over drinks in the old town

Friday: Our day began early with an 8am tour around the walls of Dubrovnik.

Nowadays a park, this used to be a moat around the city
The streets are blissfully quiet at 7.30am
100 steps up, I was grateful not to be climbing up these every day

It was the day of Owen’s birthday and also the birthday of our tour guide, Vlaho. We had found him via Tours By Locals, a company which organises city tours by those who live and have grown up there. Vlaho had excellent reviews and not only was a long-time resident of Dubrovnik but also had spent some time in Australia living in Sydney, so understood our sense of humour and was able to give us pertinent examples.

Punctual Vlaho is there waiting for us under the clock tower at 8am
We learn that cats have been revered in Dubrovnik since the Black Death, which killed a third of the population
‘The walk of shame’ steps – a scene from Game of Thrones for a team photo. L-R: Nic, Oliver, Anton, Lisa, Mrs A, Mr A, Donald, Gayle, Tim P, S-J, Amy, Dave, John, OE, Tim C and Tom
Mr A finds the earphone is a little too small for his ears
The little port

A lovely calm day with not a cloud in the sky…it was warm up on the walls

Team photo around the walls.
Terracotta rooftops as far as the eye can see – mostly replaced post the war in the 1990s
The tower in the background has a significant part in GOT, with many fans visiting
Owen and Nic admire the views
Views out across the viaduct into ‘new’ Dubrovnik
Looking across the city from the highest point on the walls
Starting early in the morning and at a time before the cruise ships disembark means you can get some time without people
By 10am the city is already much busier

For the Game of Thrones fanatics out there we were shown some of the top filming locations, along with photos of particular scenes that were shot. There were many people dressed up in wigs and costumes, dragons on their shoulders and suchlike posing around the city…weirdos!

For us though, most of the focus was on the history of Dubrovnik along with the stories of how it survived the war in the early 90s, not without a great deal of hardship. Vlad was one of the residents prepared to give his life protecting the city, and he is a very proud and respected man for it.

After the three hour tour, some group members headed off in search of beer and lunch while Mr A and I instead decided to go for a kayak. Just around the corner from our accomodation was a rental company, so we jumped on a double and paddled out.

It was stunning escaping the crowds and being on the water was so refreshing. We followed the city walls where they plunge down into the Adriatic Sea. We then paddled out to Lokrum, an island just 600 metres from the city we had spotted during our tour.

Happy to be away from the crowds and much cooler out on the water
Beautiful colours along the coast
Crystal clear water

A cheeky dip in the water
Crystal clear water in the caves
Coming around the southern most point of the island
Back around to the little port where we started our tour this morning
And finishing up where we started near our accomodation

We stayed out for a couple of hours, enjoying a swim or two along the way, before returning home to get ready for the evening.

Housemates (minus Oliver who was on a work call) ready to go. L-R: Dave, S-J, Owen, Mrs A & Mr A “Happy birthday Owen!”

We then caught taxis up the narrow winding road to the top of the hill overlooking Dubrovnik for our meal at Restaurant Panorama.

Our first view down the coast as we arrive at 6.30pm
It’s like being in an airplane
Table 1: LHS from front: Donald, Gayle, Tim, Amy & Tom RHS from front: Oliver, Mr A, Mrs A, Tim & Owen
Table 2: LHS from front: Fay, S-J, Dave, John and Lisa, RHS from front: Otto, Paul, Steve, Claire, Anton
Birthday boy
Amy and Tim bathed in sunshine
Tom enjoying his prime seat
Looking up towards the islands we’ll be sailing around from tomorrow
The sun sets inland, looking towards Bosnia & Herzegovina
Surprise birthday cake for OE
The city looking lovely at night

Owen’s birthday celebrations continued back at our courtyard, with music, more beverages and lots of laughter…and clubbing for some who are never too old to drink shots and dance to awful music!

*****

Footnote: apologies to our email subscribers who have been receiving many duplicate messages recently. This is an error with WordPress, not us, and we are working with our web hosts to try to resolve this issue. Please be patient with us while this happens, and sorry again!

20-21 June: Two nights in beautiful Dubrovnik

Author: Mrs A

Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Thursday: Our ferry from Split pulled into port at around midday, after just over four hours of travel. The passenger ferry had called in at many of the islands we are about to visit on our cycle-cruise and we had tried not to look and spoil the delights to come.

Once we had disembarked from the ferry, we put our backpacks on and jumped on the bikes to ride half an hour to our Airbnb. There were no cycle lanes and the pathways were quite busy with tourists, so it wasn’t as easy as we expected. And of course the roads were quite steep, so we were grateful for our electric motors.

Our host, Ela was there to meet us, and let us into the four bedroom terrace house with courtyard. What a perfect place! We had found this online back in January, knowing nothing about Dubrovnik. It sounded nice, just outside the walls of the city. It was much better than we even expected. Air conditioning in every room, just two minutes walk from the entrance to the city, with a little bay less than a minute’s walk away.

The entrance to our accomodation, complete with courtyard

We settled in and before long got a message from our friend Owen to say his flight had landed and he was on his way. Once he had unpacked, the three of us headed into the city to meet up with some of the other friends and Owen’s family who had also travelled over to join us.

We were congregating here specifically to help Owen celebrate his 60th birthday. All in all about 18 people had flown to Dubrovnik tor this auspicious occasion from around the world, including California, Switzerland, Australia and the UK.

We met at a bar in the centre of Dubrovnik Old Town, sharing some wine, beer and nibbles as we caught up with old friends and got ourselves acquainted with new ones.

Getting acquainted over drinks in the old town

Friday: Our day began early with an 8am tour around the walls of Dubrovnik.

Nowadays a park, this used to be a moat around the city
The streets are blissfully quiet at 7.30am
100 steps up, I was grateful not to be climbing up these every day

It was the day of Owen’s birthday and also the birthday of our tour guide, Vlaho. We had found him via Tours By Locals, a company which organises city tours by those who live and have grown up there. Vlaho had excellent reviews and not only was a long-time resident of Dubrovnik but also had spent some time in Australia living in Sydney, so understood our sense of humour and was able to give us pertinent examples.

Punctual Vlaho is there waiting for us under the clock tower at 8am
We learn that cats have been revered in Dubrovnik since the Black Death, which killed a third of the population
‘The walk of shame’ steps – a scene from Game of Thrones for a team photo. L-R: Nic, Oliver, Anton, Lisa, Mrs A, Mr A, Donald, Gayle, Tim P, S-J, Amy, Dave, John, OE, Tim C and Tom
Mr A finds the earphone is a little too small for his ears
The little port

A lovely calm day with not a cloud in the sky…it was warm up on the walls

Team photo around the walls.
Terracotta rooftops as far as the eye can see – mostly replaced post the war in the 1990s
The tower in the background has a significant part in GOT, with many fans visiting
Owen and Nic admire the views
Views out across the viaduct into ‘new’ Dubrovnik
Looking across the city from the highest point on the walls
Starting early in the morning and at a time before the cruise ships disembark means you can get some time without people
By 10am the city is already much busier

For the Game of Thrones fanatics out there we were shown some of the top filming locations, along with photos of particular scenes that were shot. There were many people dressed up in wigs and costumes, dragons on their shoulders and suchlike posing around the city…weirdos!

For us though, most of the focus was on the history of Dubrovnik along with the stories of how it survived the war in the early 90s, not without a great deal of hardship. Vlad was one of the residents prepared to give his life protecting the city, and he is a very proud and respected man for it.

After the three hour tour, some group members headed off in search of beer and lunch while Mr A and I instead decided to go for a kayak. Just around the corner from our accomodation was a rental company, so we jumped on a double and paddled out.

It was stunning escaping the crowds and being on the water was so refreshing. We followed the city walls where they plunge down into the Adriatic Sea. We then paddled out to Lokrum, an island just 600 metres from the city we had spotted during our tour.

Happy to be away from the crowds and much cooler out on the water
Beautiful colours along the coast
Crystal clear water

A cheeky dip in the water
Crystal clear water in the caves
Coming around the southern most point of the island
Back around to the little port where we started our tour this morning
And finishing up where we started near our accomodation

We stayed out for a couple of hours, enjoying a swim or two along the way, before returning home to get ready for the evening.

Housemates (minus Oliver who was on a work call) ready to go. L-R: Dave, S-J, Owen, Mrs A & Mr A “Happy birthday Owen!”

We then caught taxis up the narrow winding road to the top of the hill overlooking Dubrovnik for our meal at Restaurant Panorama.

Our first view down the coast as we arrive at 6.30pm
It’s like being in an airplane
Table 1: LHS from front: Donald, Gayle, Tim, Amy & Tom RHS from front: Oliver, Mr A, Mrs A, Tim & Owen
Table 2: LHS from front: Fay, S-J, Dave, John and Lisa, RHS from front: Otto, Paul, Steve, Claire, Anton
Birthday boy
Amy and Tim bathed in sunshine
Tom enjoying his prime seat
Looking up towards the islands we’ll be sailing around from tomorrow
The sun sets inland, looking towards Bosnia & Herzegovina
Surprise birthday cake for OE
The city looking lovely at night

Owen’s birthday celebrations continued back at our courtyard, with music, more beverages and lots of laughter…and clubbing for some who are never too old to drink shots and dance to awful music!

*****

Footnote: apologies to our email subscribers who have been receiving many duplicate messages recently. This is an error with WordPress, not us, and we are working with our web hosts to try to resolve this issue. Please be patient with us while this happens, and sorry again!