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Trip Report Croatia with a dash of Bosnia and Montenegro

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Trying to "pay it forward" for the help I got here...just returned from a 12 day trip. Itinerary worked well with a nice balance. Started with two nights in Split at the Hotel Peristil, which was very well located, included a very nice breakfast and the staff could not have been more helpful. We were on the third floor which meant FOUR flights of stairs and that was a bit of a challenge (although they carried the luggage) but the benefits of location, breakfast and staff more than made up for it. Took a guided tour with Travel 49 and that was great because there was just the three of us (luck?)....many of the tour groups I saw were quite large. We walked to the Mestrovic Gallery (took the bus back) and I really enjoyed that museum. Picked up our car rented through Economy Car Rental (a consolidator) and we could not have had a better experience - with the vehicle, with picking it up, with returning it, etc. Also managed to purchase tickets for the car ferry to Korcula and that went well. Car ferry cost about $120. We took food from Konsum to eat on the ferry and were glad we did. No problem on Korcula driving from Vela Luca to Korcula town. Stayed in a sobe (Royal Apartments)...nice location, helpful owners, well furnished. Just note that you may want to bring the toiletries you need because they don't provide them like chain hotels might. Wonderful beach day at Vela Przina near Lumbarda: a rare SANDY beach...very calm cove, very shallow water. Place nearby renting umbrellas and serving beverages and food. Water too cold for me in late May but imagine it must be lovely during the summer. Took short ferry from Korcula to Peljesac Peninsula which provides some white knuckle driving opportunities (my husband did the driving; I wasn't even a very good passenger) but the views are jaw dropping. Stopped at Grgic winery and were interested to learn the winemaker was the one who made the Napa wine in the 1970s that beat the French (see DVD Bottle Shock). Fortifications of Ston are well worth a look (called the Great Wall of Croatia) but they do charge now (about $10) to climb them. I passed. Lunch at Kapetanova Kuca in Mali Ston was my favorite meal of the whole trip: grilled fish and fresh veggies. Met the proprietor of our sobe in Dubrovnik...great location right inside the Buza Gate. Ana Kovac was very helpful, comfortable bed. no nearby laundromat so ended up being very European and washing things out in the sink and hanging them from the window. Liked Skola for lunch; great bread. Loved Buza Bar 2; went every afternoon. Had one "foodie" dinner (for my husband) at Nautika. Great vegetarian meal at Nisha. Liked the Dominican Monastery Museum. Another beach day at St. Jacob's; very pebbly but great views and you can rent chairs and there are beverages. Took a day trip to Montenegro to the Bay of Kotor and highly recommend that; the scenery is just awesome. Did find in Dubrovnik that it was hard to get coffee or any breakfast before 9am. Spent 4 nights in Dubrovnik. Drove to Mostar...more beautiful views. (we drove a total of 435 miles). Stayed in Muslibegovic House; nice room...nice setting...good breakfast. Everything less expensive in Bosnia. Took a guided tour with Jasmin Elezovic, a wonderful young Muslim man. Very interesting. Our first time touring a mosque. Then drove to Split; They're still working on the A1; we didn't get to it until Vrgorac and had some very challenging detours through construction. Now that we've seen the terrain, we can understand why it is taking so long. But the part of A1 that IS finished is fantastic. More re rental car: it was very convenient that we could pick it up in Split near the docks and return it to the airport. Also, the fee to go to Montenegro was paid in advance. The car was a Skoda Otavia. Will try to check back and answer questions if anyone has any. It was a great trip and a fascinating and beautiful part of the world.

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