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Trip Report We've made it to Croatia!

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By way of a bit of background my husband, Stephen and I are in our early 50s and have been travelling for the past two weeks - a week through northern Italy followed by a week through Slovenia. We are using public transport to get around and are now in Croatia for a fortnight. I have been writing a trip report on the run and here are links to the last two:

Italy - http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/were-finally-on-our-way-on-the-road-again.cfm
Slovenia - http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/the-journey-continues-from-italy-to-slovenia.cfm

Here's how the trip is shaping up.

Saturday 14/9
We departed Ljubljana on the 8:15am train placing us in Zagreb just after 10:30am. When we arrived in Zagreb it was buzzing: don't know if this was a usual Saturday thing or whether it was because the Zagreb Festival was on today.

Our accommodation is the Jagerhorn Hotel; an easy twenty minute walk from the station made easier as we wear packs and don't have to worry about trundling our luggage behind us. With a few hours before check in we deposited our bags then headed up the steps behind the hotel which provide a convenient connection to the upper town, coming out at Lotscak Tower. It was a couple of minutes to twelve. If there is a bell to be rung or a cannon to be shot we manage to find ourselves in the right place at the wrong time and today was no different. Fortunately we weren't at the same level as the cannon when it went off - it was loud enough from the floor below. The view from the top over St Marks church was marvellous especially given the fact that the church tiles glistened in the sunshine.

From our vantage point in the tower we could see what appeared to be a changing of the guard ceremony taking place in front of St Marks so, on returning to ground level we sauntered up to have a look - by the time we got there it was all over and only two men were standing guard at the church doors. With time to spare we wandered the streets near the church until at 12:45pm when we watched the ceremony signalling the end of guard duty: after much pomp the guards were relieved of their duty and marched off with the rest of the troop that had come to collect them.

Tkalčićeva Ulica, one of the oldest streets in the upper town was a hive of activity and the perfect place to stop for a snack before visiting the cathedral with its stunning interior.

The Museum of Arts and Crafts was our next port of call. As you enter each floor you think it is only going to host a small collection however, it is like the tardis, one room opens to another which opens to further rooms. A vast collection of furniture, glassware, religious art, clothing and fashion accessories, some paintings, photographs of Croatian life from the 20's to 60's plus other exhibits.

Sights in Zagreb are not far from each other so it was back to the upper town to visit the Museum of Broken Relationships: a very interesting and poignant collection from contributors from around the world to do with the break up of their relationships.

That pretty much sums up our first day here.

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    When we arrived in Zagreb it was buzzing: don't know if this was a usual Saturday thing or whether it was because the Zagreb Festival was on today.

    Call me crazy but I think it might be the latter.

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    @sparkchaser - I think you might be right! However, after the sleepiness of Ljubljana we were surprised at the number of people hanging around the square in Zagreb - it was packed.

    Sunday 15/9
    Compared to our usual regime today started at an extraordinarily leisurely pace for us: not heading out the door till after ten. It was bliss not having to get up to catch an early morning bus or train and we both welcomed the more relaxed start to the day.

    Once again we made use of the conveniently located staircase behind the hotel to reach the upper town to visit the small, but impressive Museum of Naive Art, which had limited opening hours on a Sunday. Fortunately for us our late start meant we entered just as as a rather large tourist group was leaving. We enjoyed a pleasant half an hour as we wandered through the five rooms displaying paintings and a few sculptures.

    As has been the case in most of our travels to date we have purchased train or bus tickets the day before departure; timing how long it will take us to walk to the station in the process. Today was no exception - we walked from the museum to the bus station via Jelacic Square, which was nowhere near as busy as yesterday and were able to purchase tickets for the 8:40am bus to Plitvicka Jezera tomorrow. There was a bit of confusion as to whether we could purchase our ongoing tickets to Zadar: the information officer said 'yes' but the ticket seller said 'no' we needed to hail the bus.

    We enjoy all kinds of art and are particularly keen on seeing any street art that might be on offer so, with this in mind, we left the bust station to walk the main route to the train station where we were able to view about half a kilometre of works by some talented artists.

    A rest stop in the gardens of the Art Pavilion, a colourful and architecturally stunning building before making our way to the Botanical Gardens for a well earned rest of the legs and some photography of reflections in the ponds was next on the agenda. A very peaceful and restful place.

    The day was wearing on and we spent the rest of our time in Zagreb ambling along and having a bite to eat.

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    Monday 26/9

    It took twenty four minutes to walk to the bus station - in record time! We were fortunate that we came yesterday to purchase our tickets to Plitvice as the 8:40am bus was full and people were being turned away. We figured it was the day trip bus.

    Our bags were put under the bus for an additional seven kuna per item. I had read somewhere that the side opposite the driver was the place to sit for the best views but, in all honesty, the views from either side of the bus through its very large windows were equally pleasant and we didn't have a choice as seats were allocated on purchasing. However, if you are taking a morning bus and don't want to sit in sizzling sunshine, then the side opposite the driver is the way to go! While the driver refused access to people wanting to get on the bus in Zagreb he didn't hesitate to collect additional passengers from the few towns before the Plitvice stop and it was standing room only.

    We did have a bit of difficulty finding the Hotel Plitvice. It's signposted from the bus stop but it isn't until you reach the Hotel Bellevue that you see another sign to it. Mind you, we might have found it a bit quicker if we had have followed the road after getting off the bus then turned off from it. Check in staff were extremely friendly and we received an upgrade at no additional charge - an enormous room with a view over the garden.

    By 11:45 we were ready to head out - the skies were still blue, rain was forecast and clouds were gathering. Purchased our tickets to the park and headed for P1 where we would take the boat across to P2 and commence a walk of the upper lakes. We timed it well: we were amidst a tour group ambling down the steps to the boat at a frustratingly slow pace. Easily obtained seating to the other side and when we alighted were met with dozens of people vying to get on the return journey - it was like DJs in the middle of the Christmas sales.. Anyone who has read my previous posts will know that, even with the assistance of GPS and an offline map, let alone a printed map, I am directionally challenged. Spin me around and I could be anywhere. After a few days into our trip I resigned as navigator and Stephen has taken charge - today he had problems finding the route we wanted to take, which was K. With no sign to lead us in the right direction and a park map that didn't appear to have all the trails accurately marked, we joined the throng and took route C round the lakes to the last stop before returning by the other side of the lake to the boat stop at P2. It didn't take too long for the crowds to thin out and we spent a pleasant five hours taking our time, admiring the crystal clear turquoise waters and taking plenty of photos trying to capture the moment. Fortunately the threatened rain didn't eventuate, which made for pleasant walking.

    Tomorrow we plan on walking the lower lakes then see what the weather is doing before making a decision on the rest of the day.

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    Oops - that would be Monday 16/9!

    Tuesday saw the promised rain arrive with a vengeance. We set off before nine and walked the short distance to the lake but, before crossing, turned off and walked the half an hour nature trail along the middle lake to the start of the walk around the lower lakes. With not a soul in sight it was rather pleasant! From here we followed the path, again marvelling at the colour and clarity of the water, which was not marred by the gathering clouds and overcast skies. About an hour and a half into the walk the skies opened and the rain, accompanied by wind, came tumbling down.

    When we reached the cave we took the path next to it then climbed the stairs, up, up and up some more to a higher trail. By now the wind had picked up considerably and the rain was bucketing down - just in time to reach a spectacular lookout! Oh well, with umbrellas in hand we took a few quick photos and while they might not be brilliant they will be a vivid reminder of the day.

    If we had have continued walking this route we would have run into a car park but there was a turn off that took us down towards the lakes and gave us a wonderful view of the big waterfall along the way. On reaching the lakes again there is an option to go and see the big waterfall close up so off we set. They were pretty impressive when viewed from the base but I had read of some steps you could take to a viewing platform so, undeterred by the weather, we took the stairs up, up and up again until coming to a shelter and a signpost indicating the way. The view from here was excellent.

    The rain had well and truly established itself and the temperature had dropped considerably so we had a decision to make - continue walking a high trail from the viewing platform or retrace our steps, walk along the lake and cross over on the boardwalk that would take us past a series of small flowing falls that we'd seen from the spectacular lookout on the other side. We definitely wanted to walk the boardwalk so made the decision to return to the original path, do that, then retrace our steps to the station where we could take the boat back up to P2.

    The rain still tumbled down and after having a quick bite to eat we boarded the boat; being thankful that they didn't appear to be sticking to the published schedule of departures every thirty minutes. In no time at all we alighted then were hopping onto the smaller boat to take us across the river so we could walk the short distance to our hotel.

    We spent four hours exploring the lower lakes.

    By 3pm the rain had abated and we thought about donning our damp clothes and heading back out but, sanity prevailed.

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    @Misponge - we loved Ljubljana and spent three nights there. We spent in total just over a day and a half in the city itself and did a day trip with Roundabout Tours on another day. I think you could see the main sights in a day but, depending on your time constraints, could easily spend a bit more time.

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    @Misponge. We might be a bit unusual because we usually start planning about a year in advance and I start researching accommodation options as soon as our flights are booked. It depends at what time of the year you travel too and what type of accommodation you want - for us it is usually B&Bs with a limited number of rooms. We are also travelling by public transport which means we don't have the luxury of stopping somewhere that might take our fancy and seeking accommodation for the night.

    Having said that we met a couple here in Zadar who are booking accommodation as they go. A couple of days ago they tried to get into the Hotel Plitvice at the national park but it was fully booked. They were able to get accommodation somewhere else but, according to them, it wasn't particularly good.

    Hope that's of some help.

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    Thursday 19/9
    Yesterday we arrived in Zadar. As we left the national park to walk to the bus stop the skies cleared to what looked like the start of a beautiful day. Sigh! Before leaving home we were concerned about how easy it would be to hail a bus heading towards the coast and get a seat. Contrary to what I'd read, there was no issue and as we approached the stop a bus heading to Zadar pulled up with ample room onboard. We had planned on taking the 9:45am bus however this one, arriving at 9:30am was an express service which would arrive in Zadar forty-five minutes before the later one. We bought our tickets from the nearby booth and hopped on.

    On the dot the bus came to a halt in Zadar. Based on our experience in Zagreb we decided to purchase our ongoing tickets to Split for Fridays 10am bus then walked the half hour into town and to our accommodation at Apartments Donat, a stones throw from the Roman Forum.

    The historical centre of Zadar is tiny, with little distance between attractions. Out we headed in search of the Museum of Ancient Glass, which although we found interesting, found the information presented in each room to be a bit 'heavy' - it felt a bit like reading a school textbook. The displays, however, were well set out.

    A climb of the bell tower just before three provided excellent views over the old town, out to sea and across to the main part of Zadar. They were pleasant without being outstanding and, unusually for us, the bells did not ring!

    We wandered the streets, located a supermarket, popped into St Mary's Church then returned to the apartment before heading to see the Gold and Silver of Zadar, which didn't open till six. We spent a very interesting forty-five minutes walking through a couple of floors of an extensive and sparkling collection of reliquaries along with some paintings and a few sculptures.

    By the time we finished sunset was approaching so we joined the throng and headed for the sun salutation and pipe organ in anticipation of what Alfred Hitchcock described as the best sunset in the world - he was not far off the mark. A stunning display of colours lit the sky as the sun sunk slowly in the west. Afterwards the sun salutation started doing its thing with lots of different coloured lights pulsing away.

    The day ended with a delicious meal at Pizzeria Canzona, which did not just have pizza on the menu and another walk through town.

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    I too an anxious for more! I am considering a trip to Croatia next fall and your journey is giving me great ideas. I think I will probably opt for traveling the country by bus also. Could you give me approximate prices on your bus tickets? Any tips on purchasing? Also if there are US travelers reading, could you offer advice on best (and cheapest:)airline routes to take? It's not as easy getting directly to Croatia from the US. I am looking to fly direct from Florida to Europe and then direct to Dubrovnik (with the return out of Zagreb). Could someone suggest a good route?

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    Friday 20/9
    When compared to the first fortnight of our holiday we have slowed the pace down considerably here in Croatia. The last two days have seen a more relaxed approach and have unfolded as follows.

    Thursday in Zadar started with overcast skies and drizzle so we enjoyed a late start to the day; not setting out till after nine to walk out of the old town and cross the river in hopes of finding a photo spot where we could feature boats. Having accomplished this we returned and visited the church of St Donat, which is now used to host musical performances.

    Before leaving for our trip I listened to the Pimsleur Croatian CDs (volume one) and today was able to out it into practice! Rather proud that I could tell a haberdasher that I only spoke a little Croatian and I wanted to buy a needle and thread in an olive green colour - even understood her reply of the cost! While she was a bit severe when dealing with a customer and us at first she broke into smiles and was downright friendly when we left with many a hvala and goodbye from all parties to the transaction.

    The rest of the day was spent visiting the Ivan Meštrović sculpture exhibition, trying to visit a couple of churches, walking the walls, adding an addendum to our 'gelato rule' and, once again, marvelling at the changing colours of the sky as the sun set.

    In researching our trip I discovered the sculptures of Meštrović and after seeing them up close I can now had him to my list of favourites. We decided to visit St Anastasia, the largest cathedral in Dalmatia - don't know what the problem was but we entered at 1:45pm with a number of other people and after a couple of minutes someone came and ushered everyone out of the church, including people who were sitting quietly in the pews. There was no indication that the cathedral was closing and there were no words spoke - just a shooing motion and pointing to get everyone to move. Later, I was able to visit Saint Simeon church but Stephen was turned away because he was wearing long shorts. We have found Zadar is a place where the no shorts rule is strictly enforced - throughout our travels in Italy, Ljubljana and Zagreb long shorts have been fine to wear and the only problems have been when visitors have worn short shorts. Even then they have been loaned something to cover up with so they could visit - not so in Zadar.

    Anyone who followed our week in Italy knows we instigated a gelato rule a couple of years ago. The gelato rule - one gelato per location we stay irrespective of the number of days we are staying and, you have to have done a substantial amount of walking during the day to earn the gelato. During our week in Italy we had difficulty finding somewhere in Venice we considered suitable for a gelato purchase - we did not want to get it from shops displaying brightly coloured mounds of gelato. In Zadar we decided to make an addendum - if you cannot find anywhere you consider suitable to purchase a gelato in the location you are staying then you can have a gelato at another location on the trip to make up for a lack of one. The 'make up gelato' must be consumed in the current trip and cannot be transferred to future travels. With this in mind we found a wonderful gelato shop in Zadar selling natural, artisan gelato - it was divine.

    Once again the sunset lived up to the claims of Hitchcock - it was superb.

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    Friday saw us leaving Zadar on the 10am bus and arriving in Split slightly behind schedule some three and three quarter hours later. After the relative quietness of Zadar it was a bit of a shock to the system to alight from the bus and be met with wall to wall people making their way to the Riva.

    Our accommodation, St Luke's Residence, is close to the action but tucked away from the hordes in a dead end laneway - a perfect location. Niksa, our host, is a gem. After completing formalities we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around, getting our bearings and taking one of the walking paths on nearby Marjan Hill.

    We enjoyed a peaceful time taking a path on the hill that led to the 15th century Church of St Jerome with its nearby caves that were the homes of hermitage dwellers around the 15th century. While there was no spectacular sunset the views of the port and the mountains bathed in a warm glow were pleasant.

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    Tuesday 24/9
    The last few days we've relaxed in Split, paid a short visit to Trogir, and arrived in Korčula where we're staying for a couple of nights before moving onto Dubrovnik. Here's a brief outline of what we've been up to.

    Saturday 21/9
    After a relaxing morning we made our way to the area of Diocletian Palace and spent a couple of hours visiting the main sights. By starting with the cathedral we were able to purchase a ticket that included the Treasury, Bell Tower, Crypt and Baptistry.

    The cathedral interior is exquisite - carved oak doors, stunning frescoes, incredible main and side alters, richly carved choir stalls. Everything about it was serene except for the people who took no notice of the no photos sign. Click, click, click they went even though there was a huge sign. How someone cannot understand a sign about 35cm square with a photo of a camera and a huge red line through it is beyond me.

    While the Treasury was small in size it held a diverse and interesting collection and we both thought it was good value.

    By the time we'd visited the crypt and bell tower the tour groups had well and truly arrived and it is perhaps for this reason that our visit to the Baptistry was brief and we forgot to return to the underground cellars. We were keen to escape the crowds and thought that the nearby Ethnographic Museum might be worth a visit - what a gem it turned out to be.

    It was amazing that only a stones throw from us there was a mob of people but here, in the museum, there were only four of us. It is one of the most interesting museums we have visited with clear and concise explanations of the exhibits in each room. The collection covers: traditional and imported pottery; the church of Saint Andrew; an extensive collection of traditional costumes from Dalmatia attractively displayed; jewellery from both the Adriatic and Dalmatia regions; an exquisite collection of hand made lace; a small collection of weapons and a collection of timber chairs and some furnishings. To top it off, there is access to a terrace which overlooks the Peristil and the bell tower. It would be easy to miss the terrace access as it isn't well signposted - when you finish visiting the museum you follow the small exit signs (which don't actually take you to the museum's exit as this is via the entrance) that take you to a courtyard then up some dark, narrow steps to the terrace with great views.

    In the afternoon we were once again captivated by the works of Ivan Meštrović when we visited the gallery, about half an hours walk from the Riva, dedicated to his sculptures.

    In the evening we went to watch the football team Hajduk verse Zadar in the local derby. An entertaining evening with the home team the winners.

    Sunday 22/9
    In the morning we took the 9:45am Burra Line boat to Trogir, arriving around an hour later. Apart from climbing the fortress for some great views we basically strolled the streets for a couple of hours before returning to Split via the bus.

    According to the posted bus timetable there was a direct bus so we waited at bay #1 as indicated. The bus driver came along, hopped on board and fussed around a bit, then closed the doors and took a seat with no sign on the horizon that the bus was about to go anywhere. In the meantime, the all stops #37 bus pulled up down the road so we made a bee line for it and hopped onboard, realising half way back to Split that we weren't sure where the final stop was. Fortunately I had an offline map and with the phone's GPS function was able to work out where we'd disembarked - it turned out to be a ten minute walk to the Diocletian's Palace.

    A bit more meandering through the streets on the way back to our apartment capped off a relaxing day. We found out later that the number one bus, for whatever reason, was not running today so we were fortunate that we made the decision to jump on the all stops!

    Monday 23/9
    For some reason I thought there could be a problem purchasing tickets for the ferry from Split to the island of Korčula so at 6:30am we found ourselves the only people in the queue to get tickets from the Jadrolinija Office to Vela Luka.

    We boarded the boat, which was departing at 10:15am and had a relatively pleasant journey. We docked around 1:20pm and again, I thought there might have been an issue getting to the bus for Korčula Town so we moved quickly, across the car park, to the bus stop and were first in line once again! The bus departed at 1:45pm so there was no real need to hurry. As we were on a bus that collected the local school children returning home there were a lot of stops and it took us an hour and a quarter travelling through very pretty scenery. Pero, from Apartments Lenni, was waiting for us when we alighted from the bus. Our room is in the old town but seems to be in a street few people walk up.

    Once we'd settled in the afternoon was spent looking for a vantage point to do some photography. We walked west of the town then took a series of steps up the hill, followed a path left then found ourselves in a small car park. Further up the hill we noticed the Tommy Hipermarket with a rooftop car park - either take the lift or stairs to the roof and you will have glorious views over the old town.

    Tuesday 24/9
    An early start to what developed into a casual and relaxing day. While Stephen took a conference call for work I headed out just before half past seven for a walks east and west of town - very quiet with few people about.

    Our mission today was to concentrate on photography and visit a couple of local attractions. With this in mind we took an easterly path past the local swimming pool where the school kids were participating in swimming races then towards the park and the 'beach' where we had great views looking back to town and the marina. It was relaxing sitting in the shade watching the world go by.

    From here it was a walk back to town, through the Great Land Gate, and up the stairs to what must be the smallest exhibition we've come across. While the exhibit on the Moreška dance was nothing to write home about the view from the top floor was marvellous

    Climbing the bell tower finished off the morning activities - again we had excellent views from the top

    The afternoon saw us visiting the cathedral then whiling away the time sitting on a park bench with views back over to town.

    Tomorrow we're taking the 8:40am shared shuttle to Dubrovnik for three nights.

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    Following because DD leaves in one week for Venice and Croatia. Great to hear these details.

    If you have any hints as to clothing or weather as we get into next week it will be very much appreciated!

    Have a wonderful trip!

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    @cabovacation - we had temperatures in the mid 20's (Celsius) and generally sunny skies with little rain. In Switzerland now it is overcast and drizzly with plenty of mist. It's hard to predict what the weather will be like - I have a great app that I use and so far it's been quite accurate so we check the forecast and plan accordingly. Being of a different generation to your daughter I can only make the usual suggestion regarding clothing of taking layers.

    Sunday 29/9
    We are now in Switzerland having spent a wonderful couple of weeks travelling in Croatia. Here's how our days in Dubrovnik panned out.

    Wednesday 25/9
    Our transfer with Korkyra travel agency went smoothly and we arrived in Dubrovnik close to the scheduled time of 11:15am. Not long later we were settled into our apartment and hitting the crowds of the Stradun - Split had nothing on Dubrovnik as group after group of cruise patrons descended on the old town. It was a tad chaotic!

    After a quick bite to eat we made our way to War Photo Limited, where we viewed a somber exhibition from two photojournalists: one on the war in Mostar and the other the effects of war in Somalia. There were also television screens set up with a series of moving images from different conflicts being scrolled through.

    We wandered around popping into both Saint Ignatius Church and the Cathedral before making our way to the Franciscan Monastery. Once again, we found that a little bit of Croatian goes a long way and we had an animated chat and some friendly banter after speaking some very basic Croatian with the ticket seller.

    By 5pm we were heading up Mt Srd on the cable car. Unfortunately while the temperatures were warm the day was incredibly hazy and the views looking back to town were murky. The museum at the top was a definite highlight with a number of rooms and an abundance of information about the defence of Dubrovnik. The sections to the left of the entrance had comprehensive information in English while the rooms to the right were only in Croatian however, during our visit there was an excellent photographic exhibition entitled 'Croatian War Photography 1991-1992' from the collections of the Contemporary History Museum in Dubrovnik. The roof of the museum, reached by two sets of unlit stairs, was the place to be to watch the sun set: a blood red ball descending quickly below the horizon.

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    Thursday 26/9
    To beat the anticipated crowds we entered the walls at 8:40am - two and three quarter hours later we exited at the Pile Gate, just as it started drizzling. There were few people at that time of the morning and it wasn't until around ten that there were noticeably more people but it was not unmanageable. We are avid photographers and spent the time enjoying the view and watching the changing sky: from clear skies and sun to black storm clouds with shafts of light breaking through - very atmospheric.

    The Dominican Monastery was a pleasure to visit and we both thought it more peaceful and interesting than the Franciscan one. While photos were allowed inside the church it was forbidden in the exhibition rooms and it was here that the 'no photography' rule was strictly enforced. Another visitor thought they'd sneak a photo in a room without any supervision only to find someone come running into the room and confront them then make them delete the photos they'd taken.

    Seeing the tickets to walk the walls included entrance to the fortress we thought it might be a good place from which to see the setting sun. So, for two hours from 3:45pm we were on the top levels of the building watching the light over the old town and the walls change from harsh tones to a golden glow. As I said we are keen photographers - there is no other reason to explain why someone would spend two hours sitting on a roof!

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    Friday 27/9
    Today we decided to visit Cavtat but first we were on a mission: to find the place where the 'postcard' shot of Dubrovnik is taken - looking down on the town from the north-east. We found it! Here's a hint - if you locate Ulica Župska and walk up 190 plus stairs you will have a glorious morning view over Dubrovnik.

    We spent a couple hours in Cavtat and found it to be pretty enough but nothing out of the ordinary. The Rector's Palace was good for five minutes and the Cathedral for a peek. We enjoyed the small collection of paintings at the Vlaho Bukovac House and the Dominican Monastery before taking the walking path around the point. The boat trip back to Dubrovnik was pleasant.

    At 4:45pm we entered the Buža Bar and left two hours later, having watched the sun set and spent time chatting with an English couple at the next table.

    An early night was on the cards as our flight out of Dubrovnik was departing at 6:30am.

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    "At 4:45pm we entered the Buža Bar and left two hours later, having watched the sun set and spent time chatting with an English couple at the next table."

    I wondered how I missed this trip report and realized I was out of the country when you wrote it. Really makes me want to head back to Croatia and Slovenia. Thanks for sharing. I will now spend a few moments dreaming of the Buza Bar before I start working again.

    ((H))

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    Thanks for your comments maitaitom. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your trip reports and you were an inspiration to us in planning our trip! We're off to the USA in September and finishing up with ten nights in New York staying at the Chelsea Pines Inn, which we first started to investigate after reading about your holiday!
    We're looking forward to reading about your next adventure - happy travels

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