Five Weeks in the Former Yugoslovia

Old Jun 4th, 2019, 10:31 AM
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Old Jun 4th, 2019, 10:48 AM
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Kotor from Mt Lovćen
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Old Jun 4th, 2019, 01:05 PM
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The driving (and parking) sounds hair raising. But what a fabulous trip. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Jun 4th, 2019, 10:54 PM
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Adelaidean- Fortunately the driving and parking issues are few and far between over the course of the 5 ˝ weeks trip, but they have been a bit hairraising at times. GT is great at handling it. Me, I wouldn’t be so good. Yes, it’s a great trip.

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Old Jun 5th, 2019, 04:08 PM
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Alison, thank you for reminding me about your trip report. I remember reading it last summer or fall, and I found it very helpful and enjoyable. I will definitely re-read it. Thanks!
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Old Jun 5th, 2019, 04:22 PM
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Yestravel, when you drove around the Bay of Kotor, not up into the mountains, were you high up? Both of those drives do sound like white-knuckled drives! We plan on only a day trip to the Bay of Kotor, so we won't be going up into the mountains. But it sounds like the drive around the bay can be stressful, too. But I assume you are at a lower level.
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Old Jun 5th, 2019, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by KarenWoo
Yestravel, when you drove around the Bay of Kotor, not up into the mountains, were you high up? Both of those drives do sound like white-knuckled drives! We plan on only a day trip to the Bay of Kotor, so we won't be going up into the mountains. But it sounds like the drive around the bay can be stressful, too. But I assume you are at a lower level.
The side of the bay that Kotor is on is not a problem. It's the opposite side where Muo is which is where we stayed. I also think having a smaller car would have made a huge difference. If you're planning on going into Kotor you won't have a problem other than the normal traffic issues. Yes, Kotor is level with the bay & has wider roads.
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Old Jun 6th, 2019, 03:22 PM
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I’ve finally finished reading your on the go trip report - amazing! What a fantastic trip! Great photos, fascinating places that you’ve seen! And so wonderfully written! I definitely have it at the top of my too-long list of places thst we “must” visit! ��

Thanks to both you and gotravel for a great report!
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Old Jun 7th, 2019, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by progol
I’ve finally finished reading your on the go trip report - amazing! What a fantastic trip! Great photos, fascinating places that you’ve seen! And so wonderfully written! I definitely have it at the top of my too-long list of places thst we “must” visit! ��

Thanks to both you and gotravel for a great report!
I'm glad you enjoyed the TR. It's definitely a worthwhile area to visit with lots of choices of where to go and what to visit.
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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 09:16 AM
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Final 8 Days

We’re back home from our trip – it was great despite the drippy & dreary weather we encountered so often. Rather than continue with a travelogue style we will highlight what we recommend for anyone going to Dubrovnik, Mostar and Sarajevo.

On the drive from Kotor to Dubrovnik we stopped to see the Roman mosaics in Rissan. https://waytomonte.com/en/p-3473-roman-mosaics-in-risan
Another bargain, for a couple of Euros you can see excellent pre Christian Roman murals. Well worth the euros and ~30 minutes to view them.

We used Nova car rental for both car rentals. Once again no one was at the office, but a phone # had been posted. Nova was the contractor with Auto Europe and they were otherwise fine. No problems with the return once the agent showed up.

We stayed in a small studio in the Old Town for 3 nights. https://www.booking.com/hotel/hr/lau...partments.html
Staying in the Old Town requires you to drag your luggage from one of the 2 gates to your lodging. I had been given advice to check the number of steps to a lodging and to minimize the steps up and down. This was good advice unless you feel the need for exercise. Our apt was well located about an 8 minute walk from the Ploča Gate, scooting along the harbor and required a minimal # of steps to reach it.

As expected Dubrovnik is extremely crowded between 10 am and 3ish. To avoid the crowds from cruisers and day trippers, we suggest walking the walls and sightseeing outside those hours. We walked the walls starting around 4:30 and it was minimally crowded and became less crowded as the time wore on. This is considered “THE” attraction and rightly so.

Two outstanding galleries/museums to see to avoid the mid day crowds are The War Photo Limited Exhibition Center and the Red History Museum. The former is in the historic old town and the latter is a short taxi or bus ride. It’s right near the port. While we were there the War Photo Limited Exhibition Center had the powerful and harrowing photo exhibit, the End of Yugoslavia. The Red History offered a fascinating glimpse into the daily life in communist Yugoslavia.

The second and final full day in Dubrovnik we left by water ferry and visited Cavtat. Cavtat is on the coast SE of Dubrovnik and an oasis of relative peace and quiet. It’s a lovely 45-60 minute ferry ride and a charming village to explore. We had an excellent lunch at Bugenvila
Bugenvila.

Twice we tried for sunsets at 2 different Buža Bar locations. The server at the smaller one, said they were the “baby” bar. The both had spectacular views despite not facing directly west.

If you’re looking for some different food, try Fat Cats. It was quite good.

If you want to see an unimpeded view of Dubrovnik’s fantastic architecture, grab your camera & go for a stroll at 7 am. The streets are empty except for natives going to work. Well worth getting up early.

Knowing how horribly crowded Dubrovnik has become, we debated about even visiting. It worked out well as we managed to thread the needle and avoid the tourist hordes.

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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 09:32 AM
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Rissan mosaics

Entering Dubrovnik via the Ploče Gate

Communist era kitchen, Red History Museum

On the city walls, Dubrovnik

On the city walls, Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, 7:00 a.m.
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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 10:10 AM
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Red History Museum—loved this!

Crowds in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik from the water

Cavtar
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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 01:43 PM
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Hopefully, some people are still following along.

MOSTAR
Originally we had planned to spend an overnight in Mostar, but weather forecasts changed our minds. We decided to just stop off on the way to Sarajevo and have an afternoon in Mostar.

The bus station in Dubrovnik is about 10 minutes outside of the old town near the port. You can buy your bus tickets online in advance if you’d like. You must print out the bus tickets. https://getbybus.com/en/bus-routes/dubrovnik-331/mostar-6829/2019-06-17?adults=1&children=0&students=0&pensioners=0#/

In Dubrovnik, you can go to the Tourist Office near the fountain and they will print the tickets for you. The bus trip to Mostar from Dubrovnik is about 4 hours with one stop for refreshments & restrooms along the way. There are also 2 border stops. We left at 8 am and arrive noonish. The bus station in Mostar has inexpensive luggage storage. The train station is right next door. We took a taxi to the bridge but walked back from the bridge to the train station. The walk is about 20-30 minutes.

The bridge looks exactly as it does in pictures. The town was very crowded and lined with cafes and souvenir shops. It’s a tribute to human perseverance that they rebuilt the bridge. I’m sure that one can explore and find much in Mostar. We did not. We were anxious to move onto Sarajevo.



Train tickets to Sarajevo can be purchased online. Even if you purchase them online you still have to go to the ticket office at the train station. We went to the train station and purchased our handwritten tickets about 45 minutes before the train’s scheduled departure. We splurged and for $4.00 we upgraded to first class. ManinSeat61 gives lots of info on the train. https://www.seat61.com/trains-and-ro...r-by-train.htm
The ride is absolutely beautiful. Highly recommended. I had read discussions about train vs bus with some people saying they were the same. I would disagree. The bus would hug the valley while the train is above the valley going thru tunnels and switchbacks. So while the scenery is the same, the angle of the view is decidedly different

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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 03:20 PM
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Thank you for continuing with your wonderful report. I love your photos of Dubrovnik. Thanks for the tip about the Red History Museum. It was not on my list. So I checked my guidebooks (I have 3), and no one mentioned it. So I added it to my sightseeing list. Already had made note of the War Photo Limited Exhibition. Did you have better weather in Dubrovnik?
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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by KarenWoo
Thank you for continuing with your wonderful report. I love your photos of Dubrovnik. Thanks for the tip about the Red History Museum. It was not on my list. So I checked my guidebooks (I have 3), and no one mentioned it. So I added it to my sightseeing list. Already had made note of the War Photo Limited Exhibition. Did you have better weather in Dubrovnik?
Thanks for continuing to follow along.
We got to Dubrovnik and there was some clearing the first afternoon and evening. And then the next 2 days were perfect! A couple rain showers, but of short duration. We became so paranoid about the weather, we were constantly examining the skies.��

Cloudy the first afternoo

Then blue skies!

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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 08:57 PM
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Just catching up (we’ve been travelling).
What a great holiday you had.
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Old Jun 14th, 2019, 03:28 AM
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Loving this, yestravel! I’m so glad you’re finishing this up. The photos are beautiful and I’m so glad you’re finishing the trip report. You and gotravel had an amazing trip!
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Old Jun 14th, 2019, 09:00 AM
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Great report - sounds like you dealt with the poor weather with a better attitude than I would have had.


Couple questions - the day you drove yourselves around the Istrian Peninsula, it sounds like you might have stopped at more towns than Gronjan. Where else did you go that day? I'm trying to figure out how many places we can see in day (starting and ending in Rovinj).



For the Plitvice Lakes, we accidentally booked tickets for entrance 1 when we are staying at a hotel at entrance 2. I emailed them to try to change it but have not gotten a response (over a week since I emailed them). Wondering if it's worth changing - can you park you car at the hotel at entrance 2 and take a bus to entrance 1?
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Old Jun 14th, 2019, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by isabel
Great report - sounds like you dealt with the poor weather with a better attitude than I would have had.
Originally Posted by isabel
Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the TR. Oh, I definitely had my whining moments about the drippy & dreary weather.

Couple questions - the day you drove yourselves around the Istrian Peninsula, it sounds like you might have stopped at more towns than Gronjan. Where else did you go that day? I'm trying to figure out how many places we can see in day (starting and ending in Rovinj).

I don't remember exactly what we did that day. We stopped very briefly in 2 small villages, that I recall. We had some tourist maps showing various sites and we tended to drive about checking some out. How much you can see depends upon the villages. Gronjan didn't grab u, so other than lunch, we spent very little time there. Others love it & could spend several hours wandering and going in all the shops. Some villages have much more to see than others. It's a pretty small area and driving is very easy with little to no traffic.

For the Plitvice Lakes, we accidentally booked tickets for entrance 1 when we are staying at a hotel at entrance 2. I emailed them to try to change it but have not gotten a response (over a week since I emailed them). Wondering if it's worth changing - can you park you car at the hotel at entrance 2 and take a bus to entrance 1?

Entrance 1 & 2 are no more than 5 minutes apart on the same road. I saw bus stops with people at them along the road, but really didn't pay any attention so can't help you. Parking was very inexpensive at entrance 1. Your hotel should be able to tell you about the buses.

Progol -- Thanks! Glad you are still "with us." As you know, its time consuming so nice to know others are reading it.
Adelaidean -- Thank you, too, for continuing with us. Yes, we loved this trip. Wasn't quite sure what to expect as I kept putting Croatia off for many years. For some reason, it never rose to the top and got pushed aside for other countries. So glad we finally did it.

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Old Jun 14th, 2019, 09:54 AM
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Here are a couple pictures taken through the window of the train ride from Mostar to Sarajevo. Just spectacular.

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