Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Tripgirls Trip Report: Slovenia/Croatia/Paris: A Messy Start, The Case of the Missing Shoes and Lots of Calamari!

Tripgirls Trip Report: Slovenia/Croatia/Paris: A Messy Start, The Case of the Missing Shoes and Lots of Calamari!

Old Jul 26th, 2006, 11:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,136
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

I'm off to lunch right now, but yes, I wanted to tell you that indeed I did go over to the Emonec, I remembered I promised you I would. It is located in a quiet alley right off the main square. I just went in to look at reception and it looked fine. I think you'll be happy there. I did not get to see any rooms, but your location is just great.

You won't need to purchase any money beforehand, just use the ATM.

For the drive it cost me 24E and I used a company called Orbita. Taxis may be cheaper of course, but we like someone waiting for us and after our fiasco, just someone to be there waiting was nice.....


Yes, Croatia is changing, changing....

I will cover my complete thoughts on this later, but for the location of Hvar I am glad it is changing to be more upscale and hip; it warrants it.

But yes, in Dubrovnik, the Villa Argentina fits in much better to scheme of Dubrovnik. I did go over to the Hilton and I will express my full thoughts later, but you are right, I did not find that special charm that the Villa Argentina produces as opposed to the Hilton which I thought was nice but rather charmless.

We talked with locals about some of the changes, which I will share with you later on.....
tripgirl is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2006, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,478
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Loving the report tripgirl! One question for you...How was it navigating out of the center of Zagreb and getting onto the A-1 motorway?

I'll be doing this in September. Picking a rental car up at the Sheraton Zagreb and driving to Split, on a Tuesday morning and just curious how difficult it might be getting from the city center to the highway. Is there good signage...is the route well marked?

Thanks for any info...and can't wait for your next installment!
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2006, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just read that Slovenia will start using the euro as their offical money starting in 2007.

There is quite an interesting article in todays Int'l Herald Tribune (www.iht.com). Click on Regions and than Europe to read the article.
LoveItaly is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2006, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 464
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Enjoying your trip report. Like Syl, I'm staying at the Emonec but at the end of September. I'll have a car so I wonder if you noticed if you could drive to the hotel to check in. They apparently do have some parking. Thanks--and keep writing.
JEFF_ is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2006, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,052
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
LoveItaly, I read about that a few weeks ago, and it helped us to decide to go ahead and visit this year. Lodging outside of Ljubljana seems to be quite inexpensive (we are planning on staying in the town of Novo Mesto, near the Croatian border), and I've read the food seems to be inexpensive as well. We wanted to visit before all of that changes with the introduction of the Euro!

tcreath is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2006, 02:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,136
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

We picked up our car at the Westin and from there all we needed to do was make two rights and stay straight. then we made a left onto a bridge that turned into the A1 and that was it.

We drove on a Monday so I think that helped with less traffic. you'll be fine.

JEFF: Your hotel is down an alley that looks like you can pull right up to. I think I did see parked cars in front. The hotel is convenient, you should have no problems, but why don't you ask them about the parking.

Before I turn to Dubrovnik, let me give you Split Resources;

Hotel Park: Bacvice Beach
Hatzeov perivoj 3

Bota restaurant: I do not know the adress, but it is on the beach area where all the restaurants are

Adriana restaurant: Right on the Riva

Our guide Tanya was arranged through our hotel, so I am not sure how to get in touch with her if you are interested in a tour.

I'll be back again after a client meeting and some dinner.

See you around 9pm.....
tripgirl is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2006, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Tracy, good idea as I too was thinking that Slovenia will probably no doubt not be the bargain it has been once they go on the Euro. I don't know if they still do but I have had friends that drove into Slovenia to purchase the gasoline for their vehicle as it was so much less expensive.

Haven't been to Slovenia yet..wish I had gone one of the times when I have been in the region of Veneto. Stupid me! Enjoy your trip and I am sure you will.
LoveItaly is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2006, 06:11 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,478
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Thanks for the info on driving out of Zagreb. I like being aware of any potential problems and knowing that getting out of the city shouldn't be difficult helps ease my mind. Although sometimes those problems make the most interesting parts of a trip!
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2006, 06:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,136
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ok, I'm back..

( the case of the missing shoes is not too far off now..)

We leave Split by about 1:30, easily find the coastal road, the E65 and off we go.

The road turns out well! DH is always up for driving in Europe , even winding roads don't scare him, but they make me crazy.

But to my pleasant surprise the road is good and not a nail biter.

First your lane is wide enough. Second the road does wind, but then straightens, then winds so there is not a constant wind in the road.

Next, no tour buses. We encountered none. And last there is little traffic, but we were driving on a Tues so that might explain it, but it was the summer, so I thought there would be more traffic , but there was not.

So anyway, I am actually enjoying this. I can describe the road to you further by comparisions. I would say its 100% better than the Amalfi Coast Drive and 1000% better than Ireland!!!

In the former , the road really does wind alot and you are on top of cliffs so it feels scarier and there are tour buses galore.

In Ireland the lanes are so narrow, with little guard railing, tons of big tour buses and herds of sheep.

Anyway, as we are driving, I always get a kick out seeing a town one minute and then you drive less than a mile and you are now exiting the town. So all the way down the coast I'm like a little kid announcing the town " Here is Markaska, Markaska is over". We past by all the coastal towns and scenery is breathaking with the mountains in background and the sea below. i'm so glad we did this as we get to see alot more of the country this way.

But still those who don't relish driving, probably should think of other modes of transportation.

Anyway, exiting to Dubrovnik is easy and well marked. Finding our hotel is well marked too, no problems at all.


Catbert: I bow to thee, I bow to thee!!

You were the first post I read when doing my research and your raves about the place intrigued me so. After further and deeper research, the Grand Villa Argentina is for us.

Upon approach we land a plum parking space right in front of the hotel where we'll leave it until we return it the next day,

The hotel entrance is shiny, spiffy and elegant! It's bright, happy, and spacious and I know this will go on my favorite hotels list. Right out the lobby window is the sea and the Old Town and is breathtaking.

Check in is swift and efficient and a package of materials on Dubrovnik is all prepared for us.

Our room is a deluxe double room in the Villa Argentina, one floor down from reception. I know Catbert has done a fine job explaining in the past the layout of this place, but I will repeat.

The property has a main hotel part and four villas: Villa Argentina, Villa Glavic ( across the street) , Villa Orsula ( with its own separate entrance) and the Villa Scheradaze( sp?) ( which is a property that is a true villa for a group of people).

We are most happy with our room in the Villa. Its super huge, with a glorious and yummy bed with lots of pillows, walk in closet, sitting area, elegant and spacious bathroom and a stone terrace that has two great chairs and a table. The stone terrace is carved with colonnades that support 3 arches. From the dining area, you can spot our room with its terrace. It's the only one with arches.

Large elegant paintings ( albeit a little on the boring Viennese style but stil elegant) adorn the walls. Good AC and great TV.

A bottle of wine is given to us for our anniversay.

Huge floor to celling windows and elegant drapery.

The view from our terrace of the sea with the Old Town all in one view is extraordinary.

Catbert: I bow to thee, I bow to thee!!!

The entire hotel is fabulous. The terrace for breakfast dining is huge. I remember one poster thinking it looks quite impersonal, but we found it so relaxing. There were also comfy couches that served as an area to have drinks on this terrace next to all the tables set for breakfast. There was nothing like having breakfast with the sea and Old Town.

The hotel has a decent workout room, spa( DH had a massage), gift shop, nice bar and nice swimming pool with lounge chairs we made full use of. The pool is right on the edge of the sea and there is a ladder you climb down and voila; you are inthe sea.

The staff are cordial, not overly friendly, but nice enough. There is one woman in particular who was really nice to talk to.

There is an Atlas representative right in the lobby so if you want to book excursions right then and there, you can.

We arrive in time almost for dinner, so after fresh up , we take our first of many walks into the Old Town. It's an easy walk, maybe 10 minutes if that, passing by the Excelsior Hotel next door and East West Beach, both of which I will share a bit about later.

You enter the Ploce Gate and after a few turns here and there, you are placed right in the the Old Town!

The ground shines from the white marble polished to a smooth surface after years of human feet. It's a beautiful little Old Town, albeit it is crowded, but certianly not unbearable. There is space to of course walk through the Stradun ( or main street).

We looked a little to our right and left, but mostly head straight for our dinner spot, as we are then going to participate in the Dubrovnik Summer Festival that night by hearing the Zagreb Philharmonic outside at the St Ignatius Church at 9:30pm.

Dinner: Proto, Siroka Ulica. Fabulous! We are led to the upper terrace area with a warm welcome and efficient and friendly service.

Let the seafood begin!!!!

We started off with escargots, one of my favorite foods. I must tell you that I have sampled escargots all over France and I have to say though, these escargots were perhaps the best I've ever had. A bold statement my DH thinks as I say this to him, then he takes one and he is silent for about what seemed forever and then he said he couldn't agree more!!

They were melt in your mouth, with just the right amount of garlic and butter. The texture was perfect and the balance of each ingredient, was so correct. Me oh my!!!

Then we had a salmon in a mushroom truffle sauce and swordfish in tomato sauce that were to die for. The fish is properly cooked to a buttery softness, but not mushy or overcooked and in each of the sauces you could taste each flavor note.

Sour cherry strudel ended our meal and reminded me of my Mom's strudel( we are Eastern European). So delicious and a fine finish. DH had several glasses of white wine, I forgot which ones, but I had some sips ( I actually do not drink much) and it was delicious.

Off to the concert we go and I will let you know about that tomorrow, my hand hurts and I'm tired!!!

See you tommorrow.....

tripgirl is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2006, 10:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, private guides are the best. And you are damned right not to travel budget, but "pretty upscale" and luxurious. The report is pure Hyacinth.
Oh, I must pop off now, my pearl-white slim-line telephone is ringing right now and that must be someone very important. Ha ha ha.
Gaspard is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2006, 09:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,136
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

We headed in the direction of St Ignatius church where on the square of the church our concert was to take place. The stairs you ascend to look very much like the Spanish Steps in Rome. We would find ourselves going up these stairs in days to come to get to the Buza Bar( I'll tell you later about that).

The concert starts out wonderuflly, but in the middle of the concert it starts to drizzle and conductor puts an end to concert and the musicians scram for it. Oh well!!! concert over!

As you would guess as soon as we all run for it, the rain stops. But of course they could not take any chances with expensive instruments.

And so ends our first night Dubrovnik. The walk back to the Argentia is lovely with the moon shining gloriously on the sea, couples hand and hand and we return to our fabulous room ready to start the next day.

Wednesday July 12th: We enjoyed a little sleep in time, a really nice breakfast buffet ( everything you can imagine all of good quality)shared with the sea and Old Town.

This morning, DH has some business to do with his laptop and wants to just putz a little in the room. I leave immediately for the Old Town to do the walking of the walls.

I walked about 3/4 around, it gets hot up there, but I'm fine. Also being an avid exerciser does help, as there are stairs, then declines, then inclines and more stairs and up and down and up and down. Really, anyone with some reasonable fitness can accomplish the walls, you need not rush, just enjoy the views and take lots of pictures.

I started at Ploce gate and worked my way counterclockwise. It is amazing how red the roofs are as most of you know the original roofs were shelled and needed replacing.

After my workout, I was ready for next workout,....sunning!

Met DH and together we went to our pool and enjoyed some sunning and then a bite for lunch at the hotel's beach restaurant. Salad Nicoise and Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil are for us and its all good.

About 5pm, DH goes by himself for a walking tour of the Old Town; I usually join in on all touring activities, but I just wanted to relax. He said it was very good. The group met outside Pile Gate and there were 4 people in his group, so that made it very nice. He got an education on the history of Dubrovnik and basically saw all the important buildings. He said the tour guide was very good.

I met DH after his tour in the Old Town and I brought him over to the Buza Bar, so many of you told about in your reports. It's on the outside of the walls and the way we walked to it was to ascend the stairs at St Ignatius Church, go through the square, bear to our left and then to the right, up the pathway until you come to the Cold Drinks Sign and then enter through a doorless doorway and there you are! Wow! What a great spot for a drink. We snagged an excellent table and just hung out for a few hours before dinner. Highly recommend, very relaxing and magical.

Dinner: We dined at a lovely little spot, Rozarij, Prijeko 2. This spot is at the very end of what is kind a restaurant street, Prijeko. We did not eat at any of the restaurants on this street, except this one. It's tucked into the corner and is the closest to Ploce Gate.

All the tables outside were full, as there are not many of them, but we dined inside, but it was so close to the door, we felt outside. The service is cordial, not too friendly but the food is excellent. We shared a lovely salad of greens, tomatoes, cabbage and beets. Fried Calamari and Seafood Risotto rounded out our meal

That's calamari twice now.

The rest of the evening we just strolled around, checked out the Fuego Club ( club right outside the Pile Gate ) that is supposed to be really happening , but nothing was happening.

In addition, I'll tell you at this point, I also spent part of the day in between the walls and sunning, checking out various hotels so I can be of help to anyone here on this board, since we are always asking " Did you see....?

So here is my review of various hotels that get mentioned on this board.

Please bear in mind I did not have access to viewing any of the rooms at any of these properties, nor did I have any lengthy interaction with the staff, nor did I get to participate in any of their amenities.

My assessments are based purely on what I saw surface level and my opinion of the surrounding area. So it may or may not be useful to you, but I thought it would be worth a shot.

Hilton Imperial: I think I share Catbert's opinion that the hotel is on the WRONG side of the walls. And what I mean by that is, is while the access to Pile Gate is a hop, skip and a jump ( maybe 1 block apart), which is nice, the immediate area surrounding the hotel is full of tour buses and not really that charming.

The first thing I noticed that there was terrace ( for drinks and/or dining)that basically looked out onto the street. Perhaps there is another terrace that I did not see, but from this one, it is just set out in front of the hotel with a view of the street.

I could not tell what kind of views were available from the guest rooms. However, the hotel has one of the forts in front of it and I am not sure how much the fort blocks any sea views. Again, I did not see the room views and perhaps they are fabulous.

The lobby is very nice, crisp cool colors and the front desk looks efficiently busy. I only walked down the main corridor, and as in many resort like Hilton's it was certainly nice.

But all in all, I personally would not have chosen it, as in just the few minutes I visited, I did not get any sense of real charm and after you have had a a complete full view of the Old Town from a good enough distance at the Argentina, I could not get any real perspective where I was while visiting the Hilton.

I am sure the guest rooms are lovely and the staff are well trained.

Pucic Palace, inside the city walls, adjacent to one of the main squares, Gunduliceva poljana.

As much as I am attracted to unique boutique properties, this one I just didn't get fully.

First, for me at least, I personally do not feel that Dubrovnik is one of those cities that you need to stay inside the walls. The city is much more than just the Old Town and I'd rather have fantastic view of it, than be in it. It is not necessary to stay inside, as so many places are within such reasonable walking distance. It is not like, let's say Rome, where you want to be around the Navona area or something very central. Usually we always stay as central as we can, but it is so not necessary for Dubrovnik.

The biggest minus of course is no great sea view, so that ended our decision
to stay there no matter what.

Once entered, there is a small reception area and I would describe the decor as monastery chic. The receptionist let me wander a bit, but could not show me any rooms as they were all occupied( so people do want to stay there!)

I could see that the room doors were not too far apart, which of course would warrant that the some of the rooms are small. I know there are jr suites and full suites though, which I assume are larger.

I got a brochure and the room pictures look nice, but in my opinion, not any more chic that our room at the Argentina.

Terrace has a view of the city, but not the same view I look at from the Argentina, which I like much better.

The tariffs are really high and seem out of whack for the Dubrovnik. A double room in high season starts over 400E and the suite is something like over 800E( that's more than the Four Seasons in Paris where we stayed on this trip, I'll tell you more about later).

Obviously people want to stay there, they were booked. But I did not see the great appeal. Perhaps if I stood in a room and the wow factor was just too great to bear, perhaps, but even then, so full sea view, means no stay for us.

Stari Grad; The other hotel set within in the walls. I know one poster stayed there recently and ejoyed it. The reception area looked lovely , but again I could nto see the rooms as they were fully booked. If you wanted to really stay within the walls, I'd go for this instead of the Pucic and save some money. Even though you guys know I am a hotel spender, the Pucic again seems so out of whack.

Excelsior: Right next door to us on Frana Supila. I know for many years the Excelsior was considered one ofhe top hotels. It probably still is and know some posters really love it. But my first impression left me cold. The entrance and lobby are really dark, all wood, but with a 70's wood feel to it. Nothing bright and happy about it. I walked through the guest corridors and they seemed very dark to me. Some the lower lobbies seems quite comfortable and nicely appointed. I know the views are the same as what we had at the Argentina, but I felt as least the public areas seemed a little dated and dark.

If you regularly stay there and love it, I am sure with good reason. I am sure the rooms are terrific and the staff is very nice.

Villa Dubrovnik: Tower, you had my curiousity up when you said to take a look at it.

It is further down the street from
the Argentina, but still part of a pleasant walk. Now again, I did not see any rooms or experience anything at the hotel, but I was not impressed. The lobby seemed stark ( and not in a good minimalist way) and the terrace while it seemed nice with the same great views, it was half as inviting as the Argentina.

I grew to really love our pool
( even though it usually is not a factor in our stays since we are not huge pool people, but we do like to sun) and a lack of a pool area here I would have missed.

I guess I am saying I was prety wowed by our stay at the Argentina and could find little to fault it. But I am sure all the other hotels have merits well beyond what I saw.

I'll be back after lunch...
tripgirl is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2006, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,151
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tripgirl, you have articulated so well my assessment of the hotels in Dubrovnik; particularly the "in or outside the old walled city" debate. The view from my balcony was just such a special special part of my stay. When I walked into the air conditioned lobby upon arrival, without reservations, and found that they had a sea view room for me, I confess I burst into tears. That view from the entire wall of window just did something to me.

I'm so glad you enjoyed your stay there. And you certainly found the best restaurants. You did much better than I did there. My breakfasts on the terrace were a real highlight though. Nothing can beat that perspective of the sea, the island, and the old walled city.

I'm really enjoying your report.
Catbert is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2006, 01:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,136
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Another sunny day in Croatia, ho-hum!

DH returns the car at the same time gets our ferry tickets for Sunday to Hvar, up in Gruz at the ferry port where he is returning the car.

Today we decide to go to Cavtat and its nice but we really don't do anything there except to eat lunch.

DH is not the fondest of boat rides and he thought it was closer to Dubrovnik that it turned out to be; an hour away. All the boats to various islands can be picked up at the dock as you enter Ploce gate and then down a little ways, you will see an opening that has a pizza place and gelato stand and at the end, there are many tables with people seliing boat rides to various places.

But still Cavtat is a lovely little town and we have lunch at a really great place amid flowers on a terrace with us as the only ones on the terrace. The waiter is delightful. the place is called, Kolona, Put Tihe 2. Fried Calamari and fried shrimp for us, yum-yum

that's the third calamari!

I walk around the town a little while Dh sits and reads at the harbourfront and then we go back. So we really did not plan well to visit Cavtat, I am sure there was more to do than what we did, I just wanted to see the surrounding area that we did not pass on our drive down from Zagreb.

The Cavtat trip took up most of the day, we finished by just taking in some sun at the pool.

Tonight we have tickets to another Dubrovnik Summer Festival Performance; the Monterey Jazz Festival. Actually of course it's not THE Monterey Jazz Festival, but rather a group of extremely talented, cream of the crop, top notch mostly Calif students ( some are from Oregon) that have this really good jazz ensemble. This kids could wail!

The pianist in particular; I am watching out for this kid; he is going to be famous!

Anyway, no rain in sight as we enjoy this concert again in open air on top of Revelin Fort ( as you are exiting Ploce gate).

However, about 3 numbers into the program the wind picks up something fierce and the poor pianist's sheet music goes flying every which way and soemone from the festival committee had to stand there and hold the music for him! Then at the intermission, the music stands begin to topple over and sheet music is flying everywhere!!

It's wasn't funny, but it was, if you know what I mean!

Anyway, I guess they had not planned on strong winds and they had nary a anchor to keep anything down.

But the concert ended in good form, it was a delightful eveving.

Another stroll back to Argentina, moonlit, romantic... aaaahh!!!!!

Later tonight.... The Case of the Missing Shoes makes its appearance...Stay tuned...

tripgirl is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2006, 06:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,136
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Friday July 14th: MONTENEGRO DAY

We prebooked the Montenegro Blue day and off we go at 7:15am ( early , I know!) from the hotel.

After various pick up spots, we are a pretty full bus. Normally we do not like being with a big group of others, but to do Montenegro with some history we thought we'd use Atlas. I know another poster had recently a driver and that always appeals to us, but I was concerned he would not be able to share much with us about the history.

As it turns out, the guide, Inis, was lovely, smart and fun , but she really did not share extensive history of Montenegro. I realize that the Blue tour may have focused more on the coastline rather than the historical tour, but the historical tour was given on Wed and I did not want our first day in Dubrovnik to be taken up by an all day bus tour.

With that said, I am glad we did the tour, it was lovely to see another country.

We viewed the Bay of Kotor; and Bob, your pictures do it justice, it is truly beautiful. I have not been to Norway, but it was compared to the fjords there. I can only imagine how beautiful that is after seeing the Bay. We are high up, so the view is spectactular.

We then spent time in the town of Kotor, just walking around and a bit of cafe sitting and shopping.

We also went to Sv Stephan, the once glittery resort area. We were given free entry into the resort( otherwise you have to pay something like 5 kn or something like that) and I could see why it once was a happening place. The hotel is in operation, and for a night or two I could see it can be a nice experience. The beach is right there and was not crowded. We had a group lunch there, that was tasty, but frankly way too heavy for me.

I take it back that we ate only meat in Slovenia; today's lunch is pork, peas, potaotes, , a salad, prosciutto and a dessert that was very much like baklava. Way too much for me! Only ate about 1/2.

We made a stop in Budva, a town I really liked, but I rememember someone saying that they did not care for it; I found it delightful. We just walked around and soaked in it.

Inis, our guide, did proceed to give a history of the war on the bus on the way back. DH and I studied up of the war in preparation for our trip, so almost everything she told us we knew, but it is nice to hear it from her perspective.

Upon entering back into Croatia, the security was really tight. Our bus driver had to open every crack and crevice of the bus for the inspectors. But they nary glanced at at all of our passports.

A long day, yes, but I think it is worth it, it's not too expensive and you do get a means of comparing countries and understanding of the regions of the former Yugoslavia.

Since the entire day is spent in Montenegro, we are back around 7pm.

Dinner tonight is great!! We have found a waitress who stole our heart.

Arka, a restaurant right underneatth "my" stairs going up to St Ignatius church.

Arka is a relatively new restaurant and our waitress is great!! She is incredibly friendly and we spend time talking with her. We got a sense of the employment or should I say unemployment situation in Croatia. Her training is in management, but she cannot find a job and so she works as a waitress. It is not certainly uncommon to see that in our own country, but she explains that there are so few jobs for people who are qualified professionals.

DH's guide from the other day for the walking tour of Dubrovnik is a trained nurse. While she enjoys being a guide, she'd much rather be a nurse and there is no job for her.

Anyway, back to dinner...

Arka is set outside so your view of the "my" stairs is great. An assorted fish platter with shellfishes and whole fish for DH and surprise, surprise for me: grilled calamari

That is the fourth calamari!

We just linger kibbutzing around with our waitress and enjoying the warm balmy night.

Highly recommend Arka.

We go around the corner to a jazz place called Troubadur, but the place is so crowded and no place to sit. If interested , this is outdoor venue with jazz groups each night.
You can hear the music from a distance as well. Buniceva Poljana. We didn't stay long.

End to another successful day and , I forgot, the Case of the Missing Shoes actually happens on Sat.

Stay tuned....
tripgirl is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2006, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 105
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

I love your report, and now I think I have decided to go to Croatia next year. I've already planned my trip this Fall (I am going to Italy and Paris). My sister is getting married next September and I am the maid of honour and I think I'll take my own honeymoon. After all the wedding planning, I'll need my own getaway, and Croatia sounds perfect.

I'd like to look up where my family is in Croatia, since my grandfather died so early in life I just don't have much information...other than my last name.

Is 9 days enough time? Where would your top places be to go? I would go in October so that may play a role in what areas I would go.
What is your general feeling of the people of Croatia?

Looking forward to hearing more.
Travelbug13 is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2006, 07:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,136
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

I am also glad to hear people who have ties to a place and excited to go "home"!

Yes, I think 9 days would be fine for highlights and I think where you go is really a matter of preference and logistics.

For instance, as much as I would have liked to, we did not go to Istria as it just did not fit in logistically. We also did not stop at Plitvice Lake area as it also just could not fit in.

We enjoyed our itinerary though; driving down the coast and visiting Split, Dubrovnik, ferry to Hvar, and then Trogir. I felt like we saw alot of the country since we drove.

Where is your family from specifically?

You can do alot of visiting of small islands, more than we did, as we became lazy to move around more than we did. We are also sun worshippers, so staying put on a lounge chair in an incredible setting was what we wanted.

I thought the people were nice, no rudeness whatsoever, but a bit guarded. For me at least, it is still the Italians that I most respond to( a speak some Italian and go there often), but we did encounter some very warm Croatians ( see the waitress at Arka in the last entry for example)
I was not left with any aaahhs and ooohs about the people as I always leave with from Italy, but you might very well feel a kinship with them.

I think your plans sound good.. just go. and go before I think the prices might go up......
tripgirl is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2006, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Nice report. I'm curious as to why you went through ORD. There were many other inexpensive ways with only one stop and no airport changes.

From IAD; you could have gone United vis Brussles, Swiss Air via Zurich, Austrian Air via Vienna, or Lufthansa via Frankfurt or Munich. (I'll leave out Air France via CDG). Just my opinion, but I won't go ANYWHERE via ORD (or CDG).
bardo1 is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2006, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 105
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As far as I know they are from the Dubrovnik area. My grandfather had a wife and children there before he had to leave the country for political reasons. This was in the 40's so not sure how accurate this information is.

Anyway, he met my grandmother in Quebec and had children with her before he passed away.

So....that is the story and I am sure eveyrone is just so interested in my family tree.....sorry for the diversion folks.

But it just feels like going to Croatia would be an adventure but also would be like putting bits of puzzle pieces together of my history. Which is why your trip report has definitely hit close to home.

I was told by many to go soon, as the prices will definitely be going up. The Lonely Planet declared Croatia as the must see place of 2006.

On another note....I am off to Italy in 2 months, and excited to meet and be around Italians. I always find them to be people so full of life and full of personality. Can't wait!
Travelbug13 is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2006, 10:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,136
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

not to risk sounding curt, but if you read the very beginning of my report we used FF on AA. That is our airline we have a zillion points with. So that was the route.

Of course I know there are many different ways to get to CDG, but when you've got lots of free miles, you take them.

It was really no biggie, a messy start yes, but this never happened to us before and I am sure it happens to some ALOT!


Have a great time in Italy! but start planning Croatia, now!!
tripgirl is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2006, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,856
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
tripgirl -
What a wonderful trip you have had (altho' I'm still waiting to hear about the missing shoes).

Great writing and terrific info. Thanks for sharing and please continue.
LCBoniti is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -