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Your honest answers, please!

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Jun 25th, 2014, 03:00 PM
  #1
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Your honest answers, please!

I only read great reviews about Croatia, but I'd like to know the pros and cons. I just need more basic travel tips, so I can better prepare myself for the trip

1. What are 3 things you did NOT like about Croatia?
2. What were 3 things that were a cultural shock ?
3. What did you wish you had brought from home that you didn't?
4. What are 3 important lessons learned for other tourists?

Lastly, any advise on traveling with young children?
kittycatangel is offline  
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Jun 25th, 2014, 03:21 PM
  #2
 
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1. Little sightseeing, boring landscape.
2. I can't imagine anything that would be a culture shock in Croatia.
3. Nothing; I brought everything I needed (I don't know what this has to do with Croatia specifically).
4. What do you mean by important lessons? I have no idea how to answer this.
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Jun 25th, 2014, 03:38 PM
  #3
 
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I do know a little about Croatia but did find your questions a bit strange. Nevertheless here are my responses.

1) There was nothing about Croatia that I didn't like.

2) I think only the overly sensitive, self-absorbed and those that should never venture from home in the first place would find anything resembling cultural shock in Croatia.This comment is coming from someone who has lived in Australia, South Africa and England and traveled extensively through out Europe. Of course there are differences which I think is an important aspect of the travel experience but cultural shock? I don't think so.

3) Absolutely nothing

4) The best advice I could give any tourist to Croatia (or anyplace else for that matter ) is to study or at least have a basic understanding of the country's history and for Croatia most importantly it's recent history.
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Jun 25th, 2014, 03:45 PM
  #4
 
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1) We did not like that we only had 2 weeks planned for the trip there. The country is beautiful and deserves a lot more time.
2) Nothing.
3) Nothing
4) If not staying in a hotel and you need to catch an early flight, you need to travel with an alarm clock. Not sure how important this "lesson" is for others, but you asked.
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Jun 25th, 2014, 06:41 PM
  #5
kja
 
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1. What are 3 things you did NOT like about Croatia?

- Leaving it
- Deciding what to skip
- The insects in the Lonjsko Polje (which, BTW, is no where near any of the places you have mentioned visiting in any of your posts)

2. What were 3 things that were a cultural shock ?

- How few Westerners bothered to learn to say "hello" in Croatian
- How few Westerners bothered to learn to say "thank you" in Croatian
- How unfailingly hospitable Croatians were despite the frequent rudeness of their Western visitors

3. What did you wish you had brought from home that you didn't?

- More batteries for my camera
- More memory for my camera
- Picaridin

4. What are 3 important lessons learned for other tourists?

- Get at least one good guidebook, and preferably several
- Learn how to say at least a few civilities in Croatian
- Don't assume that people (anywhere, including on this board) are dishonest

5. Lastly, any advise on traveling with young children?

- teach them good manners, at home and abroad and on the internet
- teach them how to use English properly
- teach them to travel with an openness to what they experience

And BTW, I disagree with adrienne -- I found a lot of sightseeing opportunities (actually, too many!) and thought the landscapes among the most beautiful in the world.
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Jun 25th, 2014, 09:26 PM
  #6
 
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I spent only ten days in Croatia in October 2009:

- Zagreb (2 nights)
- Plitvice Lakes (1 night)
- Baska Voda (1 night)
- Dubrovnik (3 nights)
- Korcula (2 nights)
- Split (2 nights)

Honestly, I didn't fall in love with Croatia, mostly, but I'm still glad I went and hope to return to see more (primarily Istria which I missed entirely). The highlights for me were Plivice Lakes National Park (a highlight of all of Europe for me, actually, so far) and Dubrovnik - sort of. I found Dubrovnik unique and photogenic and would have deeply regretted missing it, but I don't really desire to return, the way I did after visiting Paris, Venice, and Prague.

I preferred Slovenia to Croatia myself, but I am still glad I visited Plitvice and Dubrovnik - and I probably would have enjoyed Korcula more had I arrived in mid-September instead of mid-October when the season was pretty much over and the town was somewhat dead. I'm not sure why anyone would hesitate to visit Croatia - it has a lot going for it.
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Jun 25th, 2014, 11:18 PM
  #7
 
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1. What are 3 things you did NOT like about Croatia?
Absolutely nothing. The point on landscape is subjective. The adriatic coast is more certainly very stunning.

2. What were 3 things that were a cultural shock ?
Shock? Nothing should come as a cultural shock these days. So many are so aware of cultural differences and sensitivities. But to be fair to your question - be ready for incredible hospitality that perhaps not everyone expects.

3. What did you wish you had brought from home that you didn't?
- Fancy clothes as ppl really dress up there at dinners and clubs
- A history book on Croatia.

4. What are 3 important lessons learned for other tourists?
- We definitely should've given it more time than we did (10 days).
- Fall is probably the least enjoyable time to visit. Seas can be rough and the rain can ruin outdoor plans.
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Jun 25th, 2014, 11:58 PM
  #8
 
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Croatia's like Italy but different.

The small towns are still very authentic and lovely.
The water really is a clear deep turquoise blue.
It starts to cool down in the beginning of October when the rains usually come too.
The fish is fantastic.
The beaches are pebbly.
The prices are cheaper.
Croatia is very easy and perfectly fine to visit.

I would like to go again.
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Jun 26th, 2014, 12:04 AM
  #9
 
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Well I don't see Croatia as anything but Western. I've been going there since 85 when the place was a socialist republic and frankly very amusing and sad. Now, when I go, the place is very "hip" and pleasant with little cultural difference from where I live in the UK.

I do like the Yoghurt shops when you can still find them.
I don't like the advance of the tipping culture which I studiously avoid.
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Jun 26th, 2014, 12:30 AM
  #10
kja
 
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kleeblat wrote: "Croatia's like Italy but different." -- Istria was, I believe, part of Italy until WWII, so the similarities there are to be expected. I found Dubrovnik and the Dalmation coast more like Venice and much more Ottoman in flavor than anything in Italy with the possible exception of Venice, but then, Venice never seemed to me much like the rest of Italy, even though it is part of it! I found Zagreb and further east (not to mention the Kvarner coast) much more like Austria or Hungary -- again, not surprising, since these areas were part of, or heavily influenced by, the Austro-Hungarian empire for much of their history. And then there are the parts of Croatia that aren't like Italy or Austria or Hungary or anywhere else, really -- just places unto them selves and WELL off the beaten path....

bilboburgler wrote: "I don't like the advance of the tipping culture which I studiously avoid" -- kudos, bilboburgler! Westerners who tip in non-tipping cultures create enormous problems, whether they realize it or not.
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Jun 26th, 2014, 01:39 AM
  #11
 
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You're right kja, about 10 years ago DH and I spent two nights in Pula searching for the house his mother was born in. My mother in law and her family fled and landed as refugees here in Australia after WWII. She is fiercely Italian.

Pula was charming for that short time, it has a well preserved roman amphitheatre and a pleasant harbour. The view from the harbour with yachts in the foreground and roman ruins in the background is memorable.
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Jun 26th, 2014, 02:43 AM
  #12
 
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thanks kja, I now know what "kudos" means and its from the greek.
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Jun 26th, 2014, 02:48 AM
  #13
kja
 
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thanks, bilboburgler, I now know that the origin of "kudos" is Greek!

and @ sartoric -- sounds like you had some memorable moments in Pula!
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Jun 26th, 2014, 07:12 AM
  #14
 
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1. What are 3 things you did NOT like about Croatia?
2. What were 3 things that were a cultural shock ?
3. What did you wish you had brought from home that you didn't?
4. What are 3 important lessons learned for other tourists?


1a. The nude beaches I observed had very few hot women.
b. Our brief trip into Bosnia was boring and pointless.
c. I didn't discover fresh-from-the-bakery borek until the last few days. Yum.

2. I'm not easily shocked, to be honest.

3. An extra camera battery. We both gave our cameras a real workout, especially in Rovinj and Plitvice.

4. a. Don't talk about the war; people would rather forget it, at this point.
b. Try the slivovitsa.

And now, a picture of Rovinj (a lovely town on the Istrian peninsula): http://onelittleworld.zenfolio.com/p...b34a#h47fdb34a
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Jun 26th, 2014, 07:21 AM
  #15
 
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1. I loved everything about Croatia. the friendly people, the food, the sights. All of it.
2. none
3. none
4. No lessons learned, it is a European country
not much different than any others.
When I went in 2004 it was less touristy than now. And I could not find direct flights from USA but that might have changed in 10 years.
I would go back in a heartbeat but I have a full bucket list.
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Jun 26th, 2014, 08:25 AM
  #16
 
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After 4 visits and a vow to return , I am obviously quite fond of the place, but I will give frank answers to #1: What are 3 things you did NOT like about Croatia? I actually have 4, but they obviously do not hamper my despite to return to this friendly and gorgeous place.

While I find the food high quality and delicious, especially the seafood, I get bored with the lack of variety, i.e.: pizza, salad, grilled fish with blitva (chard and potatoes), and bread for two weeks, with an occasional risotto or scampi/calamari thrown in. That probably has more to do with me being a pescetarian who loves spicy food and is absolutely spoiled for choice in my daily diet.

The naturism--it is not locals, it is mostly elderly Germans. On a remote beach, fine, but looking at that gets old, no pun intended. I realize that is ageist, but hey, I will be there one day. I apologize for my vulgarity, but there is no other way to put it: There was not a hiking trail or even bike path where boobs and balls were not on display.

Cruise ships! Thankfully, I saw the major sites years ago because I would not want to visit Dubrovnik now. When large ships disgorge their passengers, it absolutely ruins a place. The country does so well with land-derived tourism and small cruises, I see no need to accept this.

If you have been anywhere, you will understand that a/c is not as prevalent as in the US. Is summer, this can be uncomfortable and result in insect bites from sleeping with windows open.
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Jun 26th, 2014, 09:37 AM
  #17
 
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I agree generally with Kia and the other positive posters. I loved the country and would go back in a minute.

But.

Croats and Serbs hate each other with a passion that it is difficult for an American to imagine. It is tribal, and they are still looking for ways to get revenge for things that happened 500 years ago. I was prepared for this by Rebecca West's Black Lamb, Grey Falcon, though it is pro Serb. I had a similar experience at Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico, where our Tiwa guide was still ready to cut the throats of Apaches for something they had done in the 1600's.

They loved Americans in Croatia because we had bombed Belgrade, but they themselves were allies of Germany in WWII and had their own SS units, as did the Bosnian Muslims, the victims in the last war. The Serbs say the Croats murdered 300,000 Serbs. The Croats say it was only 30,000.

If this isn't complicated enough, Jews were betrayed by both Serbs and Croats, except some Croats helped them get to Rovinj, where the Italian Navy smuggled them to safety in Italy.

Complicated enough? It is much, much harder than this. And if you don't read the history, you don't get any of this at all.
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Jun 26th, 2014, 01:54 PM
  #18
 
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Very good questions! I went to Croatia and enjoyed it very much. Gorgeous landscaipe. I would like to go again.

1. There were things we didn't like. The prices were higher than expected. There were a ton of tourists crammed into little areas. The food was good but I thought was pretty bland (personal opinion). There is not enough variety of food. The locals were sometimes very nice and other times, very rude and snappy. The ferries are not frequent. There is not really a train system and you have to take the bus or ferrie to get from place to place.

2. What were 3 things that were a cultural shock ?
A 3* or 4 * hotel in Crotia is not the same as in USA. Some accommodations did not supply basic toiletries. Many established restaurants/stores will NOT accept credit cards (even if they have a Visa/MC logo on the window). It was hard to find places like restaurants. They are not marked very clearly. We were also surprised that some bathrooms didn't have toilet paper, and you need to bring your own.

3. What did you wish you had brought from home that you didn't?
Batteries, extra comfort snacks from home, more toiletries, better shoes, sunscreen.

4. What are 3 important lessons learned for other tourists?
Be patient and expect it to be crowded in the summer months.Do not talk about the war with the locals. Don't assume places will supply the toiletries.
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Jun 26th, 2014, 04:58 PM
  #19
kja
 
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LOL, yorkshire! Maybe I was just too enthralled by the scenery, but I didn't see any naturists on the hiking trails through the Plitvice Lakes.

FWIW, I had no trouble finding restaurants and ate some wonderfully flavorful and diverse meals. I even filed a trip report on that, although it's so old now that it is unlikely to be helpful.
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Jun 26th, 2014, 06:39 PM
  #20
 
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I loved everything about Croatia! I don't have anything negative to say. I am also partial because my dad's family is Croatian. As far as traveling with young children, when we went last year, my husband and I did not take our young kids. But I was paying attention to kids traveling there and noticed that there were a lot of babies and toddlers traveling with their parents all over Croatia. It seemed very kid friendly. Which inspired me. So my husband and I decided to take our 4 and 2 year old to Spain last month for 3 1/2 weeks. I am so glad we went for it! Some tips: travel with a sound machine, in case the place you are staying is loud; rent an apartment instead of a hotel, it is nice to have a washing machine; iPad was key for us, the kids got to watch it once a day for an hour; don't plan too much every day, we typically planned a morning activity and a late afternoon activity; don't plan too much ahead, we would always evaluate the night before what we were going to do with the kids the next day depending on how our day went; maybe include your kids in the planning, when we had a couple of options of activities, and didn't really care what we did, we would ask our kids would you rather go to this museum or this one, they liked being a part of the planning; lastly be prepared for things not to go as planned and just go with the flow. Hope this helps
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