Croatia

Trip Start Apr 12, 2008
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Trip End Jul 20, 2008


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Thursday, July 3, 2008

After a wonderful time in Como it was time to begin our Croatian odyssey. Little did we know at this stage, but the cupboard like cabin on the overnight ferry was to set the scene for more dodgy rooms in Croatia.We arrived in Split early to to sunny skys over a beautiful marble, limestone and terracotta Adriatic city - but a day that was to reach 35 degrees plus. No problem finding a room in Croatia, they come to you in the form of townsfolk crowding around ferry and bus terminals asking (hassling) you about their rooms. But like lots of things in this tourist ill country, what they offer in their conveniently broken english, is not always what you get. More on that later.

Split as I mentioned is a beautiful town, like most of the Mediterranian walled towns, the streets are car free pedestrian malls with ancient buildings in narrow lanes, food markets, cafes and  full of history that most Aussies find difficult to comprehend. Split deserves more time but the heat was oppressive so after one night we headed for the Island of Hvar.
Now this place like many of the islands in the Dalmation coast is a real jewel. The water is clearer that any well kept swimming pool and a colour that is absolutely stunning. The town centres on a harbour that houses the yachts of the rich and famous, harbourside resturants and stunning pebble beaches with DJ's playing music for the young and tanned, all in the shadow of an ancient fortress. We stayed for 3 nights, spent the days strolling and swimming - taking it easy.

Our ferry ride to Dubrovnik took us past Korcula and several other islands worth a look in the future. As we approached Dubrovnik it was clear this town is geared up for the tourists. Ocean liners, tour buses crowds and the heat again. We headed for town with a soon to be removed smug look knowing we had our accommodation booked and WE dont need to negotate with suspect room sellers at the docks. So enters Edi  to our journey, Mr sleazy, Mr loud, Mr bully landlord. Our booked seaview room with private bath was in fact a cupbord like alley view room with a double bed in one corner that stopped the bathroom door from opening properly, no room for our bags. And it was extremely hot. We  had Edi in our faces on every turn  so decided that the only time we would spend here was sleeping (or trying to).
Spent our time doing a walk if the city walls (great), exploring the old town, swimming in nearby Lapad and a cruise to the Elefiti Islands. As I mentioned earlier, this town has tourism illness. The cruise that advertised homemade apertifs served a apple cut in half, the shops had cheap but expensive t-shirts, bland tourist food and nasty souvenirs and Edi's rooms were not what was advertised. But Edi had another suprise for us. He wanted more money than the price we booked online. So Brenda and I spent a nervous last night after a heated argument with a large, loud and now agressive Edi. No we didn't pay any extra, but it leaves you thinking twice about recommending Dubrovnik to anyone.
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