This summer we decided to leave behind the comforting soft sandy beaches and embrace the pebble beaches and rugged coastlines of lovely Croatia… this will be a fun change to our normal summer getaways, we thought, we can explore rocky cliff faces and ramble our days away in forests and castles from Game of Thrones… however, this was before I knew I would still be recovering from quite intensive foot surgery and that every bump and uneven surface would cause a potential obstacle…
BUT growing up in Kiwi Land prepared me for moments such as these, when you gotta dig deep and embrace the “She’ll be right mate” attitude. So armed with a lot of pain killers, Deep heat, multiple sandals (for variations of ankle swelling) and of course my best friend, Muna the moon boot, we managed to have a great holiday.
We started our trip in Zadar, a city on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, known for the Roman and Venetian ruins of its peninsular Old Town. We didn’t expect much as it was more of a pitstop, but it was actually really nice. It had a laid back atmosphere due to not being one of the tourist’s hot spots. One of the highlights from Zadar was the sea organ, which is an architectural sound art object and an experimental musical instrument, it plays music by way of sea waves and tubes located underneath a set of large marble steps aka super relaxing.
Our next stop was Plitvice Lakes National Park, which was like a magical fairy tale land (epic boardwalk included), with aquamarine waters and lush forest. It was also home to their wild bears… yes bears… But I will let the pictures do the talking on this one…
From the Lakes, we took the bus to the coast again and down to the gorgeous White stone town of Split. With its fortress-like complex, little cobblestone alleyways and palm tree-lined promenade, stresses of home started to fall away.
The first day we had booked an all-day speed boat tour which included a rollercoaster-like ride through the waves holding on for dear life and visiting various islands and wine tasting. Although the ‘wine’ tasting’ was more like an elaborate sales pitch the island hopping was truly worth it. My highlight was floating into the blue cave which was lit from beneath through reflections of the sun creating this dramatic bright blue illumination within the cave.
The party island of Hvar was our next stop, docking into the harbour I was pleasantly surprised by how pretty it was, big stone roman buildings and courtyards, fringed by palm trees and overlooked by a majestic castle.
After a couple nights out and feeling very sorry for ourselves we decided to hire out some beach lounges for the day at Hula Hula bar and lounge the day away.
Our final destination was Dubrovnik which I had heard lots of wonderful things about and it certainly lived up to its reputation. Bar the hoards of tourists the castle lined walls of the city gave dramatic views of the Adriatic sea. Dubrovnik at night was truly beautiful with its soft golden lamps lighting the white stone passageways and harbour.
We finished the trip by staying just outside of the main town by a pretty little beachside town taking in our last hours of sunshine.