It’s early morning and Dubrovnik’s old town looks deserted. No tourists taking photos in Piazza della Loggia. No music coming from the nearby cafés. In the restaurants, the chairs are still stacked upside down on the tables. Just the sound of our hurried steps on the polished limestone pavement of Stradun, the main street of Dubrovnik. The gray clouds that brought a downpour last night still linger over the city walls, making them look dark and gloomy. What a difference from yesterday morning’s sunlight beaming over these same walls!
It may not be the perfect time to go up to Mt. Srđ, but it’s our last day in Croatia and I don’t want to miss visiting Dubrovnik’s Fort Imperial. The 200-year old fortress became the symbol of defense of the City of Dubrovnik against Serbian and Montenegrin armies, in 1991.
The cable car that ascends to the fort is right outside the city walls. “Let’s take the quicker way to it,” my husband suggests, and before I could say anything he is already a few steps ahead of me. The quicker way is actually a long (and really steep!) flight of stairs from Old Town’s main street. My cranky knees hurt just at the site of it but he doesn’t give me time to react, so I follow along.
There are only a few people in line as we arrive at the ticket booth. Behind the glass window the cashier is chatting on her phone while selling tickets. “Two round-trip tickets please,” I ask when our turn comes. If the weather was better we could walk the trail back down the mountain, but today it may rain. Continue Reading
Just outside the Istrian Peninsula, to the west of Rijeka, there is one of the classiest resort towns in Croatia – Opatija. Seeing this glitzy strip of real estate today it’s hard to imagine its humble beginnings. The first important person who discovered the magic of Opatija was Iginio Scarpa, a merchant from Rijeka who built his holiday home here in 1844 and named it the Villa Angiolina after his late wife. This is how Opatija’s tourism started. Continue Reading
Zadar (Croatia) was the last stop on our Balkan itinerary. Our trip began in Budapest (Hungary) and continued through Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro. Since the return trip from Montenegro to Budapest was over 1000…
Despite its remarkable beauty and cultural diversity, the Balkan Peninsula remained for a long time a relatively unexplored region of Europe. After Communism disintegrated in Eastern Europe people began flocking to the sunny beaches of the Dalmatian Coast. It didn’t take the world travelers long to discover the area’s abundance of breath-taking coastlines, dazzling landscapes, beautiful architecture and rich history. Soon countries like Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro became Europe’s new hotspots.
Visiting the Balkan countries along the Adriatic Coast has been a dream of ours for a long time and finally this year we managed to make it happen. Our itinerary started in Budapest and included Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro. But before starting to elaborate on each of the countries we visited, I want to share with you some tips and useful information regarding the technical aspects of this road trip. Continue Reading