A Travellerspoint blog

July 2021

Zadar and Sibenik

Applauding a sunset, more towers, fortresses, swimming, and eating

Zadar sunset selfie
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Day 18 - Sibenik and Evening in Zadar

We left busy Split with a short day of driving ahead. After only an hour, we arrived in the smallish town of Sibenik. I had heard great things about the charming town built up a hill along the sea. After finding fairly easy parking in a nifty modern garage, we set about to explore the town. The little streets and fancy cathedral were beautiful.
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It didn't take long to get hungry and find lunch. Buffet Simun was a great choice outside of the touristy center. We are getting more skilled at discovering the more local restaurants. The shrimp risotto and octopus salad were particularly good.
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I ditched the family so I could climb up St. Michael's Fortress above the city. They don't seem to share my obsession with climbing up loads of stairs to the top of old things. The views were impressive even if I was stuck taking my own awkward selfies!
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What a cool place for a concert!
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This turtle fountain was a highlight in Sibenik. Real turtles right in the middle of town!
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We drove another hour or so to Zadar, our home for the next two nights. We stayed in a cute almost tree-house-like apartment not far from the old town.

After we settled in and cooled off, DH and I found a fun place for happy hour.
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We wandered around, took some pictures and got a nice overview of the town.
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The highlight was finding the famous sea organ along the sea walls. Organ pipes were built into the concrete with blow holes. The sound reminded me of whales. It was such a relaxing yet somewhat haunting sound. Hundreds of people were gathered to watch the sunset. It was gorgeous! Just as the sun left the horizon, everyone started clapping. It was the sweetest thing and it even brought tears to my eyes.
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We walked over the now well-lit bridge back to our apartment for some sleep.
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Day 19 - Exploring Zadar

I started the day with a sunny run along the water before stopping at Mlinar, a Croatian bakery chain, and finding a fancy-ish place for coffee. Cogito Coffee hit the spot! We enjoyed our coffee next to an old church where the Zadar Chamber Orchestra was rehearsing for an evening gig. They sounded great on Brahams 3.
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DD#1 and I wandered around the produce and fish markets. We snacked on some raspberries and marveled at the wide variety of fish.
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Eventually, DH and I climbed yet another church tower. More beautiful views and awkward selfies!
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We bribed the kids with a fancy cake lunch and walked through a pretty park and much of the town. Cake for lunch has become a little tradition on some of our European trips!
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We relaxed in the apartment for a while feeling like we saw much of Zadar. Even though there were tourists, it had a more relaxed vibe than other towns we had visited. We enjoyed watching the boats, tourists from countries all over Europe, and wandering the relatively flat old town.

Naturally, DD#2 and I had to jump into the sea. We wandered back to the sea organ and dived right off the steps. Felt amazing! We vowed to do the same thing in the morning before leaving town.

We found a soul food restaurant in town that had pulled pork. Why not?
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We scored a few jewelry items in this little church converted to a store.
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One more beautiful sunset in Zadar.
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DD#2 and I stayed out later into the evening and enjoyed the solar powered "Greeting to the Sun" art installation. So mesmerizing!
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I'll save Day 20 for the next blog in Rovinj, Croatia. To be continued!

Posted by familyineurope 16:05 Comments (1)

Historic and Bustling Split

Diocletian's Palace, Beaches, Towers, Trogir, Zip-Lining, Yummy Food!

Impressive Split!
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Day 14 Continued

We had a mostly uneventful drive into Split. The traffic was a bit intense and getting into the parking spot proved a challenge for DH. The owners of our apartment were ready to meet us and describe the nice 2 bedroom place along with providing tips about the city. We were happy to be here with 3 AC units for 4 nights!
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There's a really nice view from the window and a rooftop terrace that we have been using every evening.
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We got unpacked and settled and walked the short 5 minutes into the old town. We were so impressed by the architecture and bustling scene. We walked through part of Diocletian's Palace and the Riva boardwalk. It was a nice overview of the city that we would start exploring more in depth the following day.
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We found a nice konoba (restaurant) for dinner along the waterfront. Konoba Fratelli was tasty with gnocchi, pizza, and pasta. Hit the spot. Naturally, we found good gelato our first night as well. Luka Ice Cream and Gelateria Emiliana were our favorites in this town.
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We enjoyed drinks on the rooftop and called it a day.

Day 15 - Digging into Diocletian's Palace and Hiking Marjan Hill

We started our day with pastries from the bakery steps from our apartment entrance. Pretty good! Next we found a recommended higher-end coffee roaster called D16. It was delicious and set in an old building with stone walls.
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We were fueled and ready to explore Diocletian's Palace. DH and I started with the cellars. The gigantic under-city rooms were impressive. It was extra neat being nearly the only ones down there.
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Then we bought tickets to see the cathedral and climb the impressive tower. This is one of my favorite towers ever! I love how it is open-air with breezy pillars. There were too many places for photo-ops!
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DD#2 has nailed the family selfie.
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We were inside the tower when the noon bells rang. It was so incredibly loud! We found more scenic viewpoints around the cathedral and enjoyed the maze-like alleys and lanes.
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After a little break, the girls took our money (they are good that) and did a little shopping.
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DH and I set out to hike Marjan Hill. It's a large forested park right in the city. We worked up a good sweat and were rewarded with wonderful views overlooking Split.
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We did a little beer research and found a place with local craft beers. It was a bit of a hike from the center but well worth it to try new brews.
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The kids were getting along so well that we decided to split up again and let them have their own dinner out at Sexy Cow. Haha!
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We found a nice restaurant called Bokeria where we had fancy things like sea bass and pasta with truffles. It was nice but honestly, more simple food is usually our style.
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We ended our day the same way once again. Drinks on the rooftop. So nice!

Day 16 - Day-trip to Trogir

We are over two weeks into our vacation and I'm sad to say that the time is starting to pass more quickly. We started this day with a 9:30am boat ride to a quaint town called Trogir. The ride lasted about an hour and was really pretty.
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There are so many seaside villages all along Croatia's shores. We found a cute cafe for coffee, again.
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Then I ditched the family so I could climb another cathedral tower. I can't get enough of these things!
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We took a few more scenic pictures around town and I splurged on a cute hand-woven purse. Naturally, we found more ice cream and snacks before walking about 10 minutes to Trogir's beach.
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DH and I stayed dry this time while the kids swam and used these nifty beach swings.
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We returned by bus this time and spent some time relaxing in our nice apartment. I went for a walk around town and found earrings and a holiday ornament.

Split is full of cafes and restaurants everywhere you look. Yet we still had a hard time picking a place for dinner! We put in the effort and lucked out with a local place outside of the center. Konoba Stare Grede was well worth the walk. The food was incredible. The tuna steak was the favorite with the creamy gnocchi, octopus salad, and chicken caesar not far behind. It was a nice treat to eat in an atmospheric AC indoor restaurant after having most meals outside. With drinks, our fancyish meal coast around $50. It didn't look like much from the outside.
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Day 17 - Zip-lining and Beaches

DH and the girls got going early to go zip-lining in the mountains high above Split. They were shuttled about 30 minutes outside of town to do a series of 6 zip-lines. They had a great time and enjoyed the scenery and speed! I have been zip-lining twice and it just freaks me out. I skipped and did my own thing.
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Views from high above Split.
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I set off for a run to Kasjuni Beach. It was a little over 2.5 miles from our apartment. The run along the water made the distance seem even shorter. Once I got to the beach, I couldn't resist a morning swim.
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I spotted very neat old monk's quarters (maybe) carved into the rocks above the beach.
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After my swim, I had a cappuccino at the scenic beach bar.
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After cleaning up, I wandered around town, had another cappuccino and did some exploring.
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Once we all reunited, we had a casual lunch of kebab-type wraps. Tasty but nothing remarkable.

We were all dragging a bit but I insisted we go back to Kasjuni Beach. It was so pretty and the water felt amazing. This time, we used Uber to get to the beach. It wasn't as peaceful as morning but it still felt refreshing to hop into that clear blue water.

After the afternoon swim, DH and I found a neat old pub for a craft beer.
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Eventually, we all met up for an easy pizza dinner at the place closest to our apartment. Pizzeria Gust.
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I had one last morning run in Split before we set off north for more exploring. Next stop - Sibenik and Zadar!
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Goodbye Split!
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Posted by familyineurope 20:30 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Three Nights in Mostar, Bosnia

Unlike anyplace we've ever been.

Day 11 - Drive from Montenegro to Bosnia

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We enjoyed one last breakfast in Kotor before driving our way up and out of the Bay of Kotor. It was a curvy but beautiful drive up and over the mountains in Montenegro. There were even roaming cattle along the sides of the road in some places. We finally hit the border into Bosnia and waited in what appeared to be a short line of cars. Little did we know that the wait would be at least an hour to have our passports scanned and stamped. The border officials seemed friendly but were not in any hurry!
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We found our apartment in Mostar without any mishaps. Villa Fortuna was in the perfect location just steps from the old town. We were surprised to get an apartment with a small kitchen. I thought it would be a simple hotel-style room. Score! (Around $85 per night)
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We didn't take long to wander to the old town and take our first pictures of the Turkish-like vendors, tall minarets, and the famous old bridge that connects the two sides of the city.
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The cobbled streets were seriously bumpy and a little slick! You really had to watch your step.
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We were happy to find Craft Beer Garden which had a great list of local beers. We may have returned to this place a couple of times!
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The highlight of our first day in Mostar was the food. Oh my goodness! We found the most amazing Bosnian grill/BBQ at Tima-Irma. The meats were grilled and seasoned to perfection along with roasted vegetables, cheeses, and sauces. The roasted red pepper sauce, ajvar, is found with everything. Irma works the hot grill in the back and adds hot coals as needed. Not an easy job. We never spent more than around $25 for a full dinner for four in Mostar.
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We took a few more pictures as we took in the scene as the sun set and the light changed the scenery.
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DH and I went out one more time in the evening for a night-cap and to see the young folks partying it up below the old bridge.
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Day 12 - Exploring Mostar and learning about Bosnian culture and history

We began our day with an easy breakfast. I found a nearby pekara (bakery) and brought back pite and a few other traditional baked goodies. We were most looking forward to trying Bosnian coffee at Cafe de Alma. We all learned how to prepare the coffee, try it with a little sugar, and end with a little piece of Turkish delight. The coffee was strong but tasty. What a neat experience!
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Next we began my favorite mission of climbing to top of anything and everything! We began with the Franciscan Church of Sts. Peter and Paul. It was built in 1997 (when the war finally ended) and has the tallest spire in the city. We had to buy tickets to get to the top from the nearby cafe. We rode an elevator about halfway up before climbing 150 stairs or so. The bells were enormous and were from the original church that had been destroyed. The best part of this experience was being the ONLY ones in the tower. So cool!
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We crossed over the Stari Most (old bridge) and learned a bit about its recent history. The bridge is the symbol of Mostar and was destroyed in 1993 during the war. The original bridge was built in the 1500s and was the first of its kind. When the bridge was finally rebuilt, it took longer and cost more money. Great efforts went into building the bridge to closely resemble the historic original. Old techniques and materials were used and the bridge was finally finished in 2004. It was amazing to watch skilled jumpers hurl themselves off the bridge once they raised about 25 Euros from tourists. Quite a sight!
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The slippery steps leading up the bridge.
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We enjoyed the bridge museum and climbed the tower on one side of the river. More great views of the bridge below!
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The next tower was my favorite - a minaret at one of Mostar's many mosques. DD#2 and I had to borrow items to properly cover our bodies and head. The skinny spiral staircase to the top seemed never ending! We enjoyed amazing views from the top.
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After a little more exploring, we stopped for gelato and recharged in our apartment. There was a wonderful gelato store next door to our place. So convenient!

I left the family to relax and opted to take a long walk around the city. I was enthralled with a Bosnian cemetery filled with those who lost their lives in the early '90s. Most of the dead were born in the late '60s and '70s. It was heartbreaking. We saw too many cemeteries throughout Bosnia. Devastating.
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I have never wandered a town that had survived such a recent war. The buildings still stood tall with their battle scars. Many were abandoned and still waiting to be demolished or restored. It was fascinating and a bit sickening to see a town still recovering from such a terrible war.
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I found a nice cafe and summoned the family to come meet me for a snack. We enjoyed tasty sandwiches along a river and decided to trek to a mall. We are travelling with teenage girls after all. I was shocked that people are still allowed to smoke inside the mall in Bosnia. Gross! It felt like I went back in time or something. The girls scored a few cute clothing items.
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Everyone was worn out by this point so I grabbed some take-out and called it a day.

Day 13 - Bosnian side-trips including the Goat Fortress!

We stopped by a nearby cafe for breakfast. So nice to have eggs, waffles, and cappuccino.
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DH skillfully drove the car out of town and up a windy, narrow road to a cool observation deck high above town. The glass-bottomed desk was frightening especially the way it jutted out over a sheer drop!
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Next, we drove to a small town called Blagaj known mostly for its monastery built near a huge rock and cave. However, our favorite attraction was the ruined fortress high above the city. We hiked about 30 minutes up to the fortress and then realized it was being guarded - by a gang of goats! There were around 80 goats climbing and nibbling at the entrance. The goats all had ear-tags and one wore a bell. They were owned by someone I suppose. We finally realized that the goats were friendly and got through the entrance. I have never laughed so hard! This will probably be our most memorable fortress experience ever!
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We drove to the main attraction in Blagaj and saw the monastery. There were hordes of people doing the same thing. We snapped a few pictures and got out of the touristy part of this little town.
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I went out on my own and did a little souvenir shopping. Some really good finds in Mostar!

We came back to our apartment, returned to the Craft Beer Garden for happy hour and found ourselves back at the restaurant we had been to before. It was that good!
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Day 14 - Kravice Falls on the way to Split

We decided to start the day with our last Bosnian coffee.
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We left the packed and narrow streets of Mostar and found Kravice Falls Park. The waterfalls were lovely and it was fun to wade beneath them. It seemed a little less formal than the national parks we are used to.large_IMG_0684.JPGIMG_0676.JPGIMG_0678.JPG42AA6BB9-C06E-4ABE-8D82-5D4E7B9ABD46.jpeg012A143C-3A28-4D2A-A745-00CB04D3D475.jpegC2590080-21E4-44C1-9C52-22FB97C64364.jpeg

We continued another couple hours to the large city of Split, Croatia. This time, the border crossing was no trouble. Bosnia was a great place to visit and so different from its neighboring countries. Day 14 will be continued in the next entry all about Split. It's hard to believe that we have been travelling for two weeks. We have accomplished a lot and there are two more weeks to go. More to come!

Posted by familyineurope 20:30 Tagged mosque fortress bosnia mostar goats blagaj kravice_falls Comments (0)

Unexpected and Underrated Kotor, Montenegro

We relaxed, recharged, and got some serious exercise in Montenegro

Day 8 - Drive to Montenegro

We reluctantly left our apartment in Dubrovnik after another morning swim. DD#2 and I did the most swimming so far. We said our goodbyes to our kind hosts, somehow packed a very full car, and headed south. We picked Sokol Grad for a nice stop along the way. The old fortified castle was off the beaten path and we nearly had it to ourselves. We stretched our legs, read about its history, and took more pictures, of course.
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These skinny tall trees are so interesting.
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We continued on to the border crossing to Montenegro. We had to show our passports two times in the hour wait.
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We were getting pretty hungry so I used tripadvisor to lead us to a restaurant in the town of Igalo, the first town we reached in the Bay of Kotor. We lucked out with a huge and tasty meal. Pastas, more cevapi, salads, and a burger. Yum! It was a late lunch so we knew a light dinner would be in order.
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Communist-style high rises in Igalo
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DH skillfully drove the twisty and narrow road to Kotor. Cars were parked randomly along the road making the narrow road even skinnier. Everything felt so busy! It turns out that we hit a Montenegrian national holiday that would last two days. Families hit the beaches in droves and parked wherever something slightly resembled a spot or a wide section in the road. After a little angst, we found Hotel Alkima, our home for the next three nights.

The room was small but had a separate bedroom for the kids. The AC worked remarkably well and the room felt brand new. We had a nice view of the mountains and the small seaside was very close. The kids were happy to have a pool - our only one of the trip. The view from our windows.
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DH and I went for a walk in search of happy hour, of course. We found a beachside bar with way too many people smoking. It was hot once again but a cold beer helped.
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DD#2 and I borrowed bikes from the hotel and set out to explore. We rode to the old town and watched the many families picnicking and enjoying themselves on this holiday. We found a Turkish restaurant very close to our hotel, shared a Turkish pizza and called it a day.
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Day Nine - Exploring Old Town Kotor

I started the day with a run along the water. After hilly Dubrovnik, it was nice to have a flat place to run. Our hotel included breakfast so we filled up for the day. The automatic coffee machine was a big hit.
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We took a taxi to the old town for just a few Euros. I forgot the mention that even though Montenegro is not part of the EU, they use the Euros for their currency. We wandered the old lanes, took way too many pictures, petted so many cats (Kotor is known for its friendly cats), and started sweating. We found a shady place for a cold drink and relaxed and watched people. Kids found 2 Euro pizza slices at Pizzeria Pronto. Delicious!
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We finally took a taxi back the hotel (about 2 km away from old town) to recharge. The kids went swimming and we enjoyed the AC in the room.
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After a break, we took a taxi back to old town for dinner. We knew we wanted to try Tanjga BBQ. We had watched vlogs and read reviews about the amazing food. We were not disappointed. We order a mixed meat plate to share and were blown away by the delicious food. The sauces and side salads were incredible too. The place was incredibly casual and cheap. If you find yourself in Kotor, eat here.
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Before and after we polished off the mixed meat platter.
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After dinner, we wandered the old town once again. It was another very hot day so we were enjoying the evening shade. We found ice cream and enjoyed the relaxed vibe in old town. The twisty lanes were a contrast to Dubrovnik's grid-like street plan.

Day 10 - Hiking to the fortress and side-trip to Budva

We began our day early in hopes of beating the heat before climbing 1,350 stairs up to the fortress overlooking the town. We had heard that if you arrive before 8am, you don't have to pay the admittance fee. We were wrong. They moved the hours to begin collecting fees to 7am. Oh well. We paid the fee and starting sweating our way up the stairs to the top. I loved it but may have heard some grumbling from other families members. No one could deny the great views and one-of-a-kind experience. I am so happy we did this early in the day.
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After all that, DD#2 was ready for some shade!
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We made it back to our hotel for breakfast and decided to make the most of our day by checking out nearby Budva. Budva is a resort town that is on the coast. From a distance, it looked a little like Honolulu with its many modern high-rises. The kids and I were on a mission to check out Aqua Park Budva. DH was kind enough to drop us off while he explored Budva. We raced down a ton of fast and slightly dangerous slides. We had a great time but I'm not sure I'd recommend this water park to others. The slides were a bit dangerous, the decor/ambiance almost non-existent, and the stones on the ground were so hot to walk on. We made the most of it though. Some of the slides felt like roller coasters on water! I figure that I only have so many waterpark experiences left before the kids will be grown so why not?
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No guns allowed in the park.
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Nice view of Budva from the park.
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We hit a very busy hyper-supermarket on the way back to Kotor to refuel with cold drinks and snacks. I still can't get over how much fun it is to wander stores in other countries. So many different snacks and foods. The bulk baklava counter was the winner this time. Yum!

We headed back to the apartment to relax and recharge. It had been quite a day so far!

Finally we cooled off and headed back into old town Kotor for the last time. Taking the taxi into town cost between 2.5 - 5 Euros. Seemed like a bargain considering the headache parking would have been. We opted for an easy pizza dinner for our last evening in Montenegro. We couldn't help but snap a few last pictures.
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The little stores were so beautiful.
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Goodbye Bay of Kotor, Montenegro.
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Posted by familyineurope 20:49 Tagged cats fortress montenegro kotor budva Comments (0)

Beautiful Dubrovnik

Feeling lucky to see it without massive crowds. But boy it is hot!

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Arrival at our apartment for four nights. This view!

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After our long and curvy trip from Bol, DH was ready to park the car and settle in for the night. We all were feeling a little travel weary. The parking spot at our new apartment even has a good view.
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The very kind owners showed us around our two bedroom apartment. But the real attraction is the patio. Oh my goodness! I could never tire of this view.
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The owners left us a yummy plate with prosciutto, cheese, bread, and a bottle of local wine. Perfect! We were starving by this point and this hit the spot. We spent some time unpacking groceries and all our things before deciding on dinner.

Our apartment is a 15-20 minute walk to the old town of Dubrovnik. We ate at Pizzeria Tabasco just outside of the city walls. There were definitely tourists around but it did not feel overwhelmingly busy as we had heard it can be. If you come to Europe, please don't be like the American tourists eating next to us and ask for ranch to dip your pizza into. They loudly explained that any sauce for dipping pizza would do. They also requested more ice, a straw, and to be moved to a different table. So embarrassing! Again, DD#2 was enamored with the local pizza cat.
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It was around 9pm by the time we finished so getting home to bed sounded pretty nice.
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Day Five - Exploring Dubrovnik!

I started off the day in search of the nearby beaches. I like to go on these scouting missions to find the great places before dragging the family through the heat. I went up and down tons of stairs before finding the beautiful St. Jacob's Beach. The perfect place for a morning swim.
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We ate a nice breakfast on our patio before exploring old town for the first time. There are so many narrow lanes, stairways, old buildings. and churches. It was hard to stop taking pictures!
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We found a Bosnian "fast food" place for lunch where we finally tried cevapi. There are little minced meat sausages. Very yummy! Fast food in Croatia still seems to involve a server, real plates and silverware and even a beer. Why not? DD#2 had a crepe.
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We continued wandering aimlessly popping into churches, shops, and watching people. People really dress up in Dubrovnik. I spotted so many cute dresses and sandals! We found ice cream and finally walked back to our apartment to regroup and and cool off. It's not a bad place to just sit and watch the boats and the birds.

We took our tired bodies and walked about 15 minutes to the beach I found that morning. Unfortunately, it was no longer shady and empty. We still enjoyed a nice swim to cool off. I'm so glad we hauled the orange floaty tube that we bought in Greece two years ago!
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We cleaned up once again and headed back to the old city for a simple dinner. We found another "fast food" place. This one was known for seafood. DH and I shared an octopus burger with calamari and the kids opted for a shrimp burger. Crazy! The grey/brown bun looked a little weird but tasted good. After more ice cream and wandering around, we headed back.
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Little did we know that today was the start of the famous Dubrovnik summer music festival. There were even more well-dressed people headed to concert venues. There were even police escorts for some dignitaries. I still wonder who they might have been. The people watching was better than ever as the town prepared for an evening celebration.

We were wiped out so we headed back to our apartment for the evening. A couple of hours later, the booming sounds began. Fireworks! Unbelievable. We had an amazing view of a very impressive firework display from our patio! Boats had crowded into the sea below to watch the show. When the show ended, the boats all honked their horns and there was lots of applause and hollering in appreciation. What a nice treat to end our first day in Dubrovnik.
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Day Six - Climbing the City Walls

We attempted to get up early to avoid the heat and crowds of Dubrovnik's number one attraction: hiking the city walls. The walls encircle the city and are around one mile long. We paid the hefty admittance fee and climbed more stairs than I could count. I took more pictures than I could count as well! Every turn was gorgeous and seeing the rooftops of Dubrovnik gave an amazing perspective on the city from above. Now for some of those pictures:
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After an hour and half of oohing and ahhing over the views (and sweating profusely), we came down to ground level to buy a couple baked goods and cold drinks. I finally tried burek - a popular flaky pastry usually filled with cheese, spinach, or meat. There might be sweet versions too. I opted for the cheese one. We also shared a piece of pizza and found more ice cream.
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We found a shady spot to sit and enjoy the people watching and views. We were all impressed by the birds in Dubrovnik. The swifts were remarkable in the way they could maneuver quickly around the buildings at top speeds. The pigeons were more annoying. We also hiked up Fort Lovrjenac for more impressive views.
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When little sister photo-bombs.
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We took our sweaty and tired bodies back to the apartment to cool off. DD#2 and I headed down to the rocky beach just below our apartment. It was perfect! We dove off the rocks and enjoyed the gentle waves and clear water.
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Tonight we decided to take advantage of traveling with teenagers and leave them home while we went out for a nice dinner! We made reservations at Konoba Dubrava - a restaurant high above Dubrovnik. We even pre-ordered our special dinner - Octopus baked under the iron bell. I've never eaten so much octopus in one sitting in my life. The real adventure of our dinner was the 45 minute walk up hundreds of stairs to a special spot far above the city. It was fun to combine dinner with a hike!
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Day Seven - More swimming, day-trip to Mt. Srd, Cavtat, and an amazing hotel cemetery

We attempted to wake up early for a morning swim. By 9:30 or so, we managed to walk down the 200+ stairs to the fabulous rocky beach below our apartment. It was so refreshing to jump into the water and enjoy a shady swim.
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After a quick wardrobe change, some chores (laundry and dishes), DH skillfully drove the car to the tippy top of Mt. Srd. The one-lane road was curvy and downright scary with cliffs off the side. The view at the top was worth it!
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We continued south about 20 minutes to the small seaside town of Cavtat. We heard it was a nice place to wander and escape the crowds of Dubrovnik. On that note, we heard a tour operator saying Dubrovnik was around 10% capacity due to covid. I can't imagine how busy it would be during a normal high season. Cavtat was very pretty. We had a snack, more ice cream, and had a look at some incredible yachts. This part of the world truly reminds me of that old show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".
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I wandered up a ton of stairs to a famous mausoleum that was built from stone from Brac Island. The cemetery had amazing views and was so peaceful.
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We drove north for about 10 minutes to a spot that I heard about from a podcast - Kupari. Kupari is home to five abandoned and enormous hotels. The Grand Hotel was built in the 1920s and was by far the most charming. At least it was back in the day. The other hotels were built in the 1960s-1980s and had more of an industrial communist style. The hotels are on a beautiful beach that was frequented by the Croatian military. This also made it a huge target during the war in the '90s. In 1991, the hotels were bombed and destroyed. Since then, anything of value has been removed. All that is left is some impressive tile, columns, and lots of broken glass. It was fascinating and sad to look around these old hotels. Eventually, they will be removed and replaced with new real estate. It is just taking a lot of time.
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This would have been a fancy spiral staircase and the grand lobby.
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Remnants of some lovely tile.
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What an interesting place that I hope will become something beautiful in the future. The beach here is phenomenal!
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We made a happy detour to Dubrovnik Beer Company on the way back to our apartment. The best IPA I've had since leaving the US! This brewery was located in a different part of town where the cruise ships dock.
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Once back at the apartment, DD#2 and I took another swim and then we headed into the old town for the last time. We returned to the simple Bosnian/Croatian grill where we had lunch our first day. Easy but delicious. After a few last pictures, we returned for some much-needed sleep. Thank you Dubrovnik for an unforgettable four nights!
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We are off to Kotor, Montenegro next. To be continued....

Posted by familyineurope 20:27 Comments (0)

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