Monday, 18 October 2010

Alternative guide to Croatia





As many of you may have known I was in Croatia about a month ago, I've been pretty slack about writing it up mainly because there were literally hundreds of photos to go through (my boyfriend gets a bit trigger happy), but I have chosen a few to document our holiday and the main plus points!!! We started off in the Old Town of Dubrovnik, which is a world heritage site, a beautiful bustling walled town with red brick roofs, tiny winding alleys and marbled lined streets (lethal in my shoes, I am very surprised I did not fall over during this holiday!). I ate at this amazing vegetarian restaurant on the first day called Nishta. "Nishta" means "nothing" in Croatian, as apparently when they were planning their restaurant (the first vegi one in Dubrovnik) the locals got very curious and were asking what kind of food they were selling. When they explained it was anything but meat and fish, the Croatians found this very puzzling and were like "so, you make nothing then?!" and the owners as a joke thought it would be funny to call the restaurant "nothing" instead! Croatians LOVE meat and fish and its everywhere, and their food is very heavily influenced by italy so there is also an adudance of my favourite food, Pizza!!! We had great fun exploring the Old Town and spent one day wandering around the top of the walls, the views were fantastic...
We were island hopping and staying at "Sobes" ("Rooms") which was very interesting! The Sobes are like a cross between a B&B and a room in someones house, infact, alot of the rooms we stayed in were just rooms in peoples houses. They have all been vetted by the Croatian government and proudly display their navy blue signs outside advertising somewhere to stay. We only booked our first nights in Dubrovnik and after that we found our own rooms, which is pretty fun as I like the spontaneity, and is a similar method we used when travelling Thailand.Here are some lovely images of tea!!! Croatians have rubbish tea so if you love tea I suggest bringing your own, most of them serve the tea with cream too, much to our dismay and give you strange looks for not ordering coffee or beer!!! Our next stop was the Island of Mljet, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. We caught a ferry from the marina and purred into Polace, the second biggest town there with about 150 local residents. We were met off the boat by loads of locals waving signs about their "sobes" so we followed a young girl to go check out her rooms. The room was perfect and had a balcony overlooking the bay which was great for drinking bottles of wine on!!!There was literally nothing to do on the island, which was great! On our first day we went down this random dirt track expecting to find a beautiful secluded beach at the bottom, we walked for 90 minutes down this track, before it promptly ended, and we were gutted! The dirt track had been built because the island is so densely populated in trees that if there is a fire the track is there so they can get closer to uninhabited areas! There is a protected inland salt lake, part of the national park of Mljet, so one day we hired bikes and rode around it. Here I am below, I am such an idiot on a bike!! Steve is like, mountain bike pro and I scream if I go over a rock or have to cycle up anything that isn't 100% flat!!!Next stop was Korcula, and we had to find a random boat to take us to the next island as all the ferries had stopped about 2 weeks previously, so we paid a man with a very fetching lobster tattoo to take us to our next destination.

Korcula was a bit of a shock after the peaceful tranquility of Mljet, but there were some amazing things to do, one of my favourite activities was going to a rooftop bar in an old tower. The top floor is only accessed by ladder, and all the drinks are brought to you by a pulley system that goes up the side of the building!! I had many tequilla based drinks that evening!!!
Our next stop was one of my fav islands, Hvar. Very Posh and Yacht-club-y with nautical stripes on everything!! It rained for a bit, unfortunately while we were staying here, so we spent alot of time reading books and magazines in the cafes...Hvar turned me into a chair snob too, they have sofas everywhere in Hvar, outside the cafes, in the bars and restaurants, so I found myself looking for places with sofas when the rain came in, it was so comfy to snuggle up on the sofa with my weird tea and watch the rainy world go by under the tarpaulin canvases protecting us from the rain! After the rain cleared it was stupidly hot, and me and Steve hired a boat and sailed it around the nearby islands...

Croatia seems quite limited on vegetables too, we only saw a handful of vegetables so I guess they rely heavily on seasonal varieties, but we saw these green peppers everywhere and they appeared in most meals I ordered! They are quite peppery and have a very distinct taste that I cannot associate with the other types of peppers. Very tasty indeed!


We left Hvar and caught a boat to our last destination, Spilt, which is on the mainland. I also had my first Earl grey tea on this boat which was a strange place for it to crop up after asking for it everywhere else! Spilt has an Old Town too, and parts of it are also a World Heritage Site, so we had lots of fun exploring the little narrow paths and alleyways everywhere again...
We found a really cool little museum that documented traditional Croatian dress and had some very intricate beaded necklaces too...lots of inspiration...Check out Steve channeling the model below!!!!



Spilt is a really vibrant city with alot going on, and even though many people had recommended we don't actually spent much time there me and Steve realy enjoyed it. The nightlife was very exciting and the whole town comes alive in the evening, rather like Dubrovnik.
So to sum up, Croatia is an amazing place to go on holiday...It was hot, cultural, had great food and even better wine (try the Plavac!!) and you should all go right now and check it out!!!


Sleeping Kitties above, there were cats everywhere in Croatia!!! Wish I could have taken them all home, especially this guy....Goodbye, untill next time!

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