Unforgettable experience in Croatia: travel photo journey

2017.5.6

Dobar Dan! Croatia is for sure one of the the friendliest countries with complex history and mixed identities. I decided to go there with a friend as we went to our friend’s wedding in Florence. It was nearby and the natural wilderness it offers is irresistible.

We traveled across the Dalmatian coast around the Adriatic sea of Croatia. This is my itinerary with the main attractions and spots I went in each city during the beginning of May 2017, which was perfect timing to avoid the crowds but many places were closed due to low season (even ferries was limited). We went island hopping in these cities:

  • Dubrovnik: walk around old town, take in the city view from the cable car, kayak from Pile Gate to Lokrum island (unfortunately we had bad windy weather that made this impossible)
  • Pelješac Peninsula: climb Mali Ston, eat oysters
  • Korčula: cycle around the island through Lumbarda and wineries. Walk around the famous beaches. I should have stayed more days here to go to Vis island where there are boats towards the Blue Cave (grows fluorescent blue from 11am-12pm on sunny days) and Green Cave or Green Grotto on Bisevo Island.
  • Split: I only made a quick stop here as a transfer point
  • Zadar: see the sunset at the sea organ
  • Plitvice: visit Plitvice National Park
  • Rovinj: visit small towns of Opatija, Bale, and Svetvincenat with political past and buildings affected by the war, take the ferry to Venice for our flight back to Chile

Other places that I was recommended but didn’t have time to visit is the island of Mljet for its beautiful national park and Zagorje for the mountainous northern area.

Screen shot 2017-05-17 at 12.26.18 AM.png
My 8-day trip stops around the Dalmatian coast of Croatia (not all in order) by ferries and car. I went from Ancona, Italy and traveled through Croatia from Dubrovnik to Rovinj.

Photos from my trip:

DSC_0131_2
sunset at Ancona departing for Split
DSC_0144_2
magfinicent view on the ferry
DSC_0379
arrived from Split to Dubrovnik early morning
DSC_0355
City Wall in Dubrovnik
DSC_0308_2
beautiful orange tiles in Old City, Dubrovnik
DSC_0529_2
Mali Ston, just 1.5 hours away from Dubrovnik by bus, famous for oysters!
DSC_0436_2
start of the great wall of Mali Ston
DSC_0460_2
the great wall of Mali Ston
DSC_0505_2
many karst stones in the mountains by Mali Ston
DSC_0420_2
the town view from Mali Ston in the Pelješac peninsula
DSC_0637_2
beautiful tranquil Lopud island, home to a famous Chilean architect
DSC_0605_2
Lopud Island with beautiful beaches
DSC_0632_2
going for a short walk towards Poluge
DSC_0591_2
abandoned fortress in Lopud
DSC_0617_2
view of Lopud island from the Fortress
DSC_0590_2
Small island of Lopud, so beautiful and quiet that there is no police
DSC_0652_2
waiting for the boat leaving Lopud Island
DSC_0017
inside the arboretum in small Trsteno village
DSC_0028
inside the arboretum in Trsteno village
DSC_0045
may be authentic?
DSC_0050
Trsteno village
DSC_0062
drank a lot of white wines including posip, malvasia, grk…
DSC_0071
Early morning cycling on the mountain in Korcula
DSC_0117
the sun is out! passing through vineyards in Korcula on my rental bike
DSC_0124
beach all to myself in Korcula
DSC_0134
cycling stop in Korcula
DSC_0172
Korcula old town
DSC_0191
small allies inside old town of Korcula
DSC_0198
view of the ocean from a restaurant in Korcula
DSC_0255
sunset in port of Korcula
DSC_0018
walking through the forest inside Plitviče Lakes National Park
DSC_0016
Plitviče Lakes National Park
DSC_0006
Mushroom (fossil?) inside the forest of Plitviče Lakes National Park
DSC_0067
Plitviče Lakes National Park
DSC_0088
Plitviče Lakes National Park
DSC_0106
Plitviče Lakes National Park
DSC_0156
war torn building in a town on the way from Plitviče to Opatija
DSC_0160
bullet holes on inhabited building wall in a town on the way from Plitviče to Opatija
DSC_0166
you can see signs of the recent war everywhere (on the way from Plitviče to Opatija)
DSC_0213
pretty town of Opatija
DSC_0226
town of Bale
DSC_0288
town of Bale
DSC_0295
little jewel I found in town of Bale: Kamene Priče jazz bar
DSC_0292
entrance of Kamene Priče jazz bar
DSC_0273
streets of Bale
DSC_0321
near the ruins of Dvigrad
DSC_0347
Svetvinčenat, Bale
DSC_0386
Pula Arena, Istria
DSC_0389
Pula Arena, Istria
DSC_0417
Istria, our final stop in Croatia

The most memorable places for me personally were Korčula and the little town of Bale, the mixture of nature and encounter with the local people made it that much more special.

The little jazz bar Kamene Priče (it also offers accommodation) in Bale caught my eye, I walked in and curiously asked the young barman if jazz was a popular style of music the locals liked. Since the country is quite new (breakup of Yugoslavia was 1980-1991, and the last war with the Serbs ended in 1995) with a history of various conquests, I thought that most of the people held traditional values and were less inclined to follow foreign music. The young Croatian man was very enthusiastic and happy to share his views of the local values. He told me that the owner of the bar has travelled all around the world and loves jazz, which is becoming popular in the country. Croatia has a very sad history and the older generation went through harsh times. He told me that the elders are so affected by the war and still torn with vivid memories of the war. The young generation, on the contrary, are tired of being reminded of the tragic past and only want to focus on the present, they are encountering identity crisis and tired of politics.

Here is an interesting story of Tomislav Pavleka, the owner of Kamene Priče on how the jazz bar was born: http://www.everthenomad.com/creative-corner/ex-blog/local-voices-croatia-tomislav-pavleka-kamene-price/

One of the most beautiful souvenirs I received on this trip was a catalog of Bale the young man at the jazz bar gave me, it is about the beauty and history of Bale, written and printed by the owners of the jazz bar themselves. This was at the end of my trip and what made this experience more unforgettable. All the Croats I met are genuinely friendly, from Zac the man I met at a restaurant in Korcula who offered me a free ride to cycle in mountains, to the two water taxi drivers I met on the beach in Lopud who told me about their experience diving in the caves nearby, and the charming young man in Bale with valuable insights of jazz and his country. Croatians are very proud of their nation, natural beauty and folklore traditions, and I definitely recommend this country that has everything.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s