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Report 1912: Spring Time in Croatia

By Letha from California, Spring 2011

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Page 2 of 10: To Dubrovnik - Friday 29th April

photo by Oscar Saldanha

The View from the Terrace of Villa Adriatica

We were up early after a good night’s sleep and decided we would go back to the main square in Zagreb for breakfast. I had also read that there was a beautiful flower market at Dolac, near the square. And what a transformation. The elegant promenade in front of the train station where we had walked when we arrived the day before was also a bustling flower and fruit market. People were about, going to work, and the scene was very European.

Back at the main square, we picked up some breakfast eats at a small bakery and then sat down to coffee at the square. We then visited the flower market, the farmer’s market and the fish market and picked up some local honey. I have a weakness for visiting fish markets even if I know I can't but and cook the fresh fish.

We got back to the hotel just as the British Embassy royal wedding screening guests were arriving; we stopped at the Esplande 25 cocktail bar inside the hotel and had a local brandy (all very colonial like the some of the British era clubs India). The bar man and bar woman were interesting, the former obviously Slavic while the later obviously Turkish. We asked the bar man about the royal wedding and he sniggered and said, "We don’t care here."

We checked out and trekked it back to the airport the same way, for our Croatian Airlines flight to Dubrovnik early afternoon. This is a budget flight with a 15kg weight restriction so we had packed with care and were fine. The Zagreb airport is small and the lines not clearly defined. We stood in a long line which said Dubrovnik for a while before realizing that it was a tour group headed for Dubrovnik also. The main line was shorter and we we got to Dubrovnik by 3:30pm.

I had booked at the Villa Adriatica (Frana Supila 4) and arranged with them for a airport pickup. We could have taken the bus but I wanted to get to our accommodation and settle in and still have some of the day left. Theo, the owner’s son (who now seems to be running the whole show including the travel agency downstairs) met us and we were soon settled into our room with the view. Theo gave us all the tips we needed and also directed us to his travel agency downstairs where we arranged for a trip to Mostar the next day; he did offer a private tour but the cost was outside what we wanted to spend.

Villa Adriatica is so ideally situated at the East Gate or Ploce Gate of the old town. We walked down across the old town to the Pile gate and tourist office where we picked up maps and other information and did a quick check of the old town. Croatian airlines had given us generous sandwiches on their short flight so we were not hungry.

We came back and picked up groceries at the ‘kozum’ the local chain, downstairs and then relaxed a bit. We had some wine that we had picked up, then headed back for dinner at a seafood place that Theo and guidebooks had recommended Lokanda Peskarija; it has a limited menu but it is right next to where the fishing boats were coming in. The seafood does not get much fresher but it is not a place I would specifically recommend. On the whole, food in Dubrovnik old town left much to be desired. We had much better food outside of Dubrovnik, which I will write about as we go along. We called it a day as we had the pickup for our trip to Mostar at 7:45am the next morning.

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