Snorkeling, cliff diving, and stopping runaway cars…just another day in Croatia!

July 13, 2010 

For those that bore easily!  Dubrovnik along with Mostar were beautiful and the food was delicious and we’re just going to hope that all this delicious food doesn’t start to show and I still have no luggage after 29 days!

Now for the slightly longer spread out over 4 day version! We arrived to Dubrovnik, Croatia on Thursday the 8th of July and for those of you who don’t know (and I’m not saying I did before this trip!) Dubrovnik is located in the very tip of the long “tail” of Croatia that lies along the coast of the Adriatic Sea and has miles of gorgeous coastline. The county of Croatia is only roughly 15 years old but the town of Dubrovnik nonetheless is rich with history and heritage and the old town is surrounded by a massive wall that if I had paid a little more attention to in history class I might be able to tell you exactly why it was built!

Anyways enough of the history lesson! Our first day in Dubrovnik was wonderful! Our boat docked in a small town called Gruz about a 30-40 minute walk from the old city so after a quick walk to the old city and back a group of 20 of us met back at the ship for a snorkeling trip through SAS and I couldn’t have been any more excited for my first snorkeling trip (especially after I was finally able to borrow a swimsuit from a friend!) After reaching the small island where we were going to be snorkeling we received brief instruction and our snorkeling gear and were set free to go exploring! After a couple healthy gulps of lovely salt water couple with several times of burning my eyes with the same water I finally got the hang of it and was able to see little fishies swimming all around me! After about an hour ½ of us took a boat to a smaller more secluded island to do more snorkeling and look through an underwater cave. After snorkeling through the area for a bit our guide informed us that we could also go cliff diving there and I am proud to say that after tons of prodding I was able to jump off the 20 foot rock twice and loved it! The water was so clear and blue and it was amazing flying through the air! After getting back and washing up from our snorkeling trip we headed back into the old city to finish walking through the main streets of town and seeing all the various vendors selling Croatian goods.

Waking up early on day two was easier said than done after a day in the hot sun and water, but knowing that we would be able to explore the beautiful city that lay ahead of us made it all worthwhile. After breakfast on the boat Kelsey and I headed back to the old town with plans of veering off the main, tourist-crowded roads and walking through the smaller winding streets where more of the locals congregated. After a quick detour of holding several parrots once we ran into a “parrot” man, we were back to walking through the old city. After much walking and countless pictures of the beautiful town we quickly realized we were starving and met up with several other girls for a delicious meal of pizza and wine on a back street café before climbing the city walls to see the city from above. We had been told that paying the 30 kuna to climb the city walls was a must in Dubrovnik and as soon as we climbed the 4 million steps to the top we quickly discovered why. The entire city of Dubrovnik was laid out beautifully before us with every street being lined in marble white buildings topped with their classic terracotta roofs it was a photographers dream come true!

Day three not only brought us new adventures but a new country as well! Waking up early (like even earlier than all the other times I say we get early! Lol) we boarded a bus headed for Mostar, Bosnia. Less than 15 years ago Mostar was in the middle of a viscous war and although we knew this before getting there after our 3 ½ hour bus ride there we were astonished at what we saw. The amount of building that were still, 15 years later, completely demolished by bullets, shrapnel, and bombs was much more than an eye opener for us. Although most of the city has been rebuilt, including its bridge that at the time it was destroyed was over 700 years old, there were still a fair share a building remains left behind. I’m not sure if they are that way simply because they haven’t had time to rebuild the city or as a memory to what they have been through, but either way it was a very powerful experience. While in Mostar we enjoyed some traditional Bosnian food of meatballs in a large pita bread with onions and a type of spicy pepper sauce on the side. After a more than filling lunch we continued our tour of the city taking in all the sights around us as well as taking advantage of the cheap souvenirs the town’s people had to offer. After a long and tiring, yet very fulfilling day in Bosnia we headed back to the bus and were back to the boat by about ten that night.

After 3 full days of walking around both Croatia and Bosnia we treated ourselves on Sunday and slept in till about 9:30 before Kelsey Lydia and I headed out to the beach for several hours. After the beach, and seeing some awkward tanning situations while there lol we headed back into the old city to enjoy lunch at a local place that we had heard about called the Taj Mahal which oddly enough serves Bosnian cuisine! After literally stuffing ourselves full with another very generous helping of Bosnian meatballs and one last walk through the city, we headed back to the port for some quick grocery (aka Croatian candy!) shopping! After we had more than satisfied our sweet tooths (sweet teeth?!? Lol) we said our goodbyes to the beautiful city of Dubrovnik and boarded the ship bound for Greece.
If you have managed to make it through all of this I'd like to congratulate you and offer some other quick updates! My bag to the best of my knowledge is now safe and sound in Greece and I should be reunited with it tomorrow morning! And for some numbers for the trip so far: my bag has been in 5 (yes that’s 5!) countries, around 15 airports, and I believe 4 different airlines as well as me being in 5 countries since I have left the US and have taken so far roughly 1,200 pictures so far! Well that’s about it for now and I’m off to Greece tomorrow and I hope to have pictures up here soon! Love hearing from everyone back home and I hope everyone is having a great summer!