Sunday, September 30, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Pucisca

This morning I have five photos to show you.  On our last full day of the trip we stayed in Pucisca, on Brac Island.  We stayed in a beautiful 15th century castle which was right on the harbor.  These are a few photos from my wander around town, as well as a few taken from my balcony in my room.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Architecture

I loved the architectural details I saw in Dubrovnik.  There were clearly some Venetian influences, and the red rooftops instantly signify Dubrovnik.  Not sure what influenced the dome below, does anyone know?

The first one below is Sponza Palace.  I am not sure what the second one is, but I was standing in the same spot.  Perhaps part of Church of St. Blaise?

Finally, another view of the rooftops.  Air conditioning units, satellite dishes, attic dormer windows, laundry flapping in the breeze...  some things old, some things new. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Some more of the boat!

More random photos - nothing has been in chron order so far.

These below were taken the day we "met" Bozidar and sailed to Hvar.  We had a dinghy ride over to where she was anchored and then we swam for a little bit, in order to replace our sweat-salt with sea-salt on our bodies.  At least we cooled down though.  No swimming photos, alas, as I was one of the swimmers. 

En route, there was quite a bit of excitement when we realized we were being paced by dolphins!  How cool is that!  Definitely rates as a highlight.  They shimmied along side us for a while - and we had to have been going 20 miles an hour I'd say.  Maybe more.  How fun!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Back at the Buza Bar

Good morning!  Here we have some photos of our cocktail hour at the Buza Bar.  This was our first evening together and Backroads picked a prime spot for good views!

Buza means "hole" and to find these lovely bars (I and II) you have to walk along the inner walls, near the top, and look for the hole in the wall.  One of them, at least, has a sign pointing to the hole that says "Cold Drinks". 

Step through the buzas and enter another world.  Both bars cling to the cliff and the tables and chairs are settled into whatever flat pieces of rock are found.  The menu is pretty simple:  beers and wines, some fruit juices.  I think you could get chips too (meaning, not french fries). 

You can't see in the photos here, but both bars are also popular swimming spots.  Directly behind me is the Adriatic.  Don't back up!

They are in larger format this morning, so if you cannot see them on your screen, click on each and they should show the whole photo.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. View from the fortress near sunset

More photos from our visit to Hvar (pronounced, roughly, Var - no H).

In the late afternoon after our beautiful morning hike, I decided to wander up to the top of the hill and have a look from the fortress.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Arrival in Hvar

Hvar is apparently a celebrity haven.  Reachable only by boat, it must be more secluded than most places (cruise ships notwithstanding).  We didn't see any celebrities but apparently other guests have seen Beyonce or Charlize Theron.  I believe Beyonce and Jay-Zee named their baby girl after a flower found on Hvar, Blue Ivy.

Hvar is also famous for its lavender.  We are well past the purple lavender season, but we did visit a lady who cultivated lavender and we bought some oils and sachets.

Enjoy a few photos of our arrival.  There will be more forthcoming from our hike.  The second one is of the Spanish Fortress overlooking the town.  It was built in the 16th century and replaced one built by the Venetians in the 13th century.

I added a photo of the BLUE BLUE waters of the harbor in Hvar - part of the Adriatic Ocean.  This is the harbor, not a swimming pool.  Yes, it is that clear and that blue. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Dubrovnik Crowds

Here are a few photos of how crowded the Stari Grad (old town) of Dubrovnik can get - and remember this was September - after school had resumed!

In the first, I am in the thick of the action.  In the second, I am on the wall looking down. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Rooftops in Dubrovnik

We are back in Dubrovnik again.  This was not taken from the wall, it was taken from the rooftop terrace at my hotel, the Stari Grad (four stars, for anyone considering staying there). 
My hotel was inside the walls and I didn't realize until the taxi dumped me at the gate that it meant "walk your own bags through the crowds to your hotel, once you find it that is".  Had I been alert I would have asked the hotel to have a porter meet me.
At any rate, once I cleaned up I checked out the terrace and the lovely views.  Can you see the cruise ship?  I have a better photo which I will post tomorrow.  It appears that the top of the ship is as tall as the top of the walls.  Scary indeed. 


Oh, what the heck, I'll add the photo today.  Check it out.  That cruise ship looks like it's taller than the wall on that side!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Some of the hiking gang

Good morning!  Here we have a few of our hikers, having a rest on a bench amidst pretty flowers. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. A Friday two-fer!

On this beautiful fall Friday, enjoy the two below.  These are more personal to our little group:  a group hiking shot and then the sight that greets us every morning - and the reason why Backroads is known as Snackroads!  No one goes hungry...

We were near the tip of the Peljesac Peninsula and this shows us hiking on our way to our reward:  lunch with a gorgeous view over to Korcula Island, and possibly the best lemonade I have ever had.

I did not get the story of this little church so if anyone reading this knows, please feel free to drop me a line or add a comment below!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast. Hike to Vela Luka

Good morning!  Another installment from a fabulous trip to Croatia with Backroads.

By the time we reached this inlet, we were perhaps 45 minutes from our lunch spot.  Erin, our guide, pointed out the steps cut into the rocks down to the water.  Off to our right were a number of vacations homes, and if I recall some were in the process of being built. 

Throughout this trip I marveled at the blue, blue waters.  In some cases my camera captured it well, in others, it didn't do it justice. 

Stay tuned tomorrow morning, when I will post a photo that includes members of our hiking group. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Backroads Dalmatian Coast: Bozidar

Another photo from a wonderful week of travel in Croatia.  On this day, we hiked on Korcula Island.  We had just eaten lunch near Vela Luka and then hiked to the bay where our boat was waiting for us.

Behold Bozidar!  The name means God's Gift.  She was built in 1907 and has quite a history.  She was even briefly a smaller boat when the Socialists were in power in the 1990s.  The owners cut 4 meters off of her in order to keep her. 

I would love to go back to the day we boarded Bozidar en route to Hvar.  Nothing like sleeping on a deck chair in the warm warm sun... 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Backroads: Dalmatian Coast (Buza Bar II)

Good morning!  Check in each morning before 8 AM and I will have a new photo posted from my recent (and first) trip to Croatia.  I was with Backroads, a travel adventure company, and I cannot say enough nice things about them.  This was my second trip with them; my first was to Norway in July 2011.

Below is an enticing photo of Buza Bar II, taken from my walk along the walls in Dubrovnik.

Don't you wish you were there?  I sure do, especially a few hours up to and including sunset!

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