DUBROVNIK CRUISE through the Elaphiti Islands and back to Dubrovnic – 8 days.
The boat was only commissioned in April and they have some sorting out to do. All their passengers were told they could drop luggage on board from 11:00. They had no idea where the boat was – it was hiding 1 km away under the Dubrovnic bridge.
Then it would arrive at 15:00 – it arrived at 15:30. All of us still clutching our cases since 10:30 in a hot, sunny 30 degrees. Bad PR. However, we are now on the boat – beautifully appointed with cabins bigger than big ships we have been on and the ensuite about the same size as at home. BIG surprise! Meeting at 19:00 to explain the rules over dinner.
MLJET – Day 1
$20 to enter National Park – Well wooded and lovely smell of damp pine needles on the stone stepped pathway.
About 1.5 km to two lakes with artificial stone spillway. Larger is tidal and the water flows at 1 metre a second along the raceway and changes direction twice a day. Many young and beautiful people swimming down it including one who tried to swim against it. Good try. Very buoyant as extra high salt content. On exit, you are carried a few metres into the smaller lake but quite easy to double back and exit – good fun! Water temperature around 30 degrees.
Included in the day pass was a trip to Mary’s Island by open ferry boat.
The monastery is being restored but has amazing acoustics. The usual food places on landing. Somewhat hot on the island so had a swim down the raceway on the way back!
Started, as with most stops, with a tour guide giving their spiel. Kept seeing the word Arsenal and assumed they were just soccer supporters. Wrong. In this part of the world an Arsenal is a place where ships were hauled up and repaired.
For about 100 years the noblemen and the fishermen in the castle, were at war. Trouble was that the fishermen were very rich at the time. Eventually, they settled their differences and built the Arsenal. As a sop to the nobles, on the top floor they build a theatre – as in plays etc. Nowadays the area in front of the Arsenal arch is paved but then, it was simply a slipway.
There are two large castles, one up the hill and one way higher that we didn’t go to. The lower one is Hvar Fortress.
A very pleasant walk from the town with magnificent views from the top, where there is the inevitable cafe. Of great amusement was a sign on the fortress wall saying WC. On entering one is confronted with a beautifully porcelain tiled loo which would be a credit to any hotel! The fortress is beautifully restored and you can even visit the impressive dungeons.
BOL/ (Split will do later as coming back for five days)
Bol is the port, on the Southside of the Island of Brac.
Too windy to swim on northern beach so docked. Secluded cove to southern side of the port.
Nude beach – Disused monastery – graffiti on abandoned school/hotel. Ancient cemetery – very pretty.
Magnificent views – wooded – peaceful.
Visiting Split again for five days later in the holiday so will write it up then.
We passed the marble quarry on the way in to Brac.
We passed the marble quarry on the way in to Bol on the island of Brac. Marble comes in differing grades. The cheap stuff is the top ten metres. It has flecks in it and is used in fountains, pavements, etc. It gets progressively whiter with depth and the really good stuff, pure white is around 30 metres down. This was the marble used in the White House in Wahington DC. Apart from that, absolutely nothing happened (ANH) at Brac, except we visited the stone masonry school. Apparently the 84 students including four women, can do a three or four year course. Each sculpture is done by one student and can easily take a year. One slip – it’s gone – start again. An interesting tour.
After that we went for a swim, back for lunch and on to …..
Just another town – went looking for a hire car for next week.
Took the wrong turn on the way back and ended up at the top of the hill by the rebuilt St Peters Church. A very pretty avenue back down to the port, though very, very hot – sweating like a pig with no shirt – finally found the boat the other side of the peninsula.
On the way back came across dozens of floating kids water playgrounds. Some ten times the size of the one below. Usually in secluded bay because of wind problems elsewhere.
Sign outside restaurant – poor little lamb!
Marco Polo, the explorer, was born in Korcula – apparently. A tiny little house in between the city wall, next to the palace and various churches. There is also a Marco Polo “Museum” but very average so did not visit.
Climbed the bell tower – 450 mm steps – very high – great view.
Had a Thai red curry from a tiny restaurant, run by an Ozzie from Perth – yummy. Went for a swim off the rocks at the base of the Old City Wall and Chris slipped over and dislocated the tip of her index finger on the left hand. Now more famous than Marco Polo. And ….. swollen.
Chugging along on the last leg to Dubrovnik. Great cruise. Two more days in Dubrovnik and then high speed ferry back to Split for five days.
OBSERVATIONS – An excellent cruise with very obliging staff. Drink prices are very reasonable. In some cabins, the air conditioning is worse than useless. Luckily we had cabin 18. The cabins are made up daily – very professional. Harbour stays are costly and wharf space in high demand. They get around this by Stacking. So, you just walk across the other boats to get to your cabin – easy.
If we were to be picky, the cruise could be done in five days and still be just as enjoyable.
Cruise rating 8.5 – highly recommended.