CRUISING THE ELAPHITI ISLANDS

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.

Sister ship to Apolon - 6m shorter

Sister ship to Apolon – 6m shorter

Dubrovnik - Bridge

Dubrovnik – 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.

Apolon - breakfast

Apolon – breakfast

Apolon - The dining room

Apolon – The dining room

Apolon - The dining room

Apolon – The dining room

MLJET – Day 1

$20 to enter National Park – Well wooded and lovely smell of damp pine needles on the stone stepped pathway.

Mljet

Mljet

Mljet - two lakes

Mljet – two lakes

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.

Mljet - big lake raceway

Mljet – big lake raceway

Mljet - little lake raceway

Mljet – little lake raceway

Included in the day pass was a trip to Mary’s Island by open ferry boat.

Mljet - St Mary's Island

Mljet – St Mary’s Island

Mljet - St Mary's Island Cross

Mljet – St Mary’s Island Cross

Mljet - St Mary's Island Time out

Mljet – St Mary’s Island Time out

 

Mljet - St Mary's Island - leaving

Mljet – St Mary’s Island – leaving

Mljet - St Mary's Island - Wherever you go, there are boats!

Mljet – St Mary’s Island – Wherever you go, there are boats!

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!

HVAR

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.

Hvar - The Arsenal.

Hvar – The Arsenal.

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.

Hvar - Architecture.

Hvar – Architecture.

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.

image

 

Hvar - Castle - mud map

Hvar – Castle – mud map

Hvar - Castle approaches

Hvar – Castle approaches

Hvar - view from the castle

Hvar – view from the castle

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.

Hvar Castle - down to the dungeons.

Hvar Castle – down to the dungeons.

Hvar Castle - the dungeons.

Hvar Castle – the dungeons.

Hvar Castle - the dungeons - no escape!

Hvar Castle – the dungeons – no escape!

BOL/ (Split will do later as coming back for five days)

Bol is the port, on the Southside of the Island of Brac.

Brac - the island - Bol - the port

Brac – the island – Bol – the port

Too windy to swim on northern beach so docked. Secluded cove to southern side of the port.

Brac - Bol - Secluded cove

Brac – Bol – Secluded cove

Brac - Bol - beach

Brac – Bol – beach

Nude beach – Disused monastery – graffiti on abandoned school/hotel. Ancient cemetery – very pretty.

Brac - Bol - Gardens

Brac – Bol – Gardens

Brac - Bol - cemetary

Brac – Bol – cemetary

Brac - Bol - hilltop view.

Brac – Bol – hilltop view.

Magnificent views – wooded – peaceful.

SPLIT

Visiting Split again for five days later in the holiday so will write it up then.

BRAC

We passed the marble quarry on the way in to Brac.

Brac - the main marble quarry.

Brac – the main marble quarry.

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.

Brac - quarry sites

Brac – quarry sites

Brac - masonry school

Brac – masonry school

Brac - masonry school template usage

Brac – masonry school template usage

Brac - masonry school projects

Brac – masonry school projects

Brac - masonry school roughies

Brac – masonry school roughies

Brac - swimming.

Brac – swimming.

After that we went for a swim, back for lunch and on to …..

MAKARSKA
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.

Makarska - "got lost"

Makarska – “got lost”

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.

Makarska - water toys everywhere.

Makarska – water toys everywhere.

KORCULA

Korcula - fortified remains.

Korcula – fortified remains.

Korcula - Old Town walls

Korcula – Old Town walls and entry bridge.

Korcula - Old Town entry.

Korcula – Old Town entry from other side.

Sign outside restaurant – poor little lamb!

Korcula - "Catch of the Day"

Korcula – “Catch of the Day”

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.

Korcula - Marco Polo house.

Korcula – Marco Polo house.

Korcula - Marco Polo voyages.

Korcula – Marco Polo voyages.

Climbed the bell tower – 450 mm steps – very high – great view.

Korcula - the bell tower.

Korcula – the bell tower.

Korcula - the bell tower - top tier.

Korcula – the bell tower – top tier.

Korcula - rooftop view the bell tower.

Korcula – rooftop view the bell tower.

Korcula - view the bell tower.

Korcula – view the bell tower.

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.

Korcula - "Dislocation Beach - going down.

Korcula – “Dislocation Beach – going down.

Korcula - "Dislocation Beach - swimming.

Korcula – “Dislocation Beach – swimming.

Korcula - "Dislocation Beach - coming back.

Korcula – “Dislocation Beach – coming back.

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.

Cruise boat stacking.

Cruise boat stacking.

Cruise - The last Supper.

Cruise – The last Supper.

If we were to be picky, the cruise could be done in five days and still be just as enjoyable.

Croatian Cruise - so we say goodbye.

Croatian Cruise – so we say goodbye.

Cruise rating 8.5 – highly recommended.

Advertisements