Adriatic Treasures: Croatia to Venice
Mike and Judy Henderson
September 13-29, 2019
Friends of ours did a tour of the Adriatic area/Dalmatian Coast a year or so ago and spoke very highly of it, so we decided to visit the area, also. We considered a small boat cruise starting in Venice but decided that we'd see more on a land tour. On a cruise, all you can really see are the towns on the coast - it takes too long for them to bus you into interior areas. Of course, the opposite is also true - a tour generally doesn't take you to the small coastal towns. We chose Tauck because we like the way they handled previous tours we've taken with them.
9/13/2019 (Friday) We're going a day early to recover from jet lag before the trip starts. Here we are in our front yard, prior to leaving.
The limo driver arrived right on time.
Traffic wasn't too bad and we got to the airport in less than an hour. Check in was quick and easy.
We had a fairly long wait for our flight - we like to arrive at the airport early - and we were able to use the Lufthansa lounge.
Eventually, it was time to board the aircraft - an A380-800. Here's a view of the business class section.
And Judy getting settled.
And then we took off heading out over the Pacific.
The plane turned, went back over the airport, and headed to Munich.
9/14/2019 (Saturday) The ten hour flight to Munich was uneventful. The Lufthansa staff fed us and then we tried to sleep. When we had about two hours to go, just about over Ireland, they woke us and served breakfast. We arrived in Munich about 12:30pm Munich time.
Our layover was fairly short so we went directly to the gate for our flight to Dubrovnik. This was an Airbus A321. Since we flew to Munich in Business class, we were given first class seats on the flight to Dubrovnik. But first class on these types of flights isn't much. The give you a standard tourist seat but block off the middle seat.
It was only an hour flight to Dubrovnik, and they offered us another meal and were very nice to us, so it was a good experience.
The flight path took us over the Alps. Judy was able to get some great pictures of the mountains and snow.
Going in for a landing at the Dubrovnik airport gave us our first real look at the country: mountainous but green and lots of farm land. This is an ancient land with human habitation that goes back to the Neanderthals.
The Tauck transfer company representative was waiting for us as we exited the passport area, and drove us to the Hotel Excelsior.
Here's a picture of the hotel that I took from the Old City (on Sunday). We are in room 001, which is in the lower right of the hotel. The arrow points to the location of our room. There's a large balcony attached to our room.
It's a lovely hotel. Our room is quite large by European standards and well appointed.
It was still light so Judy and I decided to walk to the Old Town. As we were leaving the hotel we saw this wedding party on the hotel terrace. I mention this becasue we later saw several wedding parties in the old town. I suppose Dubrovnik is popular as a "destination wedding" location.
It was a short walk to the Old City from the hotel. As we were entering the Old City, we encountered a wedding party parading out of the city.
The Old City was a fortified port. Here's a view of part of the port.
The Old City is not very big. This map shows the streets and walls.
We entered at the gate marked as 17 on this map. Here's a picture of the gate.
After entering the Old City we stopped first at the port area.
And I took this nice picture of Judy.
Then we walked to the main street, called Stradun. In the late afternoon light the paving stones shone, polished by the steps of thousands of tourists, and many hundreds of years.
The "Spanish Steps" of Dubrovnik. Actually called the Jesuit stairs. We were told that these stairs were used in a famous "Walk of Shame" scene in Game of Thrones, season 5. Here's another link.
After walking the city for a while, we stopped for dinner at one of the little cafes in the Old City and shared a large beer, plus an excellent lasagne.
By the time we finished dinner it was dark and the Old City was illuminated for the evening.
Even into the night there were still wedding groups in the city.
By the time we got back to the hotel we were exhausted. After a shower, we collapsed into bed, only to wake about 3am. However, this time we were able to get back to sleep and slept until about 9am. That was quite a surprise to both of us becasue we had wanted an early start to walk the walls of the Old City before it got too warm.
Our adventure continues here