Croatia – the delight of the Adriatic

 

As usual there has been a large gap between posts – I can totally agree with all retirees who claim they are busier than ever! My OH has commented recently that he does not know how I found time to work full time!

Every day is filled with activities – even if they are cleaning, catching up on TV, hobbies  meeting friends etc. The once mundane activities of cleaning are actually enjoyable now I have time to do them, especially in my new house they have become a pleasure – well almost.

One thing I have been busy with is a fabulous holiday to Croatia. We absolutely love this country and have only seen a small part of it. My interest in the country stems from my love of football (well that’s a surprise!). During Euro 1996 the Croatian National Team entered a team for the first time following the Baltic crisis. I thought they were a great team, some great players including Davor Suker and Slaven Bilic, now manager of West Ham.

At the time I said to John – I want to visit there some day and watch that team play!

It took a while but in 2010 we finally got to visit. We stayed in Dubrovnik in a fabulous hotel called The Grand Villa Argentina, just outside the iconic City walls. A beautiful hotel in a stunning location. Like most hotels in Croatia, they are not located on beaches but have naturally formed bathing platforms on rocky outcrops next to the sea. This hotel has a fabulous pool on the edge of the Adriatic and breakfast is served on an outdoor terrace. We loved it

. On that trip we visited the small town of Cavtat 14km away by boat trip. This trip was recommended by friends. Well on arrival it was love at first site. A small resort built around 2 horseshoe bays, which are visited by spectacular yachts and the quay sides are edged with fabulous restaurants and cafe bars serving great local beer, wine, cocktails and produce.

We have stayed in this resort 4 times now, we find it perfect. Dubrovnik itself can be very busy and crowded within the walls during the day from the visiting cruise ship tourists. Cavtat is laid back, picturesque and not too busy. There is a great crowd there, a mixture of the locals and tourists. Maybe I’ve become a tad boring but I dislike karaoke and so called traditional English bars. I love the European laid back Cafe culture. I would say that many of the tourists who stay here are 40 plus but that does not mean it is dull. In the bars at night a lot of the locals come out to drink and eat, many young in their 20’s. It has a real ‘trendy’ vibe and the locals are so friendly. Visitors are enthralled by their fabulous manners and chat.

Even though I am addicted to football, I really dislike the loud, brash English football shirt wearing tourist, I don’t mind seeing football shirts being worn, after all football is a great conversation opener, but I dislike the loud, drunken behaviour that sometimes goes with it.
On 3 of our visits now there has been a football tournament on. 2 Euro’s and a World Cup. In Cavtat, all the bars and restaurants put up outdoor TV screens when games are scheduled. The sound is unobtrusive but visitors and locals alike can watch games. I have watched the Croatian National Team play whilst visiting there. The locals appear in their team colours with  their flags. They are quite vocal but not too rowdy, although it is handy that you cannot tell what they are saying, but it all looks friendly enough!

Unfortunately they have lost and left 2 tournaments when we have been there, here is the difference that makes me warm to these fabulous people even more. There are no histrionics, tears or acts of frustration, they just shrug their shoulders and carry on their normal business, continuing to enjoy their evening and chat as if nothing had happened. I commented to one of our waiters how well they took defeat. His reply was “tomorrow is another day, the sun will still shine!” A great response and attitude.
It is a lovely place, with wonderful people. Don’t be put off by their dour faced exteriors – engage in conversation and they come alive – great wit and humour. They appreciate you visiting their wonderful country – after all tourism is their biggest earner! The views and scenery are delightful, a lovely mixture of the clear Adriatic , framed by Mountains, beautiful flowers and Pine trees. All my friends always comment  how beautiful it looks when they see my photographs on my social media pages.

It is an ideal destination for the over 50’s who wish to experience a chilled, relaxing holiday with beautiful scenery and a friendly welcome.

And finally I cannot end without mentioning the beer and wine! I think two of their local beers Karlovacko and Osujszco are 2 of the best I’ve ever tasted, plus their red wines aren’t bad either, Plavac and Dingac. Such a pity they don’t export, although I know M&S stocked a Plavac for a while.

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