weekly recap #20 – kotor, dubrovnik & split

q. current home/addy where i stayed (neighbourhood) and how long
a. kotor (airbnb, harbour, 5 nights), dubrovnik (airbnb, port, 3 nights), split (airbnb, veli varos, 1 night)

q. favourite meal
a. cevapi sandwiches in kotor.  we had a butcher shop next door to our airbnb and they also grill up the meats for you if you choose to dine in.  cevapci is a minced meat, skinless sausage similar to persian ground meat skewers (koobideh) and i love mah sausages.

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cevapci sandwich. much better to taste than to look at

q. most memorable moment / best highlight
a. visiting krka national park on a daytrip from split.  skradinski buk is a lowest of three sets of waterfalls along the krka river and there are 17 waterfalls that feed into this one large ‘pool’ that you can wade and swim in.  we arrived later than we had liked and the park was very busy by mid afternoon with the pool completely filled with people.  the atmosphere was quite hectic so we plopped our towels down and took a nap in the sun.  i don’t know how long i fell asleep for but by the time i woke up the sun was nearing golden hour and the park was all but deserted.  we had a really relaxing time wading in the pool, under a few small waterfalls and just staring at the cascading collection of waterfalls that were churning out a massive volume of water over each edge.  it was mesmerizing.  will remember this place forever.

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17 waterfalls feeding into a giant wading pool
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asian bathing

q. greatest challenge
a. the heat.  mid to high 30 degree heat over kotor & dubrovnik with humidity to match.  one of our days in dubrovnik saw humidity of 94% and it was the day that we walked the city walls with very little shade.  it felt like desert heat in hong kong.  death.

q. what i miss most from home
a. mild temps being near the water.  i figured that the coastline of the adriatic sea would be similar to the type of weather we get in vancouver or on the island but it’s not even close.  as an example, the waters are cool, refreshing and not too violent in terms of waves.  as soon as you get out of the water the rocks are scalding and you’re bone dry within a matter of minutes.  note: i’m not saying i would trade this beach time for those in vancouver, that would be ludicrous.  i just need to get used to life with humidity.

q. next stop
a. plitvice lakes national park, croatia

q. weirdest observation about current culture
a. it hasn’t really felt like we’ve been immersed in any local culture between kotor, dubrovnik and one day in split.  both kotor and dubrovnik’s old town are mostly tourists so if anything, it’s felt more like america/france.  split has a mixed vibe and the locals are very friendly and chatty.  unfortunately dubrovnik left a bad taste in our mouths with the hit/miss nature of service.

q. one tip i would give myself if i were to come back
a. for the kotor area, i would probably stay again just outside of old town or maybe south of budva and plan to visit the smaller beaches like jaz and some others from sveti stefan and southwards.  i’d also recommend to steer clear of budva entirely as it’s overbuilt and has a much, MUCH worse beachfront than the smaller towns.  i’ve never seen deck chairs packed so tightly on a beach that can barely be categorized as a strip of pebbles.  must visit beaches are sveti stefan & plavi horizontal.  for dubrovnik, i would definitely recommend to stay outside of old town and to spend 1 full day to take in the attractions.  the city is too beautiful to skip but too overrun with people to fully appreciate the beauty.  as for doing any touristy things like walking the wall, go first thing in the morning.  40 degree heat is a reality there and with no shade to hide behind for at least two hours, the morning schedule worked out great for us.  pictures also turned out better for the first portion before the tour groups showed up.  as for split, i would probably still opt to stay on the outskirts of old town to be close enough to walk to it but far enough to still get some quiet time.

 

q. friends i’ve hung out with/visitors
a. j-lo, our hiking buddy

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kotor!
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dubrovnik’s city walls. note: that shirt was not two-toned

q. one random/weird/cool thing i learned about the country i’m staying in
a. croatia is beautiful and i wasn’t ready for any of it.  the adriatic sea, beaches, old towns, orange rooftops, narrow walkways, national parks, winding highways and grand mountains; i’m going to find it very hard to find a reason to not come back.

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a bloody sunset in dubrovnik
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dubrovnik port at night
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nearby cavtat during sunset
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the bay by ston, home of some of the world’s best oysters
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a beach pitstop on our drive from dubrovnik to split
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a view looking south from the coastal drive to split. like lake okanagan x 100000

q. one new experience/memory that will stick with me
a. hiking in the european summer heat.  walking the walls to the tower at the top to get a view of the complete bay of kotor was a much needed infusion of exercise into our daily routine of laziness.  i think i lost my shirt sometime in the first 10 seconds and haha managed to do the hike with a dress shirt on.  insane asians i tell you.

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view from the top, worth the 45min hike in the sweltering heat. took me 5 mins to get that soaked tank top back on
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kotor old town and part of the harbour. our airbnb was just to the left of that big boat
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hiking spaniard (from rafa’s home of mallorca) taking a smoke break and not sweating at all. no big deal.

q. portion of luggage that’s been the most & least useful
a. tank tops.  i might cut the sleeves off of the rest of my shirts.  i don’t think i’ve unfolded my pants for a solid month or two.  might cut them into jean shorts for my nevernude outfit.

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