Friday 4 July 2014

Reaching our final Croatian city!

Day 6: Hvar (via Split) to Dubrovnik, Croatia (via Bosnia)

Today was exciting because we were heading towards our final Croatian city: Dubrovnik! But before then, we had a little more time to explore Hvar.
Breakfast buffets...
Our stunning breakfast view
We hiked up the hill overlooking the old town and bay to the Hvar fortress. 

This citadel was built at the beginning of the 16th century and restored in 1579 after a powder-chamber explosion.

The prison cells

The kind guard let us in to explore the fortress, despite us not having enough money with us!!

It was worth it - the panoramic views over the town, bay and Pakleni islands were stunning.

I’d been looking out for signs of lavender fields or vineyards too but couldn’t see those anywhere.
Taking a break on the hike back down
After a hot walk back down we decided to go for a quick sunbathe / splash in the sea to reward ourselves.

Then we freshened up before heading to the main square for lunch. We ate right on the square, admiring views of St Stephan’s cathedral and the 13th century arsenal next door.

We had a delicious carpaccio octopus salad and frozen vanilla drink whilst commentating on the regular new arrivals to the island.

Then it was time to head to Dubrovnik! First we caught the catamaran back to Split before catching a public bus onto Dubrovnik.

View from the bus
The bus route took about 5 hours but included a sunset stop in Bosnia (country #2!).
Bosnian ground!

Once we’d arrived in Dubrovnik we ditched our bags in the hostel and then caught a bus into the old town.

We walked through the main gate (‘Pile Gate’) under the ancient city walls and were in awe of the beauty inside. 

The old town’s main street (the Stradun) was all lit up inside, adding to the impressive view as we wandered through the marble streets and baroque buildings all enclosed by the city walls and car-free.

We found a restaurant inside and cheers our arrival in Dubrovnik with radlers (beer / lemonade mix, aka a shandy in England).

Next up was a tasty seafood risotto and “Mussels Buzara” - a Croatian mussels recipe popular along the Dalmation coast. It’s also known as dagnje na buzaru, or školjke na buzaru with “buzara” literally meaning “stew” as the seafood is cooked with olive oil, wine, garlic, breadcrumbs and fresh herbs.

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