Thursday, September 25, 2014

Road Tripping {The Croatian Coast with the Davis's}

Our friends Matt and Chrystal were planning a week long boat trip in Croatia and asked if we wanted to join them, or meet them afterward.  Um, twist our arms!  We were online looking for plane tickets immediately.  We weren't able to get the time off for the boat trip, but we decided to meet them for an extended weekend and road trip up the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia from Dubrovnik to Zadar.

Fist sighting of Dubrovnik - it's so iconic
Cavtat from the top of the hill
Because of the flight schedule, Brian and I arrived in Dubrovnik a day before Matt & Chrystal were to arrive from their boat trip.  We decided to spend our first night in a nearby small town, Cavtat. We thought it would be more fun if we explored Dubrovnik for the first time with the Davis's, and we typically really enjoy smaller, less touristy towns.

We loved Cavtat.  It was small, beautiful and really laid back.  We spent the day cruising the streets and alleys, swimming in the Adriatic, eating ice cream, and enjoying the beautiful sunset.  It was a day well spent.
First stop - Brian had been dreaming of octopus salad since our last trip to Croatia
adorable alleys
Yep, back in Croatia, sunbathing on rock and concrete 
Not bad for a Thursday

Polo...field? What do they call the area you play Polo? Rink? Court?
Anyway, it was literally in the middle of town, right in the harbor
Sun setting at dinner
The next morning, we packed up and headed down the road to Dubrovnik and met the Davis's.  Once they steadied their sea legs, first order of business was to grab a drink and toast to meeting up in Croatia!  We found a bar that was built into the side of the cliff, overlooking the sea.  It was perfect, and we even climbed down the side after to a swimming hole.  The boys jumped in for the first of many swims over the weekend.
Always so nice to see friends
Bian will always go for a swim
from the side of the bar
We spent the day catching up and exploring Dubrovnik. We walked around the whole city on top of the city walls.  The views were pretty incredible and you could tell by the color of the rooftop if they were original or if they had been rebuilt after being bombed in the war.
Street artist
On top of the city walls
View from the walls
Pretty city
Matt & Brian
Chrystal and me

Brian taking it all in
wine and apps on our patio
watching the sunset from our patio
hanging out in town
blue shirt night
The next morning we picked up our rental car and headed north.  Our destination for the night was Makarska, but we had a few stops to make along the way.  First up was Ston, which is a tiny little town that is known for their oysters and their huge defensive stone wall, which happens to be the worlds 2nd longest complete fortress system and is referred to as: "The Great Wall of Croatia" or "Europe's Great Wall of China".  Ston is located at the tip of the Peljesac Peninsula, so after lunch we drove a bit further on the peninsula to some wineries for some wine tasting.  Then, it was back on the road to Makarska.
Dubrovnik in the background
It was a great view point
Driving into Ston - you can see the oyster beds if you look close
sampling the oysters
beautiful lunch
Selfie by the bay
The wall in Ston
The town of Ston - you can see the wall in the background
First wine stop - check out our Fiat "Mini Van"
After a bit of a delay due to the language barrier, we did sample some wine
In front of the winery
View of the Peljesac Peninsula from the second winery
After our gluttonous food and wine stops, we were back on the road.  If you look at a map, you'll see that croatia is actually split into 2 masses of land, separated by a very small piece of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  So, we had to drive through Bosnia in order to reach our destination.  The stretch in Bosnia was less than 10 minutes on the highway but we did go through a boarder crossing (they didn't stamp our passports) and decided to stop in Bosnia's only coastal town, Neum, obviously.  It's official, we've been to Bosnia.  We had Bosnian beers, laid in the sun, swam in the sea, bought souvenirs and Chrystal and I had an offer for dinner and a night out with some Bosnian boys.
Group shot in Bosnia
swimming in Bosnia
Kissing in Bosnia
roadside stalls
Arriving in the Makarska Riviera - very nice
Our back patio in Makarska
Loved this restaurant in town
at the port
The next day was our last full day together.  We decided we wanted to just pull over when we saw a tiny little beach to hang out at before making our final drive to Zadar.  I couldn't tell you the name of the beach we found, but it was exactly what we were looking for.  We posted up near the only open coffee shop and spent the majority of the day swimming, relaxing and eating pizza.

Group shot - I am not wearing a sleeved 1-piece bathing suit.
I just have a black t-shirt on over my top.
By the evening, we had arrived in Zadar.  We cruised the seaside boardwalk, watched the sunset, had some dinner, and finished the night with dessert.  I mentioned in the blog post on our first trip to Croatia how many pizza and ice cream shops there are in Croatia.  Well, we stopped at one for our dessert and 3 of us walked away with ice cream, and Chrystal chose to have another slice of pizza for dessert, haha.
Sun setting in Zadar
enjoying the sunset
We like Croatia 
Dessert - we literally just came from dinner where we had pizza
The next morning, Matt & Chrystal dropped us off at the airport and heading toward Zagreb where they flew out a few days later.  We had a fantastic time exploring Croatia (and Bosnia) with good friends.  I will always remember Chrystal's dessert pizza, it will always make me laugh when I order a slice of pizza.