Of everywhere we visited so far I’d say Durbrovnik was my favorite. I highly recommend it to anyone who dreams of a Mediterranean get-a-way right out of Conde Nast. Thanks to Craig we had a gorgeous villa with amazing views. (Minus the 300+ steps from top to bottom—but we all have strong calves now).
There were kiwis, fresh herbs, lemons and limes growing right on the property and a lovely garden with roses and all sorts of trees and flowers. This was amazing given that the villa was literally built into a cliff. A lot of history in this house as well, it was used as a look out point during the war. For more information check out this article that was featured in the Washington Post in 2002 where the writer stayed in our villa. And yes, they left us homemade apple streudel as well.
Old town Dubrovnik is a beautiful walled city with red tiled roofs. We did the walk around the entire wall and had some great views. There’s also a monastery, one of the oldest operating pharmacies in Europe and many galleries. I read that the City of Dubrovnik spends 22% of their budget on cultural projects – that’s a lot given the country is still recovering from war torn status.
There’s a lot of debate amongst the locals regarding how and if they want to become a big tourist destination. Dubrovnik is already being called the Riviera of the Adriatic and there are 4-5 cruise ships docked their on any given day. The locals didn’t seem to keen to have any of us tourists there either. The friendliness of Greece was virtually non-existent here.
We also hit Korcula, an island about 100 KM from Dubrovnik. We were lucky to have a very traditional and yummy meal at our friend Randy Farac’s family’s restaurant, “Mate” in Putnap on the island.
Most of the trip was spent relaxing on our porch overlooking the Adriatic and cooking fantastic meals in. While we had a pool and steps right into the sea it was too cold for swimming. Justin and Craig did hit the sea twice just to say they had been swimming but Sanaz and I weren’t going to brave the cold.
The only complaint anyone had was that since the Dubrovnik area and Croatia for that matter isn’t very toursity, outside of the Old Town of Dubrovnik we were hardpressed to find many shops or restaurants in the little villages we went exploring in. We did find a great roadside stand selling fresh oysters and mussels. We got 2 kilos of mussels for 16 kuna…that’s about $3.50 US!
There is a lot to see in Croatia and it’s on my list for a repeat visit. I think the best way to do it would be to do a sailing trip so that you can hit all the islands and coastal villages. Maybe in a few years when Stella won’t be falling overboard!
We are back in Marlow now and back on line and contactable via phone easily. So back to a normal life again. We are here for a month so we hope to get caught up on work and with friends and family.
As for the simple baby travel…we have to say that we are ready to not get on a plane or go anywhere for awhile. With Stella walking she doesn’t want to sit still for long. So perhaps the simpleness of baby travel may be coming to a close but stay tuned!
A tip on staying in a villa with children. Check out how many stairs there are and if the place is child friendly. We knew going in that our villa was not recommended for small children. We figured that since she was just learning to walk it would be OK. Carrying her up and down the stairs wasn’t so bad and she actually climbed a few herself. However, the challenges of baby proofing were quite high this go around and she actually fell from the picnic table while Justin and I were sitting and standing right beside her. But children will be children and they are going to fall! Our villa did provide a pack and play and high chair again which was great.
We continue to be happy to have had these experiences traveling as a family and look forward to our future plans.