First I based myself in Zagreb and after a day exploring that city (and buying bus tickets), on Sunday I went by bus to the original royal city of Varazdin. Sadly rain set in and I discovered the museums and galleries closed at 1pm, so after a visit to the castle and an art gallery and a quick walk around the small city, I was back in my hotel by 3.30pm.
Monday was much better although the weather began similarly and remained grey all day.
I spent 2 hours in the bus down to Plitvice lakes and then took about 4 hours to do the walk which was advertised as 5 to 6 hours. I could have taken the first part more slowly. We began with a trip in a bus/train along park roads to the beginning of the lake and then walked the upper lakes followed by a boat trip across the largest lake and another walk through the lower lakes and finally back in the bus/train to the entrance.
The falls were everywhere and sometimes we walked almost under them. I have had to include 4 photos but have many more and hope to upload a youtube version when I find time. I am not sure about the strength of the wifi signal on the ship so am rushing to produce this.
On Tuesday afternoon I was suppose to travel for 6 hours by train but discovered due to track work the first 2 hours were by bus then half an hour wait and a slow train rather than the modern one promised and I arrived in Split at 8.30pm nearly 2 hours late only having eaten a banana and drunk one expresso in all that time.
I will be returning to Split on the ship so did not do any sightseeing but it was crowded with a festival and fireworks at 10pm, all I heard was what seemed like cannon shots.
Wednesday I was back on a bus and travelling for 5 hours to Dubrovnik. We crossed into Bosnia Herzegovna for 23 km so the first borders since entering Croatia. Croatia becomes part of the EU on July 1st and while the Slovenia/Croatia border will no longer have checks, I am told these others will possibly be worse.
In Dubrovnik my apartment has been up on the hill overlooking the city and I have included a photo from the terrace.
I walked the walls the first afternoon and will explore more this morning but the last 2 days have involved bus tours, first to Mostar in Bosnia Herzegovna which meant crossing the borders 6 times. Mostar is pretty but sad. The bridge
has been rebuilt but our guide described her time as a girl of 12 hiding in cellars during the day and going with her mother into the countryside to find food at night. We visited a mosque and a Turkish house. Bosnia is largely Moslem and they have their own currency but also use Euros and the Croatian kunar.
Yesterday another long bus trip but only across and back the border with Montenegro. There the people are Orthodox (Croatia is Roman Catholic) and they use Euro as currency. We spent several hours in the pretty old town of Kotor before taking a terrifying road which climbed 900 metres with 25 hairpin bends and nothing between us and a steep drop. I will never complain about the Otago Peninsula roads again. The view of Kotor
was stunning. We drove through the mountains and to the seaside town of Budva which has been built largely by the Russians as a resort. Then back, crossing a vehicle ferry to Dubrovnik.