Travel Dates: August 17-24, 2016
Beginning our Honeymundo in Europe was part of my master plan for gently easing us into our long journey. Linda hadn’t spent much time in Europe, and I’ve often felt that this part of the world is well tuned for enjoying life. Croatia is certainly no exception. Romantic castle walls, beautiful beaches, delicious food and wine…this place blew us away.
Accommodations: Hilton Imperial
We landed in Dubrovnik at night and took a taxi into the city walls to our hotel. We scored the last room available at the Hilton Imperial Hotel and were very lucky we did. Situated one block from the old town gates, we were able to walk into the heart of old Dubrovnik whenever we wanted.
The old town in Dubrovnik feels like a movie set. In fact, it’s the setting for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. It’s extremely well preserved and you can spend hours walking the alleys, visiting shops and restaurants along the way.
Our second day in Dubrovnik happened to be Linda’s birthday, so we kicked it off with a private Game of Thrones city tour. Cheesy, I know, but we happen to be big fans so it was a really fun way to see the sights. We followed up with a nice lunch in old town, drinks on the cliffs at Buza Bar, and a delicious sushi dinner at Bota Sare. After so many days of Mediterranean cuisine, we were stoked for good sushi…and they even had Sriracha Sauce!
We spent the rest of our days in Dubrovnik exploring the city, doing laundry at the local laundromat, taking a cable car to the top of the city, swimming in local watering holes, and eating lots of ice cream…a trip to Dubrovnik would not be complete without a double scoop ice cream cone at Sladoledarna just inside the old town (orange and coffee flavors topped our list).
Accommodations: Hotel Park Hvar
I’m completely captivated by the beauty and charm of Croatia and Hvar did not disappoint. It’s definitely a place you can go to for the purpose of raging but if you know Amit and I well enough, you know that we’re way past that stage in our lives. That doesn’t mean we can’t rally, OCCASIONALLY.
After a more touristy visit to Dubrovnik, we wanted to just unwind for the next few days. We arrived in the evening by ferry. Our hotel was centrally located adjacent to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, with tons of restaurant and bars just steps away. We had an amazing view of the port from our balcony where we could admire all of the beautiful yachts docked. Every evening we enjoyed the live music coming from the restaurant located below our hotel. We particularly enjoyed the tunes from a one-man band who had a drum strapped on his back that he controlled with strings attached to his feet, all the while singing and playing guitar and harmonica for tips in the square.
We spent the next couple days soaking up the sun. One day we walked 20 minutes to the other side of the island to Hula Hula Beach Bar, rented a daybed, ordered a couple rounds of peach daiquiri drinks and took dips in the water to cool down when it got too hot. The following day we decided to rent a boat and explore the Pakleni Islands on our own. In Hvar, you can be the skipper of your own boat with no license required! The boat however is a small 5 person motor boat that only has 5-8 HP and is only good for short distance. After getting a brief 10 minute tutorial from a real skipper, Amit and I set out for our excursion. As we got further out to sea, and the waves got bigger and bigger, rocking our tiny little boat back and forth, we quickly decided we should turn back. Once we got back, we hired a skipper who took us on a high speed boat around a few of the islands. It was not the exact experience we were looking for but at least we got to sit back comfortably without the fear of capsizing and (me) drowning.
All and all it was a great trip to Hvar. It was a young, hip scene, with beautiful rocky beaches and the clearest blue water I have ever seen.