This most recent tour break was much less of a surprise than the one that came before it. Although we may have preferred it if Duncan had more work, when official word came that there would be a ten day hole following Beirut we were far better prepared to suck it up (always with the suffering) and figure out a way to fill in the time.
In fact, we arrived at the same conclusion from different sides of Casablanca: Croatia’s coast would work perfectly. It’s not in the Schengen Area, we’d heard its beautiful and the distances seemed sane. I can’t remember if I texted Duncan first to suggest it, or if he emailed me, but we were both looking at the map and making the same rough plan. As an added bonus, M&R felt like doing much the same.
And so it was that M & Duncan found awesome flights, apartments, and a rental car, basically planning the whole break for me and R. It worked out beautifully. Oh sure, we ended up in what I affectionately dubbed Murder Hostel on the first night, as the guy who owned the apartment we had booked couldn’t be bothered to wait up for us. When we got into the place the next day, however, its size and views over the bays of Split more than compensated.
After a rainy first day of interneting in Split, we toodled around the town, visited nearby Trogir for dinner, and then had another 1.5 days to actually visit and enjoy Split before embarking a car ferry for Korcula Island.
Which was perfect.
Our apartment had bikes and kayaks available, and the nicest hosts of any we encountered. There was time to run (for them what do that kind of thing), bike around all day one day, drive all over the island another, go for a kayak, visit vineyards, cook lots of meals, admire the water’s ridiculous colours and clarity (though it was too cold for me to actually want to swim, Duncan sure did), and even spend an afternoon on a sailboat. Oh, but a word to the wise: if you go for a boat ride bring your passport. Because while you might be worried about it getting wet, the customs people will inevitably show up when your boat pulls into dock and you’ll have some ‘splaining to do when you come to shore with nary a piece of ID amongst you.
After island bliss, we spent our last two nights in Dubrovnik in yet another lovely, clean apartment overlooking the ridiculous water. Dubrovnik = super beautiful old town walled city that’s beautifully preserved (restored). It was correspondingly jammed with tourists, but still absolutely lovely. And full of stairs. 260 by M’s count between old town and our apartment on the top floor of a place on a hill.
I could say more, I suppose. About the opera we saw in Split, or the photography exhibit we saw in Dubrovnik, or how nice people were, or how relaxing and reassuring it was to drive along roads that were almost empty and recently paved and with traffic that made sense. The amazing value of the food and wine, and how I ate anchovies so fresh they almost didn’t tasted like fish. Or I could try to find words to describe the blues and greens and whites that dominate the coast’s palate.
I think instead you should just look at a few pictures, knowing that it was probably our most relaxed and relaxing tour break ever.