Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Last weeked, we headed to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Although it sounds like an exotic location, it is actually located just west of Italy on the Adriatic Sea and is a short 1hr 40 minute flight from Geneva! With impressive infrastructure (despite being heavily damaged just 20 years ago due to war), unmatched scenery, and friendly locals, Dubrovnik is a popular stop for tourists and cruise ships. And, if you stay away from the old town, the city is remains relatively cheap due to the Kuna (Croatia's currency).

We arrived on Friday late morning, checked into our seaside resort, and started our trip by sampling the local speciality, cevapcici. A dish of grilled minced meat (often pork and beef), cevapcici consists of 5-10 small pieces and is paired with a homemade sauce of red pepper, garlic and olive oil! Let's just say that Jignesh ate way too much cevapcici over the weekend! After lunch we ventured to old town to explore on of Dubrovnik's highlights. Although the old town is small, it is filled with beautifl, narrow alleys that house numerous restauarants and shops. The best part of old town, however, is the wall walk. Orignially used as method to protect the city against invaders, the old town's wall now provides visitors with amazing views of both old town's traditional architecture and the Adriatic Sea.

Day two of our trip called for some simple relaxation. We explored the area around our hotel with a long walk and then spent the rest of the day relaxing at the hotel. I swam in the Adriatic Sea and Jignesh practiced his floating in the pool!

On day three, we became a bit more active and joined a daylong sea kayaking tour. After a short boat ride to a small island near Dubrovnik and a quick lesson in basic kayaking from our trusty guide (Thomislav), we loaded our kayaks and hit the seas. As Jignesh and I were in a double, it took us a few minutes to find our rhythm but we were soon crusing the beautiful sea! About an hour and 45 minutes later and with very full bladders, we landed on the small island (only a few hundred inhabitants) of Sipan where we hiked to an old, beautiful chuch that provided a home for bats! After a long lunch of yet more cevapcici, we traded the kayaks for some bikes and pedaled across the island where I swam across the bay and Jignesh again practiced his newly found floating skills (the high salt content sure does help!). The day ended with more kayaking and a sunset boat ride back to Dubrovnik. What a great day!

Even though we woke up to rain on Monday, it did not make it any easier to leave this amazing place. However, we had a flight to catch and reality to return to. Lucikly, we did get have some time to enjoy a late breakfast overlooking the sea and quick browse through some shops where we picked up a few things to help us remember a great weekend.
Au Revoir.

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