Dubrovnik is one of those cities that everyone should see once in their lives as it is truly magnificent. But that is probably all that is needed. While it is insanely beautiful there, I don't feel the need to go back someday like I do when I think of other cities we have been to. We were told that about 80% of Dubrovnik's economy is tourism based, so it is hard to get a real feel for Croatia there. I much preferred out time in Split and on the islands with regard to learning about and experiencing another culture. I would not hesitate to return to any of those locations.
We had a wonderful time in Dubrovnik, and I am very glad to have made it a part of our trip this summer. The views were stunning, and we enjoyed our time there.
2. It was not a "walk" to the beach. It was a flipping hike. A hike, I tell you. Through the forest. Up hill, literally both ways. There was no "trail" to speak of. Just some bush whacking through spiky vines. Had I been prepared for this and worn proper attire (like pants and close toed shoes), this could have been fun. But, no. I was ready for the beach. In shorts and friggin' flip flops. My feet were bloody by the end of the day. Not cool. Also, hiking in a bathing suit proved uncomfortable for Derek.
3. This tour was not appropriate for children. I honestly cannot believe that the tourism lady recommended this tour to Derek when she knew we would be taking a four year old with us. There were parts of the tour that were too dangerous for the donkeys to do, so we had to walk. Along a tiny rock path, next to a cliff. How do I hold my kid's hand through that? Not okay, tourism lady. Not okay.
4. Our tour guides were in middle school. Seriously. The day started out with a guy who spoke decent English, but then he had to go to "work" so his wife was going to take us. Apparently she decided not to and left us to her younger brother(?) and sister(?). These kids did not speak any English and were so immature that I probably wouldn't have trusted them to babysit the boys for a few hours in my own home let alone be responsible for our safety on some crazy donkey ride through the forest! (They were throwing rocks at boats and littering along the "paths.")
5. The beach that we worked super hard to get to was not that great. It was cold and windy, but that was just the day's weather. The worst part was the absurd amount of trash on the tiny beach. So much plastic! As it was too cold (and dirty) to swim, we just sat around for an hour and threw rocks into the ocean. The "tour guides" threw rocks at the local boats, but Owen was quick to note that their behavior was rather rude.
6. Despite assuring us our backpack would be fine tied to the donkey's "saddle," it wasn't. It fell of somewhere on the hike. The "guides" seemed unalarmed, probably because they didn't understand what was going on. Derek had to backtrack through the thorny brush to try to find the darn thing. With no way to communicate with our guides, this was an incredibly frustrating experience.
7. The "short walk to the beach" was actually a 12 mile hike. That we did in flip flops. Through thorny brush over sharp, jagged rocks. I am seriously shocked that Derek and I made it without having a serious injury.
The kids had fun. Even though their legs got all scratched up from the bushes and trees, they had a blast. I would probably even do the tour again simply to see their smiles. But next time, I'll wear my Keens.
Lumbarda a a sweet little town with a small market and only a handful of restaurants. There is not much to do besides kick back and relax. We went on several walks, spent time at the beaches, and even found a donkey tour to add some excitement to the mix. (The donkey tour was NOT what we expected at all. You can read more about that in this post.)
Just down the road from our apartment was a wine tasting place where we were able to taste all the specialties of the island. While it was fun to try new wines, Derek and I are pretty certain we know why we've never had grk wine before.
We had a wonderful time staying in Lumbarda (apart from the donkey tour) and would definitely go back for some rest and relaxation. Such a beautiful place!
Zlatni Rat Beach is very beautiful indeed. The crystal clear water is great for snorkeling, and Owen spent hours swimming around doing just that. Although it was very busy, it never felt overly crowded. We were able to find a beach chair with ease and had plenty of space on the beach for Oliver to play.
The lakes and waterfalls were indeed beautiful. We loved seeing all the fish, butterflies, and even a frog. Unfortunately, it was a lot busier than I anticipated. The paths were very crowded and the swimming area was a sea of people. That's not our favorite way to travel, but we made the most of it and had a great time. Besides, with such gorgeous views, it's hard to be grumpy.
The tour we took was through Split Sea Kayaking. We did the Morning Tour. The tour company was professional and answered the questions I sent via email quickly. The guide, Andre, was great with the boys! (And, no, they have no idea I have ever written this about them.)
The blog entries from our trip to Split, Brac, Korcula, and Dubrovnic in July 2016.