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Croatia & Herzegovina

Author: Patricia F.
Date of Trip: July 2006

My Croatia Airlines Airbus flight from Frankfurt and landed at the international airport of the well preserved medieval European city-state of Dubrovnik. Founded in the seventh century, its fleet in the 15th and 16th centuries numbered over 500 ships.

I stayed at the beautiful five star Hilton Imperial Hotel located within walking distance of the Old Town surrounded by magnificent walls. Cocktails and dinner were served on the Hilton’s sunny terrace accompanied by live music with views of the Adriatic. A wonderful varied European buffet breakfast was included daily. All service was excellent and the staff was very helpful. A large indoor pool and saunas helped the guests relax.

An Atlas guided tour left at 7:30 AM one morning for Mostar, Herzegovina with the highlight of walking across the new old Ottoman Turkish bridge which has been rebuilt with the same specifications as the old one destroyed in the 1990’s war. Today the city is still divided into East Mostar (Christian) and West Mostar (Bosniak). My favorite picture is of the two young Muslim girls selling fruit dressed in picturesque native attire at a stop along the way. Unemployment in Herzegovina is 40%.

Our group entered a small Muslim mosque with areas for men and women separated by a rope. We walked through an Ottoman Turkish home with a separate women and children’s room and a husband’s room where a wife could only enter at his bidding. I would definitely recommend this side-trip when you are in Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik on a weekend night is lively with music outdoors, restaurants serving Dalmatian seafood, Italian pastas, risottos, pizza and Central European meat, potatoes and vegetables. A morning walk along the famous high wall is spectacular and you will meet travelers from all over Europe and the English speaking world. English is becoming the second language of the young people; however, the generation who was schooled during the Yugoslavian era speak German as a second language.

I boarded the Jadrolinija ship Liburnija for the deck fare of 115 Kunas (rate is approximately 5.6 KN for $1) before 8:30 AM to cruise by some of the 1,185 islands to Split. A commuter ferry took me from Split to the island of Brac where a friend picked me up and took me to Postira where she was born. I stayed one week in her white limestone house with red tiled roof on a hill in a new apartment with a dreamy balcony view of the Adriatic sunset. An old Roman stone road lead downhill to cafes serving drinks or coffee and restaurants.

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