Our journey through Europe ended with Ed and Eddie Zick joining us for a trip across Croatia. Our initial plans had a tentative placeholder for Croatia and fortunately the Zicks reached out to us in mid-July to make is a definite two week stop. We highly recommend Croatia for anyone considering a Mediterranean vacation. It is less expensive than Greece and Italy (because they are not on the Euro), and there is a broad range of fun activities, beautiful scenery and exceptional food. During our two weeks we were able to walk the historic walls of Dubrovnik, island hop along the Dalmatian Coast, cliff jump into crystal clear waters, explore hidden blue caves, hike several National Parks and enjoy several drinks and meals while viewing awe aspiring sunsets. We also got to witness several different poses of Eddie’s personal WMDs and Big Ed’s insatiable appetite for garlic muscles and gelato, which contributed to much laughter and fond memories.
One recommendation for prospective travelers to Croatia is to dedicate several days on the Istria Peninsula. Tourists often miss Istria because they get absorbed by the beauty of the Dalmatian Coast and the National Parks. This is understandable but a mistake. The Peninsula offers both beautiful vineyards and relaxing beaches all within an hour. The countryside has miles of wine and olive orchards that layer the hillside up to mountaintop castles (you feel like you are going back centuries). The Adriatic along Istria is a vibrant array of dark blues and green turquoise and many of the best cave dives can be found here. Finally, the food is a fantastic assortment of traditional Italian, hearty Central European and savory Croatian seafood – a testament of the various cultures who have laid claim to Istria over the centuries.
Some of the key highlights from our trip:
Big Ed indulging in his first of many platters of garlic muscles
Eddie jumping into the choppy waters at the wall of Dubrovnik. Fortunately, this young Croatian stud had some rope packed in his shorts and threw him a line. Eddie grabbed on with both hands and was lifted to safety.
Island hoping along the Dalmatian coast in an inflatable speed boat (Eddie living by the motto “Suns out, guns out”)
Devouring more gelato
Hiking and swimming in the National Parks
Exploring one of the largest caves in Europe
Cliff jumping and cave diving along the Istria coast
Enjoying wine and this sunset to end our trip with the Zicks
Exploring the mountaintop castles and truffles in the countryside of Istria