We've spent the last few days re-visiting the Elaphite islands north west of Dubrovnik. We were drawn back mainly by the chance of returning to our favourite restaurant of the trip 'Kod Marka' at Sipanski Luka on Sipan. It was as good as we remembered it and enters the short list of great places to eat fish in Croatia which also includes 'Fosa' in Zadar and 'Kod Kapetana' in Hvar Town. Fish is offered in almost every restaurant but is often expensive and a bit dull. In the three mentioned above it is spectacular. All highly recommended.
At last the sea has been warm enough to swim in without pain but that also means it must be nearly time to go home so its back to Dubrovnik marina for us to pack up the boat at the end of our Spring sailing trip.
We have just spent three days in Bosnia and its a fascinating place, beautiful but rather sad in equal measure. if you like mountains, forests, wild flowers and streams than this could be the country for you but the guide books instruct you not to leave the footpaths because of the dangers of landmines and unexploded bombs.
Sarajevo is a really unusual European city. Christian, Muslim and Orthodox, it has a souk to rival any Turkish city but also the faded grandeur of the last days of the Austro-Hungarian empire all around too. Traditionally the city was the meeting point of the Ottoman empire and the west and that's still very evident today. Outside of the centre the city looks poor and war damage is very evident from the two year Serbian siege that almost destroyed the place. The tunnel museum near the airport is an essential part of any visit- you get a real sense of the desperate struggle for survival that the inhabitants had to endure. Today of course the World has turned it's back on Bosnia and unemployment is very high and we have left them with a complex peace settlement that means three different governments and complete political paralysis.
Mostar is more of a tourist destination with the World's attention drawn to the wanton destruction of its 16th century bridge (by the Croats this time) resulting in European loans to rebuild the bridge and a steady stream of western tourists to this more affluent and fertile part of the country. Bosnia is definitely worth a visit and very welcoming.
We have now arrived in our new home port of Dubrovnik (it's actually a 15 minute bus ride out of town) and said goodbye to Douglas and Nina. Despite poor weather we had a good time. Now our guests have gone we are back on our salad diet! Dubrovnik marina seems fine even though we arrived in the middle of a dreaded Bora yesterday (gale force NE winds)- not the best time to get on to a new berth in a strange marina but managed to do so without bending anything. Just.
Dubrovnik is of course magnificent, full of tourists but spectacular and we shall spend the next couple of days getting to know the old town better.
We've now moved twice in the Marina to finally arrive at our permanent berth and are getting ready for our trip to Bosnia on Wednesday.
Enjoying having old friends Douglas and Nina on board, despite them bringing bad weather with them. Now in Mljet en route to Dubrovnik with at last the promise of sunshine.
Hvar Town is the chic town of Croatia where the beauiful people come to party until dawn so it was only a matter of time until Jan and I arrived to set the town on fire. It's lovely in a restored medieval Venetian way, but a little too restored and a little to in thrall to the rich and the beautiful. After an excellent fish dinner we are now back on board on a swinging mooring we are rocking and rolling on our own (well with 20 or so other boats) as a gale howls through the bay. It is not quite what we had in mind but that is sailing for you.