George’s Travel Tidbits
Dubrovnik, a Unique Croatian City on the Dalmatian Coast
The ancient medieval walled city of Dubrovnik should be on every travelers bucket list.
In its’ glory days it was a competitor of Venice for the Maritime Trade.The city has been
very well preserved and has a long and colorful history.
The Croats had a “Homeland War” which was fought from 1991 to 1995.
It was declared a Croatian War of Independence by Croat Force loyalists.
They wanted out from under the rule of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
and the Yugoslav People’s Army which was controlled by the Serbs.
Croatia gained its’ independence. However, it resulted in devastating the economy,
infrastructure and the loss of thousands of lives.
The Croats have bounced back and quickly rebuilt their newly independent country.
People have resumed their normal daily routines and there appears to be a minimum
of ethnic tensions.
However, one big warning, if you are planning to trek in remote areas you should be aware that
there are still approximately 90,000 land mines and some unexploded ordnance that are scattered
around the country. Most of the areas are marked with warning signs, but you should check with locals
before walking off into the rural landscape. The forests and agricultural land areas are the most dangerous.
When I flew into Dubrovnik it pleasantly reminded me of Greece 30 years ago.
However, the tourists have found the city and retired Northern Europeans are starting to
relocate to the area. So, it is a region in transition.
The most economical way to get into town from the Airport is to take a bus to
Old Dubrovnik central. Once downtown you can walk or take a taxi to your Hotel.
I stayed in a small hotel on the outskirts of the city in an area called Lapad.
It was a great choice of location.
The Hotels, Restaurants, and local Businesses face a long pedestrian street
which terminates at a beautiful little Beach and Cove.
A walking trail along the adjoining cliffs complements the pristine Adriatic atmosphere.
The promenade was active with local residents. It was entertaining to watch the
young mothers pushing their prams, while parading their new spring babies up and down
I found the people very friendly and accommodating.
The food and drink was fantastic and many of the eating places had terrific views.
The public transportation is good but buses can get very crowded, especially if
a cruise ship is in port.
When I travel, I prefer to independently explore a city.
It is very easy for you to take a self directed walking tour of the Old City Dubrovnik by
following directions in a local map obtained from the tourist board.
You should visit some of the small outlying Islands that are easily reached by a
short boat trip that departs from Dubrovnik Harbor. I suggest a 3 Island day trip
to the Elafiti Islands of Kolocep, Sipan and Lopud.
Bicycle rentals and day trip tour vans are easy to find for land excursions.
After your day of exploring the city and surrounding attractions, you can take a nice
refreshing swim in the Sea.
Plan an early evening meal at one of the seaside restaurants to take advantage of the view of
the magnificent sunset.
The sun skimming over the green shimmering Adriatic sea is one of those moments that will reflect back pleasurable memories.
If you can find a restaurant that will prepare a Croatian dish called
Peka (under the dome) then you are in for a special treat.
It is a slow cooked meal under a lid with hot ashes on top.
It takes several hours to make.
The dish is usually made with beef, lamb, chicken or octopus with vegetables slow cooked
in their own juices.
I found a small restaurant with a roof top garden in the boat harbor that
made the dish for me. I had to place my order early in the day for the evening meal.
Enjoying a fantastic beef Peka dinner on a roof top garden overlooking the activities in
the boat harbor is about as good as it gets.
Croatia is worthy of a repeat trip.
An octopus cooked under the peka posted to Youtube by Meet Croatia Net.
An informative article by UNESCO on the
history of the old city of Dubrovnik.
Check out things to do — Dubrovnik Tourist Board
Rick Steves posted a short video on Old City Dubrovnik to Youtube
Below are Photos I took of Dubrovnik and surrounding areas:
George’s Travel Tidbits – traveling with sports equipment
Summer is here and you young sports travelers will be hitting the Airports.
Avoid conflict at the check-in counter.
Be aware of the TSA regulations on traveling with sports equipment.
The below chart will give you a quick breakdown.
Have a great summer and travel safe.
George’s Travel Tidbits – Lyon, France
Lyon is located in the Rhone-Alpes region of France.
It is 229 miles from Paris and 50 miles southwest of Geneva
The Rhone and Saone Rivers converge to the South of the city.
It is the third largest city in France.
Lyon is famous for producing some of the worlds most famous chefs.
In its historical background Lyons economy was once driven by the production and weaving of silk.
Auguste and Louis Lumiere invented the cinematographe in Lyon.
Lyon boasts one of Europes largest parks – Parc de la Tete d’Or.
In Roman times, the capital of the three Gauls spread over the Fourvière and Croix- Rousse hills.
The city has gained acclaim for its famous light festival- Fete des Lumiere – which occurs on the
8th of December and lasts for 4 days.
Interpol has its headquarters in Lyon.
During WWII Lyon was a stronghold of the French resistance.
Lyon is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and has been proclaimed a
UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This UNESCO site will give you a long version of Lyon’s history
The below video posted to Youtube by Will Bloodfarm will give
you a good overview of the architecture in Lyon.
Things I like to do when in Lyon:
Walk the old narrow streets looking for areas that are not normally visited by tourists.
Take a leisurely stroll down the river bank.
Visit the silk weaving museum.
Enjoy a great French meal at one of the many fine dining establishments.
Spend some time admiring the “very cool” faux murals painted on the facades of old buildings in Lyon.
Tour the Basilica of Notre-Dame Fourviere – built in 1872 – and dedicated to the
Virgin Mary. Getting my exercise by climbing the 287 steps to the basilica observatory to
enjoy the magnificent view of Lyon.
Note: email recipients … if you are having problems viewing the below photos then click on the title — Lyon, France –at the top of the page.