Dubrovnik, being a small airport, made the time from landing to leaving the airport on route to our hotel was very quick; we saw our suitcases on the carousel as we were coming through customs, which must be a first!
The climate is perfect for walking at Christmas and the New Year without being too chilly. It would also be good to visit during the spring and summer months. The hotel was in very good location, just a few minutes walk from the sea, with many bars and restaurants in the vicinity, which was perfect for a walk after dinner. Our guide, Elizabeth gave us a tour of the surrounding area on our first morning, showing us where the supermarket, shops and ATM.s were, which were all very conveniently situation within a few minutes walk of the hotel.
One of the highlights of the holiday was walking around the walled Old City of Dubrovnik.This city was pretty much destroyed during the war, but repair work has been carried out and many of the houses, churches and other building have either been rebuilt or repaired, many having new roofs. We walked around on the top of the walls of this city, with spectacular changing views as we walked.
There are many things to do in the old city, visiting museums, churches or exhibitions or just wandering around the tiny streets off the main road. There is also a market where you can buy, amongst other foods, delicious figs and turkish delight. Our favorite view was taken of the Old City of Dubrovnik by night.
We had full day visit to Mostar, which is a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We travelled by private coach from the hotel, en route we had fantastic views of the coast line and the outlying Elaphiti islands, set out in the blue sea. We also had good views of hills with tiny villages nestled amongst them, all to make a very pleasant journey.
On arrival, the rainy weather did not spoil the wonderful sights and sounds of walking around the city with our guide. Mostar is situated on the Neretva river, with the “Stari Most” or “The Old Bridge” connecting the two parts of the city. The bridge stood for some 427 years but was destroyed during the Bosnian war in 1993. It was rebuilt in 2004 and is truly beautiful bridge which gives views of both sides of the city. Traditionally young men jump off the bridge into the Neretva to show off their swimming skills, as the Neretva is very cold, so only the bravest will try. During summer months, even now, formal diving competitions take place off the bridge. We opted just to walk over it!
We visited a Mosque and a typical family home while we were there, where life was very different in the last century, our guide explained the traditions of coffee drinking and showed us typical dress that the family would wear and even how to tell unwanted guests that visit your home to go, by offering them cold coffee. After our walking tour, we chose a restaurant where there were a number of locals eating (always a good sign). We were not disappointed with the food, it was very tasty, reasonably priced, as you can see by the picture we really should have had one meal to share!
We were pleased with the variety of walks which were covered with this holiday and were pleasantly surprised with the friendliness of the local people in this beautiful country – Really recommended holiday and we will certainly visit again!
Words by Wendy Hall, Photographs by Ken Hall