Island Paradise in Croatia: Brac & Hvar

Summer is officially over and I’m left with fading tan lines and a deep longing for the bea...

Lavi
Hitchhiking the Balkan Coast

I never expected to find myself hitchhiking on the side of the road in Albania. Actually, I ...

Lavi


Zagreb
Croatia’s capital is an underrated destination waiting to be explored. It is not as popular as Dubrovnik or Split, but is a quintessential metropolitan city combining elegant 19th century buildings with plenty of cultural divisions and a vibrant cafe life. It is a great place to discover charming boutiques selling unique dresses, shopping for souvenirs, and tasting local delicacies. It is also a good place to visit undulating hills and charming villages nearby.
Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a unique and bewitching coastal town that has become the crowning glory of Croatia in recent years. The city is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also the place where parts of super popular TV show Game Of Thrones are shot. The Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Fan was also shot in this city making it a popular tourist attraction for Indians now! However, it's not just a famous shooting location; Dubrovnik has much more to offer. It is a glittering jewel in the Adriatic Sea bordering Croatia and it holds the power to leave you asking for more. The city's white limestone streets, buildings from the Baroque era and the shimmering Adriatic Sea will leave you mesmerised.One can spend a week, a month or even a year here and not get tired of this city, but for those who are on a tight budget, dedicate at least three days to see this city.What to see: 1. Walk along the Old City, Dubrovnik's best feature. It is the perfect place for a casual stroll to enjoy excellent views over the Adriatic Sea and the Old City centre.2. Walk on Stradun Street, the most famous street within the Old City. It is lined with shopping stalls and cafes on both sides and a great place to grab a cup of coffee and just relax.3. Don't miss out on Walking The Walls, a great architectural site in the city, and also the place where Game Of Thrones is shot.4. Take a cable car ride to Srđ Hill for the most amazing aerial views of the city.5. Visit Fort Lovrijenac, dubbed as 'Croatia's Gibraltar', and Croatia's most prominent fortress.6. Visit the beautiful Dominican and Franciscan monasteries. 7. Spend a day visiting the Elaphite Islands surrounding Dubrovnik.8. Take a Game Of Thrones tour and visit all the spots where the show is shot.Some tips1. Prices around Old Town are really high, so try and negotiate and go in a large group rather than alone.2. Public transport in Dubrovnik is also cheap and efficient.3. You can reach the top of Srđ Hill by taxi as well, if the line to the cable car is too long.Costs Per DayLocal Transport (Bus & Metro): Rs. 500 (50 Croatian Kuna)Taxi Starting Tariff: Rs. 60/kmHotel Stay: Average price for a night per person is Rs. 4500 (450 Croatian Kuna)A Meal: A lunch or dinner without alcohol will cost you around Rs. 1500 (150 Croatian Kuna), and with alcohol around Rs. 3000 (300 Croatian Kuna).
Bari
We had Eurail passes for 3 months which also included almost free Ferry services(10 euros) from Bari (Italy) to Patras (Greece). Had overnight journey from Milan to Bari. After 45 days, we were quite used to such long journeys. We also gained expertise in several odd things like eating McD burgers at the slowest pace to pass around our nights at stations in cold European weather.Reached Bari around 8 am and first usual thing we did - Find a McD or McCafe (Savior or 4th friend). Necessities done (Nice feeling) and Cornetti plus Cappuccino (Heavenly feeling)
Zadar
I took a very long, but great route getting here. First I passed through Plitvice Lakes National Park. Next, I rode over Mali Alan pass. Earlier, in the morning, it was raining a tiny bit, so I was happy to see that it stopped by the time I started up the pass. I’d just have to deal with a little fog at the top. The road surface wasn’t too bad…some occasional loose gravel and ruts, but nothing serious, and there hadn’t been enough rain to make it muddy. Coming down the south side was a little more nerve wracking. Less than fifty feet of visibility and hairpins with no warnings or guardrails made for some very slow riding.After getting down from the pass, I was about 30km from my destination, but decided to backtrack to get some riding in along the coast…wise choice. The view was amazing, the road surface was surprisingly good, and the riding was excellent. I rode from Senj to Zadar…any motorcyclists out there that want a nice route, keep this one in mind. So, now I’m in Zadar…it’s a nice little city with some Roman ruins to see in the old town…very interesting. Right on the water were two cool features. The first was the sea organs, which are large tubes underneath marble steps leading to the waterfront. As waves pass over the tubes underneath these steps, they emit different sounds. And the second shows up after sunset…the Greeting to the Sun. This large disk has LEDs of various colors that light up in crazy patterns, and all the while, you can hear the sea organs in the background…just add mushrooms and you’ve got yourself a party!
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