Monday, 22 September 2014

Trip to Croatia | Dalmatian Coast | Brela, Drašnice & Drvenik

Leo and I have been back from Croatia for over a week, and I suppose the time has come to either do a blog post or put up a Facebook album. Never one for the easy way out, here is a blog post.

We flew Copenhagen-Split, a bright and early 6am flight with Norwegian. We rented out our apartment to a newly arrived student for the duration of our trip. Safe in the knowledge that we couldn't accidentally leave a tap running and that this girl probably wouldn't use our place as a crack den, we headed off.

It was positively balmy in Croatia, so the wool cardigan, scarf and coat all went in the bag. We hopped on a very full, very hot bus that was going to Split, and before we knew it we were at the port, and ready to get another bus to our next destination (more on Split later).


The first town we visited was Brela, a nice, well to do seaside village still full with Germans, Czechs, Croatians, and a few Brits all making the most of the last days of summer. It was seriously as packed as I'd imagine it would be in the middle of summer, all the parasols and beach chairs were dibbs'd out early in the morning.

Our first accommodation was through Airbnb, a beautiful, family-run apartment right on the beach.  We had a huge balcony, a very comfortable room, and access to a kitchen. Tuckered out from all the travelling and the extreme sweatiness of it all, we took a nap. And...thus our first real experience of the town was this:

The next balcony over's family had left a deck of playing cards, and we were finding Jacks and Diamonds for the next 2 days. There was such an incredible display of thunder and lightening, and that poor big party boat sure did struggle. It doesn't really storm where I grew up, so storms are always big news, and we got 2 or 3 during our stay in Croatia. It was super exciting.

We had our first of many Dalmatian tourist meals-local ham, calamari, bread and olive oil, stuff like that.

The next day things the weather was back to normal. Just look at that water! We found unripe lemons near the apartment to cut open and gawk at, got pastries, had espresso, went for a swim in the Mediterranean, and generally did holiday things, like have cocktails on the beach.

 I would definitely recommend a pit-stop in Brela, perhaps if you're driving along the coast and have a few hours. After checking out we walked to the next town over, sat at a cafe, and booked the next few nights accommodation. Other than taking a boat from Drvenik  in 4 days time we had no bigger commitments. We used and got one great place, and two not so great places, but so it goes. After gorging myself on pizza and even more coffee, we got a bus to Drašnice.


Drašnice is a modest little seaside village, which we reached by way of a local bus (we changed at Makarska, one of the bigger towns we had wanted to bypass). A run of lovely beaches stretched before us, Leo had done his research and we walked a couple of kilometres away from the village to find the good place, the quieter and more secluded beaches where you could be as free and breezy as you liked (nude beaches, I'm talkin').

To get to the village from our accommodation we had to walk down hillside paths that had trees laden down with fruits- pomegranates, apples, peaches, nectarines, as well as the ubiquitous olive trees, and some tomato plants. Since it was so hot and things grew so easily, there were, as you would expect, a lot of giant and horrible insects, geckos and lizards, and about a million mosquitoes. And let me tell you, those first few days before I could get my greedy hands on some anti-histamines were not fun.

This area is a limestone Karst region, and all around are large hills that remind me of The Burren. It's quite an impressive sight. We had a lovely few days here. A lot of pastry-coffee action, a lot of studying, and a lot of swimming in the incredibly salty and waveless water. I also made friends with a very sweet mosquito who gave me 12 bites on my back one fateful afternoon.

I ndeireadh na dála we were more than happy to hop on another bus and leave Drašnice. It was a nice little town, but three nights were quite enough. The secluded beaches were great, and it was quiet and chilled out, but not much happening, probably better for a family with a car.


Next it was on to Drvenik, our last stay on the mainland for a while. We arrived far too early to check into our accommodation, so we hung out at the beach, walked around, took some pictures, the usual.

I wore that scarf on my head a lot at first. I was very scared of heat/sun stroke, and I guess it worked because now I have a tan line just where my hair line is. We passed the day quite nicely, napped, studied, ate a lot and in the evening walked along the dangerous winding main road to find a secluded beach Leo had read about. It was worth it; as the sun was setting Leo hopped in for a swim while I read my book.

...Oh yeah, and the second picture there, where I have the 'whutt??' hand gesture, that's because a couple were fornicating in plain sight not too far away. I mean, really? There were children swimming nearby! We decided they must be having an illicit affair, as they have two cars parked nearby. Shocking stuff.

The next morning was an early rise, and we packed up our things and headed to the port in the cool morning air. There was just time for a brief coffee-pastry-party before we boarded the catamaran that would take us to Korčula, which was the absolute highlight of the trip for me.

An Appeal of One-Half of the Human Race Women, against the Pretensions of the Other Half, Men, to retain them in Political and thence in Civil and Domestic Slavery. WHAT A TITLE.

There we were, ham and cheese rolls in the bag, and lots of happy early morning travellers enjoying the cool breeze as our ferry made its way to Korčula. It was a really nice way to travel, I was super excited for the whole experience.

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