Onto Split, Croatia: A Trip up the Dalmatian Coast: Our 2018 Trip to Europe
March 13, 2019
Monday morning was a carbon copy of all our mornings at Daniela’s apartment in Mokosica. As we enjoyed breakfast on the patio we noticed that it was quieter than usual. We realized it because the all purpose basketball/tennis/soccer recreational facility below the hill under our balcony and right on the water was silent. All weekend the courts were alive with the sounds of kids of all ages playing soccer or diving and swimming off the concrete ledge in the park. It was magical to watch all these beautiful children having fun and I must say it definitely added to our wonderful experience in Mokosica.
Beautiful Mokosica, Croatia
The World Cup of Soccer was coming up in Moscow in a few weeks and the kids were playing below from daylight to dark. Also since the courts were right on the water, they made for jumping right into the bay for a swim to cool off and swim out to the anchored boats! It was very entertaining to watch! A totally unorganized facility yet fully utilized and enjoyed by all ages, mostly boys who needed to work off all that energy! It truly did add to our holiday in Mokosica.
More Views From Our Apartment in Mokosica, Croatia!
You Have to Admit the Views are Spectacular!
Our checkout time was 11:00 AM. Daniela couldn’t give us a late checkout as our apartment was booked for another arrival later. As our apartment was right on the same area as the pool, there were no worries! We hung out on the pool deck taking in a few rays, an occasional dip, and we had a few cold ones with us to keep us cool! There is also a nice bathroom and change area so you could get ready when you had to change out of your wet clothes to move on as well.
The Hillside of Mokosica, Croatia!
The apartments and the homes of locals are terraced up the hillsides. The lady living above the pool area was busy taking care of her chores. She had several chickens and she was busy recovering eggs, cleaning them in the outside sink and then feeding the chickens in the hen house. She was also preparing fish for dinner which seemed like lots of small fish which she was washing and cleaning. The things you notice when you are hanging out at the pool for a couple of hours. A real slice of daily Croatian life in Mokosica. It was so very interesting and informational!
Our Patio Hillside View!
Daniela showed up around 1:00 PM for a chat and a goodbye! Ibiza came around 2:00 PM. Our Hovercraft was scheduled to depart at 4:30 PM.We said our goodbyes to Daniela, thanked her for her hospitality, and promised to come back again. It had been an amazing visit to Mokosica and Daniela was instrumental in making our stay wonderful. She even contacted me on Facebook after we returned and it was pleasure to see her wonderful face again! Daniela is a person you won’t ever forget if you visit and stay in Mokosica.
Enjoying Daniela’s Pool Before we Left Mokosica and Dubrovnik, Croatia!
Ibiza drove us over to the ferry port and dropped us off right where we were supposed to board the Hovercraft. We said our goodbyes to him as well, thanked him for making our stay so enjoyable. He was happy with the remuneration as well, on which we agreed to when we engaged him to drive us all around Dubrovnik.
Enjoying a Beer on the Dockside near the Ferry Terminal of Mokosica
We had 90 minutes to kill before departure. We were hungary for lunch and there was a place immediately across from the dock where our Hovercraft would depart. So we went over and had a very tasty Mexican Pizza, with a couple of beers for Hubby and one for me which cost 100 Kunas. Again cash only, so be mindful of this in Croatia. Prices are good in Croatia, at least for now, but the secret is already out. Prices will rise for sure!
Waiting For our Hovercraft Ferry ride to Split, Croatia!
Research was necessary before leaving to figure out our options to get from one place to the next place in Croatia. Having decided on Dubrovnik to start we had to work at options to get up to Split. You could go by bus or by ferry or Hovercraft. Hubby was adamant that we go by hovercraft. There are many options, best for us was a Krilo Company Hovercraft from Dubrovnik to Split, a catamaran service which departed 4:30 PM from Dubrovnik and arrived in Split at 8:15 PM. I have to point out that this was the best solution for us on that Monday. The schedule, the company, and the boats vary from day to day!
Marilyn Waiting to Board the Hovercraft tied up next to the Dock!
At 4:00 PM we were dockside to line up to get the boat, the HSC Krilo Carbo, capacity 350 people and with a top speed of 35 knots. Boarding was routine, no problem finding a nice reclining seat on a window. The fare was 200 Kunas each which we booked and paid for before leaving Canada!
Hubby Having a last beer before we boarded the Hovercraft to Split, Croatia!
HSC Krilo Carbo left punctually at 4:30 PM. The weather was nice so we were expecting a fairly smooth journey. The itinerary called for stops at various ports of call on the way up to Split. The first port of call was the Island of Mijet which is about a 75 minute journey from Dubrovnik. Mijet is the southern most and easternmost island on the Dalmatian Coast. Mijet is 1537 kilometres long with a population of around 1100 people. It is basically a National Park with very few hotels and good for only a day trip! The average temperature in January is 10 C there. Our stop was only five minutes, mostly it was people boarding for the trip up to Split.
Dubrovnik Harbour, Croatia!
It was a very short run to the next island of Korcula, only 30 minutes and we arrived there at 6:20 PM on schedule. Korcula claims to be the birthplace of Marco Polo. It is an old town similar to Dubrovnik only smaller and it is named “Little Dubrovnik.” It was an impressive sight approaching the port! Outstanding really!! Korcula Island is 47 KM long, but only 8 KM wide. It is blanketed with dense woods, with vineyards, olive groves, and small villages. A few nice beaches also. It looked like a nice place to spend a few days with several hotels, inns and guesthouses available mostly on a seasonal basis!
The stop at Korcula was 10 minutes and we left at 6:30 PM. A little over an hour run to Hvar Town, which we arrived at 7:35 PM and right on schedule. Hvar is billed as party central and boasts of the wildest nightlife on the Adriatic Sea. It has legendary bars that once attracted PrinceHarry, Beyonce and many more rich and affluent notables. These days the party is 24/7 all summer long with all night discos and lots of young Brits.
Hvar Town had lots of multi million dollar yachts on anchor, so there are lots of expensive places to stay and eat on Hvar. The island looked like it was beyond our budget. Apparently June to August it is impossible to find a place to stay in Hvar Town without booking well in advance. Away from Hvar Town it is less expensive, with secluded beaches, vineyards and lots and lots of wild lavender growing in vast fields. Rosemary also grows here and there are abundant olive tree groves as well. If you avoid Hvar Town the island is apparently worth exploring. Hvar is 68 KM long at its easternmost end and is only 2.4 KM wide.
We left Hvar on schedule at 7:45 PM, with quite a few people getting on and off as we sailed to Baac which we arrived at 8:15 PM. It was getting really dark now and there was not much to see from the boat. Baac is known for Zlatni Rat, the most beautiful beach on the Adriatic Sea. For this reason alone worth a longer visit next time if we get back! Lots of history here too, going back to ancient times! Onto Split at 8:20 PM, only another 35 minutes to our final destination of Split! We had booked an AIRBNB with Bruno, an apartment right in the centre of the city of Split. It was a two bedroom apartment with one bathroom, small living room, upscale kitchen and a balcony. Our research on the AIRBNB site convinced us that this was a good choice at around $140.00 Canadian per night. We asked Bruno to have someone pick us up at the ferry terminal in Split at 9:00 PM. Bruno had tried to talk us out of this option to be picked up as he said it would be a shorter distance if we just walked there. I think he was used to dealing with a younger clientele! Having not been in Split and arriving late at 9:00 PM we didn’t feel comfortable trying to find Bruno’s place on our own.
Leaving Hvar, Croatia
Bruno sent a guy to pick us up at dockside and he had a sign with the name Staple on it so we couldn’t miss him. This fellow assured us that we would not be duped out of our cab fare as a taxi from the dock would have to take a round about route to get to Bruno’s place. It was a 20 minute drive and the layout of the roads in Split dictated a round about route to get to the apartment. In fact we discovered that it would have been a 20 minute walk from the ferry terminal but we had no way of knowing this before we left and again in the dark on the streets of a city we did not know, we did not want to take any chances! So we were very content with having the cab take us to Bruno’s apartment!
Arrived Split Croatia
Our driver spoke perfect English and told us he had a brother living in Calgary. He was very interested in Canada, the provinces, the weather and anything else he could get from us about where we were from! Bruno was waiting for us in the alley below his apartment. It was four floors up and he was a perfect gentleman and helped us get our luggage up the narrow flights of stairs.
The Bedrooms of our Little Flat in Split! Quite Wonderful!
The apartment was quite nice, very well equipped with a very modern upscale kitchen, two bedrooms, a brand new bathroom with laundry and a nice but very small living room to watch TV if you had time and could find an English speaking channel. There were TV’s in both bedrooms as well. It was a very nice place we thought! Bruno had lots of brochures providing information on attractions in Split and the surrounding islands. He also gave us a tour of the apartment and told us of some good restaurants that he would recommend on our stay in Split. We unpacked since it was be a three night stay. However, this would be the last time we saw Bruno!
The View From our Patio Deck in Split & the Alleyway Up to our Apartment in Split!
It was 10:00 PM and we were in the mood for some substantial food. We had noticed a lot of restaurants on the narrow street leading up to our apartment. We went back down to street level and walked into Trattoria Tinel. Looking at the menu it seemed like the food was ok and the price reasonable. You could eat outside or inside and both had a wonderful atmosphere with bleached white tablecloths and napkins and the stone work was quite beautiful. It was like you were in an old stone building with a lot of light! I had the Chicken Cordon Bleu snd Hubby had a grilled chicken breast with fries. We each had a glass of wine and dinner came to 225 Kunas!
Trattoria Tinel Restaurant!
After a long day of travelling, we found our way back to the apartment up the narrow alley no problem! Bruno did have some basic supplies in the room for breakfast the next morning. We greatly appreciated this after getting in Split so late and settling in for the night! We hit the sack before midnight to rest up for our first full day in Split. The adventure continues!!!