|We're back and we're definitely in paradise. We arrived in Dubrovnik after flying for a day. Needless to say it took us a couple of days lying around in paradise to recover. If you want to experience crystal clear water and the beautiful people, it is happening here in Croatia. Our hotel, which is really a villa/camp cabin, is up in the hills overlooking the bay at Lapad. Very romantic, but again Melissa and I are sharing it.
We made our way down to the beach the second day to enjoy the water at which time I noticed the sun kissed beautiful people. I was told that Brazil has the beautiful people, not so, they are here in Croatia. Both the men and women from Italy, France and the locals are stunning. Of course those of us with Irish, English or German ancestry stick out as we are all pale as ghosts and glow red from the sun from our attempt to be golden.
It is not unusual for women to be in thong bathsuits and some even topless so they can limit their tan lines. It is just not a big deal here. They must have thought the US was nuts over the whole Janet Jackson breast exposure on TV. And yes, a lot of the men wear speedos. Some should not, but hey, anything goes over here.
The old City of Dubrovnik is just gorgeous with its gleaming white limestone walls and maze like little alleyways and apartments right next to the sea. Reminds us of Venice.
Our final day in Dubrovnick was another free day, our favorite. So we took the ferry to a little island where we hiked, had lunch in this great little wooded area and then headed out to the water for a swim. We just happened to put our towels down next these three French babes. Virtually naked except for a little piece of material on their bikini bottoms. Now as I sat there in my hat and completely covered so as not to add any more freckles or wrinkles, along comes a little 14 or 15 year old boy. He became my entertainment for the afternoon as I watched him circle these three babes like a shark. He was actually pretty cool about it and amazingly they were absolutely oblivous to it. My guess was they made his day.
Now for a few facts about Croatia just in case your playing a game of Trivial Pursuit. First Marco Polo was actually born in Croatia, but it was during the years Croatia was occupied by the Venetians. Roman Emperior Constantine, who established the Roman Catholic church in the West, also was born in Croatia. And third the White House is constructed from the white limestone off the island of Brac in Croatia.
We spent the next couple of days heading north through many small towns in Croatia to reach Plitvice Lakes National Park. Pete this area reminded us of our backpacking trip in the Sierras with you, EE and David. It was covered in lakes, but these were aqua green instead of crystal blue. Absolutely breathtaking. I would highly recommend a vacation in this country to anyone.
Now for the sad part, Plitvice Lakes National Park is also the area which was the flash point for the civil war in the Balkans between 1991-1995. The small enclave of Serbs who were being treated like second class citizens took the park as its headquarters and killed a Croatian policeman. Along the way you can see towns that have been either demolished or heavily damaged with soldiers graves who were buried along the road side. You have to take your photos from the bus of the damage in the towns because the subject is still to sensitive for the residents. There are still many areas along the countryside where the landminds haven't been removed. Just two weeks ago a man parked his camper in a mindfield during the night, unbeknownst to him.
We are now back in Trogir getting ready for our week trip on a sailboat around some of the islands.
I also want to congratulate Melissa. Her advisor, Trevor, just sent her an email letting her know that her research work is going to be published in the journal, "Animal Behavior." Great Job!!!