Author Topic: Escape to Croatia  (Read 2760 times)

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2020, 12:08:25 PM »
"We settled on Washington State and began planning. About 3 weeks ago, we were just about to finalize our Washington trip, when we heard that Croatia had reopened their tourist applications."

And there I was patiently waiting for a Washington State trip report.  :)

What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline ponash123

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2020, 01:25:36 PM »
"We settled on Washington State and began planning. About 3 weeks ago, we were just about to finalize our Washington trip, when we heard that Croatia had reopened their tourist applications."

And there I was patiently waiting for a Washington State trip report.  :)

Sorry! One day...

Offline ponash123

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2020, 03:40:23 PM »
Friday

Friday was spent around Zagreb, and we were able to see the ramifications of the March earthquake and COVID-19. The whole town was really empty, normally busy streets of shopping stalls were bare, and some buildings are still showing signs of damage.
We climbed up to the old town and strolled around. We made our way to the unique Museum of Broken Relationships, which is quite interesting.
After the museum, we walked around a bit more and city bikes to widen our breadth.
We biked around town and made our way to a mall where we did some shopping.
One thing we noticed is that the entire country is pristine. There is no trash anywhere, the streets are swept and washed constantly, and the water has not a piece of garbage in it.











Shabbos
We had a beautiful Shabbos with Chabad of Zagreb. We felt very lucky as it was the first week they were having a public meal since Purim.  It was a small crowd, and the shluchim, Rabbi and Mrs. Pini Zaklas were of the nicest and most welcoming Chabad centers that we have been to.

One thing to note: it was quite hot and humid in Zagreb and the air conditioning only helped somewhat, so it was definitely a bit uncomfortable, but we managed.
There are tunnels that were built during World War II, called Grič Tunnel. It was originally built as a bomb shelter and is now used as pedestrian walkway. Itís located right near Hotel Jšgerhorn and is significantly cooler temperature than the rest of the city, so we enjoyed walking through them on Shabbos.



Sunday

On Sunday morning we headed out to Plitvice Lakes National Park, which is a bit under 2 hours from Zagreb. We bought tickets online a few days before, but it probably wasnít necessary, as the crowds were a lot smaller due to COVID.

The park is a bit complicated, but we eventually figured it out. We parked in Entrance 1 and headed in to walk Route A+B.

I donít have many words to say about the park, other than it looks otherworldly. Every view we saw was jaw droppingly beautiful and looked photoshopped. I had seen pictures online but didnít believe that that was what it actually looked like. Itís a MUST-SEE.

There are numerous crystal clear turquoise colored lakes separated by trees and greenery, as well as magnificent waterfalls.
There are beautiful, picturesque wooden walkways over the lakes which lead you around the park. We were lucky that that it was fairly empty, so we were able to take our time and get some great shots.

There is a lot of walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring water.  Plitvice is definitely a bit cooler than Zagreb, which made for pleasant walking weather (though our hotel concierge told us to bring layers and jackets as it gets really cold, which made us laugh as we were sweating under the sun).
We also rented rowboats for an hour, which was fun and gave us an idyllic reprieve from walking.
























We left the park and decided to stop at a village nearby that we had passed on our way in, which turned out to be a fantastic treasure.
Rastoke, built on the Slunjčica River, is an old watermill village which has extraordinary natural beauty and historical traditions. There are traditional wooden homes that line the streets or rest out on little islands, and waterfalls flowing throughout the village.
We had some snacks (our own) and coffee at one of the cute little shops and enjoyed the views.
There is one part of the village that has an entrance fee. When entering, you can view the old mill, extra views, a small museum, and different sights.
The whole village looks like it came straight from a fairytale, and in general, gives off a Disney-esque vibe I wouldnít have batted an eyelash had a dwarf (or seven) had popped out of a tree.



















Offline CRACKERJACK

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2020, 04:05:11 PM »
I'm sold! do you think a 3 day trip would do it?

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2020, 04:21:26 PM »
Wow! Those pictures are really nice. I hope to get there one day.

Offline ponash123

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2020, 04:24:04 PM »
I'm sold! do you think a 3 day trip would do it?

You can go for 3 days but you'd have to focus on either the north or south of the country

Offline ponash123

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2020, 11:11:44 AM »
Wow! Those pictures are really nice. I hope to get there one day.

Thanks! Definitely should be on the list.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2020, 07:53:58 PM »
I'm sold! do you think a 3 day trip would do it?

I sped through Croatia in a day and a half (TR coming in 7-14 business years), and it was just enough to see basically one major sight - Dubrovnik in my case. So 3 days should give you time to see let's say Dubrovnik, Plitvice, and maybe one or two other things along the way.
Check out my site for epic kosher adventures: Kosher Horizons

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2020, 07:55:21 PM »
Wow! Those pictures are really nice. I hope to get there one day.

@ponash123's TRs will do that to you. She's the main reason I went to Morocco last year.
Check out my site for epic kosher adventures: Kosher Horizons

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2020, 08:42:45 PM »
@ponash123's TRs will do that to you. She's the main reason I went to Morocco last year.
That's another place I have to get to...

Offline ponash123

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2020, 10:15:57 AM »
@ponash123's TRs will do that to you. She's the main reason I went to Morocco last year.

Coming from you, that's the highest form of a compliment!

Really looking forward to your Morocco TR (hopefully you can swing it in 3 - 5 business years)
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 10:21:56 AM by ponash123 »

Offline ponash123

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2020, 04:23:56 PM »


Monday
Monday morning our group split, with half of us having to head home for work (myself included) and the others staying for another couple of days.
I will write a brief recap of what my friends did, so the information is here.
We headed to Zagreb airport together. They were heading to Split and we were heading to JFK by way of Paris.

We had an uneventful trip home, though as mentioned, Air France was decidedly more uptight in general.

Below is a brief recap written by my friend of their remaining 2 days.

We landed in Split early afternoon and went to our hotel The Radisson Blu, which provided us with great service and was across the street from the water. We spent our afternoon at the waterfront Reva promenade where there's a great market and lots of shops. We also checked out the Split Mall that has some good stores.

View from the plane:



Reva Promenade:




The next morning, we got up early for a full day private boat tour of the Islands nearby. We used Stefan from Mayer Charter Day Tours and it was amazing! It was a windy day, so he got a coastguard boat to ensure comfort and safety and yes it was a pretty smooth ride.
He picked us up from the dock across the street from our hotel and we went straight to Hvar magnificent island of Hvar. The island boasts a stunning dock, promenade, fresh fruits market and best of all a citadel at the highest point of the island.
Itís a 20 minute to hike up a steady inclined and the views get increasingly more breathtaking. We could have spent a full day in Hvar alone, but Stephan had an itinerary so off we went.
















From there we went to some swimming spots with clear gorgeous water. We coasted by the popular Zlatni Rat known for its unique horn shape when viewed from an aerial perspective









We ended the day with a stop at ďsleepy village" -which true to its name is a most tranquil, delightful residential island-for some drinks and then headed back to the same dock for drop off.







Wednesday morning, we had an early morning flight back to Zagreb and then a flight home through Paris.


Offline dpk4588

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2020, 11:15:28 PM »
Amazing TR. Stunning pictures. Croatia is now officially on my to do list. Thanks for the write up!
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
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Offline EliJelly

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2020, 01:04:14 AM »
Amazing TR! What a beautiful country! Always regarded it as just another former Yugoslavian developing country.. These hues of blue and green are unreal, and the medieval streets and citadels just adds to it's beauty. Wish I can visit one day!

Offline ponash123

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Re: Escape to Croatia
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2020, 01:44:14 PM »
Amazing TR. Stunning pictures. Croatia is now officially on my to do list. Thanks for the write up!

Thank you!