Adriatic Treasures and Venice
Arrived today, thank goodness no trouble kin the Frankfurt airport, all flights were on time.
After dropping off the luggage I took a walk through Old Town which is very close to the hotel. The hotelnis very nice and we have access to the Executive Suite which will provide a light meal and drinks in the evening.
Tomorrow I have a ticket to walk around the City Walls. More tomorrow.
Gladys - If you have time I’d recommend taking the sky ride in Dubrovnik. The sights from up top are amazing. My wife and I opted for the sky ride vs the wall walk. We figured we walked around most of the town at street level and didn’t see that much added benefit to doing it again on top of the wall. From the top of the mountain it’s an entirely different perspective. If you can do both, all the better.
Yes! Gladys I'm so happy for you. Enjoy your trip and by the way the Risottos at the rest near the boat marina are the Best ever and Yes! view from the top of the sky ride it's Bellissima.
If what mil is referring to is the black risotto, it is magnificent!
Sam we're doing the sky ride with Tauck so I'll be able to do both.
Kfnknfzk, what does the black risotto consist off? Squid ink maybe! Risotto is one of my favorites dishes.
Ah! I found the recipe! Yes squid ink. I have not been to Croatia, our 2020 trip was cancelled and we have yet to rebook it.
Today I walked the Walls of Dubrovnik, thecwalls were built between the 13th and 17th centuries, went early so it wasn't crowded, beautiful views and even though the weather called for clouds and thunderstorms it was very clear and sunny,. Afterwards I again walked through Old Town, visited an exhibit and Memorial to those that fought Serbia, very touching.
Then I went to the Franciscan Minastery and Pharmacy built in 1317, the pharmacy has been kept intact, Tonight we have the cocktail and welcome dinner with a talk about Croatian history,
I'm posting pictures taken during my walk around the walls, hundreds of stairs,, I must say that I had to stop and rest a few times while I climbed,!
Alan I followed your advice and took the horizontal pictures with my Samsung,
Gladys- some fantastic shots!! It looks like a wonderful city. With all the steps, did the walk seem longer than 2 km? How long did it take?
Were you lucky enough to have no cruise ships in port?
A Croatian specialty- "An especially attractive variant of this dish is black risotto of cuttlefish, which apart from the excellent taste attracts attention with its unusual colour obtained from the addition of cuttlefish ink."
Yes, I had never heard of it.The recipes say either cuttlefish or squid ink which is probably easier to obtain.
AlanS - In Dubrovnik, even the smaller ships like Ponant uses dock off shore and ferry the people to and from the boat. In cities like Kotor that isn't the case. The Ponant ships dock right in the town.
Gladys - Here was the best part of taking the sky ride, our stop in a little restaurant at the top.
Here's a view from the top that shows the Ponant ship anchored off shore.
British - Yes, squid ink turns the rice dark. I like to add slivers of parmigiana. Superb!
Squid, octopus and cuttlefish are the same class/species.
Yes, I understand, but I’ve not seen cuttlefish in stores here. I once made a beetroot risotto when I saw it on a TV show, it was a Holiday’ show, just before Christmas. I think they made a green one too. Anyway, it was good but startling! I even have a special risotto wooden spoon with a hole in it which is supposed to make the stirring more effective.
Cuttlefish is very expensive. That is why the more prevalent squid is used. Anyway, the black risotto has a rather pungent taste but I find it to be delicious.
I make a green risotto with Hatch chile (from New Mexico)...the hotter the better. I have that wooden spoon...had no clue what it was for! I guess we have digressed.
I did not take Tauck's Adriatic tour...was just fortunate enough to take a detour on a business trip years ago. Hope you get to go.
Trivia: note in the pics of Dubrovnik (great pix BTW) most roofs are red but a few scattered ones are brown. The brown ones are the only survivors of the shelling in 1991-1992. The red ones are all that needed to be replaced.
Alan it's a beautiful city, it took me an hour and 45 mts to complete the walk with stops to take pictures.and I didn't see any big ships.
Tonight we had our welcome dinner in a restaurant in Old Town called Proto, very nice, our cocktail hour was in the hotel with a lecture about Eastern Europe in the 6th and 7th century, not very interesting however I sat next to the speaker at dinner and had a much better conversation. Not impressed with the the TD but it may change, who knows. It's a very small group only 14 people who appear to be very nice.
I forgot to mention (don't know why) that the speaker yesterday wax very handsome with beautiful green eyes, silly me didn't take a picture.
May 26th - We took a cable car to the top of Serj Hill for beautiful views of Old Town and the city, no time for ice cream Sam,
Then we went for a boat ride on the Adriatic Sea for more views
We also took a guided wa.k through O,d Town, very nice and informative local guide. After a break for .lunch on our own, we went to Crvik Winery for a wine tasting a whit and 2 reds with cheese, bread and olives.
From there we went to a house were they breed silkworms and had an exhibition on how they mate, and saw various stages of the worms producing silk.
Tonight dinner is on our own.
On the drive home the TD told us that we do not need to tip housekeeping., and dye to the fact that tomorrow we leave at 7:30 and the restaurant opens at 7, we can have room service for breakfast on Tauck.
She's been very nice but keeps harping on getting Euros.
Love the Pics. - Annoying TD.
Keep enjoying the trip.
Why don’t you leave her a nice note at the end of the tour telling her, sorry, could not get any Euros So not leaving a tip. Especially if she is only so so. Joking, I would not be that mean, but I might reduce the amount of my tip
We had one on The Best of Ireland last year who made it very clear she only wanted Euros. People did not take kindly to her attitude. She was also extremely regimented and freaked out about time. If you weren’t at the bus 10 minutes before departure you were late. She even told one of the local guides at the distillery to speed up the tour because we were running late—5 minutes behind because of road construction. We last saw her at the cocktail reception and she left as we were about to go into the farewell dinner—never to be seen again. We did not miss her.
Yikes, it’s definitely the same TD!
I would DEFINITELY leave those notes on your Tauck comment card. So tacky on the part of the TD.
Maybe she and the coach driver don't have easy access to a bank to deposit the cash. Though I personally wouldn't want to carry around a bunch of cash in any denomination. I'd be more sympathetic if I understood why it might be a hardship for them.
This is on my list for next year but no details on Tauck yet for pricing and other details.
VOIK32 was her name Gabby.
Actually it's a shame she keeps harpingon it because she's turned out to be really nice,
To go on with comments, if you go on this tour please make sure you take a Visa or Master card, I've yet to find a business that accepts AMEX except for the hotel.
Today we drove to Montenegro our second country in this tour, stopped in the town of Perast for a short boat ride to the Islet of Our Lady of the Rock a man made Islet to house that church small very nicemuseum with an embroidery picture of our Lady that took the woman that did it 2 decades to complete using gold and silver fibers and her hair,, amazing,!
We continued to Kotor the capital of Montenegro who had the same president for over 30 years and according to the inhabitants it was great that he was defeated this year, Old Town Kotoor is very similar to Old Town Dubrovnik except it has a lot more churches and palaces that look just like big buildings, St Thriphons Cathedral, a Saint I never heard of is the center of the town. The town is also walled not all around as Kotor is flanked by the Adriatic Sea on one side and mountains on the other.
I walked a while around the walk but it was the middle of the day and very hot.
Tomorrow we leave for Splitt with a side trip to Bosnia, it's been a pleasure staying at the same hotel for 4 nights.
Gladys - Your pictures are bringing back a lot of memories, although I did the tour via small ship and the Venice and Dalmatian Coast tour. The only hotel we had was at the start of the tour in Venice. The rest of the nights were on the boat.
I think some of the criticism of the TD in this case is unfair. We took this tour earlier in April and Gabby was our TD. This was our 11th Tauck tour, and Gabby was one of the best. She is extremely personable and engaged, but does run a tight ship with the scheduling, which is important due to the multiple border crossings and other arrangements. There was virtually no discussion of euros on our trip, so it could be that she and the drivers are having difficulty with the currency conversion between trips (I have to admit I did USD for gratuity). Great pics, Gladys, brings back memories. Excellent trip overall.
To all who commented about my TD experience on The Best of Ireland, no her name was not Gabby and that was another issue for her. She had a multi syllable name and she told us Day 1 she answered only to that name, no nicknames, no derivatives, etc. She had no issue with accessing a bank to deposit cash. I believe several of us made comments on our evaluations. Some didn’t do evaluations because they were never going on another Tauck tour for a variety of reasons including too much time on the bus and too regimented. One woman was trying unsuccessfully to get her husband to leave a tip even if it wasn’t that generous because he didn’t want to leave her a cent. The TD did seem to single him out although I couldn’t fathom why because they were always very prompt. His sense of humor may not have endeared him to her but I had no issue with it.
I will not give her name because she may have just had a bad couple of weeks and no need to disparage her for what may have been a momentary lapse in graciousness and customer service. I’m sure she was spoken to and that should be the end of it.
I have been to Croatia on a land tour several years ago with a different provider and thought it was a wonderful experience. I did Montenegro as well. The river cruises are not appealing to me as a single.
Gladys your pictures are beautiful, and I see the weather it's great. I love Kotor. Montenegro in general is really nice.
Keep having a wonderful trip.
We did this tour in 2017 and had a great tour guide that we compare all subsequent ones to. She was Serbian and her personal knowledge of these countries was fascinating without being boring or dramatic. She explained at the beginning that adhering to the schedule was extremely important because of all the border crossings. Her famous line was "we must walk with purpose". This is one of our absolute favorite tours and would repeat it once I hit everything on the bucket list!
Kas1115 - Except for the Euro thing Gabby has been fantastic, I never said she wasn't.
Note about the Hilton Imperial in Dubrovnik, the hotel was a short walk away from Old Town, great location, the room was very comfortable with a small terrace which in my case faced the front of the hotel which was quite, others faced the main St and complained about the noise, breakfast was good and the Executive Lounge offered a light breakfast, snacks during the day and a cocktail hour and gret snacks for a light dinner.
We left Dubrovnik and headed towards Split Wirth a stop in Orsac for a demonstration of how they made olive oil in medieval times.
We crossed the Bosnian border and visited Mostar which has a heavy Turkish influence, when you walk around the bazaar it feels like one is I Istanbul, wonderful views especially the Stari Most bridge which was destroyed in 1993 during the war and rebuilt with some of the pieces found in the river
The rest of the pictures are from Mostar, one a view of a small beach taken from the bridge,
We left Mostar, Bosnia, crossed the border back to Croatia and arrived in Split late afternoon, dinner at the hotel was delicious, the Hotel Park was built in 1929, the room is not too big but comfortable, the bathroom is huge with a walk in shower.
Did any of the local "performers" jump off the bridge? From what I have seen in travel shows and video blogs they put on a big tease show- the jumpers lean, teeter, and almost fall/jump, then work the crowd a little more, and repeat as necessary to solicit more tips. Did any Tauktourians jump? I would do it in a heartbeat!