2018/05/01 Croatia – Dubrovnik and Omis

Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd May 2018

Camping Kate, Mlini (near Dubrovnik). GPS 42.624809N   18.208349E

Located approximately 7kms from Dubrovnik, this small campsite was suggested by Ralf and Martina and was selected as it is a short water taxi ride right into the centre of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. 

Bridge to Dubrovnik from the north

Met with Ralf & Martina mid afternoon and headed down the 180 steps to the waterfront to check out the timetable for tomorrow’s visit. Very beautiful waterfront area with lots of bars, restaurants and accommodation.  Sampled one of these bars and sat under a thatched roof right above the waterline.  Again, it was a fabulous sunny day so soaked up the atmosphere before hiking back up the 180 steps again.

Waiting for drinks at the Mlini waterfront bar

Set off around 9.30 am to catch the 10am taxi.  Such a pleasant way to go instead of the bus and thoroughly enjoyed the cool breeze and water views along the way.  The water taxi ride costs 100 kunas/person return which is around $22 and really worth it.

Soon we approached the harbour and were in awe of the magnificence of this town.  

Dubrovnik Old Town harbour from above

Wrapped up and surrounded by the ancient fortress walls, this town is awesome.  We entered Pile Gate into the main square and were greeted with marble streets and baroque buildings. 

Arriving in the Old Town harbour by water taxi

Entertainers were in the main square and the Old Town was alive with tourists from every nation.  There were three large cruise ships in the harbour and we were inundated with British and Asian groups led by pushy tour leaders.

Street entertainment in the Old Town square

We were inspired by the walk along the fortress walls, quoted as being the finest in the world, where at every corner there were spectacular views across to the Adriatic Sea and surrounding islands.

Part of the wall walk (with steps)

Looming above the city is Mt Srd which is connected to Dubrovnik by cable car.   The fortress wall walk is really worth the 150 kunas/person ($34 AUD) and after 3 hours and over 1000 steps offered 360 degree views of the Old Town (and for this navigator some very sore knees).

One of the views from the wall walk

Headed away from the Main Street and the crowds to find one of the many interesting little restaurants which can be found in abundance in every narrow cobbled stone street and found it hard to choose one because of the huge variety. 

Roof top view in the walled city – note the restaurant with 4 air con units

Another hike uphill where we found one of our choosing and sat and enjoyed a very long and well deserved rest.

Our lunch spot in the Old Town

Found our way back to the harbour after some more sightseeing of some amazing cathedrals and churches and caught the 4.30 pm water taxi back.  Another 180 steps to climb that ended a truly wonderful fun day.  Don’t think any of us moved from our chairs for what was left of this day.  A “must do” on the bucket list for Croatia as it would be high on our list of top 5 Old Towns to visit.  Calculated we had done around 1500 steps today apart from all the normal walking!

Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th May

Renee, Shannon and Glen visited Hvar Island around 2006 and recommended we visit there.

We planned to go to Hvar for a couple of days in late April on the way south to Dubrovnik but the campsites were not due to open until the first week of May. There were parking areas available but we dared not risk these – have heard horror stories of fines for wild camping in Croatia.

On the way back from Dubrovnik heading north we found out that the campsites on Hvar were full of Polish students on their Spring break so we decided not to go there, unfortunately.

So we moved on to meet up with Ralf and Martina in Kamp Galeb in Omis but that campsite was also full of Polish students and we were advised if we wanted a quiet night, then Camp Galeb was not the place to be.   Phoned our friends who had arrived here before us and decided to move on to Autocamp Sirena instead.

Our campsite for two nights:   Autocamp Sirena, Omis – GPS 43.407261N   16.776859E

Only a few kms away from Kamp Galeb, this is very much a motorhome site only with steep windy roads within the campsite to pitches etched out of the hillside giving most a panorama view across the Adriatic Sea. 

Our overnight view from Ziggy

We were lucky enough to get one of the prime positions as we arrived just as this one became vacant.  With Martina and Ralf only a couple of motorhomes behind us, we had another super two days of relaxing and doing not much of anything apart from laughing, drinking and eating while having this five star view.

Our overnight premium position

Only downside for me was the bathrooms were on level one at the top and we were three levels down.  Certainly knew I had knees on day one here but better on day two.

Saturday 5th May & Sunday 6th May

Our campsite for two nights:  Kamp Galeb, Omis – GPS 43.441719N   16.682159E

Arrived here to find Polish students still packing down after a long week of festivities.  Rubbish and bottles were still everywhere and old tents (obviously no longer functioning, left behind).  Looked like a battle scene with many of the soldiers still wandering around in a drunken stupor.

Think they had a lot of fun as the staff looked absolutely exhausted as they tried to handle the hundreds still waiting in line to check out.

Ralf & Martina had already found a site for both of us, so check in was easy and soon with deck chairs and awnings out, we settled into another two days of relaxation.

This is a huge beachfront resort site with cabins, beach deck chairs (a little worse for wear after the onslaught of students) beach volley ball courts and beachfront restaurant.  

The mountains rising high above the town looked like they had been painted – so steep and different shades of grey and green.

Ventured into town where the harbour was abuzz with boats and people.  Only very small but lots of tourist character with souvenir shops, bars and restaurants along the main strip.

The four of us were very disappointed with the pizza restaurant where staff looked like they did not want to be there.  The menu was only in Croatian and they did not want to give us the time of day to do a translation.  The mixed salad turned out to be lettuce leaves only and the filling on the pizzas was more like a paste rather than filling – we complained and the salad was replaced with something that did look like a mixed salad, eventually.

Both nights, a huge red German registered Rollende Hotel bus arrived around 4pm carrying 26 passengers, tour leader and driver.  The front of the bus had seats for its passengers while the back of the bus was three levels high with 28 beds.  We described it like three tiered coffins with bedside lamps.  There would be just enough room to get into the bed.

The big red German bus/hotel

Under these beds and seats, cargo doors opened where huge kitchens with gas topped burners appeared and the driver began the task of cooking dinner for the group.  Chairs and tables plates and cutlery came out and soon the group lined up to get a spoonful of what was in the huge pots?  Must have been tasty as some came back for seconds.

Very disappointed to see huge pots of leftovers of rice and meat dregs swilled with water and thrown recklessly under a camp tree.  Ralf complained to the tour leader and soon the group began picking up their waste and doing the right thing with it.

Had two lovely relaxing days and on our last night with our German (maybe in Ralf’s case American as his English sounds American)  friends coming to an end – very sad – so relaxed I forgot to take any photos

We are heading away from the coast tomorrow while they are still wanting the sunshine for the remainder of their 10 days holiday.