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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Messages 1 2 

Croatia and Tokyo! by simonrwalker on 28 May 2003 12:23am
My girlfriend and I are from Scotland. In July we are travelling by train from Venice to Croatia to Island hop for 2 weeks, can anyone who has done a similar trip offer any advice?

In August we are moving to Tokyo, what must we see and not do?
Re: Croatia and Tokyo! by peripatetically on 28 May 2003 1:55am
You absolutely must see Dubrovnik along the Dalmatian coast (the mainland). It's considered the "Pearl of the Adriatic". The old quarter of Dubrovnik is built upward, and that is a must to experience. Climb the steep staircases to the ramparts to view the Adriatic, the town and all that God's creation has to offer. But spend just as much time in the interior of the town.The town's culture is heavily influenced by the Italian, Greek, Italian and Turkish cultures due to it being a major seaport conquered over and over by different countries over the centuries.

Also, take the hydrofoil to Korcula, the boyhood island home of the Marco Polo family. Regardless of whether you are interested in THAT fact, it is a gorgeous trip and the island is full of lovely picturesque alleys set out in herringbone fashion, colorful scenes, markets, great wine and food and it's chocked full of ancient history. The streets were built in that pattern to baffle the high winds, by the way.

If you DO go to the mainland , Diocletian's Palace, in Split, right on the coast again, is as fascinating as anything you'll ever see.

Every town along the coast is so amazing. And so are the interior cities. Bled, in the Jura Mts (alpine Yugoslavia) is gorgeous too. The farther north you travel, the more Austrian influence in archetecturte oand culture you will encounter. The coastline is absolutely breathtaking, especially if you travel along it towad Montenegro.

I can't begin to tell you how fabulous a trip you have in store for you. My only concern for you is the time of year you are going. I was there in September and October and it was brutally hot and dry. I can't imagine what you'll encounteer in July. I certainly would never recommend it to anyone during the summer season. I'm used to hot and humid weather here in the mid-Atlantic part of the USA, but I've never felt heat like that of Yugo. Our only saving grace was the dryness. But it was so dry, that our feet and hands began to crack. Be sure to slather very very heavily with moisturizer at all times. And carry bandaids. You might need them for your blisters after walking around on the uneven stone streets, and plazas. And your bones might ache. getting around can be hard on the joints so be sure your shoes are forgiving.

You have no idea what a wonderful trip you have planned for yourselves. Please take me too!!! I am very envious and will hope you come back and tell us everything you did and saw. I spent 2 weeks in Yugo and loved it so much. It is truly a difficult task telling you what to see and what to skip. There is so many diverse areas and worth seeing all of them. But please try to do this much anyway. I guarantee you'll thank me forever!! LOL!!!

A final thought: Although Lokrum is the island very close to Dubrovnik, I would skip it for the trip to Korcula. In fact, I would skip it altogether and opt for many more sites. The monasteries in Dubrovnik are beautiful---the frescoes all worn and chipped are more picutresque than if they were totally intact. The placa, or pedestrian walkway, is so shiny and slippery from the masses of people who have walked it over the centuries. Wander about endlessly and never get lost. it's wonderful nd the food is the best I've ever eaten on any trip I've taken in any country I've visited. And so is the wine!

Have a blast!!!!
Re: Croatia and Tokyo! by gwen on 28 May 2003 7:42pm
Patty, I am curious. When did you go to ex Yugoslavia? Before or after the Balkans Conflict? What you seem to be describing is what I saw too, but many years before the Conflict. I got the impression from TV and newspapers that Dubrovnik, for example, had been fairly much wrecked.
Re: Croatia and Tokyo! by lumberjack friend on 28 May 2003 9:57pm
When do you come to Tokyo?
Please ask me anything!
Re: Croatia and Tokyo! by macauley on 29 May 2003 1:27am
..agree with Patty 100% re Yugoslavia now Croatia..we stayed mostly along the coastline with a highway that greatly resembles our California Hwy 1 which snakes along the Pacific Ocean. We were there iduring June/July and did not suffer too much from the heat as long as we could manage a swim as often as possible! Favorites were Split and Dubrovnik and can I come too? Have also been to Japan (4 times, lucky me!) Fascinating, expensive, great food (skip McDonald's for heavens sake) and very easy to comprehend transportation. Just remember to let the taxi driver open the doors for you from his front seat. Extensive train and bus service and always on time! Very hot and humid in summer, ok rest of the time. People delightful, helpful and the children are more than happy to practice English! Can I come with you there , too?
Re: Croatia and Tokyo! by peripatetically on 29 May 2003 2:00am
Gwen, yes, you are right about the time I visited. It was indeed before the conflict, but not terribly long before. And yes, there was much devastation from that war, about which it broke my heart to see and hear. However, I have been told and have read that much of the city is very much back together again. (A small example is that the red tile roofs in Dubrovnik, as you certainly remember, have been fixed, but with different tile material than the original.) That's not the only restorartion that was done though. I do hear things are ready for visitors again. I'm sure some things will have changed, but I know it must still be a beautiful place. Steeped in history and beauty.

Re: Croatia and Tokyo! by lumberjack friend on 6 June 2003 9:50pm
August is hottest and exciting season in japan.There are many types of events in summer,fireworks festival,summer festival,music festival,etc.It is a good opportunity to see city scapes(at odaiba,shinjyuku,shibuya,its crazy building!)and traditional wooden building(Temples, etc)I recommend you to go to Kamakura.I often go there as it's not so far from Tokyo.It takes about 1hour half by train from the centre of Tokyo.Kamakura is a calm and composed old city.There are lots of shrines and Temples there.The city is famous for its Daibutsu,or a great bronze image of buddha.
People come to Kamakura not only to take a walk ,but to enjoy swimming in summer.
Re: Croatia and Tokyo! by intrepid on 9 June 2003 6:44pm
I only just grazed the northern part of Croatia, but I'll tell what I know: I got off a train that had gone at a very leisurely pace through Slovenia and got out at Rijeka(sp?)(I think this town used to be called "Fiume"(sp?). I asked the lady at the information desk at the station where I could get some tourist information and she shook her head. Then I asked her where the historical center of town was and she told me, in a tone of voice you can imagine "There IS no historical center in Rijeka." (I'm very skeptical about that- I mean, in my history atlases, the town appears on every map of the region after the 13th century. They must have like a church or something.) Upon hearing this native's fairly soft sell of the town I heard some people speaking English and asked where they were going. They said that they were going to a town to the north called Opatija (sp?). I bought a bus ticket and a 20 minute ride later I was in this pleasant tourist- oriented hub with a number of hotels and restaurants. I don't think there's much to see in Opatija- it's mostly for bathers- but it's a good hub for striking west to the Istrian Penninsula, or southeast to see some of the islands, like "Krk". That's the only spelling here that I'm certain of. Krk is a formerly walled town with a lot of stone buildings.
Re: Croatia and Tokyo! by peripatetically on 10 June 2003 1:36am
Yes, Intrepid, I have been to all 3 locations you just mentioned. Opatija is a lovely town with a lot of Austro-Hungarian flavor. The Atlantic Hotel serves great meals on the veranda, overlooking the water. It is a fact that the farther north you travel toward Austria, the greener it becomes and the more Austrian culture influences you can see.

Rijeka, as I remember it, is the city where many old Soviet ships sat rusted in port. We had a good view of them as our bus climbed in cirlces to the heights of the city. I am sure it was once of huge importance in days of yore. I did not stop there for a visit, only traveling through it.
Re: Croatia and Tokyo! by macauley on 13 June 2003 8:12am
..oh, the memories...been to all those places and with great memories...bussed to Pula and yes there really is a location named "krk" travel opens up a lot of spelling questions does it not? between the pronunciations and the missing vowels it keeps one on our toes or our dictionaries at least.
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