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Sunday, 28 September 2008

Cycling the Dalmatian Islands with Ana - Page 2

Written by Dale Fehringer
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Ana just might be the hardest-working tour guide in Europe. During the week she led our cycling tour around Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands she rode with us, entertained us, educated us, and watched over us – from breakfast until we were safely tucked in bed at night. Because of her efforts, we were transformed from a group of strangers into a cohesive group of friends … and in some respects into her temporary family.

The people of Croatia are generous and gracious hosts and they make visitors feel welcome. We felt comfortable and safe everywhere we went and we were greeted by friendly, helpful people throughout the country. The Croatian language is difficult and we had problems mastering even simple phrases, but the locals speak enough English to understand your needs, and they went out of their way to help us.

Getting to Croatia isn’t direct, but it’s relatively easy. It’s usually two flights from the U.S., with connections to Split and Dubrovnik through London, Dublin, Vienna, and other major European gateways. We flew to Split with a connection in Dublin.

Split: A Great City for Tourists

Our cycling tour started in the historic city of Split, circled three Dalmatian islands (Hvar, Korcula, and Mljet), and wound up in the ancient port city of Dubrovnik.

Cycling the Dalmatian Islands with Ana, Split, cycling croatia, cycling tour europe, Dalmatian islands, Hvar,  Dubrovnik, Korcula, Ston, Sucuraj, Jelsa, Hvar Town, Stari Grad, Vela Luka, Mljet, Prizba, Brna,  Smokvica, Pupnat, Dale Fehringer

 

Split is a great city for tourists because it is historic, compact, and easy to navigate on foot. Of special interest, the outdoor fish market features dozens of locals selling seafood, each sales person calling out the benefits of their sardines or octopus versus that of their neighbors. The Split night life is active with several reasonably-priced restaurants and bars.

After dinner, we climbed on a ferry for a 1½ hour ride to the island of Hvar. Aboard the ferry Ana resolved the issue of the three missing group members. She found out that Peter, from the U.K., had mistakenly gone to the London airport with his daughter’s passport instead of his own, and he missed his flight and would join us the next day. Two women from Ireland hadn’t appeared in the Split Airport or at dinner, but when we boarded the ferry, there they were. Ana chided them for not meeting the group at the airport, but they assured her they were never lost – and here they were. Ana was perturbed, but also relieved that two more of her charges were in the fold.

When we arrived at Hvar we boarded a bus to our hotel in the seaside town of Jelsa, our home for the next two days.

(Page 2 of 6)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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