Why in the world are we going to Croatia?
It’s like when we decided to go to Iceland for the first time. “It’s a long way to go to see ice,” people said. But a small group of people joined us only to discover what I already knew, Iceland is as green as Ireland, only it has more active geologic features than any country on Earth. Everyone who went fell in love with it and it still remains one of my most favorite destinations in the world. (Hint: We’re going to see the northern lights there this season).
So back to Croatia. I can’t really say that I thought of going there as a kid, it was actually Yugoslavia at the time and the only thing I knew about it was that they made a really bad little car called the Yugo. Rumor has it that it doesn’t even have value as a collectors item, it still falls apart while it’s standing still.
So back to Croatia, again. What did intrigue me about it is that though it is part of the old Eastern Bloc, it lies just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. I reasoned that they must have a similar coastal climate and landscape, a long history and rich culture. Not to mention some amazing cuisine and wines similar to Italy. [Map]
So I started to do a little research. I read about Dubrovnik and browsed through thousands of images of Flickr and Wiki. I was blown away by the dramatic images as well as their modern history from medieval times through the various conflicts in the 1980’s and 90’s. The country, the city of Dubrovnik, the island of Hvar and the entire Dalmatian coastline are fast becoming hot destinations for travelers from the world over.
For our part, this is the Walking Connection’s first adventure into Eastern Europe and definitely not our last. It took more than two years to put together our itinerary that blends just the right amount of hiking through the beautiful countryside and historical walks in the villages and cities. There is more to learn than we can do in a week or so, and more to see than our feet will allow. So we will take our time, start inland, work our way to and then down the coastline and see Croatia (and Slovenia) the way it was meant to be seen, one step at a time.