Croatia – July 2018 – Island Hopping

This day was one of the highlights of the trip. If you are planning on island hopping while in Croatia, and I highly suggest you do – you are missing out otherwise, I suggest going with one of the package tours.

The one we chose (Mayer Tours) was an 11-hour 5-island tour and came recommended on Pinterest somewhere. These guys were good – we did not get to visit the main attraction of the area – the Blue Cave – due to large swells closing the cave off for a few days, but that was okay. From what we’ve heard, all the boats that want to visit wait in line for up to 2 hours for a time slot, then offload passengers into an even smaller boat 10 at a time for a 15-minute tour of the cave.

I’m cool with not having waited for 2 hours to get in.

Our original plan scrapped, the days’ plans shifted continually, and I’m not 100% sure where all we went. I know we saw Korcula, Brac, Vis, a couple sandy beaches, Hvar, submarine tunnels, and military lookout points. Not sure what all else – but, as with any tour you pick or way you choose to see the islands, it was all freaking stunning. The water is crystal clear, oddly less salty than the Atlantic (at least to an East Coast of the US girl), and all the little towns and beaches are beautiful for some reason or another.

Super cool day, despite being on the back of a fast rib boat in the wind and noise and sea spray for most of it. (I hate wind and being wet and cold – so that’s saying something if I was still happy for an 11-hour day).

Pics!

And more – because restraint is not my middle name.

And that’s it for our island hopping day.

Can’t recommend highly enough.

Zagreb

Plitvice

Split

Onwards to the last destination!

Croatia – July 2018 – Split & Roman Ruins

Our next main destination on this vacation was Split – a large coastal town known for its Roman ruins, beautiful waterfront, and proximity to a bunch of smaller islands. Split did not disappoint. The town itself is sprawling – encompassing not only the waterfront, but a large inland area as well – complete with multiple suburbs.

We stayed outside the city center, in an area that I’m sure was gut renovated post-war (there was an old gun turret at the end of our block that for some reason I completely forgot to take a picture of).

The place we stayed was good – on a nice quiet stretch of waterfront walkway (quiet enough that we didn’t hear the revelers when Croatia won the semi-finals of the World Cup).

Our main destination in Split was Diocletian’s Palace – right at the City Center waterfront. For my history nerds, this palace was built around the beginning of the 4th century BC as a Roman emperor retirement home. For my Game of Thrones nerds, the basement was used as the underground passages in Mereen.

The palace itself is interesting – not much remains of it but some outer walls and continuing excavation into its basement – which was laid out to mirror the upper floors. Some interesting rooms to explore down there, and good signage on history (thankfully history signage instead of television signage).

Nowadays, the upper street is a twisting warren of alleyways packed to the brim with shops, restaurants, religious houses, guest houses and apartments – good luck finding an address quickly.

Note: this is the first place we ran into where you have to pay to use the public restrooms – at a cost of 5 kuna.

After spending half the day wandering the alleyways of the palace, we hadn’t gotten our full Roman ruin fix, so we jetted out 5km or so to the suburbs and the ruins of Salona. This was a couple-hour jaunt in the direct sun, with of course not enough sunblock or water or hats or anything that would make the trip more comfortable. That would be silly – and waaaay too responsible. So we explored. And me in flip flops. Also had a mini version of one of our infamous death hikes through an olive grove looking for a more direct route back through the neighborhood we passed through (how weird would that be?!).

After our trek, we burger & beered and passed out early to prep for a day of island hopping.

Part 1 – Zagreb

Part 2 – Plitvice

Paleo Poke Bowls

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Mmmmm… poke. This is a dead simple choose your own adventure kind of dinner – the kind of thing I’m making a lot lately, since I’m back to eating low carb and DH is craving rice to fuel his workouts.

Gluten-free, paleo, Keto if you make it Keto

Paleo Poke Bowls

Fresh salmon or tuna, chopped bite-sized
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
4 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
2 Tbsp. pineapple juice
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Toppings

Sliced avocado
Shredded purple cabbage
Julienned carrots
Chopped cucumber
Minced ginger
Lime juice
Chopped pineapple
Sliced scallions
Chili garlic paste
Furikake

Base

Zoodles, rice, lettuce or steamed and chilled broccoli

Marinate the fish in the next 5 ingredients while prepping the toppings.

To serve, top X with X and fish. I laid out a plate of toppings + bowls of zoodles & rice for an interactive choose-your-own bar. Enjoy.