Beautiful Dubrovnik, Croatia
Greetings from beautiful Dubrovnik, Croatia.
I think we were all surprised on Sunday morning, when we woke to see a blanket a snow on the ground in Southern Ontario. The trees were covered with the white stuff and even though it looked beautiful, most of us have had enough winter and are anxious for Spring to take root.
I had a list of things to accomplish before leaving for the airport but while I was in the shower I knew something was up because it was too early to receive 2 back-to-back telephone calls. When I quickly returned Moms calls, she said, “I have some bad news to tell you” – my heart started to beat faster and my mind started spinning. Sadly I learned that a very good family friend passed unexpectedly. That list of things to accomplish all of a sudden was no longer important. I sat and reminisced of memorable times together as I tried to absorb the tragic news, knowing that the the lives of so many had now changed forever.
My mind raced back to a recent journey that visited Peru. After enjoying a delicious authentic luncheon at a family run restaurant, in a remote region of Lake Titicaca, the lovely owner (with the help of an interpreter) had some words of thanks and wisdom she wanted to share with all of us. She told us that we need to, “Live in the Moment”…… how true those 4 words were this morning.
I traveled down some icy roads before reaching highway 401 – the rest of the drive to Toronto Pearson airport was uneventful.
This journey to Croatia is a boutique small group departure so it quickly sold out many months ago. In the Plaza Premium lounge at Pearson Airport, my passengers were anxious to chat with their fellow passengers. There are 19 of us – 5 newbies.
The Lufthansa flight to Munich was at capacity. The crew was excited as we were flying on a brand new airbus. This was its first flight out of Toronto! What a beautiful aircraft. Service was excellent and many of us appreciated a bit of rest during the very smooth 7 hour flight.
I gave everyone Euros so they could purchase lunch in Munich Airport. I guided my passengers via a tram to our connecting departure terminal. We were surprised that there wasn’t passport control or security to contend with. There were a number of luxury brand shops to browse through. The terminal was very quiet – at times we wondered if we were the only ones there – very unusual for an airport.
After a rest we were on our way to Dubrovnik. The connecting flight was a short 90 minutes. After landing, we deplaned down steps and into a shuttle bus. When we arrived at the terminal building we cleared passport control, retrieved our luggage and were warmly welcomed by 2 smiling destination guides who were proudly wearing, “Travel With Bradley” polo shirts!
You may recall reading my blogs during last years amazing journey to Ukraine. Vincent, was the destinations coordinator for that tour – back then he split his time between Edmonton, Alberta and the Ukraine. While on that Ukraine tour the two of us planned this journey to Croatia. I am thrilled, that Vincent is also traveling with us on this Croatian journey. He is an amazing guy. We both share the same, passion for travel – its part of our DNA.
Our very professional 2 local guides put us at ease very quickly. We walked out of the airport along with an American tour group. A new gleaming, motor coach was waiting for us. The coach that the Americans are traveling on was not nearly as impressive – in fact one of the Americans tried leaving her luggage with us….
Before long we experienced a tour highlight. A stop was made at a stunning Dubrovnik overlook. Our guide had a bottle of locally produced cherry brandy in tow so we could “toast Croatia” as we marveled in its beauty.
The 5 star rated hotel where we are staying for 2 nights is wonderful. Our impressive suites features a massive terrace with tremendous sea views.
The sunset was stunning.
The bountiful dinner buffet that followed featured many local delicacies. The fresh fish was scrumptious – I especially enjoyed the local cheese selection.
We didn’t want our passengers to retire to bed too early because its important for us to get adjusted to the new time zone, so we boarded our motor coach and headed into Old Town Dubrovnik for a very scenic, mystical evening stroll. How wonderful it was to explore this famous destination without being surrounded by tons of tourists. Classical guitarists and singers entertained us as we took in its beauty.
Our beds looked very inviting when we arrived back at the resort.
Can’t wait to continue our Croatian journey.