Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast

May 10, 2015 by David Herd

Leaving Split

Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast, five hours hugging the coast by bus. You must cross Bosnia around the coastal town of Neum just north of Dubrovnik.

The fleet

Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast The coastal route takes a little longer but I’m guessing it is more interesting.

Mountains hug the coast

Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast

I’m certainly glad I decided on the coast road to Dubrovnik, the scenery is excellent.

Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast

Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast

Lots of small villages squeezed between the mountains and the sea.

Halfway between Split and Dubrovnik

Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast

So far no traffic problems and the bus driver seems quite competent. 🙂

Small rail big drop

Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast

That safety rail does nit seem high enough for my liking.

Neum in Bosnia

Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast Neum is the only coastal town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It comprises 24.5 km of coastline, the country’s only access to the Adriatic Sea. In 2009 the municipal population was 4,605 and in 1991 the population of Neum town was 4,268.


Neum

 photo Neum in Bosnia 3.jpg Neum has steep hills, sandy beaches, and several large tourist hotels. Prices tend to be lower than in neighboring Croatia, making it popular with shoppers. Tourism, and the commerce it brings, is the leading contributor to the economy of the area. Border formalities with Croatia are relaxed at peak times. Neum has around 5,000 beds for tourists, 1,810 in hotels with the remaining capacity in motels, villas, and in private accommodation. Tourism in Neum is active only in the coastal region. The inland area behind Neum has a rich archaeological history and untouched wilderness and is starting to develop agricultural tourism.

Lunch break in Nuem

Neum in Bosnia

Time for a sandwich and a coffee before the final leg to Dubrovnik.

Neum in Bosnia

Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast

The scenery so far has not varied too much at all.  It seems like a nice quiet place to live.

Franjo Tuđman Bridge

Franjo Tuđman Bridge On the edge of Dubrovnik is this wonderful structure. The original bridge design was developed in 1989, however construction was stopped at the onset of the Croatian War of Independence.

Franjo Tuđman Bridge

Franjo Tuđman Bridge

This bus trip will finish a couple of kms over the bridge.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

My first glimpse of this ancient city, I’m getting excited.

Pile gate Dubrovnik

Pile gate Dubrovnik

                       Well here I am, now if I can only find my apartment. Many thanks for visiting my Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast photo blog.
                      Here are some more posts to check out
              Sydney                               Paris                                   Bangkok
Sydney Opera house        Paris hotel        Grand Palace Bangkok
               Tokyo                        Rio De Janeiro                        Budapest
Tokyo        Carla, what a girl. photo CopacabanabeachNov2003-128.jpg        Buda Castle
           London                            Beijing                            Capetown
Kings road Chelsea        David & the General photo DHandthegeneral.jpg        David Herd Thailand

 

That’s all folks

Split Dubrovnik Croatian coast

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Eastern European Odyssey

March 25, 2015 by David Herd

Eastern European Odyssey

Eastern European OdysseyEastern European Odyssey  plus London was a hectic 4 week trip to a number of cities I had never visited before. First stop was Istanbul on February 25 2015 then on to London for a few days before flying to Zagreb in Croatia. A 3 hour bus trip took me to Split on the coast for a couple of days followed by 5 hours on the bus down the coast to Dubrovnik.

From Dubrovnik I traveled to Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina then onto Sarajevo. Finally back to Zagreb for one night before a horror train journey to Budapest due to construction work on the railroad.

A stand out feature of this trip was my selection of hotels and apartments, everyone of them was in a perfect location with a very reasonable price when booked through Agoda,

Istanbul The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque Istanbul It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is still popularly used as a mosque.

I stayed at the Hotel Spectra right next door to the Blue Mosque, it was in a great location and very good value if you book through Agoda.

Singing for the crowd

David Herd Thailand

There were quite a few buskers around the city.

Istanbul slideshow

Second stop London

St Pauls Cathredal LondonSt Pauls Cathredal  The cathedral is one of the most famous and most recognisable sights of London, with its dome, framed by the spires of Wren’s City churches, dominating the skyline for 300 years.

Enoteca da Luca

Eastern European OdysseyVery close to St Pauls is this delightful Italian restaurant, put it on your list, it’s a breath of fresh air in a city not known for its fine food. 🙂

The Villa Kensington 10-11 Ashburn Gardens SW7  This excellent budget hotel is in a great location, only 2 blocks from Gloucester Road underground and surrounded by dozens of good restaurants. I booked through Agoda as usual and stayed in a newly renovated room for only 50 Quid or $98 usd including breakfast.

The Walkie Talkie and The Gherkin

The Walkie Talkie and The Gherkin

Plus of course we have the Tower of London in the foreground.

London slideshow

Third stop Zagreb

Main Square ZagrebMy hotel the Dubrovnik, looked over Zagreb’s Main Square, the perfect location for exploring this interesting city.


The Corner Bar

  The Corner Bar photo IMG_7146.jpgThis hidden away little bar was a gem, drinks, snacks of simply good coffee.  

Zagreb Cathredal

Zagreb Cathredal

Zagreb slideshow

 

Next stop Split

Eastern European OdysseyA three hour bus ride through the mountains to the coastal city of Split. My two bedroom apartment was terrific, only $60 per night in a perfect location. Book it through Agoda for this great rate.

Part of the old city

  Eastern European OdysseyThere seemed to be a surprise around every corner wandering through the old part of the city.  

The Prokurative

The Prokurative Split slideshow  

Beautiful Dubrovnik

  Breathtaking Dubrovnik photo Dubrobnik cable car 12.jpgI was so pleased I was here in the “off season” as the crowds of tourists in the summer would be a real turn off.  

Amazing city walls

Eastern European OdysseyYou can walk around the entire city on top of the ancient walls, it takes about 1.5 hours and is well worth the effort. If you visit Dubrovnik and want a fantastic apartment look no further than Karmen apartments.  The location is perfect and the price is very reasonable indeed. Marc the owner is very helpful and a hive of information. Staying here is like staying in your own home, the furniture, atmosphere and comfort is simply fantastic.

Outside the walls

David Herd Thailand

Dubrovnik slideshow

Mostar Bosnia-Herzegovina

  The Old Bridge MostarBosnia was never part of my original plans until a couple of people suggested I should go as it was so close to where I was in Dubrovnik. I’m pleased I took their advice as Mostar turned out to be a real surprise packet. The Old Bridge was the jewel in the crown, it was destroyed in the war around 1993 and rebuilt.  

Opposite the Bella Vista restaurant

Opposite the Bella Vista photo IMG_7622.jpgThis reminded me of a mini version of Table mountain in Cape Town, in fact it was exactly one year ago when I was there.  My hotel by the river is in a terrific location and the nice couple Arnela & Adis running the hotel booked me a car to do a 3 hour tour of the area for $70 aud. The funny thing was they said “we are not busy today can we come with you?” So as it turned out I had 3 personal translators and tour guides including Admir the driver. The Vila park only costs about $35 per night if you book through Agoda.

Adis, Arnela & Admir

David Herd Thailand

Mostar slideshow

Next stop Sarajevo

Eastern European OdysseyAnother bus trip, unusual for me when travelling to take so many busses, however you certainly see a lot more of the country. These guys gather every day to play chess in the square, lots of shouting from the spectators as they give advice to the players.

Avaz Twist Tower

  Avaz Twist TowerThe tallest building in Sarajevo, they have a lookout on the top floor which gives you a great view of the city.   My hotel in Sarajevo was in a perfect location with a good price, even though the rooms & breakfast were average I would stay at the Kovaci Hotel again.

Sarajevo shopping

David Herd Thailand
Sarajevo slideshow

 

 

The final stop Budapest

Buda Castle photo IMG_8116.jpgWhat a fabulous city, so many photo opportunities particularly at night with all the lights. Buda Castle above is a beautiful example.

Hungarian Parliament

 photo Hungarian Parliament Building 1.jpg For a reasonably priced hotel in the perfect location book the Promenade City hotel through this Agoda link.  

Buda Castle

Buda Castle Budapest slideshow

Thanks for visiting my  Eastern European Odyssey post, come back any time.

Eastern European Odyssey

                          Here are some more posts to check out
              Sydney                               Paris                                   Bangkok
Sydney Opera house        Paris hotel        Grand Palace Bangkok
               Tokyo                        Rio De Janeiro                        Budapest
Tokyo        Carla, what a girl. photo CopacabanabeachNov2003-128.jpg        Buda Castle
           London                            Beijing                            Capetown
Kings road Chelsea        David & the General photo DHandthegeneral.jpg        David Herd Thailand
           Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later. 🙂
                              Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                         Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses

That’s all folks   Eastern European Odyssey    photo Map.jpg

 

First stop Istanbul

I have never seen a city with so many markets, bazaars & mosques, over 3000 Mosques here and 83,000 in the country. http://fivestarvagabond.com/istanbul-cultures-nations-religions/

Posted by Travel blogger Fivestarvagabond.com” on Saturday, February 28, 2015

Second stop London

Some of London’s amazing ultra modern buildings.

Posted by Travel blogger Fivestarvagabond.com” on Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Third stop Zagreb

Check out my post on Zagreb, an interesting city in Croatia.http://fivestarvagabond.com/zagreb-croatia-bars-restaurants/

Posted by Travel blogger Fivestarvagabond.com” on Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fourth stop Split

I hope you enjoy my post on Split a delightful Croatian coastal city, I’m taking a 4’5 hour bus trip to Dubrovnik tomorrow. http://fivestarvagabond.com/split-croatian-coastal-city/

Posted by Travel blogger Fivestarvagabond.com” on Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fifth stop Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a magic city, check out my travel blog for lots more great photos. http://fivestarvagabond.com/dubrovnik-medieval-croatian-city/

Posted by Travel blogger Fivestarvagabond.com” on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sixth stop Mostar

Mostar was really a surprise package, I’m so glad I made a late decision to visit Bosnia. Check out my travel blog here. http://fivestarvagabond.com/mostar-bosnia-herzegovina/

Posted by Travel blogger Fivestarvagabond.com” on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Seventh stop Sarajevo

Bosnia commemorated 100 years since the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28 last…

Posted by Travel blogger Fivestarvagabond.com” on Friday, March 20, 2015

Eight stop Budapest

Budapest was united from three cities in 1873 and seven years later the Diet resolved to establish a new, representative…

Posted by Travel blogger Fivestarvagabond.com” on Monday, March 23, 2015

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

March 12, 2015 by David Herd

The Pile gate to Dubrovnik

The Pile gate DubrovnikDubrovnik medieval Croatian city, first impression certainly lived up to it’s reputation. It’s no wonder it is one of the most popular European destinations. This is the 3rd Croatian city I have visited starting with Zagreb then onto Split before taking a 5 hour bus trip down the coast to Dubrovnik.

Neum in Bosnia

Neum in BosniaJust north of Dubrovnik you have to cross the Bosnian border at Neum. They check your passport going in and going out.

Just inside the Pile Gate

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Here is the first thing you see when you enter the city through the Pile Gate.

Lots of bars and restaurants

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian cityThere is a big choice of places to eat and drink in Dubrovnik, being the low season they are all screaming for customers.


 

 The amazing walls.

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian cityI walked right around the entire city on top of the walls which costs about $20 and is well worth it. It really gives you a sense of this majestic city.  Dubrovnik’s Old Town is completely surrounded by enormous stone walls that date back to the 10th century. Up to 6m (19ft) thick and 2.5m (8ft) high in places, Dubrovnik’s Ancient City Walls were built to protect the city and deter would-be invaders. You can walk along the entire (2km/1.2mi) length of the ancient walls today and it is one of the best ways to appreciate the majesty of the Old Town plus get some great views over the Adriatic sea. There are 2 towers and 2 forts incorporated into the walls that were built and strengthened in the 15th century to bolster the city’s defenses. The Minceta Tower protects the city’s northern edge; the Bokar Tower protects Pile Gate (the city’s main entrance); Lovrjenac Fort protects the west, and the Revelin Fort protects the eastern entrance.

The harbour

  Dubrovnik medieval Croatian cityThe walk started at the harbour end of the city an continued anti-clockwise taking about 90 minutes to finish.

The narrow walk way on top of the wall

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

This is a great way to explore Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city.

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

 

Looking down from the top of the wall. photo IMG_7471.jpg

Many wonderful views from the top of the wall.

Dubrovnik, a red roof city

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

This fabulous Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city is totally unique.

Minceta Tower

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian cityThe rounded Minceta Tower where the walls are 6m thick, the better to protect Dubrovnik from attacks by land.

Minceta Tower

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

The tower was built in 1464 and was once used to store water. It was named after the Mencetic family who probably contributed financial support to its construction.

Dubrovnik

 photo IMG_7498.jpg

I would have to say Dubrovnik is one of the best cities I have ever visited.

Sunbathing

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian cityShe found a nice spot out out of the wind and started working on her tan. Trust me the wind was quite cold that day. 🙂

Marin Držić

Marino DarzaMarin Držić  also Marino Darza or Marino Darsa; 1508 – 2 May 1567 is considered the finest Croatian Renaissance playwright and prose writer.

Clock Tower Luza Square

Clock Tower Luza SquareDating from 15th century The clock tower overlooks Orlando’s Column and Sveti Vlaho Church.

Dubrovnik harbor at dusk

Dubrovnik harborA great time of the day to take photos, the blue sky seems to highlight the shot.

Orlando’s Column

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian cityThe knight carved in the column is Orlando. According legend in the 9th century Orlando and his fleet saved Dubrovnik from a 15 month long Saracen siege.

Fantastic Dubrovnik walls

 

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Make sure you put this city on your bucket list.

  Karmen fabulous 2 br apartment

Karmen apartmentsIf you visit Dubrovnik and want a fantastic apartment look no further than Karmen apartments. 

For a very good discount just book through THIS LINK.

View from the 2 bedroom Karmen apartment

Karmen apartmentsThe location is perfect and the price is very reasonable indeed. Marc the owner is very helpful and a hive of information. Staying here is like staying in your own home, the furniture, atmosphere and comfort is simply fantastic.

Marc van Bloemen owner of Karmen apartments

Marc van Bloemen Karmen apartmentsMarc is a friendly Englishman who will point you in the right direction for restaurants and has a great knowledge of Dubrovniks history. Dubrovnik was significantly affected by the break-up of Yugoslavia. In the early 90s, Greater Serb aggression resulted in Dubrovnik suffering its most serious existential threat. Over two thirds of the historic town’s buildings were hit by artillery. The town’s cobbled streets were struck by hundreds of direct hits. For the first time in history, the medieval city walls themselves received over a hundred direct hits. Many historic palaces were badly damaged by the resulting fires. The renowned Sponza and Rector’s palace, St Blaise’s church, the Franciscan monastery and the Amerling and Onofrio fountain all suffered severely. The total reconstruction cost was said to be some $ 10 million.

The soldiers come to town for a movie.

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian cityShooting a movie can be very tiring so naturally a soldier needs to relax in the shade. 🙂

Breathtaking Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian cityI took the cable car to the mountain top and saw this wonderful view of Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city.

A slightly longer view

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

The city looks rather small from the top of the hill.

From the cable car above Dubrovnik

Dubrobnik cable car

Snow capped mountains in the distance.

 

Black Risotto at an Irish pub

Irish pub DubrovnikThankfully it tasted better than it looked. 🙂

Azur restaurant

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian cityThis is certainly the best restaurant I found in Dubrovnik, a little hard to find but well worth the effort.

Azur Wonton soup

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Wonderful city

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

 

Here is the first of two photos I found online.

Here is the 2nd one

Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city

Both these shots are rather stunning.

 
Thanks for visiting my Dubrovnik medieval Croatian city photo blog.
 
Here are some more posts to check out
 
              Sydney                               Paris                                   Bangkok
Sydney Opera houseParis hotelGrand Palace Bangkok
               Tokyo                        Rio De Janeiro                        Budapest
TokyoCarla, what a girl. photo CopacabanabeachNov2003-128.jpgBuda Castle
           London                            Beijing                            Capetown
Kings road ChelseaDavid & the General photo DHandthegeneral.jpgDavid Herd Thailand
 
                                              Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                                                through these links below.  Book now & pay later. 🙂
                                                       Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
                                                  Amazing Bangkok busses               Amazing Bangkok busses
 
Pattaya webcam

 

That’s all folks

Beckington Trowbridge

 
 

Check out my post on Zagreb

 

Before you go please have a look at my post on Split

 

Here is a short video from the cable car.

Here is a promo video on Dubrovnik featuring Marc from Karmen apartments.

This gallery contains 6 photos