In September of 2014, we took our most fondly remembered trip yet—to Croatia. We flew into Split on United Airlines and spent our first nights in the small but mighty ApartHotel Bellevue in Trogir. Mighty mostly because of the unbelievable breakfast they serve to guests. The room was pleasant, the wi-fi good, but the breakfast was superb! You name it, they served it, graciously and generously. And, for my hubby, best of best…plenty of espresso, his only preference for coffee since our first trip to Italy!

Trogir is a beguiling little town created 2300 years ago; it’s been influenced by ancient Greeks, Romans and Venetians. In 1997, it joined the UNESCO World Heritage List, declared the best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex in all of Central Europe. Its medieval core, still partly surrounded by walls, includes architecture from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods. Trogir's grandest building is the Church of St. Lawrence—its west portal by Radovan is a masterpiece considered the most significant work of the Romanesque-Gothic style in all of Croatia.

We wandered happily around Trogir, delighted with the first stop on our grand Croatian adventure. Since we took this particular trip before we decided to write about our travels, we neglected to detail all the places we ate, but suffice it to say, wherever we went in Croatia, dining was a delicious and surprisingly inexpensive proposition. From Trogir, we caught a bus to Dubrovnik. 

​Dubrovnik’s not-to-be-missed activity is walking the walls that surround the city—all 1.2 miles of them. From the wall, you gaze over the entire city and out to the sea, from a wide variety of viewpoints. Dubrovnik—known as the 'Pearl of the Adriatic'—is the Dalmatian coast and was an important Mediterranean Sea power from the 13th century on. Although severely damaged by a 1667 earthquake, Dubrovnik kept its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. It was devastated again in the 1990s by armed conflict, and as you walk the wall, new roofs constructed after the bombings that occurred mingle with rubble that still remains from them. A special photography exhibit in a corner of the wall showed the extent of the destruction and was a horrific depiction of what war can do. 

​In Dubrovnik, we stayed up on a hill, beyond the city walls in Apartments Dubčić , a pleasant room and bath that shared a common kitchen, washing machine and rooftop clothesline overlooking the harbor. Our host pointed us toward Magellan Caffe Restaurant for dinner, and it was so good, we went back a second time. But most often, we ate at whichever 10-foot-long or shorter row of tables that we meandered through, up and down nearly all the side streets of Dubrovnik. The only way to tell you’d walked from one restaurant to another was the changing place settings, tablecloths and menus. And though we weren’t recording our restaurant choices back then, we made no restaurant choices we regretted anywhere
in Croatia. 

​Wandering in Dubrovnik, in a corner not far from the visitor center, we found jazz musicians and singers performing, so we stopped for drinks and enjoyed the music. At one point, we were cut off by a production crew from Game of Thrones setting up to film a new episode of the show. Further, on the steps of St. Lawrence, a bride and groom were exiting and tossing candy to the crowds below—one beaned me on the head—undoubtedly a sign of good luck. That luck was confirmed when we left Dubrovnik by the Adriatic Sea for a Katarina Line cruise of the Dalmatian Islands.