Letouttoplay

Life, photos but not the universe

Going right back

I’m planning to do a lot of this.  After all it’s a virtual world right?  So you can’t be expecting chronological precision.

Croatia in April.

I will tell you about our day with Lydia’s husband – He was our driver for the trip to Mostar and Lydia (a lovely woman who normally works in Dubrovnik but was free to fill in with transport on this occasion) took us from Mlini to meet him on the other side of Dubrovnik as the roadworks in the city were causing delays of up to an hour.  We really liked Lydia.  I never quite caught her husband’s name so I shall call him Gerry.   He spoke with emphasis but indistinctly and a lot and as we were in the back of his mini bus we had to make wild guesses about most of what he told us.

Gerry was a huge, fair skinned, greying man with a big smoking habit and he had lots of opinions and vast knowledge about the history of Croatia and Bosnia Herzogevina.  He stopped at a roadside cafe with a nice view of a bay so that we could have “very good coffee and is not very expensive and you can have very nice cakes and a lovely view from the balcony”. (See? Lovely.)

DSC_2064-CS5

Although we missed a lot of the information he offered we did understand that he was also offering an alternative to the regular trip which would involve a ‘beautiful torrent’and a good cheap meal of fresh fish.  Since the regular stop was apparently at a catholic church with “a lot of Madonnas – Madonnas here and there and everywhere – I have never seen so many Madonnas, very popular with the Italian visitors”, we all agreed to the change.  (Us and three american boys, one of whom had exactly the same camera and lens as me)

Gerry told us at every stop, “no hurry, stay as long as you want (except in Mostar where I have to book the parking), half hour, an hour, no problem”.

Of the ruined Roman villa  he said “it is worth five minutes of your time, don’t go up the wooden steps, they are very dangerous, go through the cafe”.

DSC_2130-CS5

At the ancient Turkish village of Pocitelj (Pochitelli), miraculously overlooked and neither bombed nor sacked by any of the armies who passed by it, he said “stay as long as you like.  There is no hurry.  Lunch will wait”.  I could have stayed there all day – for one thing the climb to the tower at the top was a long haul.  (There will be more pictures of Pocitelj.  It was enchanting)

DSC_2151-CS5 DSC_2168-CS5

Of Mostar he said “The only thing worth seeing is the bridge and the museum with the film of the destruction of the bridge.  The bazaar is a single street – goes up to the bridge on both sides.  It is like all such streets, full of stuff for tourists to buy.  The rest of Mostar is not worth a visit.  Is quite ugly in fact.  I do not advise you to eat there, at this time of year the food is not all eaten on one day.  There is risk of stomach upsets.  You will not want to spend more than one hour and a half in Mostar.”

DSC_2334-CS52  DSC_2366-CS5  DSC_2376-CS5

Then he took us to his off-piste lunch spot at Blagaj and it was absolutely fantastic.  Think ice-green water pouring out of a hole in at the bottom of a cliff, a hundred yards away,

DSC_2696-CS5

and tumbling down beside wooden steps and tables laid with fish straight out of the water and herbs and salad grown on the mountain side (Our table was the nearest one, right next to the weir).  Beats Madonnas every time.  I was daring and tried the local speciality – fried eel.  It was very nice – perhaps one or two too many fins but mostly crispy and tasty.

DSC_2723-CS5

Then he stopped at a roadside stall selling wonderful homemade preserves and fresh fruit with a fabulous view overlooking the Neretva Delta and we all got to try crystallized lemon and orange peel and dried figs and carob bars and bought bags of enormous strawberries.

DSC_2806-CS5

Last stop was to see a gigantic tree.  Gerry said it was an oak but it really looked like a Plane Tree.

DSC_2824-CS5

Anyway it was huge – 12 men needed to reach round it hand to hand  (and there’s Barney, touching it with one hand).

DSC_2854-CS5

All in one day!  I’m exhausted after reliving it all.

Sleep well.

Advertisements

July 9, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

14 Comments »

  1. What are you doing awake at this time?! Lovely rendition, feel I was there along side you and beautiful pictures.

    Comment by Linda | July 9, 2013 | Reply

  2. It sounds like a whole holiday’s worth! How marvellous.

    Comment by Z | July 9, 2013 | Reply

  3. I don’t think the chronology matters at all, just reading your ‘of the moment’ text and looking at the wonderful scenery is an experience I’ve really enjoyed. And that pic of the weir is brilliant! I could see the motion of the water. I think you were lucky with your Gerry, he had some really good ideas…

    Comment by Carol | July 9, 2013 | Reply

  4. Ok – where’s my comment? I read and thoroughly enjoyed Gerry’s outing (was he of German origin?) and commented on it last night when you posted, to show I was wide awake also. I must have dropped off before posting! The illustration is as ever delightful, I would go there/feel I’ve been there just on this story ~ hey perhaps a travel book?! xx

    Comment by Linda | July 9, 2013 | Reply

  5. I was with you all the way until …the fried eel! Stunning looking place though.

    Comment by Rog | July 9, 2013 | Reply

  6. My comments keep getting eaten I think…

    Comment by Rog | July 9, 2013 | Reply

  7. It’s like throwing a message down a well, or saying something on Google Plus…

    Comment by Rog | July 9, 2013 | Reply

  8. Can’t seem to leave comments – has WordPress banned me?

    Comment by Rog | July 9, 2013 | Reply

  9. WOW. I’d take Gerry over a tour bus any day of the week! What amazing photos. And what a brave woman to eat eel. OMG… The water is an amazing colour and you captured the turbulence well. And that tree–fantastic. But it was the old stone bridge and the streets that warmed my heart. What an amazing place.

    Comment by Mel | July 10, 2013 | Reply

  10. I’m with Mel on this.. And I think Gerry is probably the only one telling the Mostar “truth” we hear about the bridge and the village in almost every travelogue…but not G’s tummy tips. 😉

    Comment by dinahmow | July 10, 2013 | Reply

  11. It was one of the best trips we’ve ever done Carol and I do agree, Gerry was a wonderful guide.

    Yes Mel, I was brave and rewarded for it. Photos – I was terrified that I’d come home without the essence of all that wonderful scenery but actually, even a tourist postcard set would have worked. It was magical.

    Gerry told us a lot of history Di and it was all seasoned with dry humour and more than a little cynicism. We found the film of the destruction of the bridge that he mentioned and it was very moving. But I have to say I could have spent a whole ‘nother day with the camera there – it’s true the rest of the town was uninspiring but the essential bits were quite stunning.

    Comment by Mig | July 10, 2013 | Reply

  12. No wonder the half of Croatia’s inhabitants tat currently reside in Small Local Town look so miserable the whole time – so would I if I were leaving that sort of scenery!

    Loved the photos – excellent capture of the bird going into the cave.

    Comment by Blue Witch | July 11, 2013 | Reply

  13. How blue is that sky? Beautiful photos. Sounds like a fascinating trip.

    Comment by Liz | July 11, 2013 | Reply

  14. Not kowing what Small Local Town is like I can’t compare Blue Witch, but I would need something pretty good to compensate me if I came from there to here.

    It was the bluest sky we’d seen for a long time Liz!

    Comment by Mig | July 13, 2013 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: