Learned Along the Way
Updated: Sep 12, 2021
Travel for me is always about discovery and figuring out how to adapt to life in a new country. The questions of not knowing the language, the currency, the customs, is part of the love of exploration. Fortunately, as I have said before, the internet holds a wealth of information that I use to help make decisions where to go, what to do and and how to get there. Instagram has been very instrumental in my decision process and gives me the desire to want to explore further. You see a great photo and wonder where it is taken, or a great restaurant recommendation of somewhere you are going, there is always that element of "wow", I want to go there. Some of the Instagram posts I have followed for this trip include:
visitcroatiarightnow, visit.croatia , croatia , croatiafulloflife, and croatiatravelinfo.
During my time here in Croatia, I have learned a number of things that might be of interest to pass onto you. First of all, the people of Croatia for the most part are very friendly and open to helping out with directions and questions. It seems everyone speaks English or least has some knowledge of the language. Before I left, I was cramming to learn important words and phrases. The accent is very hard to articulate. I've learned a few words along the way, I think they appreciate and smile when you attempt to say something Croatian.
A lot of restaurants, cafes, tours and scooter rentals require cash for payment. Grocery stores, rental cars, hotels, and ferries do accept credit cards but mostly Visa and MasterCard. It's highly recommended to always have cash with you. I just get cash out of the ATM. I'm with Wells Fargo and they charge a $5.00 transaction fee. The local currency is the Kuna, ( they have not adapted to the Euro yet) and the conversion rate works out to about 6 Kuna to the US dollar.
We've learned along the way if we get to a beach that has big blowup watersides and toys, to immediately go in the opposite direction to avoid the family crowds. Another thing to note with the beaches here, is that there are few sandy bottoms and even fewer sandy beaches.
When we say we are going to the beach here, it usually means we are looking for a flat rock to lie on with an easy rock access to get into the water. There are small pebbly beaches, but you really need water shoes to walk into the water.
One thing to be aware of in the water are the black sea urchins that cling onto the rocks. The good news about them is that it means the water is pristine clean. We were fortunate in Sucuraj to find a "beach" that someone had built a flat cement surface to lie on and steps leading into the water which is a very rare find.
In Stomorska, there were sharp rocky surfaces where they had installed ladders to make it easier to get in and out of the water. The reward for the effort of course is the water. It is warm, beautiful blue, turquoise, and sparkling clean.
There is minimal salt content in the water, however I have been reading that in the last few years the water is getting more salty due to climate change, the warming of the sea and no lake or river runoff from the rains.
August is the busiest time for tourism here as it is in most of Europe. A lot of European countries close down restaurants and people leave the cities for vacation with Croatia being one of the top five beach destinations. Covid restrictions are still in effect here. Masks are required in stores, markets, buses, ferries and crowded areas. Supposedly August 15, there will be another announcement about Covid restrictions which may affect tourists coming into the country. Since being here beginning of July, the country of Croatia has gone from green to orange due to Covid cases. Hopefully it will not get any worse.
Tomorrow we travel to the island of Korcula. We have loved our time here in Sucuraj on the island of Hvar but looking forward to a little more activity and exciting new adventures. We will miss the beautiful view that welcomed us every morning upon waking and watching the ferry from Drevnik come and go. We will also miss our morning wakeup call at 6am everyday from the chickens and roosters in our back yard and the village church bells!