I’ve known my friend Tony for about 14 years and one of the most accurate and honest things he ever told me was “get ready to be wowed”! This of course was in reference to visiting Dubrovnik. Tony is Croatian (naturally), so he compiled a comprehensive list of To Do & To See Croatia for us. Our expectations of the old city were A-grade and Tony’s succinct advice only elevated them to a higher degree.
It was about 6 hours to our next destination (Makarska), a combo of highway and national road driving. The E65 (aka the Adriatic Highway), is the coastal road that runs down to Croatia’s most southern point and offers hours of viewing pleasure. Undulating around the rugged limestone coast, we drove by myriads of towns lining up the beachfront. And it was in one of these little towns that we paused for lunch, followed by an irresistible dip in the water. The arid landscape reminded us of southern France and the calanques, not to mention the vegetation.
Driving directly west past Zagreb into Croatia was fairly uneventful – the road was long and straight and the landscape was flat. But all that changed right as we approached Istria, the grand peninsula prominently protruding into the Adriatic Sea. Mountains appeared all around us and the highway turned and twisted along through numerous tunnels.