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Cruising Croatia

My three friends and I start our cruise along Croatia's Dalmation Coast in Split, staying inside the walls of the palace built by Roman Emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century(!). As usual, I love the street markets--for food and crafts--the best, although the architecture comes in a close second. 

On the way to Dubrovnik (see below) after dolphins join us during breakfast.

Next, on to Korcula, a tiny, old town flanked by water on three sides and known as little Dubrovnik. Lovely.

Check out this selection of major Croatian contemporary and modern artists at Korcula's Vapor Art Gallery. My favorite gallery by far.

Every day we stop at a swim spot before lunch on the boat (see below). Once we arrive in port, we're on our own, which means we can explore the town in the afternoon and dine in the evening.

While swimming in the salty Adriatic (no wonder salt was the area's main commodity), I thumb a ride on the ship's pontoon boat and get to share a beer with the captain and his first mate on Scedro Island. (Yes, Croatia is a little more casual on certain fronts.) 

 

I'd sure love go back and rent one of the rooms from the island's two villas. 

Later that afternoon, we hit wildly popular Havr.  The island may not be serene, but it's gorgeous!

Nothing like stopping to do a little wine tasting in not one but two different venues on the Peljesac Peninsula. We enoy Plavac Mali and Dingac at Matusko Winery (immediately below) and later at Winery Boris M. Violic where the man himself serves us and tells us about his wines.

We end our week-long trip back in Split where we started, with a fantastic last dinner of Dalmatian comfort food in Split's Uje Oil Bar (translation: Olive Oil Bar). The main restaurant is chic and airy, but we opt for the wine bar with across the street. Who could pass up the opportunity to eat beside the restored original west wall of Diocletian's Palace?