So here are some specifics on my trip:
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Croatia and hope to return again next year.
Loved the seaside villages and medieval mountaintop villages: Rovinj was delightful, Motovun and Groznjan very special. I could have skipped Pula, there wasn't enough there to capture my attention.
The truffle hunt was a treat, Visnja made it a very complete experience: historical background, hunting with the dogs, delicious food prepared with the truffle we found.
Dinner at Puntulina was a slight disappointment, I thought they were a victim of their own success. Ivan, my driver, suggested Konoba Jure, he knows Jure, who spoiled me with several very nice dishes, very fresh and a friendly atmosphere. I was happy.
Rossana was very pleasant and informative, she's eager to please.
Monte Mulini was a great choice: extremely comfortable and well located. Consistent service.
Mario is passionate about Plitvice and appreciates anyone that shows similar interest. Starting early in the morning was the right decision, I didn't feel overwhelmed with people, we did both the upper and lower lakes.
Toni was a good choice, more than a driver, he is also a very knowledgeable guide. I appreciated his directness and honesty, it worked for me.
Nice transition point. Low key. Hotel Bastion was very comfortable and centrally located.
Ivana was extremely knowledgeable and filled with self confidence; she would be great with educators and well educated audiences.
Lunch at Pet Bunara and dinner next door at Proto. Both excellent choices.
Convenient that I saw a lot in under two hours. Tina was a treat, wonderful personality who understands her audience.
Lunch at Pelegrini was so special, I don't think I need to say more. Everything I could have imagined and more.
Crowded and hot, I enjoyed the early morning hours and late evening without the people. Very much enjoyed the tour of Diocletian's Palace, especially the cellars. Tina was informative, but a bit too much of the "schoolteacher".
Hotel Judita Palace was another great choice, perfect location. Andrea (?) at the front desk took very good care of me, he's quite the character.
Dinner at Makarun was very nice, as was Chops Grill.
Trogir & Tatjana
Love, Laughter and Good Food! Very fun experience with Tatjana. Throughly enjoyed our conversations while she whipped up enough food for the entire neighborhood! Very special lady.
Ivona & the Melody
What can I say, it was the highlight of my holiday, so very special. Ivona is one of a kind, a beautiful person inside and out, an excellent sailor. I trusted her completely, and felt safe at all times, even as we motored through 5 1/2 hours of rain. She understood me and took me to locations that met my needs: quiet bays and less touristy islands. Her dinner recommendations were spot on, she made sure I enjoyed my week. Ivona--unique and a treasure. My dreams came true on the Melody.
After a week of solitude on a sailboat, it was pure culture shock. Crowded and hot, the old town was nice to see, but more so in the early morning. Again, the Hotel Excelsior was perfectly located, I was pleased with the accommodations.
I enjoyed my time with Vesna, she didn't push it, oriented me to old town, showed me the highlights.
I dined twice at Posat, it was perfect--food, service, location.
I just want to make sure you understand my feelings about the day. I think the day is well designed and the tour a great experience. I appreciate everything Mario did to make sure I enjoyed myself. I know this was a lot of work for him, especially the day before harvest. I enjoyed going to his home and the delicious food prepared for me. Mario is extremely knowledgeable.
Having said this, I did not enjoy myself as I had on previous other tours; I felt like I was a "captive audience" for Mario, it was a 6 hour monologue with nowhere to turn. I needed more space. Perhaps it was because I was a solo traveler, perhaps sitting in the front seat with him did not provide the distance I needed. Whatever the underlying cause, it was not my best experience.
Very interesting country and history, but not sure it was worth 6 hours in a car thru not so interesting countryside. And definitely not worth it had it rained. Vedran was a good choice to drive, he respected my space and my needs. Selmir (?) was a good guide, I liked his sense of humor. He made sure to integrate a "lesson" on the horrors of the war, he's trying to educate the world, one visitor at a time.
Amazing how the landscape changed so dramatically as we crossed the border. I so enjoyed Perast and Our Lady of the Rocks, even in the rain. Katarina weaved a lovely story of the maritime history with the modern day lifestyle and culture.
Kotor, while beautiful country, the landscape was spoiled by the cruise ship docked at the port. Old Town was nice but did not hold much interest for me.
Mariana, I had a fabulous holiday, I can't thank you enough for all you did. Nothing short of remarkable. I hope this has been helpful, please feel free to contact me with any further questions or concerns.