I had a relative good flight home. The tour was enjoyed by everyone and I want to thank you for all you did. Here is some feedback.
Sarajevo: All about Sarajevo was perfect. The hotel could not have been better located and the hotel itself was very nice, very comfortable new rooms. The dinner at Dvery was very good with good local food. After an initial misunderstanding of just one d rink with dinner, the problem was quickly solved – they checked it and the wine was flowing freely..
The drive to Dubrovnik was very scenic and we had a good stop in Mostar with one of the most memorable lunches. The food was good but, the view over the mountains, the sunshine and great service made for a perfect lunch stop. Everyone was impressed with Dubrovnik and loved their stay at Pucic Palace, so convenient. Some of the rooms overlooked the square in front of the hotel and my room and the room for Kitchen and Wray looked out on their terrace restaurant. On the second night they had a party there and a live band which made going to sleep impossible until midnight when it ended. The next evening they had another party but it started earlier and was over by nine. It rained the morning we had the city tour, but I asked the restaurant if we could sit in the bar while Jasmina was telling us a bit a bit about the history of Dubrovnik. This actually worked out very well and we did it several other times. It is much more leisurely than standing in the street. The lunch at Maarojice Kaboge was very good, upscale cooking, but we had a set menu and were told it has to be the fish menu. No one minded, but the steamed cold cold tune (exceptionally good in my opinion) but some asked to have it put on the grill since they thought it was raw tune which of course is was not. We also had just one small glass of wine each and paid for additional. The restaurant was not very busy, in fact we were the only guests during the whole meal. But from the looks of it, I think this restaurant is more a dinner restaurant than a place were people go for lunch.
On the free day everyone went up to the everyone went up to the peak which was very much enjoyed and all had lunch there. This may be a good alternative to eating in town. While everyone went up to the peak I went to look at the Excelsior and its sister hotel the Argentina. When Pucic Palace has a great location in town, the view over the Dubrovnik from these hotels is spectacular. But I was most impressed with Villa Ursula, it’s a fantastic little hotel and I loved it. In fact I quite seriously considering staying there if I do this tour again.
Split: Everyone loved Split and those who stayed at Judita Palace loved the place. The Hotel Coronado was very good as well and definitely the best option for the man who could not walk well. Beside, it was very close to Judita Palace. Dinner at Restaurant Konoba Korta was great, very good food, very good service. It is a small restaurant and most of their tables are outside, but it was raining this had to eat inside. The owner was very congenial and suggested all his specialties and the wine flowed freely. Fun evening.
The city tour and the tour in Trogir was very enjoyable, as was the lunch there.
Losinj: Unfortunately as you know we could not take the boat. High winds, and the sea was very rough. When we arrived in Zadar they thought we may be able to take the boat after all. We went to a hotel where we had cocoa while the guide gave us some history of Zadar. but the weather did not improve and thus we took the bus with Kristijan. It was a long drive and we made the ferry to Losinj with two minutes to spare. Everyone was a little tired as we drove the hour from the ferry to the hotel. The Hotel Belvedare more than made up for the long drive. It is an amazing place. Five-star plus. The weather had improved a lot and we had two days of sunshine there. After we arrived, we met in the bar where we had something to drink and to eat. The half-board dinner is expensive, but I suggest that on the first night, dinner at the hotel should be included since there is nothing nearby to go out to eat. On the second night we went to Veli Losinj, a small fishing harbor a few km from the hotel. We had invited Kristijan to eat with us and had a great seafood dinner at the Marina Restaurant on the harbor. When you open the web site for Lonsinj Island, the picture that comes up is this little town. I would definitely include dinner there into a tour to Losinj.
Rovinj: The Hotel Monte Mulini is not far behind Belvedere. Very luxurious and the grounds are fabulous, the walk into town is very easy. Dinner at the Puntalina Restaurant was greatly enjoyed by all. I had gone there in the afternoon to check on the dinner and the table. They gave us great table looking out onto the sea. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the the evening. The tour to Pula was good, we decided to do in the morning which was a good decision. The Coliseum is fascinating, but there is not much else in Pula and we went back to the hotel instead of the walking tour. It was a hot day and everyone wanted to to spend the afternoon enjoying the fabulous grounds and swimming pools at the hotel.
Buzet: The drive from Rovinj to Buzet is scenic, but the drive up to the town is not easy for a bus the size we had. The drive was short and we should have left the hotel at noon, since the rooms were not ready when we arrived thus we spend an hour on the terrace of a hotel in the town below. It was very difficult to take the bus up since there are no places to turn it around. The hotel send a small car down to pick up the man who could not walk well. Kristijan took us as far as the town gate from where it was a short walk to the hotel. They transferred out luggage with the small hotel car. By the time we arrived at the hotel we had a thunderstorm that lasted a couple hours. Buzet is a very small town, there is nothing in town at all, no stores, there are two galleries but they had not yet opened. At one time we were going to have a bakery snack there, but the bakery does not open till June. The dinner was in a rather plain restaurant near the hotel since the hotel’s restaurant was not yet open. The truffle menu was nothing very special, cheese with dried truffles, noodles with dried turffles, chicken and vegetables, and ice cream with dried truffels. They also had an issue with the wine. Only one small glass was included. She di however, bring a small carafe of extra wine and said ist was a present. I bought another bottle of wine for everyone. I don’t know if I would include Buzet again, it very difficult to for the bus to get there. Kristijan had to back down a windy road quite a ways, when we first had driven up and were told the rooms are not ready. Buzet is a unique in its own quaint way though. I walked around the town outside the walls that enclose it, which was quite enjoyable and impressive, but people have to be good walkers since it is just a narrow foot path.
There is a supposedly very good restaurant 17 km before getting to Buzet, set at the foot of a hill with a castle. This could be a good place to have dinner if it would not be such a difficult drive up and down the hill from Buzet. A bigger bus than what we had could not get to Buzet at all.
Zagreb: I liked the Hotel Dubrovnik very much. The location is more than perfect. The hotel has a new wing with attractive rooms. But the original hotel facing the square is in my opinion the best. The rooms are big, although a little dated. New furniture, curtains and carpets would improve it greatly. All in all it is a very good hotel. Both dinners were great. Trilogija was fantastic, very good food and wine, and great service. I had a bit of hard time finding it. No one really knew where it was. Eventually though I found, but it is not in the walking zone. It is up the hill to the upper town alongside a road. Walking leisurely it is about 20 minutes from the hotel, but the road is fairly steep. Thus I suggested for everyone to take a taxi. Kathy Kitchen and I would have been the only ones who could have walked it in ten minutes.
The tour to Samobor was nice, although it was raining. There is not much in Samobor except the restaurants around the town square, which is quaint. There is a very interesting museum though with furnishings from the Austro/Hungarian Empire days. Among the artifacts are three absolute fabulous tiled stoves. I would definitely include it in another tour. Another interesting museum is the Croation Museum of Naïve Art in the upper town of Zagreb. It is half a block from the stop of the Funicular. It displays the paintings of five well known artists from the around the 1960s. Even people who don’t like museums, would be amused by it.
As to the guides, they were all very nice and very good. Dajana in Sarjevo was very kind and fun to have along.
The guide is Mostar was good but we had her such a short time that we did not really get to know her to much.
Jasmina in Dubrovnik was very intelligent and knew her history. She made her commentary very interesting and it was enjoyable to listen to her.
Maris in Split was great, we all liked her a lot. She took Mickey, the man who could not walk well, under her arm and he was more than impressed with her. Had a smile on his face the whole time. She was fun.
The guide in Zadar again was with us a very short time, but she gave us a good insight into Zadar and its long history while we sipped our hot chocolate at the hotel. We enjoyed having her along.
In Rovinj the guide did not dwell long on history, but told us much about the life in Rovinj and in the countryside around it, and the food and wines of the area which interested all of u.
The guide in Zagreb gave us a lot of insight in the city and had Kristijan take us through some of the interesting sections of Zagreb. Of course in Samobor wasn’t to much to talk about , but she told us some rather interesting things about the old section of Sambor and its legends and some true stories from the past.
No need to say much about Kristijan. We all loved him, he is a very good driver, to back down the narrow winding road from Buzet, truly showed his driving skills. I suggest you book him for any American groups. Below is a picture of Kristijan at the dinner in Vali Losingj with Kathy Kitchen and Bob Wray.