A Journal, with Pictures

Croatia 2014

by on Jun.08, 2014, under Flying, Happenings

View from our room

View from our room

On Wednes­day, May 28 we arrived in Dubrovnik from Rome via Munich. Since my moth­er’s side of the fam­i­ly came from this part of the world, we had want­ed to vis­it Croa­t­ia for many years. This turned out to be the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty. On land­ing we could see there were already a num­ber of Cir­rus on the field at the very mod­ern Dubrovnik air­port. Our cab dri­ver turned out to be a very nice man who gave us a tour guides nar­ra­tive as we wound along the coast to our hotel, the Vala­mar Lacro­ma. We checked into the hotel and at the COPA reg­is­tra­tion desk and went to our room. After get­ting set­tled we did a lit­tle explor­ing, tak­ing the view of the Dal­ma­t­ian Coast. Ear­ly evening we met the oth­er arriv­ing COPA mem­bers for cock­tails on the ter­race while watch­ing a spec­tac­u­lar sun­set. We then enjoyed din­ner at restau­rant Lan­gus­to at the hotel. We met a num­ber of Euro­pean mem­bers and enjoyed hear­ing about their flights to Dubrovnik.

Friday dinner

Thurs­day after a great break­fast at the hotel, again over­look­ing the sea, we join the orga­nized coun­try­side tour. The tour took us along the coast, past the air­port, out into the coun­try side. Our first stop was to vis­it a typ­i­cal coun­try house that was over 500 years old. We then pro­ceed­ed to The Cas­tle of Sokol. This fortress has been in exis­tence since the first cen­tu­ry and has played a major role in pro­tect­ing Dubrovnik through the years. We then trav­eled to a coun­try Inn where we enjoyed a typ­i­cal large Croa­t­ian lunch includ­ing local wine. It was a very jol­ly lunch,and we added more COPA mem­bers as friends.

Country Tour guide Sokol CastleView from SokolCountry Lunch

After lunch we returned to the hotel and attend­ed the flight brief­ing for the flight to Mostar the next morn­ing. This is a 25 minute VFR flight, and I must say the most thor­ough­ly planned 25 minute flight I have ever wit­nessed. First the COPA Europe mem­bers are very well orga­nized and sec­ond­ly, the local avi­a­tion author­i­ties imposed spe­cial rules to keep the flight of over 15 air­craft safe.

Brdiefing for Mostar

After the brief­ing time we board­ed bus­es for the short trip to the Old City for din­ner at restau­rant Klar­isa. Anoth­er very pleas­ant and jol­ly evening. The next morn­ing, after break­fasts we board­ed bus­es for the air­port. Joyce and I were paired up with two Europe mem­bers who hap­pened to fly a Piper Merid­i­an. Ron­nie and Christoph turned out to be very nice and treat­ed us to a mil­lion dol­lar view of the coast that includ­ed a approach and low fly by to a grass strip on one of the islands. Very impres­sive air­plane and a added treat for us. We were joined by our guide and start­ed our tour of Mostar, Bosnia, that showed lots of evi­dence from the war that took place in the 1990’s. Bul­let pock marks on build­ings, shell holes in some build­ing and some still not rebuilt. The city is inhab­it­ed by both believ­ers in Islam and Christ, but is pur­port­ed to be peace­ful today. We vis­it­ed a typ­i­cal old Turk­ish house, and enjoyed cof­fee and sweets, then toured the vil­lage includ­ing the mar­ket before stop­ping for lunch. Mostar is locat­ed on a riv­er and has a very famous pic­turesque bridge and cob­ble­stone streets. We had lunch with one a Euro­pean cou­ple, he  from the UK and she  from Ger­many, and they had toured the South West­ern US by Cirrus.

Ddubrovnik flight linePiper Glass CockpitDalmation CoastMostar Guide Enjoying Turkish coffeeMostar Bridge

After return­ing from Mostar we fresh­ened up and then took the short walk to restau­rant Lido where we enjoyed a typ­i­cal Croa­t­ian din­ner and folk­lore enter­tain­ment. Sat­ur­day there were Sem­i­nars, how­ev­er Joyce and I elect­ed to start our tour of the Old City of Dubrovnik ear­ly. We walked the city which is beau­ti­ful, hav­ing been essen­tial­ly almost com­plete­ly restored after war. Many of the inhab­i­tants have moved out of the old city to the new city because the prop­er­ty val­ues our high­er for shops and tourist attrac­tions. The streets were packed with tourists from the cruise ships that had docked, but the city was still very impres­sive even though it was crowd­ed. We explored, vis­it­ed the out­door mar­ket and walked half of the wall, which is a chal­leng­ing walk. After lunch we joined the COPA group for a gon­do­la ride up the hill behind the city for a spec­tac­u­lar view, then the guid­ed tour of the city.

Main street DubrovnikMain Square DubrovnikDubrovnik ChurchDubrovnik MarketDubrovnik square Old City from Wall Some of my people

It was warm and the shad­ed side streets with their lit­tle shops were appeal­ing espe­cial­ly one of the gela­to shops. All the shops are marked with  with the name of the estab­lish­ment on uni­form lanterns.

Dubrovnik from the gondolaOld City side streetDolce VitaGelato TimeDubrovnik HarborDubrovnik GuideMain Fountain DubrovnikDubrovnik FountainJoyce Lisa and Andy

After the tour we relaxed and got ready for the E12 Migra­tion Gala at the hotel. This was a very fes­tive event, with beau­ti­ful dec­o­ra­tions and a band. After din­ner, a cou­ple of dances and say­ing good-by to the many new friends we made and the old ones we enjoyed, we head­ed for bed ear­ly. Next morn­ing the alarm went off at 3:00 AM and we start­ed our jour­ney back. Reflect­ing dur­ing the long flight we both agreed, vis­it­ing Croa­t­ia with the COPA group made it even more spe­cial and made it a great trip.

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