09.06.2010 - 17.06.2010
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We left for Rome on the 9th of June looking forward to the next leg of our trip and for our visit to Rome we picked up a couple of extras to accompany us. We were told on many occaisions that Rome was a fantastic city and after fighting the by now usual squabble of taxi drivers wanting to take us to our destination we made it to our accommodation and the patiently waiting owner Franco. We were reasonably close to the centre in a massive appartment block near the train termini with a conviently located ice cream factory directly opposite. There is plenty of transport to get you around Rome but the city is not so big that you can walk leisurely around the main sights. The buildings are definately the stand out feature in Rome, they are all so big although not ugly and the historical buildings such as the Coloseum and Vatican are fascinating because of their history. We blitzed the main attractions in 2 days but were unable to go into the Vatican due to the huge queue. It was a 3 hour queue in 30 degrees of heat and this time of year its the same every day. It was disappointing but we agreed it would have to be a trip for another time. So for our final two days we struggled to find something to do but then just strolling, eating and drinking seemed to fill the days adeqately.
We said goodbye to Sam and Hannah on the 14th and took the Eurostar to Bari where we then boarded the Azzuraline ferry to Dubrovnik. An overnight ferry that took 9 hours where we woke to the Croatian coastline bathed in sunshine and were even treated to a show from some dolphins as we neared our destination.
Croatia seemed comfortable from the start and although there were the obligatory touts waiting for us at the ferry terminal they were happy to accept our first answer of no thankyou to their offers of accommodation etc and were never pushy. Croatian people are friendly and were always happy to help when we looked unsure where to go. Guesthouse Mary on the Lapad Peninsula was our accommodation and although perched high on top of a hill the views were spectacular which the same could not be said of some of the sights on the beach as here is where we have seen the ultimate in male swimwear. Speedo's seem to be the thing to wear in Europe especially with the older man and quite often as i have been told by Ali not very flattering either. We do not have anything against those men who have confidence in their own ability!! but the bright pink speedo's this time was perhaps a step to far but hillarious for all those brave enough to stare. The beach itself although pebbled was nice and the whole area seemed unspoilt by tourism and would be interesting to see what happens here in years to come. The likes of Spain, Portugal etc will now be scrubbed of our sun and beach destinations in favour of more authentic Croatian style.
An evening trip around the Old Dubrovnik town on our final night ensured a return would be guarenteed.
P.s And for Bill and Linda this time no mention of money!