Croatia, Rome, & Sicily

We are nearing the end of our first summer visitor. My sister has been here for about a month and leaves at the end of the week. Her visit has been wonderful – we’ve explored around Sicily, eaten a lot of bruschetta, spent a lot of time at the beach, and went to Croatia for our second big vacation. Christy and I had our tickets booked, but didn’t know if Sean would be able to go until just a couple days before. So we booked him a last minute flight, and he was able to spend the week in Croatia.

We had heard a lot of good things about Croatia, but still didn’t know exactly what to expect. Upon arrival though, we all voted that it was stellar. The water is clear and blue, the towns are darling and picturesque, and the whole country is beautiful. English is widely spoken and their infrastructure is good, so it’s very easy to get around. We spent our first few days in Cavtat, just south of Dubrovnik. We would spend our mornings swimming off the rocks in Cavtat, and then go into Dubrovnik for the afternoon. IMG_8288 IMG_8227IMG_7571 (2)Dubrovnik is a medieval town built on the southern coast of Croatia. The wall surrounding the city still stands, and the city itself is beautiful. It was bombed heavily during the war in 1991 for about 7 months, and the majority of the buildings were hit. It has been carefully rebuilt and restored though, and there is little evidence of the destruction. The city is a maze of stone roads and buildings, we enjoyed wandering around, eating mussels, and exploring. 

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Streets of Dubrovnik

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Dubrovnik from the city walls

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Dubrovnik old city harbor

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Walking the walls

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Big pot of mussels

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Dubrovnik

From Dubrovnik, we took a bus up to Split, where we spent a couple nights. IMG_8444 IMG_8443In Split, we rented a car and drove up to Plitvice Lakes National Park. We had seen pictures of it, and it was part of why we picked Croatia. It did not disappoint. It looks like a fairy land of rocks and waterfalls. We spent two days there walking along the wooden paths over and around the water. 

IMG_8505 IMG_8497 IMG_8481 IMG_7651 (2) IMG_8567 IMG_8560 IMG_7683 (2) IMG_7680 (2) IMG_7676 (2) IMG_8552 Our last night in Croatia we spent in Trogir, and in the morning we flew out. Sean went back to Sicily to go to work, and Christy and I headed to Rome for a few days. We saw most of the big sights, had many cones of gelato, hung out in the piazzas, and ate pasta carbonara every day. Christy had two friends that were in Rome at the same time, so we spent an evening with them. We were also able to meet our cousin’s boyfriend Fede, who took us on a tour of the city at night. IMG_8595 IMG_8608 IMG_8591 Now, we are back in Sicily. We went down to Villa Romana del Casale, a 4th century villa that contains the largest collection of Roman mosaics in the world. The villa was covered by a mudslide centuries ago, and only recently rediscovered and excavated. Since it had been covered in mud for so many centuries, it’s extremely well preserved. The place is massive, and beautiful. IMG_8656 IMG_8653August 17th was the festival of Saint Agatha in Catania. Saint Agatha is the patron saint of Catania. There is a three day festival in February commemorating when she was martyred, and August celebrates when her relics were returned to Catania. The whole piazza is crowded with people, and at dusk her relics are carried around the city in a procession, followed by lots of fireworks. IMG_8626 A few days ago, Christy and I took a drive down to some of the hill towns in southern Sicily. We stopped in Ragusa and Noto, beautiful towns that were mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, but have been rebuilt.

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Etna has been erupting off and on for the past few months. Christy and I drove up a few weeks ago to check out the eruptions, you could actually see the lava flow and bursts from the freeway along the coast. IMG_8200 My parents and grandmother come in a couple days, so we will have more adventures to come.

 

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About roxy jamieson

Discovering life in Sicily.
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3 Responses to Croatia, Rome, & Sicily

  1. Sally Dunbar says:

    I LOVE your tales of adventure, and can’t wait to be in one!!!!

    *It’s a good life! *

    *Will you support me as I walk the Susan G. Komen 3 Day in Seattle later this year? I’ll walk 60 miles in 3 days, and plan to raise $4,600 for breast cancer support and research. Donate here , and thanks so much!*

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  2. Kathy says:

    Wow. I love your photos and the stories behind them. You have been in paradise on earth! Looks like you have had a great time with Christie and I bet she hates to leave. I’m very excited for the rest of your family coming to you tomorrow! I can’t wait to see the next posting.
    Living through your experiences,
    K

  3. Mary McDonald says:

    WOW! What a wonderful and fantastic adventure for you! I look forward to reading these and love the pictures! Have the time of your life!

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