Most Inspirational Moment
The city of Dubrovnik is a very special place to visit...probably the largest occupied old walled city that I have seen. I spent 4 days there before the hike began.
The Krka Waterfalls were very special...and could be viewed from various walkways with historical buildings along the way. On my own, I visited Plitvice Lakes National Park which is probably the #1 natural attraction, but would probably add an additional day on to the tour.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Our guide, Zelko Zarak (sp?), was very good. Not only did he know the hiking trails very well, but he also had a wealth of information about all the areas we were visiting. He provided information on the numerous changes that have taken place since Yugoslavia was abolished and the creation of several independent republics and the resultant conflicts. Hi kept a close watch over his (sheep) so they would not get lost. He also provided me with several good suggestions as to what to see after the tour was over. Thoughtful, considerate, and helpful.
Advice for Potential Travellers
- The weather, and time of the year, is probably the most important. Of course, you can prepare for the very cold, rainy, or very hot weather...I've found that just after the very beginning of September the crowds are smaller and the weather can be ideal.
-Consider the Covid restrictions. Not only where you are going, but also returning home. While I had made airline reservations for one month in the Balkans departing from the US, and was planning to spend about 9 days in Bulgaria, I discovered a few days before departure that Bulgaria was not allowing visitors from the US. So, I had to make plans on my own as to where to go and what to see/do. When I went to Ljubljana airport for my departure, I discovered that I needed a test...even though I had been vaccinated. Fortunately, the lady from Lufthansa Airline helped me to get the test and make it to my flight.
The communication from the home office in the UK was not as good as I had hoped for. (They very well could have been understaffed due to Covid 19 restrictions.)
While the forms I had to fill out required my name to be typed exactly as appears on my passport (which has my Middle Name), the forms returned to me never had my middle name. I was assured that it would be ok ...and it was. But there was still a conflict in the guidance.
The correspondence that I received on the name of the hotel we were staying in for the beginning of our tour was changed twice on the same day! It seems that the people on the home office were not aware of what was going on locally.
As to how to reach the hotel for the start of our tour in Dubrovnik, I was informed that I would have to follow certain directions and that I would then walk along a path to the hotel. These directions may have make sense when the original hotel had been selected, but for the new hotel, which was at a major intersection, they didn't make sense...and the hotel was not far from a regular bus stop.
I had the option, when selecting the tour, to request the rental of poles for 10E...which I did. When I asked our guide for the poles he said that he was never informed of this request. This was a big disappointment.
If it wasn't for the above issues, especially re the poles, I would have rated the tour as 5 stars.