|We cannot give enough praise to this country. With medieval walled cities, crystal clear seas, 1185 islands (66 inhabitated) and the most perfect fishing villages you just can't go wrong. Oh did we mention, the pasta here was the best we tasted in Europe (sorry Italy).
It was here we became introduced to the idea of people meeting you at the ferry/bus/train station and offering you a room in their house. Basically as soon you step off, and have a backpack, you are surrounded and mobbed by several people. They typically have pictures of their house, a map of where it is, and they all talk at the same time. It is all a bit scary a first but when you get used to it, you learn to just conduct a kind of interview process to get the best place at the right price - the best we managed was $18 for a double room with a balcony with a little granny who didn't speak a world of English except "140 kuna - nice place - center town" - sounded good to us! You never really know what it will be like or where you'll end up, but its fun and you always have the option of leaving.
We took an overnight ferry from the north (Rijeka) to the Southern Islands of Hvar and Korcula. Both are medieval walled cities that are totally unspoiled, with an air of Venice due to the former Venetion rule.
Hvar apparently gets more sunshine than anywhere else in Croatia (2724 hours a year) and the harbor is full of sailing boats from around the world. We took a day trip to one island just off shore, which Erin thought was a nature reserve. It turned out the people were more with "nature" than the wildlife (it was actually a naturalist island). This was an amusing few hours.
With a couple more ferries and a bus ride through the southern coastline (fantastic) we travled to Dubrovnik. This is the city Lord Byron called "the pearl of the Adriatic". It was a "wow" place, the sort of place you just open your mouth and go "wow"! The cream marble streets are so clean you could eat off of them and are filled with cafes and great resturants. We walked around the wall from which you can see all of the roofs that were replaced after the bombings by the Serbs in 1990. Almost everything was hit and is now rebuilt. The wall also gives a great view of the narrow winding streets and is great workout due to the countless number of steps.
In all if we were to return to one country so far, Croatia would be the one.