Contributed by Marcy Gordon. Marcy is a freelance travel writer, published in a variety of publications, and the Forbes Travel Guide Corespondent for Napa and Sonoma. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Writing Between the Vines — Vineyard Retreats for Writers — A literary arts foundation providing residencies for writers on vineyard estates around the world. In April, Marcy joined the Blue Danube Wine team for two weeks in Dalmatia, Croatia.
Back in April I embarked on an epic two-week road trip through Dalmatia in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina with Frank Dietrich, Catherine Granger and Gisele Carig of the Blue Danube Wine team. This post kicks off my blog series that will recount all the extraordinary locations, people, vineyards, wine, food and vistas and adventures from the journey.
I would argue that a road trip is the best way to really experience a place. Sure you can travel by train or bus or boat, but to really get off the proverbial beaten track to truly go deep into a place and get into all sorts of adventures and tight spots (literally!) — you need to have a car. All of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had (both good and hair-raising) were with a foreign car in a foreign land.
Možeš, možeš — You Can Do It!
But things can go wrong in a jiffy on a road trip — getting lost is a mainstay of road trips, and getting in and out of tight spaces where cars don’t belong comes with the territory. Our very first day we were blocked in parking lot by other cars until a few helpful locals simply picked up the other car allowing us room to pass.
We learned our first and most important Croatian phrase: Možeš možeš. Možeš ti to (You can do it!) Along with a few Polako, polako’s (slowly, slowly) we were on our way to the first appointment.
Yes, having a car is more trouble. Yes, you will get lost. Yes, finding parking may be impossible. Yes, you may find yourself where no car had gone before — but the rewards are greater too.
For efficiency sake during the trip we all took on specific roles. Frank—leader and key negotiator. Catherine—navigator and relief driver. Gisele—client liaison and schedule keeper. Me? I was more than ballast, I have skills too ya know. I’m designated as the Rakija Queen and gladly step forward to take one for the team whenever the potent schnapps is presented. Trust me in Croatia it’s a very important role.
So fasten your seat belts, and follow along as I file reports for the Blue Danube Wine blog about the trip from Split/Torgir to Dubrovnik, Korcula, Ston, Kastela, Hvar, Skradin, plus Bosnia and Herzegovina and the places in between.
All photos courtesy of Marcy Gordon.
Browse all Croatian wines here.