Monday, 27 October 2014

Exploring wonderful Dubrovnik, Croatia

Having had a wonderful drive from the airport the helpful receptionist (Nika) at Hotel More  (pronounced Morey) recommended us each purchasing a special tourist discount card called a "Dubrovnik Card" from the local tourist office.  She explained it was actually two cards, one gave us free travel on the buses and the other free access to museums, art galleries and "the famous city wall" (10 locations in all).  She also gave us a very useful map with the city on one side and the whole area on the other side where she planted a cross showing us where the hotel was. When in a foreign country it is always reassuring to know where you are laying your head!

Having unpacked in lovely rooms and tested out all the switches etc. we went about exploring, first the hotel and then the cliff path in front of it.  The cave bar blew our minds it was so cleverly arranged.  Then we had dinner, went for an evening stroll along the cliff path in front of the hotel and then crashed out.

The next morning after a robust breakfast we walked to the tourist office exchanged some currency and collected our Dubrovnik Cards.  A bus came along straightaway and we shoe horned ourselves onto it.  It was the rush hour.  I got chatting to a chap from the UK who had been there nearly a week and he kindly recommended some things to do and places to visit.  I was holding on too tight to write anything down but fortunately Rosalind was eves dropping and she has total recall.

When we got to the bus station just outside the old walled town it was heaving with people, apparently there were two large cruise ships in the port.  The atmosphere was magic with street performers and music and loads of food.

Having "done" a couple of art galleries and had refreshments by the little harbour we found our way up to "the wall". This goes right round the old town (as well as up and down) and you get the most amazing views and photo opportunities.  Altogether the walk round the wall is around 1.3 kilometers long. Fortunately it was not too warm.

The orange area is the old town surrounded by the wall.

View from the wall of an adjacent fort.

From the wall you look down on stunning tiled roofs.
And the marina.
 Rosalind has to be coaxed into posing.
 There was some very clever workmanship as this hand rail bracket demonstrates.

We had a lovely lunch and a pleasant bus trip back and felt we were really on holiday!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Wonderful Holiday by the Sea in Croatia!

In order to recover from our 6 weeks babysitting in the US we consulted our travel guide (my brother Chris) and he recommended Croatia, somewhere I would have never considered!  We booked up and thankfully my mother's graduation from this life did not require us to change our plans.  Chris kindly told us which travel agent to use, what hotel to stay at and what things to do and it was all absolutely brilliant.  So to share this I am going to do a series of short posts covering booking and the hotel, what we did in Dubrovnik, trips and activities and our visit to Montenegro.

We booked with a company called Broadway Travel and a helpful adviser called Grant Lawson. We flew Easyjet from Gatwick (around 2.5 hours) and stayed at a 5 star boutique hotel called Hotel More (pronounced Morey in Croatian).  We went half board but could have gone B & B as there were lots of cheap places to eat at locally. We took Rosalind's brother John with us.
John looking at the hotel as we sail past.
The sea views from the hotel were wonderful.

The hotel was excellent, the food good and the staff friendly and helpful.  The quality of workmanship in the building was first class.  The layout was slightly complicated due to it being built down the face of  cliff but that made it interesting.
The dinning room was lovely but much of the time we were alfresco.
The kitchen had a large window enabling you to see the wonderful food being prepared.
During the construction of the hotel a cave was discovered and this has been developed into a wonderful bar.
The cave bar has a clever viewing platform that allows examination of the stalactites and stalagmites closely.  It is all beautifully executed.
I liked the sea side patio with sun loungers and tables, but best of all I could dive straight into warm deep water and snorkel watching fish until I was exhausted!  More to follow.......

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Everyone has been so kind and helpful

Being told you mother has died is not an everyday experience and even if you have been warned by the doctor that "the end is nigh" (he didn't use that expression) it still comes as a shock.  However to know that my mum was well looked after by the staff at Cherry Lodge Care Home in Caterham, Surrey and that her Doctor, Dr Chirag Patel from the Town Hill Practice, Caterham had been attending her and briefing us was reassuring. Mum always had a high regard for the British National Health Service and it served her well right to the end.

Registering mum's death at Reigate Registry Office was made easier by the kindness of the registrar Mrs J Rogers.  She introduced me to the government's "Tell Us Once" service where you contact one gov department and answer their questions and then they tell all the central and local gov depts on your behalf!  Wonderful!
Irene Elsie Mary Moe formerly Carter

As you would expect the funeral directors Francis Chappell & A G Rice, at East Grinstead have been very professional carefully explaining all the necessary procedures.

Mum will be buried next to her second husband Lucas Moe at a short graveside service with immediate family and a few close friends present. Then almost a month later, when we can get the whole family together we will hold a Remembrance Service to celebrate her life. 

My brother Chris and I count our blessings having had such a wonderful lady as our mother.
Irene and Lucas standing under the blue sign on the wall of their home in Farmington, Utah.  Mum always answered the phone by saying "Buckingham Palace" in an english accent, so their friends presented them with a sign that read "The Moes, Buckingham Palace"!

Irene served as a Temple Ordinace Worker in both the London and Washington LDS Temples.