Planning a summer vacation is always a lot of fun. Being on a pirate galleon during that vacation is even more fun.
Along the Dalmatia Coast in Croatia you can rent a boat called the Tirena. This accurate replica of a pirate galleon is only 8 years old and is completely made of wood. It is placed in dry dock every year and refurbished. It can hold 200 guests, comes with a crew of 5 and has been the location of many a wedding. Every year the Tirena is host to over 5000 guests.
Imagine coming into Dubrovnik port on a pirate galleon! The over 1 million tourists who visit this city will be taking pictures of you as you are taking pictures of the city. This past September on a beautiful day in Croatia we used the Tirena to explore some of the 13 islands that make up the Elafiti Island chain. Only three of the islands are inhabited.
On the Island of Lopud there are several fortresses, 10 monasteries, and an art school for painters. They also have 36 churches! Croatia is a very Catholic country and churches can be found in abundance in every city and on every island.
The Island of Sipan is the largest inhabited island of the 13. This island has 42 palaces, 34 churches, a rector’s palace and the remains of Roman villas to explore. We made brief stops on each island but on Sipan they have two docking ports (one on each side of the island) and it was the second port where we docked and then had lunch at a local restaurant.
Scattered on the other islands, which do not have any fulltime residents are 20 lighthouses which can be rented out and lived in for periods of time. They drop you off; come back every day with fresh food and any other items that you need (and to check on you of course). Most people rent them out for a week at a time. They would be considered a little more ‘rustic’ in accommodation standards.
Service on board the boat was very good. We had unlimited coffee, tea and other beverages. Around 10:00am or so the cook had prepared apple strudel for us and it was served warm. Yum!
Croatia is a beautiful country and everyone talks about the Dalmatia Coast as being Europe’s playground because of its wonderful beach’s. Our playground this day was on the Tirena and “Aye mate, it was a right fun day at sea”.
(First published in Grandparents Day Magazine (Australia) by The 6 Monthers, summer 2014)