So, here follows the abridged version:
We flew into Split, which makes an excellent stepping off point and in fact it has some quite interesting features.
The most obvious landmark of Split is Diocletian's Palace, that Diocletian built for himself in 305 AD as a kind of retirement village. Now it is UNESCO protected.
There is also some nice beaches nearby if you get tired of stomping around the streets. At the end of our trip when we were flying out again, we spent some time at the beaches watching the locals playing their curious handball game, which seems to involve a lot of extravagant diving for the ball in the ankle-deep water.
From Split we caught the bus down to Dubrovnik, which we'd heard lots of good things about but honestly didn't know much about before we arrived in Croatia (in fact this is pretty much true of our entire trip - it has been a busy time lately!)
We had a really nice time in Dubrovnik - staying in the old town and spending our time wandering around the paved limestone streets that had been polished smooth but so many feet over the years, and eating delicious seafood.
We finished off our time in Dubrovnik with a walk around the walls at sunset.
From Dubrovnik we caught the ferry to Mljet, which is a quiet island with a national park and some inland saltwater 'lakes' (actually they are open to the sea).
We hired bikes and rode from our town around the lakes, having lunch at the old Monastery on an island. This was really lovely and our first real opportunity to do some swimming in the sea-water; something we really miss living in Switzerland.
Unfortunately we had to get up early the next day to catch the ferry our of Mljet, but at least we got to watch the dawn!
Next stop was Korcula, which is a leaf-shaped town still further north from Mljet.
We had another fantastic time in Korcula, although our first trip out of town to 'the best beach on the island' turned out to be a bit disappointing. I guess as Australians our expectations are set a bit unrealistically high, but the beach was small and brown, and the water was shallow.
We turned this around later, however, when we went swimming off the rocks right outside the town walls. We could walk straight out of our room, down some steps, and dive into the clear water of the Adriatic.
I think we would have happily spent more time in Korcula.
Our last island stop was Hvar, which is a popular tourist destination, and its harbor was still full of mega-yachts even at the end of September when we were visiting.
Once more we had a fantastic time in Hvar, which is an interesting town to wander around, with more good seafood.
The best day we had in Hvar (and possibly the whole trip) was the second-to-last day in Croatia when we hired a little motor boat to tour around the islands off the coast of the main island. We spent the afternoon putt-ing from bay to cove, swimming in the beautiful clear water.
We finished our last night in Hvar and Croatia watching the sun set from the balcony of our apartment.
You can click through any of the photos taken by Linda and I to see the whole album of that area.