On 15th July 2018, England didn’t make it to the World Cup Final. It was going to be France vs. Croatia on the pitch of dreams later that today, in Moscow.

I knew very little about football so I was in no position to make any predictions other than, regardless of who won, I knew that the exposure Croatia had received simply by making it to the final stage of the World Cup was enough to place it firmly on the map of ‘must visit’ destinations for many in 2019. Hardly a groundbreaking prevision I know, but I guessed Croatia would see a much bigger increase in tourism than Russia would in 2019 and that’s not forgetting that Russia hosted the month long tournament against an incredible fairy-tale backdrop of multi-coloured cathedrals.

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For me, Croatia had always been one of those places that i’d like to go to ‘one day’ but it had never been top of my list until that very moment when the 2018 World Cup Final engaged me in the deepest research, the likes of which I’ve never dedicated to any personal travel planning exercise. I was obsessed! Croatia shot to the top of my list of travel goals in a matter of hours and if there’s one thing I can thank the World Cup for, it was my new found desire to visit Croatia on a mega multi-stop road tripping, sightseeing, drone flying adventure.

Fast forward to today, the 8th May 2020 (VE Day) and we’re in the depths of a global pandemic resulting in a nationwide lockdown and a travel ban on the day I am supposed to be setting off to fulfil my bucket list itinerary. Boo!

To date, I have coped really well with the Coronavirus situation. Like everyone else, I have sacrificed all kinds of social plans, missed seeing my friends and family, watched my business shrink to the size of an ants toe nail, and restricted my World to the four walls of my flat; staying home to protect the NHS and save lives. I get it. I haven’t once complained. But today, I feel an overwhelming sense of rage towards the responsible culprit in all of this as my single biggest passion and dream trip that has been two years in the making has up and vanished like a fart in the wind (Quote from Shawshank Redemption which i’ll probably watch whilst pretending i’m on an aeroplane this afternoon).

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Anyway, I’m going to deal with this the only way I know how, by letting it all out (sorry about that). I feel better already (thanks).

I’ll stop being so dramatic now (promise!). I am grateful for my health and my future dreams, and I know this trip will happen one day. In the meantime, I wanted to share it with you and hope it will provide some inspiration for your own future adventures.

If you’re lucky enough to get there before I do – make sure you keep me posted and tweet me some snaps @Marie_Rowe_TC or tag me on Instagram @marie_rowe_travel.

THE GRAND PLAN:

CroatiaMap
See Full Interactive Map Here

ITINERARY HIGLIGHTS:

  • The city of Karlovac for its lush green surroundings and meeting point of 4 rivers.
  • The village of Rastoke located in the Town of Slunj, known for the Slunjčica river and its waterfalls.
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park – a complex of 16 cascading lakes, waters of ever-changing colours, and lush woods.
  • Krka National Park to explore the cascades, wildlife, the waterfall of Roški slap, the island monastery of Visovac and the lagoon of Skradinski buk.
  • The cultural city of Zadar including the Sea Organ on the waterfront and opportunities to drive along the coast and visit the islands.
  • The city of Zagreb including Zagreb Cathedral and St Mark’s Square

THE DREAM IN PICTURE FORMAT:

Take a look at my plotted map with images here and if you’re feeling inspired, drop me a line, i’d love to chat!

Watch this space… it WILL happen one day!

For now, I hope you’re safe and well and looking forward to the day when the skies reopen and the wonderful world of travel resumes.

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