Andy & Bev Fraser's Travel World

26 years of discovering our world

 
Each Tour:
* 12 guests 
 
       
*  2-3-4 nights each location
* No rushing  9-  9:30 a.m., back by 4 or 4:30
* Free time
* Flexible
* Easy going

*Andy & Bev Fraser escort every tour  (The owner's in the store)
The most relaxed pace small group journeys on the market!

You can reach us at: info@fraserconnection.com
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Re-discovering The Balkans     

(Sept 20-Oct 1)   11 nights, 12 days, 12 people

Croatia  Bosnia-Herzogovina  Montenegro

*GUARANTEED DEPARTURE*

Check out our new Stories page and discover a different kind of courage
Jewels of the Balkans

The clouds of war and unrest  and historical head bashing that covered the Balkans for such a long time have hidden some some remarkable countries and people who were formerly all blanketed under the name ‘Yugoslavia’.

Today, it has all changed and countries such as Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro have opened their doors to the world - and the world is beginning to realize what jewels have been sitting on their doorstep.

But you have the chance to be ahead of the mobs. Join us and discover what has been hidden for so long.

Three nights in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, two nights in a tiny mountain town of Jajce in Bosnia-Herzogovina before going to the courageous little Capital City of Sarajevo which hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics then suffered through a siege from 1992 to 1996 during their wars of indepdendence. Then three nights in the stunningly beautiful walled city of Dubrovnik in Croatia, truly the jewel of the Adriatic.

Come and discover the indominatable human spirit that has rebuilt these places so recently embroiled in a nasty war. Nowhere will you find the people turned into the past. Instead they rebuild, they look forward to the future and they enjoy the richness of their past.

Today the clouds are gone.

Discover these hidden lands of Central Europe.

Call or email us  for more details. Check price in sidebar at right. See itinerary below slide show.


Itinerary

Day 1: Early - Hotel Palace, Zagreb -
Put your feet up and relax after your flights. Or stroll  the lovely little parks across the road from the hotel. Dinner is on your own.

Day 2: Zagreb
City tour of Zagreb this morning with visit to fortified St Mark church, Cathedral and more. After lunch free time to explore the highlights of this old European Capital. Dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Zagreb - Kumrovec - Samobar - Zagreb
A fascinating time wandering through Kumrovec, the village where Marshall Tito, the former leader of Yugoslavia was born. Later we stop in Samobar, a charming town of covered bridges and grassy walks. Back to the Palace hotel. Dinner on your own.

Day 4: Zagreb - National Park Plitvice lakes - Jajce (Bosnia)
The most beautiful Croatian park, Plitvice Lakes, a World Heritage site. Sixteen lakes, each at a different level, connected in a series of cascading waterfalls. Then we cross the border to Jajce in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Dinner and overnight in Stari Grad,  Jajce.

Day 5: Jajce
is a jewel of a town where many turbulent events during the second war took place, including the declaration of an independent Yugoslavia. Lakes,waterfalls and a stunning fortress overlook the town. Free afternoon.  Dinner & overnight in Jajce.

Day 6: Jajce to Sarajevo
Surrounded by river and woods we continue to Travnik, the seat of Ottoman viziers  A fortress, oriental houses & mosques are features. After lunch we continue to the Hotel Europe, Sarajevo.

Day 7: Sarajevo – Visoko - Sarajevo 
Discover the Bosnian Pyramids, the largest archeological project in Europe. Egyptian archeologists indicate the pyramids are built of the same material as in Egypt. Back to Sarajevo for lunch then a tour of the city.

Day 8: Free day in Sarajevo 
Explore the “European Jerusalem”.  Mosques, Churches and Synagogues co-exist. It is the city where the Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated triggering WWI. It hosted the 1984 Winter Olympic Games. And it is the city that was under siege from 1992-96. See the famous escape tunnel the only way out during the war. Dinner on your own tonight.

Day 9: Sarajevo – Mostar – Dubrovnik 
After breakfast we leave Sarajevo and drive through the hills and forests to Mostar for lunch and a visit. During Turkish rule, the city was an important trade centre. Then on through a remarkably beautiful coastal area to Dubrovnik. Accommodation in the Grand Hotel Park, Dubrovnik

Day 10: Dubrovnik 
This City will capture your heart. Encircled by powerful walls and fortresses,  it is a precious jewel surrounded by the sea. You will wander Its picturesque palaces, old monasteries and churches, ancient libraries, treasuries and cobblestone streets and squares.  Overnight Hotel Grand Hotel Park.

Day 11: Dubrovnik - Bay of Kotor & Risan (Montenegro)
A special excursion to Montenegro driving alongside Montenegro's most beautiful bay Boka Kotorska. The Old City of Kotor is a World Heritage site and well preserved example of the middle Ages.Dinner and overnight in Grand Hotel Park Dubrovnik.


Day 12: Departure day

 Pricing and Booking

Price: $4,395 per person based on double occupancy. Single: $4,890.

A $500 deposit (non-refundable so take out insurance and protect yourself) at the time of booking with the remainder due 60 days prior to departure. You will be invoiced. Your money will be processed by Expedia Cruise Ship Center in Penticton. All other arrangements are still in effect and Andy & Bev Fraser will be running the tour.
Your Hotels

Palace Hotel - Zagreb - www.palacehotel.hr/  Orson Welles thought it was a great hotel and so have many others over the past century. Wonderful location opposite green parks and within easy walking distance of all top sites and shops.
(4 nights)

Stari Grad - Jajce (Bosnia) www.jajcetours.com/  A charming 12 room hotel rated #1 in Jajce, the Royal Town. Atmosphere, comfort, and a great location. Sure to be a winner. (2 nights)

Hotel Europe- Sarajevo - www.hoteleurope.ba/  A five star luxury hotel from 1882 and the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the heart of Sarajevo, it captures Old Europe. (3 nights)

Grand Park - Dubrovnik - www.grandhotel-park.hr/ A four star luxurious hotel on a sheltered bay in Dubrovnik overlooking the Adriatic. Modern, comfortable, and with all the facitlities you could want. (3 nights)

What's Included

All ground transportation
Airport Transfers
Driver and guide
Full breakfasts throughout
Seven dinners
All entry fees
Baggage handling
Service charges, local taxes
Background kit

Not included:
Air fare,
lunches,
2 Dinners Zagreb, 1 dinner Sarajevo, 1 dinner Dubrovnik
Alcoholic beverages
Personal expenses
Tipping to guide and driver
Some Personal Notes...

Croatia knocked our socks off this past year. It was the tea dance in the park on Saturday morning that put the exclamation point on our feelings.

Just across the road from our hotel ( the same one we’re using this year while in Zagreb), was a bandstand in a wonderful park lined with fountains and massive plane trees.  After breakfast we decided to explore before the tour began the next day. It was bright and sunny. At the bandstand an orchestra was setting up and at 10 a.m. they started to play and people started to dance.

Some of the dancers were in early 20th century costume, but most came from off the street. Young couples, old couples, couples with their kids and couples pushing strollers. Even some on their own, gently twirling and swaying to the great old band music.

Others, whose dancing days were far behind them parked themselves on chairs under umbrellas which had appeared from locked storage beneath the bandstand. They chatted with their neighbors and anyone else who happened by.

It was magic and it felt that a bit of old Europe was alive and well and really not that old.

This was an introduction to a corner of the world that has to be seen in order to beat down the false assumptions, suppositions and  fears.

Not only had this place been ‘communist’, but it had been through the 90s mess of Balkan wars.  And to top it off, hadn’t the Balkans been the cause of so many wars, including World War I?

Yes, yes, and yes. But lurking behind these clouds of concern is a nation that was one of the great old Central European powers. It was, and is, a land of culture, of great architecture and of remarkable scenery.

It is old Europe with new ideas. Throughout the Balkans the people of the newly independent countries still have the optimism and hope that something good is going to come out of their long, dark recent past.

In larger centres, like Dubrovnik, the Jewel of the Adriatic, there are no visible signs of war - but it was here. The town was under siege for a couple of years with opposition artillery ranged on the surrounding hills.

But the impression, especially on a sunny day, is of an ancient walled town filled with tourists enjoying this remarkable corner of land and sea. In the harbour yachts bob about in the sun dappled water while nearby beaches are filled with people taking advantage of the waning days of summer and early autumn. Heck, this place was so popular that some hardy tourists still insisted on coming to Dubrovnik and the coastal beaches of Croatia throughout the war years.

Then there is Sarajevo. On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his wife Sophia were shot dead near the Latin Bridge in Sarajevo setting off the cataclysmic and utterly useless World War I which turned the world, and the Balkans into a massive killing ground.

A far happier occasion was 1984 when Sarajevo, then part of Yugoslavia, played host to the Winter Olympics. But then, in 1992 Bosnia-Herzegovina declared their independence from Yugoslavia and life changed forever.

Serb forces surrounded the capital of Sarajevo and on April 5 they began their siege of the city from the surrounding hills. When it ended February 29, 1996, somewhere between 10 and 15,000 residents of the city were dead and 56,000 injured. It was the longest siege of a city in modern warfare.

But in the midst of this terrible darkness, one light shone through. Vedran Smailovic, a cellist, happened to be looking out a window one day in central Sarajevo when a mortar shell exploded in a food line up killing 22 of his neighbors.

For the next 22 days, one day for each of the deaths, Smailovic appeared in the square, dressed as for the concert stage. He would sit on a camp stool and, tune his cello and then play while shells, mortars and sniper fire rained down from the hills.

That type of courage helped sustain Sarajevo and today the city has been proudly rebuilt.

That act by Smailovic, symbolizes the hope and dreams and attitudes of these hardy souls who are reaching forward to new beginnings.