October 27 to 30, 2011
After our two-hour ferry trip back to Split we walked to the Art Hotel through the market next to the Diocletian’s Palace. We actually returned there shortly after checking in and freshening up. The Diocletian’s Palace is another UNESCO heritage site and has a remarkable amount of history. The Roman Emperor Diocletian as a retirement home built the palace. The emperor was born in Dalmatia and built the palace just outside of the administrative centre of Salona that was the capital of Dalmatia. When Diocletian died the palace sat empty for a while until the locals were somewhat forced into it in order to protect themselves from barbarian invaders. As a result it became the beginning of the city of Split.
We spent the afternoon wandering the streets of the palace that were somewhat similar to both Dubrovnik and Trogir, yet seemingly more frequented. We visited the Cathedral of Saint Dominus, which, while not huge, was very impressive inside. The catholic cathedral was actually built on a site of a temple in which Dicoletian persecuted Christians earlier. We also visited John the Baptist’s baptistery, formerly a temple to Jupiter during Diocletian’s time. There was a headless black sphinx, one of three or four that were brought to the city that were maybe 4,000 years old. After freshening up at the hotel we had dinner at a Konoba before retiring for the night.
October 24 to 26, 2011
The ferry from Bol to Jelsa took us roughly an hour and half. The boat dropped us right in the heart of town where our guide Matej spends a few weeks in his family’s house every summer. Matej took us on a short walking tour of the oldest city on the island before showing us somewhere to get the gelato we weren’t able to find the day before. This Gelato, according to Jerry of Ben & Jerry’s, was the best in Croatia. Then we boarded a shuttle that would take us on to Hvar Town, our home for the next three nights.
October 21 to 23, 2011
Thursday saw us leave Dubrovnik and join up with those who would be arriving for the biking tour of Brac and Hvar. This meant a drive up the coast to the area around Split. The drive up the coast was beautiful with the Adriatic and islands on one side and mountains on the other. And the drive actually allowed us to pass through another country. The coast of Croatia is broken in one spot where Bosnia and Herzegovina have their own little section. One of our guides indicated that this was due to the fact that during the time that Dubrovnik was a republic it actually gave away some of its coastline to the Kingdom of Herzegovina, a strong military power, in exchange for protection. So, as a result, that portion even after the breakup of Yugoslavia is still not part of Croatia. Sadly, we didn’t get our passports stamped as they don’t do this for those who are just transiting.
We arrived in Trogir, a small city less than a half hour from Split, just after lunchtime and so checked into the hotel and set out to look for some lunch. Trogir has its own old city complete with narrow streets and contained on what is essentially an island in the middle of the larger city. Sadly, it was pouring rain so we sought refuge under a café’s canopy and ate a warm lunch of soup. The rain let up a bit after lunch and so we walked over to the city’s tower, which isn’t much of a tourist attraction and wasn’t open, but looks impressive from the outside. We then continued on into the narrow cobbled streets and wandered around for a fair amount of time.
October 17 to 20, 2011
Meg and I recently returned from a trip to Croatia. We get asked all the time about how we chose Croatia as a destination, so I figure I’ll lay out the reason here right off the top. We were in the market for a cycling vacation of some sort, one that was fully supported so we didn’t have to carry our own gear. In Meg’s investigation of available trips she happened upon some in Croatia. Some friend’s of ours had ventured their in the past and let us know that it was a beautiful country and so, we thought, why not and booked a tour with Vermont Bicycle Tours and began eagerly anticipating the event.
It was a long spring of riding this 2011 for Meg and I. We had decided to embark on something that is most certainly the longest endurance event either of us had ever taken part in. Earlier in the year, after some discussion with friends, we signed up to take part in the Rideau Lakes Cycling Tour. Much to our luck, 4 of our friends (Steve, Deanna, Kevin, and Grant) went along with the plan and so we were now part of a group of six who would cycle through the Rideau Lakes region from Ottawa to Kingston on a Saturday and then turn around and come back the next day.
Wow, it has been nearly six months (I started this post when it was four months, but Christmas seems to have gotten in the way) since I finished up my degree and there are still points in time where I wonder what it is I should be doing for homework. In those four months I have been pretty busy. I've been away for work 3 times for a week at a time, and on vacation twice once for 10 days to Newfoundland and more recently for three weeks to Ecuador.
One of the things that Meg and I were desiring to start heading into 2010 was to take up some road biking. So, in order to do so we both picked up bikes. I got a used Trek 2100 in February or so for a $1000 but we had much more trouble finding Meg one. In the end the folks at Cyclelogik found her a good deal on a new year old model KHS Flite. As we got those purchases finished we picked up shoes, padded shorts and some Keo Look peddles.