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Exploring Split and Area

October 27 to 30, 2011

Gregorius of NinAfter 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.

Cycling on Hvar

October 24 to 26, 2011
IMG_6726Church in JelsaThe 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.

Cycling on Brac Island

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.

TrogirWe 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.

Enjoying Dubrovnik

October 17 to 20, 2011
View of DubrovnikMeg 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.

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