A Travellerspoint blog

Day 11: Split to Dubrovnik

October 18: Christmas Eve/Sarajevo-song by Trans Siberian Orchestra

sunny 21 °C

After a restless night we hit the road around 8:45 AM on our way to Dubrovnik. Having to travel there we needed to travel through Bosnia-Herzegonevia (12 miles), of which the capital is Sarajevo (a war torn city from the Homeland Wars where the Christmas Eve song originates). The scenery was stunning as we passed along the coast of Croatia where farms were plentiful until we reach the border.


We eventually crossed the border into Bosnia and had a rest stop so that we can say that we had boots on the ground in that country. Before the border; however, Croatia is building a bridge to bypass Bosnia and the long lines at the border.


After passing back into Croatia we travelled for another hour to the city of Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic.


Specifically, we entered the old town which is a medieval fortress with countless churches, shops, cafes, and the Walls of Dubrovnik. We walked down the Stradum, or Great Street, until we reached the church of St. Blasius (saint for ailments related to the throat). As the Game of Thrones was filmed throughout towns and cities in Croatia we had the opportunity to view the "Walk of Shame" stairs.


We visited the Rectors' Palace for a short visit where we found this unique hand rail. The inside of the palace had many period pieces including may paintings that showed the agony of man.

We left the tour and decided to do the fortress wall where you ascend the walls and then circumnavigate the entire city from above.


With stops and pictures it took us nearly 1.5 hours to finish the wall and then we headed down for an ice cream cone and then off to the hotel (outside of town).

We were lucky to catch the sunset from the hotel as we finished the night.


Posted by Argenti Travel 16:20 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Day 10: Split and Brac Island

October 17: Down by the seaside, see the boats go sailin', can the people hear, what the little fish are saying-lyric by Led Zeppelin's song Down by the Seaside.

sunny 19 °C

This was a day split (pun intended) between the town of Split and the island of Brac. We were out the door by 8:15 AM after having breakfast and onto the ferry for the 9:00 AM ferry to Brac sailing for about 50 or so minutes to the town of Supetar.


Upon arrival we were swept away in a minivan to a small town called Skrip where we took a walking tour of the small village (I mean small) and learned about life in villages such as this.


We briefly visited the museum in the village which had a variety of items dating back several hundred years to the present.


The best part of the visit came when we visited the olive garden, museum, and tasting room. We learned the labor intensive process of making olive oil from yesterday using mills and presses.


After the tasting room we drove back to the dock for the return trip to Split where we traveled back to the hotel, regrouped, and headed back out to see the city (second largest city in Croatia). There are several key highlights that we touched upon including Diocletian's Palace (which is a city within a city).


The Temple of Jupiter (which Jupiter was evicted and St. John the Baptist now lives).


And the Cathedral of Saint Domnius where the patron saint's bones are still housed (he got the last laugh over Diocletian who got the cathedral and Diocletian name was erased from the history books by the Christians).


We continued our journey wandering about the Old Town and taking some random photographs.


We also took a hike out on Park suma Marjam for an overlook of the city and a quaint chapel along the trail.


We finished the night back in town having dinner at a small Italian restaurant down an alley serving wine, beer and pizza!


Posted by Argenti Travel 16:06 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Day 9: Zadar to Trogir to Split

October 16: On the Road Again, Just Can't Wait To Get On the Road Again-lyric from the song On the Road Again by Willie Nelson

sunny 21 °C

Three cities in one day is a challenge by any standard but the drive down the Dalmatian Coast for the cities of Zadar, Trogir and Split were well worth the effort.

We started the day early again and I caught the sunrise over the bay.


A few miles down from the hotel we entered the old city of Zadar which is the oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city dating back to the Stone Age. Like other towns in Croatia and the surrounding areas, the cities history covers everything from the Byzantines, Romans, Venetians, etc. and is evident in the mixture of buildings and walls that make up the old town. We started the journey at the waterfront taking in the daily life of Croats on a Saturday morning, including some of our fellow travelers.


We also stopped by the Solar-powered Monument to the Sun which includes the some of the saint's names associated with their specific saint day. And a visit to any city is incomplete without a medieval wall not to mention a Sea Organ that plays tunes based on the wind and the waves (huh?).


We journeyed a bit more on the waterfront to see the foundations of homes that did not withstand the bombings of WWII. The bombings did uncover the foundations of other buildings; however, dating back to the Roman occupation. These foundations were right outside of the Roman Forum that included some columns and fragments dating back centuries.


Within the confines of the Roman Forum is the Church of St. Donat and the Zadar Cathedral.


Not too far away is yet another church called the Cathedral of St. Anastasia where we able to have a peek inside.


We finished up near The Land Gate and then bought some cherry liquor and snapped a few more photos of the city.


We finished up about 11:30 AM and then headed out on the road to Trogir an island town on the way to Split. Trogir has been around for 2300 years starting with the ancient Greeks,Romans, and Venetians and is now a UNESCO World heritage site. After a quick orientation after passing through the city gate, we struct out to see the fortress along the waterfront.


We then headed down very picturesque city streets, all of which were breath-taking.


The Cathedral of St. Lawrence has a bell tower that was worth the climb so we next set out of that and after climbing a 100+ steps


After completing the journey we stopped for a Trogir Rafioli, thin dough filled with sweet crushed walnuts followed by a gelato.

At 3:30 PM we headed to Split where we arrived at 4:00 PM followed by a city tour (report coming tomorrow) and a dinner. We called it day after dinner.

Posted by Argenti Travel 16:02 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Day 8: Opatlja to Plitvice to Zadar

October 15: Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty four-lyric from the Beatles song "When I'm Sixty-Four"

overcast 10 °C

Up early once again and out the door by 8:00 AM after a brief breakfast. Today was a special day since it was Patti's birthday. Her first greeting came rolling in from her brother, Tony, at around 4:00 AM East Coast time and continued to roll in until 8:00 PM at night.

We spent the better period of time this morning driving (3.5 hours) to Plitvice, the largest national park in Croatia. During the drive we started to see remnants of the Homeland War (1991 to 1995) with destroyed properties and we even passed by a museum in Karlovac. Our tour director really did not speak too much about the war as she was personally impacted by it and the subject matter caused her great discomfort.


Further on down the road and close to Plitvice we came across a small town called Rastoke that had a series of picturesque waterfalls.


We eventually arrived to the national park and were met there by a guide. There are several routes that one can taking ranging from a brief stroll to a more rigorous 6 to 8 hour, 20 km hike. We took the B Route that included a hike to the main falls, a rest stop at a lake, followed by a boat ride across the lake, followed by a tram to another stop, with a shot hike to the exit. All toll about 4 hours.


The first part of the hike went down a series of switch backs and across a wooden path across the water to the base of the main falls which is in the lower lakes area.


The main falls were magnificent and very crowded.


We circled back along the path and headed by the side of the lake which also provided continuous photo ops of waterfalls.


After taking the boat across the lake and hiking up to catch the tram we took a few more pictures before heading back out for a 2 hour ride to Zadar.


We checked into the room around 5:30 PM and down to dinner at 6:30 PM.

Posted by Argenti Travel 14:59 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Day 7: Pula, Trsat, and Volosko

October 14: Ball of Confusion-song by the Temptations

sunny 17 °C

It was an early morning, rising at 5:30 AM, a short breakfast at 7:00 AM, and on the road by 7:30 AM for our 1.5 hour drive to Pula. Pula is a costal industrial/ship building town on the coast located on the Istrian Peninsula. Pula is a bit confusing since it has a long history layered upon layered on the city starting pre-Roman time, through the Roman occupation, struggling through medieval times (including the plague), the Austrian age, several World Wars, Tito's communism, the Homeland Wars and finally independence. Thus the city is an amalgam of buildings and history interwoven together to form a complex history.

Our first stop starts with the Roman Amphitheater (Pula Arena) built between 27 BC and 68 AD and used for gladiator combats. During the middle ages, the arena was used for grazing of animals and medieval tournaments and fairs. During the 1930's, the arena was modified for theatre productions and public ceremonies.


After exploring the underground caverns of the amphitheater, we proceeded on a walking tour that included the Arco dei Sergi, an ancient Roman triumphal arch commemorating three members of the Sergii family. The construction is dated to 29 - 27 BC. Underneath the arch is an engraving of a serpent (Egypt) and an Eagle (Rome) in battle (this is about Cleopatra).


We walked a little further and found a hidden gem of the floor mosaic "The Punishment of Dirce". This mosaic dates back to the 3rd century and was uncovered after bombings during WWII.


We strolled down the street and took a photo or two of the town.


After a walk down a small commercial district, we came upon the Temple of Augustus. This temple was situated in the Roman Forum and was dedicated to the Goddess Roma and the Emperor Augustus. For the most part, the temple has been rebuilt since it was destroyed by a bomb during 1944. It is filled with various artifacts from Roman times (including the head of Medusa).


We returned to the hotel around 2:30 PM and were out the door at 4:00 PM traveling to Trsat to first visit the Trsat Castle. This castle was built in the 13th century but was first the site of a hill-fort used by the Romans. It now is a tourist site with commanding views of the bay, the town and the countryside.


After visiting the castle, we walked to the Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat. This sanctuary includes the church (service was ongoing when we arrived), the monastery, and the treasury (relics). After gaining an introduction to the site via a 12 minute film, we toured the property including learning about the visit of Pope Paul II.


We finished off the day with dinner at the Evergreen Restaurant in Volosko where we were serenated by a group of Croatian singers.


Posted by Argenti Travel 14:52 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 12) Page [1] 2 3 »