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Thursday, April 20, 2006

More honeymoon shots - Trogir and Sibenik

Honeymoon in Croatia: Up the coast, Trogir and Sibenik

(As always, more pics on Flickr)

Wednesday 29 April, we'd had a good rest, and taken advantage of the hotel's big breakfast again by stocking up on some extra 'supplies' for the day. We packed up our little red Citroen and waved goodbye to Dubrovnik and 5 star luxury. We wasted a bit of time getting mildly lost in Dubrovnik (and filling up at a gas station-self service), and then hit the road for Trogir-about a 250km drive if I remember correctly. We really took our time, besides the coastal road being very narrow and winding, we made quite a few stops. The drive was lovely, very scenic and generally quite enjoyable, with the exception of the section between Split and Trogir, when we hit rush hour traffic (the part of Split that we passed through was also quite ugly and industrial, which didn't help very much).

We eventually got to Trogir late that afternoon and hunted down our hotel, which was hidden away in the 'old town' of Trogir on a little island joined to the 'mainland' by two bridges. The streets between the old buildings are very narrow, so one has no choice but to park in a parkade next to the old part of town and walk a couple hundred meters with your luggage. The southern 'shore' of the island is a lovely boardwalk with cafe's and benches and a few palm trees, so the short trek to the hotel was quite enjoyable. The hotel itself (Hotel Fontana) is in one of the old buildings and is extremely quant and cozy. We settled in for a bit of a rest (read nap), and then headed down to the Fontana Restaurant-obviously affiliated with the hotel but not actually joined to it. After a good meal (no, not pasta this time) in the smoky little 'joint' we went for a walk to look around. Natz bought some socks.. yay! :) We headed back to the hotel, desperate for some good old fashioned tea (which is a rarity in that part of the world, they drink herbal teas, obviously without milk), thankfully part of our 'haul' from breakfast included some Twinings 'English Breakfast' tea bags, so we got some hot water and milk from reception and had a good old English cuppa' in our room. Tally Ho!

So, on to day 4: we had an early breakfast, of course being in a three star place it was a 'continental' breakfast, no eggs or bacon or anything; just bread, croissants and cereal. We headed out into the streets of Trogir to have a look around. This didn't take too long, while old Trogir is interesting and has it's fair share of sights it's not very big, so by about midday we'd seen pretty much everything (including the fort, tower, four or five churches, cathedral and entrances to the town) and decided to cross the bridge to the market and have a quick look there. Again this didn't take long, and by about 1 we were back at the hotel. Since we still had the entire afternoon we decided to head off to Sibenik, since our guidebook (the excellent Eyewitness Croatia) indicated lots of great sights there.

The drive took us about an hour, excluding a stop at Primosten (once again a town on an island joined to the mainland by a short bridge), where we literally walked around the island and took some time to relax on a stony beach and finally visited the church at the top of the hill.

When we finally reached Sibenik it took us some time to find the old town (it turned out that it was down by the harbor) and when we did we parked our car and headed out on foot again. This is one stop where we REALLY did a lot of walking. Heading in through the huge gate in the imposing city walls, we found the cathedral, on the main square opposite a once-palace that is now a restaurant. The cathedral is huge, and besides the main alter, and six flanking alters, includes a little baptistery with incredible gothic work on it's ceiling. We headed away from the square and were seduced by the smell of pizza coming from a restaurant not too far from the cathedral and stopped for an early supper. With our stomachs once again full, we hit the streets, and happened upon a sign for the castle of St. Stephan. The hike up to the old, dilapidated castle turned out to be quite a long, strenuous one, but well worth it for the view alone. We spent quite a bit of time up there just enjoying the high vantage point, and looking out on the city, sea and islands. Eventually we headed back down to earth and our car, and hit the road. We didn't make any stops this time, but despite that it was dark by the time we got 'home'. Once again we settled in with a nice cuppa, and spent some time mulling over what we'd seen-and what we would see at our next stop, the Plitvice National Park.

No tech news for this post, sorry. You'll just have to make do with staring at these photos and pretending you're there :)



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