Croatia 3

2013.06.06 Thursday, Split
A day of no cycling other than a short ride to catch the ferry to Split. A calm, sunny morning, perfect for two hours on a car ferry sailing through coastal islands.

Split is busy port city with an old town and the Roman palace of Diocletian, built around 300 AD, more of a fort than a palace as it housed many buildings and people. Split was full of tourists and souvenir shops, not much charm. It does have a pleasant palm tree lined walk along the waterfront and a large park on a hill overlooking the town, quiet and cool after the buzz of tourists in the centre.

2013.06.07 Friday, Šibenik
A 90 km ride north on the coast road in perfect weather. Not as steep as the two days out of Dubrovnik, although a headwind made up for the lack of punishing grades. Once out of the traffic and sprawl of Split it was a scenic ride of coast, islands and small vacation towns.

Šibenik is lovely. It is said to be the oldest settlement on the coast, although it was never a Roman city. It has a unique stone church completed 600 years ago and lovingly restored. It has an old town on the side of a hill with narrow alleys and lots of charm. It isn’t overrun by tourists.

It rained today after I arrived in town. A heavy thundershower. It cut my sightseeing short in the evening, but I treated myself to a meal at a very good restaurant.

2013.06.08 Saturday, Šibenik
I decided to spend another day here. Looking ahead, I will have two or three extra days before I meet Inge. This is a good place to spend one of them.

I had a leisurely breakfast, walked some of the old town, visited the church and tried to visit the fort at the high part of the old town but it is closed for renovation. Spent the afternoon in Krka National Park, a short bus ride from town. It is famous for its lakes and waterfalls. The main waterfall site is a short boat trip from the bus stop and there is a trail with much boardwalk to see the falls and cross the river. Good to be in nature after so much time in cities.

Tomorrow is my last day touring Croatia. I will ride 70 km to Zadar and start a long train journey to Budapest. It begins with a two hour leg to Knin where I catch the overnight train for Zagreb at 23:40, arriving at 06:30. Finally, a 10:00 train to Budapest arriving 16:45. I have a bed on the the overnight train. I wonder how much sleep I’ll get.

I bought the ticket today in the small station in Šibenik. The woman looked at me as if I was making no sense and asked ‘Why Zadar?’ You can make the trip from Šibenik; no need to go to Zadar. I explained I was travelling by bicycle and wanted to ride to Zadar. She looked more puzzled, but arranged the ticket. It took half an hour, much of it in a phone conversation, likely about the reservation for a bed. It was cheap, about $100, but I fear the service and comfort may match the price. The ticket is hand-written. I think there will be extra charges for the bike at the stations. Another adventure.

Croatia is beautiful and full of history. The people are generally friendly but not as happy or as easy-going as in Turkey, Greece or Italy. Although the country is rapidly becoming modern, you can feel you are in Eastern Europe. Tito’s rule, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the war for independence in the ’90s have all left marks. The people have been through a lot. Next month Croatia becomes a member of the EU which will bring more change. Sometimes it is good to live in dull Canada.

20130608-182643.jpgFerry to Split

20130608-182742.jpgFerry to Spiit


20130608-183002.jpgSeafront walk in Split

20130608-183302.jpgSeaside town by the road to Šibenik

20130608-183450.jpgTourist taking cover from a thundershower in Šibenik

20130608-183600.jpgCathedral of St. James, Šibenik

20130608-183740.jpgCarved faces on the exterior of the cathedral

20130608-183923.jpgStatue of the Virgin in the cathedral

20130608-184058.jpgNun buying cherries in the outdoor market

20130608-184240.jpgMorning coffee. About 10:00. One man is drinking beer.

3 thoughts on “Croatia 3”

  1. Hi Roy,

    I’ve never been to the part of the world you are now travelling so it’s a lovey adventure to ride along with you. As usual, your photography is stupendous and tells so much. The sunny blue skies in Croatia, of which we are not seeing much in northern Alberta at the moment, bring a certain warmth to my day. Thank you for sharing your adventure.

    I’m looking forward to the next leg of your travels with Inge. Hi Inge!


  2. I love to read your briefings, and the pictures are so nice Its no wonder you’re enyoing the trip so much. I’d loved to see the pics of Crete, we’ve been there in 2007 and stayed in Rethmino to :). Safe journee onwards to Vienna xxxx

  3. Hi Roy

    We really enjoy your photos and writings about your travels. This will certainly be a trip to remember. It reminds me of travels in Greece and how every day was a new adventure and always with a touch of the ridiculous. Great fun. I once spent 3 days and 2 nights travelling by train from Athens to London through Yugoslavia and sitting up all the way. Now I wonder how I ever survived such journeys.

    We had a short but pleasant journey to Vancouver on Wednesday and Thursday. Neither of us travel very well at the moment but the visiting was good – as was the dinner at the Tea Room.

    I hope you got some sleep on that train. Not always easy on European trains – or any other trains for that matter.

    You and Inge will have a great time in Vienna and onwards I’m sure.


    Myra and Melle

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