Home of Hajduk, Dalmatian Coast and Crazy Bosnian driving
Great location for our apartment but glad we didn't bring the cat because we would not have been able to swing it - bloody hell, couldn't even sit on the loo without banging knees on washing machine!
Overall bit underwhelmed by Split! The old town is lovely and the views from the park were worth the walk.
Chrissie has been telling me again and again that she'd heard the Croats were very friendly...and she was right! Lovely change frn Italien train employees!
Second day we drove down the Dalmatian coast for an hour to the Makarska Rivera and it was spectacular. Had lunch and a swim in the Adriatic which is crystal clear, warm and just delightful - could have spent a lot more time there.
Up early (relatively!) next day for our trip to Dubrovnik, via Bosnia-Herzegovina! Eeks! Out of the EU again!
First stop, after 30mins at the border, was the Kravice Waterfalls for lunch. Beautiful and worth the visit if you can find it - I kid you not! Sign posts in Bosnia are clearly an optional luxury! Drove onto Mostar to see the bridge. Drive took a lot longer than anticipated due to roads and the driving which is the worst I've experienced - not aggressive or bad, just insane! Had no time at Mostar so threw Chrissie out of the car to take photos of bridge and then we were off to Dubrovnik! I managed on view! What was clearly on view was war damaged buildings - some resembled scenes from 'Saving Private Ryan'. Bullet holes everywhere!
Drive in offered great views of Dubrovnik. Dumped the car fine and met Maro who took us to our apartment which is right in the middle of the Old Town! Sensational, apart from the 4 flights of stairs and the Irish Bar on the other side of the street - street being 3m wide!
Drove on motorway towards Spit in a Pergot 280 like last rental. Not what we ordered again! Had to buy Kuna as even though Croatia has been accepted into the EU not dealing with Euro yet. Saw some spectacular mountains as we drove. Arrived in Split and arranged to meet Michelle, owner of the studio apartment. Huw did some excellent navigating and driving to find it as no GPS . Michelle also had saved us a car park which was just across the road from the apartment - parking is a nightmare in the old part of Split. Apartment small but adequate for a few days. Walked through parts of the palace and got our bearings - shocked at how much graffiti everywhere even on the beautiful medieval walls.
Walked around the harbour and climbed to the top of a green area to see great views of the harbour, the coastline and the hills. Nearly at he top when a big rainstorm hit and we returned wet - but worth it. Had a really good look through the castle, down into the under ground and through narrow cobbled streets . So old and crumbling - not sure if there is enough money to maintain the restoration?
Next day we decided to drive down the coast to the Croatian Riviera as the local beach was like mud sand and packed with bathers. Roads very busy with mad drivers, but beautiful scenery and even though the beaches were pebbles, they were lovely. Surprised at how many people were retired older people, baring their bodies with no embarrassment on the beaches! Huw had a swim - said the water was very warm and clear. Back to Split and luckily got a good car park. Off to Dubrovnik tomorrow.
Huw decided not to drive along the coast due to the traffic. We were aiming for Bosnia, to a town called Mosta where shelling during the war had destroyed an ancient bridge which had since been repaired. Started by heading for a town in Bosnia where there are some beautiful water falls. Missed a few turns and had to turn back and lost time - the going was pretty windy at times But when we found it it was amazing. A gem of a place tucked away, but there were still plenty of people there swimming and sitting in the sun drinking coffee. Ate our ham rolls in this beautiful tranquil place and then hit the road to Dubrovnik.
Met Maco at the Hertz rental place, where we left the car, the owner of the loft apartment we were staying in. He led us through the Main Street to the apartment and carried my luggage 3 stories up! Apartment is in a great place - right on Stratum Street in the old town, where ever thing is. D is a stunningly beautiful place and is situated strategically in a fantastic spot between the hills and the ocean. Tables for eating are everywhere and it seems to be a party town to relax and eat. Not a lot of cultural things to do. We had a couple of good meals in recommended restaurants and ate in as well.
Unfortunately, our apartment was right next to an Irish Bar and the noise goes on well into the early hours and then the council cleaners come in. And 6am. We were a little sleep deprived by the end. Have to balance location with noise.
Spent half a day in the island of Lokrum, a small island 15 mins from Dubrovnik. Walked around the island and through the middle, very pleasant weather 26ish and lovely green vegetation with great views of the ocean, rocks and boats back to Dobrovnik. Went to the fort and was able to look inside. Ate our picnic lunch in a deserted area except for rabbits! Huw went for a swim.
Walked around the wall of the city - took 1 1/2 hours mainly due to traffic on the wall. Some spectacular sights overlooking the sea, town and areas which haven't been restored yet. Huw had a swim at he base of the castle dicing off some rocks.
Maco met us on the day of departure and collected our suitcases. We used up a few hours sitting in an outdoor cafe drinking coffee and people watching. He drove us to the airport and it was an easy transition through customs. Very nice, quiet, civilized airport!