Skradin was one of the places we enjoyed when we visited Croatia 4 years ago. Our trip from Vrulje through the islands was very pleasant. Brian of course always looks for the opportunity to put up the sails, and we were lucky enough to do this. Mainly because there was a boat in full sail beside us, that was beating us. On this occasion we only put up the heady so we could get a few more knots to beat the boat next to us. The other highlight was going through a very narrow channel between two islands. We nearly scraped the wing mirrors on the sides of the channel. Quite amazing really as the channel is very deep, so it is quite a sensation moving through it. Without the channel it would have been a very long trip.
Initially we sail into Sibenik, at the head of the Krka river, which is what we sail along to get to Skradin. The sail is very good, as the scenery is beautiful, and the bridges over the river are amazing.
We eventually arrived at Skradin at about 2.30pm, and it was great to see the place again.
Seeing all the boats in the marina was a sight, as were the white swans paddling around. Brian tends to attract animals, and the swans remembered his face from his previous 4 trips to Skradin. (his face is a bit of a shock to most people, so he has obviously scarred the swans for life). Anyway he named them Cob and Pen, hence the title of this blog.
The crew have got the art of berthing down to a tee, and before we knew it, we were having beers and eating cheese and biscuits on Arietta. We were keen to go downtown and have a look, I have been looking forward to have a Peca, and the rest of the crew decided we should do that for tea tonight. (which was good of them) We made a special effort to book into Tony's place, a restaurant at the back of Skradin. We had Peca's here 4 years ago. Ryan and Kristin Thompson found and booked the establishment, so all the old crew, Roz & Pete, Ray and Jo, Heather & Stuart, Ray-Ray and Jenny, Kate, Keith & Jenny went there for tea. It was a great night, and just thinking about it evokes many good memories of our trip that year. Whilst we couldn't relive that particular night, we did however enjoy ourselves. The girls had a beef Peca, I had my favourite, lamb, and Brian had fried cheese, salad and fries, and the customary house red. The owner then gave us a free "Rose" brandy, which I understand will be used for the next space launch to mars.
We were a bit tired next morning, though Cheryl ensured she got up and did her early morning walk. She has done so many steps now that her fitbit is just about worn out. Our plan was to go to the Krka falls. We saw them last time we were here, but Cheryl and I in particular were keen to see them once again. Initially we thought we would catch a boat, but after seeing the length of the line, and also speaking to the lady organising things, a bike was going to be far quicker (and cheaper). It is only 4 kms. The ride to the falls it fairly straight forward, slightly uphill, but with a very long steep downhill descent at the end. Many people walk to the falls. The road is OK, even though it is unsealed. The falls are very popular. Their was a huge crowd of people, sunbaking, swimming, eating, drinking and viewing the falls. They are a great sight and set in a very green 'tropical" style bush setting. The water is extremely clean, blue and very fresh. It was good so see them again, and I recommend people travelling to Croatia to visit them.
We decided to have lunch and a drink in one of the many eating places at the site. Brian and I enjoyed the local dish of Cevapi and the girls shared a Risotto. Of course, this was followed by an ice-cream. :)
It was time to make our way back, we unlocked our bikes, and were just about to leave when Brian realised he had a flat tyre. To overcome this, and our lack of Croatian, we went to the office and got them to phone the bike shop in town. The bike shop sent another bike out on the next ferry, which delayed our journey by about half an hour.
The trip back is difficult to start off with, as the steep descent to the falls all of a sudden becomes a bloody great hill to climb. Brian and I had a bet as to who was going to get to the top without getting off the bike. I will let you guess who won this but let me assure you it wasn't Brian.
Once we got over the hill, it was all downhill, and eventually we found a seat on the side of the road where we could wait for the girls, who were spending too much time talking and taking photos.
I won the yellow guernsey of this yeaar "Tour De Krka" by default, as I was the only one who went the whole way on their bike (Brian had held the title until this year). Our trip to town was much easier once you made allowances for the traffic driving on the wrong side of the road. We handed the bikes in, and then went to the supermarket to do our shopping, as we were leaving next morning.
We decided to go to the marina restaurant for tea, as they had a BBQ going, and at very reasonable prices. It was very pleasant sitting by the waters edge. As it turned out we all had Cevapi, and I we all agreed these were nicest we had tasted, as were the chutneys and pastes they served with them.
Finally, it was time to have a shower. The ablutions are first class. We have all commented on the very high standard of facilities in Croatia. They are a huge improvement from when we were here 4 years ago and is a credit to the country.
Our time had come, we need to leave. Cheryl had done her mandatory walk in the morning this time up to the old fort and lookout at the top of the hill overlooking the marina and picked up some fresh bread and croissants from the bakery on the way back.
We did not have a destination, with the exception of getting to Sibenik and turning right. Zadar is only 45 nautical miles away, so we have a week to explore the remainder of the islands on the way back.