Monthly Archives: May 2010

Croatia, Hvar

We had to find some accommodation so we went to the tourist information office to see what was available.  Here there was a bit of a scam because the lady at the desk told us that the only hotel available was the Hotel Adriana that had rooms for €280.  This was obviously way beyond our budget and while this devastating piece of news sunk in she skilfully moved in with the alternative offer of a simple room in the town, with car parking thrown in for 400 Kuna (about £50).  This was obviously her sister or her best friend but there was no contest and we took it.

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Croatia, Gradac to Hvar

The Croatian archipelago is the second largest in the Mediterranean after the Greek and there are approximately one thousand two hundred and fifty Croatian islands in the Adriatic stretching all the way down the coast from Istria to Dubrovnik.  This compares to about one thousand four hundred Greek Islands but includes quite a lot of islets and reefs so although this sounds a lot only sixty-six are actually inhabited compared with almost four times as many, two hundred and twenty seven, in Greece.

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Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Although we were in Europe this felt like a different place altogether and being predominantly Muslim it felt as though we had crossed into Asia.  It was about sixty kilometres to Mostar and when we arrived there it was a total shock.  We drove past bombed out and abandoned buildings and parked the car in what looked a precarious spot next to magnificent old buildings that had been completely destroyed during the war of 1992 to 1993.

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Bosnia, Herzegovina and the Legacy of the Yugoslav Wars

There was a fabulous start to the day with a brilliant blue sky and bright sun and this meant that our host Iveska had arranged breakfast on the terrace and she supplied a never ending supply of hot tea and local Croatian pastries.    Iveska  was full of information about Croatia and made useful tourist recommendations.  I told her that we planned to visit Mostar today and asked if the best route was over the mountains or down the coast?  She was certain that the best way was to drive inland but she said this wasn’t very picturesque so when we left I disregarded this advice, in the way that men ignore driving instructions from a woman, and obstinately went south down the coast.

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Croatia, Podstrana and the Pink Inn

About thirty kilometres south of Šibenik the road came to the town of Primošten, which was once an island but is now connected to the mainland by a small bridge and a causeway.  We stopped here for a break and walked to the top of the town to the church of St George that was surrounded by a graveyard full of spectacular monuments and headstones all lovingingly cared for and with vacant spots waiting for family members to join the already deceased.  The sky was blue and the strong wind from the south made me optimistic that with all that weather coming from sort of Africa way that this was the turning point and that in the days ahead there were surely cloudless blue skies and soaring temperatures to deal with.

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Croatia, Skradin to Split

There was a much better start to the day this morning and there were blue skies to report after the early morning weather watch duty had been carried out and completed.  After breakfast we checked out of the Skadinski Buk Hotel and took the sign-posted road to Split.   The short drive to the motorway went through some small villages where almost every house and property had some degree of war damage.

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Croatia, Krka National Park

We woke this morning to the sound of steady rain falling on the balcony of the room and the street below and a quick weather inspection confirmed the worst.  The street was full of local people who were wandering about with umbrellas fully extended and attired in wet weather clothing.  This did not look good.

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Croatia, Skradin and Skradinski Buk

It is a driving rule in Croatia that main beam lights must be used at all times and I kept finding this quite difficult to remember.  This rule seemed a bit unnecessary to me because the weather was bright and the driving conditions were perfect but the advice was that it is important to remember because the police don’t like it if you forget and can administer a hefty on the spot fine.

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Croatia, Zadar, Roman Forum and a Wind Organ

I had seen Ryanair flights advertised to Zadar in Croatia for almost a year but in all of that time it was impossible to find available seats but then suddenly there they were and only £20 return which seemed like an absolute bargain that was not to be missed.

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