Category Archives: Travel

Travels in Croatia – The Island of Hvar

We had to find some accommodation so we went to the tourist information office to see what was available.  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 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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Travels in Croatia – Gradac to Hvar

After a drive to Mostar in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina we returned to Croatia to the seaside resort of Gradac and booked into the Hotel Marco Polo that was located directly on the beach and had a room with a balcony and a view of the perfectly blue Adriatic Sea.

After settling in we walked along the seafront looking for a bar with a view of the sunset but as the town is situated in a bay and faces south this proved stubbornly illusive. We found a nice restaurant that was entertaining a noisy birthday party and we agreed that this looked good for later on.

When we returned the party had gone and it was much quieter but I think the staff were worn out and weren’t in the mood for doing any more cooking because most of the menu was unavailable and the waiter presented us with a choice of fish starter, fish soup and fish of the day. This turned out to be a real bonus because the octopus salad starter was delectable and the fish was succulent and delicious.

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Travels in Croatia – Split and Diocletian’s Palace

 

Leaving Skradin we drove south along the delightful Dalmatian Coast and as we did so the weather started to deteriorate with huge bilious clouds building over the Mosor Mountains that rise to almost one thousand four hundred metres and were collecting the grey and preventing it moving north as they rushed in from the sea and built instead into columns of threatening anger.

To the west by contrast the sky was clear and the sun was shining but to the east and over the land it was not nearly so pleasant.  We drove past the town of Primosten and the city of Trogir, leaving these for another day, and carried on to Split, which is Croatia’s second largest city after the capital Zagreb.

Because of its strategic importance Split suffered damage during the war and probably the most tragic incident of all occurred in November 1991 when the Yugoslavian frigate named Split fired shells at the city. The damage was insignificant and there were only a few casualties but this was the only time in history that a city has been bombarded by a military vessel bearing its own name.

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A to Z of Windows – S is for Santorini

By 2008 I had been to Santorini three times before, in 2002, 2004 and in 2006 and although I rather like it I have to say that it is no longer my favourite.

The trouble with Santorini is that once you have been elsewhere it simply becomes less impressive.  Everyone says ‘Oh, you are going to Greece, you must go to Santorini!’  but generally these are tourists who haven’t been to Amorgos, Sikinos or Folegandros and these islands, let me tell you, are many times better that easily eclipse Santorini despite its stunning caldera and unique scenery.

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A to Z of Windows – R is for Rocamadour in France

It was quiet today because this was October and outside the main tourist season but the summer months bring thousands of visitors to this place daily.  Years later I visited Carcassonne and Mont St Michel and found them rather similar in a touristy sort of way.

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A to Z of Windows – R is for Riga in Latvia

I know that with the lowest average wage it is officially the poorest country in the EU, and for that reason tens of thousands of Latvians have left for England where they can earn as much in a week as they earn in a month back home but this place was lively and vibrant, the food was excellent and inexpensive, and the customers seemed affluent and happy.

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A to Z of Windows – Q is for Qawra in Malta

I had walked about four miles or so by now and I was coming to the end of the urban development, the asphalt road became unpaved track and thereafter a dusty footpath that kept going to the end of the peninsular and I carried on because at the end of the mainland there was something I wanted to see – St Paul’s Island.

I was at Qawra Bay also known as St Paul’s Bay…

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Travels in Croatia, Krka National Park and the Skradinski Buk Falls

A few posts back I told you that I had not been bitterly disappointed to miss out on a waterfall trail in Yorkshire.  This is one of the reasons why…

I haven’t seen any of the world’s major falls such as the Angel Falls in Venezuela (the highest, and twenty times higher than Skradinski Buk), the Victoria Falls (claimed to be the largest in the world by volume) or the Niagara Falls (the widest in the world), but these were nevertheless really most exciting, probably better than the Aysgarth Falls in Yorkshire but not quite as spectacular as Gullfoss falls in Iceland, both of which I have been lucky enough to see.

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Travels in Croatia – Skradin and Lake Knin

Eventually we found the right way and there was a spectacular approach on an elevated road down to the town that sits next to the Knin Lake, which led almost directly to the Hotel Skadinski Buk that was conveniently located in the centre of the pretty little town.  It was rather overcast and the town wasn’t very busy at all so we found an empty restaurant for a spot of lunch and then set off to investigate.

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A to Z of Windows – P is for Primošten in Croatia

It was our last day in Croatia and we were driving north from Dubrovnik to the airport at Zadar.

Travelling north-west with the Dinaric Alps soaring above us inland and catching a few clouds as they rushed in from the sea we spied orange roofs, blue sea, white beaches  – the idyllically typical Central Dalmatian village of Primošten which occupies an especially pretty little promontory jutting out from the mainland into the sea.

In the past Primošten was situated on an islet close to the mainland and was protected by walls and towers and it was connected to the mainland by a draw bridge.

When these protective arrangements were no longer required the draw bridge was replaced by a causeway and in 1564 the settlement was named Primošten after the Croatian verb primostiti which means to span. This old part of the town is built on a hill and is dominated by the parish church of St. George which was built in 1485 next to the local graveyard from which there is a stunning view over the sea and the surrounding mountains.

This was probably the most picturesque of all of the Adriatic towns that we passed by or visited on our journey and it was lovely here today but I imagine that it can get a bit overcrowded in high summer.

We only made a very short stop because time was moving on but we found time to sit on the side of the harbour and have a drink in the sun next to some expensive looking charter boats that were moored up nearby and a table full of racing push bikers all looking ridiculous in brightly coloured skin tight lycra and insect shaped helmets.

We carried on along one of the best parts of the journey and the old old main road took a scenic route that was never more than a few metres from the sea and the shingle beaches and with good views over the Adriatic Sea and the inviting looking islands.

Except for the fact that the road wasn’t at a high elevation with imminent danger of crashing over the side of a mountain this did remind me a great deal of the Amalfi drive in Italy.  The road snaked along the coast with its inlets, yacht harbours and picturesque coastal villages and always running directly underneath the limestone mountains that rose dramatically just a few hundred  yards or so inland.

Apart from the location and the view Primošten is quite unremarkable, no famous people were born there or lived there, nothing notable happened there in history and according to Wikipedia the only thing that seems to happen there these days is an annual donkey race.