Continuing north with the Dinaric Alps soaring above us inland and catching the clouds as they rushed in from the sea we stopped again at Primošten, not because there was anything in particular to see there but just because we liked it there.
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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.
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.
We were heading for the town of Trogir, which is about twenty kilometres west of Split and which is the best preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex, not only in the Adriatic, but in all of Central Europe and inevitably therefore a UNESCO World heritage site. It was mid morning when we arrived and the town was already very busy. The old city is built on a little island, only separated from the mainland by a few metres and with access to it over a small bridge.
Just north of Ploce we stopped and pulled over to view the Baćinska Lakes, a pearl of unspoiled nature covering twenty square kilometres and consisting of seven lakes with their brackish water forming a turquoise ring surrounding the lush pine clad hills. The lakes are located between the Neretva River Delta, the sea and the surrounding mountains and their names are: Ocusa, Crnisevo, Podgora, Sladinac, Vrvnik and Plitko Jezero. We didn’t stay long and returned to the car and continued towards our intended first destination of Gradac.
I woke in a negative mood and first checked for stomach cramps and when there were none, and it was obvious that last night I was being a total drama queen, I then strained my ears for the sound of pelting rain on the balcony of the room. But there was good news because I couldn’t hear gushing water or even a gentle pitter-patter or even a solitary drip and when I nervously opened the window blinds I was greeted with a perfect blue sky and uninterrupted views across the Adriatic
. The sun had decided to visit Croatia and I couldn’t wait to get started.
It was a late afternoon flight to Zadar in Croatia and so we left home at about lunchtime giving ourselves plenty of time to get to Stansted and it was a good job that we did because as usual the A14 resembled a war zone and with hold-up after hold-up and a couple of circuitous detours we found ourselves with little margin for error by the time we pulled into the mid-stay car park.