Tag Archives: Travel

A to Z of Windows – T is for Trogir in Croatia

We were heading for the town of Trogir, which is about fifteen miles 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.

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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 – 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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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.

Travels in Croatia -Šukosan and Zadar

 

It was getting dark and the sun was sinking but the drive to the nearby village of Šukosan just outside the city of Zadar was surprisingly easy with a nice straight road and with only a little difficulty in the gloom finding the location of the Apartmani Vilma, which was tucked discreetly away behind the main road on a quiet residential street.

This was a curious place, not really a hotel at all but more like somebody’s house with some rented rooms attached.  The owner had been waiting for us to arrive and showed us immediately to a clean, basic but adequate room.

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A to Z of Windows – N is for Nowa Huta in Poland

Nowa Huta was built for two hundred thousand Polish steel workers in just ten years between 1949 and 1959 and was designed to rebalance Krakow society in favour of the proletariat and to overwhelm the largely conservative and bourgeois city that was a focus of opposition and a thorn in the side for the communist government.

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