Croatia to Italy bound.............
Here’s a quick catch up.....
We took the short journey from Seget to Split and spent some time exploring the city before catching the night ferry to Italy.
I tried out some special sun oil that a lady had sold me in Trogir market. We later found out that it was possibly made from a local fig tree concoction and is used to help tan the skin – can’t think why she zoomed in on me?! Mixed with carrot (?!) -it can also be used as a sun block. As we walked by a lady selling her own figs she offered Ben a fig. He loved them and ended up sitting next to her at the stall and scoffing fresh figs! We did end up buying a huge bag full and Ben came away happy!
Anyway - In Split we visited the Diocletian’s Roman Palace. These underground rooms are among the best preserved monuments of the Roman building heritage in the world. The palace is a rectangular building (215m by 180m), with four big towers at each corner, four gates on each side and four small towers on its walls. These underground rooms were very cool- ideal for the climate and just another example of Roman thinking beyond its time! There were many examples of advanced craftsmanship in the construction of this building – only using manual skills and many hours of labour. (We have seen many more examples of this during our time in Italy too).
· Thinking back to Slovenia for a moment –we forgot to mention that (in our experience) if you would like to buy some shoes – the price displayed is for only one shoe!
Wednesday, 17 September 2008 22:06:46 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00) Croatia
Croatia and friends..............
We arrived in Croatia (27thAugust) and travelled, until we found a camp site (Auto camp – Korana) on the edge of a National Park - Plitvicka Jezera. Phil constructed a hammock with materials that he had bought with him for that purpose (including safety netting -kindly donated by Matt & Bec!) and we held a ceremony as it was tested out! It was very successful until the children tried jumping in on top of each other........it lives to fight another day!
The next day we visited the National Park and trekked about 4kms along a series of lakes and waterfalls cascading all around us.....
The crystal clear turquoise water was the most beautiful we have ever seen - and was the home to vast amounts of fish including Chubb and Trout – but no fishing was permitted –much to Phil’s displeasure (his previous 6 years as bailiff at Clawford Fisheries did not come in handy on this occasion!) The journey included a boat trip to the other side of one lake and with it a welcome rest! Luckily we found a road train that took us almost all the way back to the main entrance! The eight National Parks seem to be a pride of Croatia and luckily they have very strict rules to help preserve and protect their natural beauty.
We tried out a Croatian restaurant on the way home and a good old mixed grill sorted us all out! We all ate and drank for 220Kn which was great value for money (approx £22.00). This did not include alcohol as Phil was driving and Croatia has a zero tolerance on drinking and driving.
The following day (Friday 29th) saw us travel further south and the temperatures rose the further we reached – topping the day at 33.5 degrees! We followed our travel book idea and reached a camp along the Dalmatian coast.....and what a hit this was.
Camp Seget is situated on the outskirts of Seget, a small fishing village, just 2kms from the interesting old harbour town of Trogir. We pitched up right at the edge of the Adriatic Sea and snorkelling was another great hit. Many colourful stripy fish were seen as the children (and Daddy) loved using their new snorkelling sets! We will have to see how successful the underwater camera has been!
We enjoyed spending time with new found English neighbours – Roger and Gaye (and their son Richard -who was visiting them). We had a laugh on the first evening (often at the blonde girl’s expense!) and during the days the children moved out of Nessie and anything to do with their mum and dad – and hassled Roger and Gaye- (and the pups) - almost to the point of adoption!? They even persuaded Gaye to go snorkelling with them one evening well after everyone else had left the sea! And she went.......
When we arrived we were introduced to “Dumble” - their adopted “stray” Croatian dog who had not let them into a little secret those few months ago and was now the proud mum of 4 pups!! This was a lovely success story as the pups were all so different in colour and all gorgeous. They were born in the motor home and lived inside a dingy during the day time! The saved pups all went off to their new homes during the time we were there. This was all very emotional and as Jemma also became extremely attached in this short time we have promised that we can choose a family puppy when we return from Macswayround......
Roger became my computer helpline for a time and showed me how to transfer files of photos and camcorder clips across to our hard drive (thanks to PC Planet for helping to sort us out before we left). We are now happier to think that our records so far- are in a ‘safer’ place!
We would all love to be able to meet up with Roger and Gaye again in Croatia in 2010 (if they have recovered from Jemma and Ben by then!) – as they hope to buy a home in the local area.... (talk about us long term planning !) As we chatted it was quite uncanny to realise how similar we were as families –even down to the order of children, number of children, month of their birthdays and age gaps. Just a couple of years further down the line, it was kinda reassuring to see that there is another family out there who have been there – done that- and are still surviving!!
We took a water taxi to Trogir – which is often referred to as a “Little Venice” and we could see why. Phil much preferred this to our real Venice experience a few years ago as we came away not feeling completely ripped off. The town was very intriguing with its maze of very narrow cobbled streets, restaurants, cafes and oldie -world shops etc. It was a Saturday night and very busy so we eventually found a place to eat and had a great evening.
We enjoyed Trogir so much that we walked back the next day and captured the moment in time......
Back at camp Phil seems to be taking an ‘over active’ interest in the Continental swim wear (or lack of it –maybe you know what I mean Nigel?). All this to see and only a matter of metres away....I always knew Phil was a keen twitcher .....
We seem to be managing quite well with our very pigeon Polish – as the Polish, Croatian and Slovenian languages all seem to have many similar words! Over at Seget we enjoyed another meal and Ben surprised us by ploughing his way through a whole plate of fried shrimps – and loving them! We looked around this small village and saw that even this is a miniature, miniature Venice, with a maze of tiny cobbled streets.
This is our 10th country on Macswayround, but we all feel that Croatia has gained a special place in our hearts ........
· Sunglasses appear to be a more important fashion accessory than crash helmets, whilst riding a motor cycle in Trogir!
· Croatia still appears to have an untouched natural beauty surrounding it....
· Local wine can be purchased in bottles of any shape or form- that’s got to be the best 2 litres of Red Fanta we’ve ever drunk!
· We have seen lime trees, kiwi trees, olive trees and pomegranate trees all bearing fruits.
· Property is becoming more and more expensive to buy in Croatia.
· Phil was stung again – by a jellyfish this time! Must have been giving him a kiss as he was stung on the lip?!
· Cravats originate from Croatia.
WILD- LIFE HITS-
· Lots of unrecognisable fish in the sea, during snorkelling lessons and sessions!
· Dinner plate size crabs in the sea!
Friday, 05 September 2008 22:45:40 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00) Croatia