Tag Archives: Travel

Day 15 – Holy Split!

29th September. Time to go home.

We were turfed off the boat quite early, with four hours to kill before being picked up to go to the airport, where we would have three more hours before our flight. The Trogir marina, as well as being huge, is a very well-organised outfit, and so before long we were ensconced in the coffee bar

where I was able to write about our visit to Trogir. Then we had a nice lunch at the Yacht Club restaurant there, which featured one of those Small World things which are so interesting when they happen. There were some English chaps sitting at the table next to us, all wearing the same style of shirt, so, out of curiosity I took a peek to find out what that was about. Imagine my surprise! when it turned out that these guys were from the Rugby Club in Chobham, which is where we live.

That was all a bit of fun before being taken to Split airport. Security and passport controls took no time at all, but then we got to the departure lounge…..

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It was ridiculous. Lima departure lounge is pretty bad, but I have never seen scenes like Split. This appeared to be a normal day – no Air Traffic Control problems, no weather issues – so the lesson is clear: avoid this place, particularly on holiday change-over days. Hint for travellers – there’s a USB charging point behind Gate 7 with seating beside it on the window sill, provided you don’t mind draping your legs over a radiator.

To be fair to he airport, it did thin out eventually, and I heard that several flights had been delayed earlier, which might explain the crowding.

Anyhoo…onward progress to Munich was punctual and uneventful, so all the above kerfuffle meant was that Split airport was denied the profit it might have made from my buying a beer once the crowd had thinned to the point where I could actually see there was one.

From Munich to London was equally uneventful and so we arrived home around 10pm with the very real prospect of a decent cup of tea as compensation for the end of what has been a great two weeks in Croatia. I plan to round off the whole Croatia travel blog thang with some musings about the holiday and the place, so stay with it whilst I organise my thoughts. See you soon.

Day 3 – Borderline exciting

17th September meant a prompt start for us, as we had to leave Dubrovnik and head up the coast. To make the journey more pleasant, we took the coast road (slower than the main road, but much more scenic). The view over the Adriatic was lovely, and included some interesting sights, such as an old wall which was a fortification to seal off an area to protect the extraction of salt.

Then we encountered something which is typical of the complexities and conflicts in the region – a border! We had to enter Bosnia Hercegovina, a country created by the Balkan wars of the 1990s. A commonly-held idea is that a break in Croatia was created in order to give Bosnia access to the sea, but Željko disabused us of this notion, saying that the real reason is that Dubrovnik, which used to be a self-contained city state, insisted on retaining its separation (whilst still being part of Croatia, which was, of course, also a country created by the Balkan wars). So, now there’s a border, not only into a different country, but, of course, going out of the EU, which makes it a much bigger deal altogether.

Fortunately, the border guards were not on work-to-rule, as can happen sometimes, and so waved us through with just a few words with driver and guide.

We also saw another consequence of the aftermath of the Balkan wars, on local signposts. This part of the Balkan region has three languages and two alphabets; political correctness demands that these appear on signposts but local bitterness means that the alphabet not relevant to a part of the country tends to get unofficially painted over. Here’s a minor example, where someone objected to the Cyrillic script:

but whose stepladder didn’t seem to be tall enough to reach the top name! We saw other, more extreme examples of blacking out the Cyrillic script, as that is the Serbian alphabet, and this was southern Bosnia.

After a while, we reversed the border process and re-entered Croatia, whereupon the landscape changed dramatically as we entered a fertile plain, where many varieties of produce are grown.

Grapevines, watermelons and tangerines figure highly among what’s grown, and there are many roadside kiosks where one can stop and buy fresh samples.

We passed Ploče, of which you’ll have seen an aerial photo earlier, because you were paying attention, weren’t you? Anyway, here’s what it looked like from the ground.

Shortly after this, we swung off the coast road and up into the hills, to Gornji Tučepi, which was the start of the day’s (hot and sweaty) walk. You’ll have to wait for the next entry to read all about that. Stay tuned!