Whilst in Montenegro i got a call to go back to the previous catamaran i was on. The boat had moved further north into Croatia so i travelled overland from Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, to Rogoznica by local bus.
My first stop was the ‘Jewel of the Adriatic’ Dubrovnik. The coach trip is worth doing as it follows the Dalmatian coast as it heads north. You get a scenic tour at the same time as you travel to your destination.
View from my apartment –
A word of warning though. If any guest house offers you views like this you WILL be climbing hundreds of stairs during your stay ! Your calf muscles will feel like concrete 3 days later.
Inside the old city of Dubrovnik –
You can walk around the top of the exterior walls, spare some time though as its a total of 4 kms !! I didn’t believe it but i’m glad i took somebodys advice and went early morning, it took over 2 hours by the time you’ve stopped and taken photos. It was incredibly hot with obviously no shade so go early and take water !
Fort Lovrijenac – often called ‘Dubrovniks Gibraltar’. Its played its part in resisting Venetian rule but more recently known as a venue for the Croatian Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series !
I only had a day in Dubrovnik and quickly had to move onto Split. Its another great coach journey that follows the Dalmatian coast with lots of great views of the neighbouring islands. At one point the Croatian coastline gets interrupted by Bosnia. You have to exit Croatia and enter Bosnia showing your passport. You drive for another 20 minutes or so and then re-enter Croatia, obviously encountering immigration again ! I couldn’t help but feel Bosnia was a little hard done by only being given such a small part of the coastline !
I arrived in Spilt but it was nothing like Dubrovnik, no ancient fortress or walled city to climb. There are older parts to the town but its more of a port with access to lots of other places including ferries to Italy.
Statue of Grgur Ninski – Gregory of Nin – who introduced the national language in religious services after the great assembly in 926 AD. Before that services were only held in Latin which most of the population could not understand.
After a very short stay in Split i jumped on yet another bus and headed for Rogoznica where i was to meet the boat. I have to say its very easy to get around using the local buses/coaches. There are many routes and they run throughout the day and sometimes at night at reasonable cost. As the train network does not go up and down the coast you don’t have much other choice!
I re-joined the boat and we headed off for our next destination of Pula further north into Croatia. Our first stop was in a national park area called Kornati. This national park is quite often referred to as ‘nautical paradise’ because of its 89 beautiful islands.
Rugged coastline which faces the Dalmatian coast –
On the third day we arrived at our destination of Pula. I didn’t know much about Pula before i got there but now i know it was one of the most important and strategic ports from the sea into europe. It has been occupied, destroyed and rebuilt numerous times. The Romans, Ostrogoths and Venetians have all controlled the city including the Allied Forces during Workd War 2.
I had a few days in Pula but my time on the boat had come to an end. The boat had been delivered to its destination and would await the return of its owners and guests before cruising the Croatian islands some more.
I moved a bit further up the coast to the town of Rovinj. Originally a fishing port the old town stands out on a headland with a church high up on the hillside overlookjng the town.
Rovinj at dusk –
It was time to leave Croatia i headed back to the UK. It had been an enjoyable first trip to Croatia, there are just so many more uslands and towns to visit alkng this fantastic coastline. I will be back for sure !!