Tuesday, 20 September 2016

SPLIT DECISION.....DO WE LIKE IT OR NOT?

20th.September 2016

17th -19th September

The campsite is OK,  good facilities and a weird bracelet tag that entitles you to 3 (three) 7 minute  showers a day.....more are charged for at 2 kuna (8.84 to he £). However the water is v.hot and the place is spotless . We are 7km outside city (2nd largest )and the bus timetable defeats us. We could ask but decide to cycle. ......Split doesn't do bikes. No cycle paths or lanes.....and when you want to park your bike- nightmare.
So we set off from campsite armed with directions and map, both of which are either erroneous  or misleading. At least we don't have to cycle down the dual carriageway but the side roads are not bike friendly. Croatians don't like bikes and make it clear that you shouldn't be on their roads. The wide path beside the road along the beachfront seemed inviting but pedestrians string out across it to stop you passing quite deliberately and refuse to give way when walking towards you, so we go back on the narrow road where cars give you no room.....
The beachfront is sad and scrubby, not very busy and is frankly disappointing.
Eventually find town centre or the seafront harbour where the Diocletian palace dominates and things perk up. 3 huge cruise ships in the port, traffic at a standstill, very chic promenade and NOWHERE TO PARK YOUR BIKE. It took us over half an hour to find a bit of railing to chain the bikes to ...even asked the rickshaw guys where we could park and they just laughed and said Split hates bikes. Trying to walk bikes through hordes of tourists looking for a bike rack is not fun on a Sunday in Split. Eventually we spot a place and proceed on foot. The palace is fantastic, amazing that so much survives and is home to so many shops and bars. We walk around for ages......only stopping to have a beer when we have a few showers......it is hot and thunderstorms predicted arrive in the evening. With hindsight, the best thing would have been to hire a private guide for a 1 to 1 tour as I'm sure we missed a lot of detail. The thought of cycling back in the next day was depressing and as it turned out it rained a lot anyway....
Both agreed that the information office needed to do an Audio Guide for an individual  walking tour and is missing a trick by not having one. Anyway, it's a fascinating place, just not sure about the rest of it.....another victim of its own success like Venice.
Monday rained a lot after thunderstorms. When it cleared we walked into the local town along the seafront and then back to campsite for a drink on the very fine terrace the bar & restaurant has overlooking the bay. The like - dislike debate rages long into the evening and we
probably give it all a grudging thumbs up.

20th.September

Justin is in Kazakhstan.  How cool is that? Hope he gets a stamp in the passport....and if he finds a cache that a great souvenir.
We've done Split....probably not enough but Dubrovnik beckons. Decide to go down via the motorway to Ploce (where it stops suddenly, even though the signs say keep going but the concrete bollards say no)even though we know I might be expensive. ....but it saves 2 hours, is a great piece of engineering and eventually only costs 71kuna ( £9)...
After Ploce the road rejoins the Adriatic Highway, and we will return up the the highway to Split .....
The journey is now a lot slower but mor interesting.  First th rough a valley of fruit farms and roadside stalls every 100 yds selling mainly big bags of mandarins which we stop and buy along with melons and peaches.
Then we hit the coast and the scenery is stunning and the driving standards scary....no wonder it figures on the dangerous roads lists....
Next up is the Bosnian Corridor. Waved through the border posts with a languid motion from a disembodied hand so beloved by bored border protection staff throughout Europe with not even a glance at the passports the GF holds out....and so we enter Bosnia Herzegovina. ...and leave it 6 miles later in similar fashion. The whole 6 miles seems to consist of a straggling town called Neum whose sole raison d'etre apears to be to give B-H a coastline for some reason. Anyway, we're not insured from this incursion and it used be shelled regularly during the Serbo - Croat  war in the 90's.....but we emerge unscathed back into Croatia and a last 20 mile run to Dubrovnik.  Have eschewed the ACSI site 16ks outside town as it is obvious that with the mountainous terrain, cycling will not be an option, and opted for a site close to centre....the 5 day stopover takes a dive when they quote €40 a night eventually reduced to €34 for 6 nights..double the cost of the ACSI site. So we agree on 3 nights for €36....and it's not a particularly nice site, just in a great position above the Copacabana beach which is something  else....I'll try and get a picture.

4 comments:

  1. Morning - enjoying reading your blog as always - have been following your travels on google map to get a better idea of where you are / have been. How weird that Bosnia divides Croatia for that tiny little bit - it would seem hardly worth it, but I guess that's what disputes over land result in.

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  2. Kazakhstan - been there, done that. No geocaching though, sorry, didn't even cross my mind. If you'd reminded me...

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    1. Doesn't matter. ..I picked one up in Bosnia Herzegovina which is also cool

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