After originally booking ourselves in for two days at Camping Stobrič, we quickly decided to extend our stay to seven days. It’s a well laid out site with spacious pitches and great facilities. It’s situated next to the Adriatic Sea with its own private beach, and there’s also a shop and restaurant on site. I’m not sure I’d want to stay here in the high season when the place is full, but while we we’ve been here it’s only been about a quarter full. What also made us extend our stay is that the daily charge is just €12 plus taxes if you stay three nights or more. Most vans on the site have been German, though we did meet and chat with three other British couples. It was also great to meet up with Tina, whose blog we have been following.
We spent a couple of days out in Split, and another day further up the coast in Trogir. Sunday was Independence Day here, with Monday as the public holiday, so we had a couple of days downtime in anticipation that lots of places would be closed. I also went out on my bike a couple of times, but didn’t roam too far as this part of the coast is hemmed in by a busy main road.
On Sunday there was a football match in the stadium next to the campsite, so as I’m missing going over the Orient I went to watch the last 20 minutes of the first half through the fence. The standard wasn’t great, and neither side could put away their chances. It had 0-0 written all over it, so I didn’t bother watching the second half. Unsurprisingly the game ended 0-0, so I didn’t miss much.
We did think about going on a day trip to either Dubrovnik or Mostar (where that famous bridge is in Bosnia) whilst we were here, but when we looked into it either trip would entail a coach journey of more than four hours each way with just three hours in the town, and as neither of us fancied sitting on a coach for eight or nine hours we knocked that one on the head. Split on the other hand was a more agreeable 30 minutes bus ride from the bus stop outside the campsite.
Split is an ancient town, first founded by the ancient Greeks, and later settled in by the Romans who made it the capital of the Dalmatian province. The Byzantines took control after the Romans, and after that the city became Venetian. The focal point of the town is the palace, built for the Roman emperor Diocletian, and much of the structure survives today, though this was adapted by the Byzantines, Venetians and later generations over time. No prizes for guessing that it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
It was lovely to walk through the pedestrianised old town, with its labyrinth of narrow whitewashed stone alleyways. Even though there were loads of tour parties doing the rounds (there was a cruise ship in port) it was quite easy to lose them down the narrow lanes. There’s a lovely marina there too.
Trogir is another ancient town and, not to be outdone by its much bigger neighbour Split, is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s quite a small island, but very photogenic. We took the 37 bus there from Split, which took about an hour. It would have been OK if the aircon on the bus had been working, and it hadn’t stopped at every single stop, so we were very glad to finally arrive in Trogir. As it was now lunchtime, we found a nice restaurant overlooking the marina. The waitress spoke really good English, but with an American twang, so Carol asked her where she learned to speak it. “Cartoons” she said. “The Simpsons and Spongebob Squarepants.” Brilliant!
After spending the rest of day wandering around Trogir and admiring the views, we decided to take the water taxi back to Split instead of the bus. By now it had started to cloud over, and as we drew close to Split it started to pour down, with rolls of thunder and flashes of lightning. Neither of us had brought a brolly with us, as no rain had been forecast, so we had to buy a couple from a tourist shop on our way to the bus stop to catch the bus back to the campsite.
In the evenings we’ve been watching the first few episodes of Rick Stein’s ‘From Venice to Istanbul’ series, covering the Venice to Croatia leg of his journey. In one episode he had a lovely looking fish and bean stew at the Villa Spiza restaurant in Split, so we visited there for a late lunch. They didn’t have the fish stew on the menu unfortunately, so Carol went for the pasta/courgette/prawn dish whilst I had a shellfish risotto, and the food was sublime, the best meal out we’ve had in a long, long time. The ambience was great and it really felt like we were eating where the locals eat, even though we were right in the middle of a tourist area. If you ever find yourself visiting Split, then definitely go for a meal at Villa Spiza!
Our time in Split has now come to an end, and tomorrow we’ll be heading up the coast towards Zadar and Krk. Many campsites have started closing down for the season, so our overnight stops will be determined by the campsites which are open. Not a problem though, as from what we’ve seen, and listening to feedback from others, it’s lovely everywhere along the Adriatic coast.