Having fallen in love with Split, it’s another place we’re reluctant to leave. I’m fast coming to appreciate that the Dalmatian coast needs a trip of its own. There’s just so much to see and do here, even without taking the islands into account. It would be easy to spend months here, popping into a market each morning, deciding where to lunch, island hopping every so often and perhaps befriending a local grandma or two – those burek secrets aren’t going to be given up easily.
But leave we must. Our return clock is starting to speed up, annoyingly, just as we were starting to slow down. It’s solved one question though – Chris wondered if we’d get sick of travel, staying away for a fourth month – the answer is a resounding “no”. I’m thinking 6 months might just be ideal, provided we can dodge ice. As much as I love European winter with its fairytale snow settings, I’ve no desire to be in the motorhome if it hits an ice patch.
We don’t get far – Trogir is next on our list. Not only highlighted in our book for its 3rd century origins and UNESCO World Heritage status, but also recommend by a friend who travelled there recently.
The historic centre of Trogir is on an island, surrounded by defensive walls, linked to the mainland by a bridge. Its history has been touched by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Hungarians and Venetians. Each has left their mark, be it on the architecture, the food or its culture. There’s even a cheeky gondola in the harbour, still.
We’re here ostensibly for lunch, but I can’t resist a quick exploration. It’s another gorgeous white stone setting, buildings and streets, offset by green shutters.
Palm trees line the harbour.
This coastline must surely have levelled at least a few mountains in their liberal use of local stone. The streets alone are artworks in their own right, worn glossy smooth over time, sculptural in shape, beautiful to touch.
We walk the edges of town, through the ancient Land Gate,
once a moated entry, to the edge of the island where the Venetian Karmelengo Castle sits,
alongside the 14th century Church of St Dominic.
We find the restaurant our friend recommended and settle in for an excellent lunch: hand made rolled pasta with truffle and Prosut for me,
a traditional Pasticada with a chard roulade for Chris – I’ll let Wikipedia explain “It requires long and meticulous preparation: first, the meat is pierced and stuffed with garlic, cloves, carrot and bacon, then salted and marinated in vinegar overnight. The marinated lamb is then roasted and cooked with roasted bacon, onions, parsley root, nutmeg, prunes, tomato paste, water and prošek (a sweet dessert wine) for up to five hours“.
Set under a gravevine canopy, both meals and the wines are excellent. We’ve truly eaten well on this trip.
After lunch we pop into the tiny seaside market for some home made olive oil and bread. Trogir only confirms my dawning realisation that this area needs a trip on its own. It’s all too soon we need to be on our way.
We push through for most of the afternoon, ending the day near the village of Grebastica. It’s another great spot near the water, complete with a hidden walking path, sea on one side, forest the other.
I take myself off for a walk while Chris settles.
The water is glorious under a blue sky, offering all shades of blue, green in the shallows. I pass olive groves,
shoals of tiny fish in their hundreds,
pale green and pink anemones,
a fabulously good stick insect,
and an unexplained ancient fort wall that leads into the ocean.
It’s so peaceful, left to my own devices, to take photos, chase butterflies and explore at will.