Named after the "Spiny Broom" plant - a common shrub in the area.
24.05.2013 - 24.05.2013 20 °C
A good sleep last night - a comfortable bed. We left at 8.30am It's been raining this morning but is clearing up already. We're now travelling in a southerly direction on our way to Split. The area in Croatia that we've travelled through for the last hour was occupied by the Germans in WWII. There is an airbase nearby where German planes would take off and bomb Croatian cities - just unthinkable. The airbase is now used by the Croatian Army. It's hard to imagine this country in times of war - it's such a peaceful place. Yesterday we passed by houses in little villages close to Plitvice that still have bullet holes in their walls - from the Serbian-Croatian War back in 1991-1995. A very sobering site. Our guide told us that one town suffered 200,000 casualties.
We've travelled alongside a huge mountain range and are now driving through a 5 km long tunnel called "Tunel Saint Rok". We will reappear on the other side of the mountain range. This tunnel is the border between one climate type and another. The climate on the northern side is Temperate and the climate where we will emerge is Meditteranean. We've been told that we will notice a difference.
Yes - there is a difference. We've gone from mountainous and heavily wooded terrain to more sparse vegetation in the Dalmatian Region.
We continued to drive south east along the Dalmatian Coast - passing by the most beautiful scenery. The weather has cleared up a lot - still some cloud but lots of sun. The ocean is a beautiful deep blue - this is the Adriatic Sea. We stopped at a little town called Primosten - a picture perfect spot, photos of this town are used on tourist catalogues for the Dalmatian Region of Croatia. Took some photos of our own - they're beauties.
On then to Trogir - where we stopped for lunch and had some free time to walk around. A very old town with lots of alleyways. Red and I climbed up in to the Belltower of the Cathedral of St. Lawrence - now this was scary. It was high up with just metal steps and a single iron railing. The last few feet consisted of an almost vertical series of steps. I was really glad to make it to the top. The views were worth it, but I'm not sure I would have done it had I realised what it was like beforehand.
We sat in the Square and had a salad roll for lunch while talking to a couple of our travelling companions - two ladies from Geelong. Another beautiful icecream, Croatian is just as good as Czech.
Back on the bus to continue to Split. This is a very popular holiday destination for travellers from all over Europe and beyond. We were met by a local guide called Emilia who took us on a tour through the Diocletians Palace. Diocletian was a roman emporer who built the Palace in preparation for his retirement in 305AD.
Even though the Palace has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there have been shops and apartments built within the building. This has outraged our guide, she is very passionate about the preservation of the site, and urged us to do what we can to raise awareness about this issue. It was a really good tour - amazing to walk through what is called the cellar of this Palace and disturbing to see the degradation of the site.
We had some free time so we walked along the lovely Promenade in Split, had a seat in the sun for a while. Then an obligatory stop off to a shop that produces and sells a range of olive oils, jams, nuts, liquer wine etc. At 6pm I think all of us would have preferred going straight to our hotel, but when you're on a tour - these shopping interludes are a part of the deal.
Finally to our hotel, dinner - and the end of the day.