Welcome to Croatia! We took an overnight ferry from Ancona, Italy to
This is the view from the ferry as we sailed into the harbor.
This is the central church in the middle of old town. "Old Town", by
the way, began life
as a retreat for the Roman Emporer Diocletian. It has been
inhabited for around 1700 years; not bad, eh?
This is a statue and clock tower just outside the walls of the old town.
We stayed near split in the town of Trogir. This church is in the
walled old city, which I personally think is prettier than the better
While up in the bell tower some tourist (not me) made the mistake of
getting the bell ringing. That resulted in about five minutes of
really loud gonging, and there was so little space between the swinging
cast iron bell and the exit none of us up there dared leave.
Eventually friction won out and stopped this monster's motion.
Kyle waving on the way back down the tower.
This is the view of the church square from the top of the tower.
Looking out to the larger island beyond Trogir from the bell
tower. That's a ship yard in the upper right, making a good sized
The old city of Trogir is on a small island. This fort stands on
the corner of the island, protecting the rest of the city.
A short drive south of Split, we stopped at this beautiful little
village of Dugi Rat. The castle above the buildings is guarding
the mouth of a river that runs through town.
Angela on a bridge in Dugi Rat.
After leaving the Split area, we started a multiple day driving journey
to Zagreb through the Croatian countryside. First stop: Zadar,
another town with remarkably well preserved Roman buildings.
This lady is taking a water taxi, as people have done for centuries in
this area. And she's talking on her cell phone, which I believe
was a Roman invention so the Emporer could keep in touch with the
Senate when touring the Empire. I may have gotten that part
Zadar has two quite unique features. The first is the Sea Organ;
as the waves come and go, they are routed through pipes underneath this
concrete promenade. The water forces air through the pipes,
creating a very pleasant, serene sort of music all the time. The
sound is coming out through these holes in the concrete.
Then there's the Monument to the Sun. solar panels set under a
protective cover. Paul and Angela are standing in the center of
the "sun". Nearby are smaller, proportional sets of panels
representing each of the planets (sorry, I don't remember if Pluto made
the cut or not). These solar panels collect sun during the day
and that energy is used to power multi-colored LED lights at
night. We didn't have time to stay for the night time display, so
this picture will have to do.
Now we're at Plitvice Lakes National Park, in the mountainous interior
of the country. There are 16 lakes, separated by naturally formed
dams of travertine. Since the lakes are at different elevations,
there are waterfalls and rapids running from one to the other.
This view is the most spectacular, with the multiple waterfalls and the
perfect fall colours.
Here's a smaller lake being fed by a wall of waterfalls.
The area is great for walking, with these boardwalks running over many
of the lakes, allowing the energetic hiker many beautiful views and
lots of exercise.
For the largest lake, there are ferries to move you from one side to
The ferry dock.
I reported the short dude (above) for not paying the entrance fee to
the park, but
the rangers refused to do anything about it. I guess I have to
chalk that up to cultural differences...
And now we're in the capital city of Zagreb. This pretty church
(St. Marks), with the Croatian flag as a roof tile mosaic, is on
one side of the square where Croatia's parliment sits.
This is the Zagreb Cathedral, which is the best known building in
town. The spires are apparently in a constant state of repair, so
a view like this is to be expected.
Zagreb is a little like the San Francisco of Croatia, at least as far
as how hilly the town is.
One afternoon we drove a few miles out of town to see Samobor, a town
where Zagrebians go to relax and slow down from the pace of modern
life. The river running through town and the beautiful houses
make it a great place to visit.
And then there's the most beautiful city in Croatia, Dubrovnik.
This walled city right on the sea is just fantastic. This view is
from the top platform of the cable car that rises up from just outside
the city walls.
This close up of a statue atop the main church in town is of
Dubrovnik's parton saint, St. Blaise. Isn't that a great
name? He's holding a model of the entire walled city in his left
This is one of the wells for fresh water within the city walls, which
allowed them to withstand many sieges in the past. As you may
recall, the city was under attack in the early ninties as part of the
implosion of the former Yugoslavia; the damage from that time is almost
Inside one of the churches in town, there's this very natural looking
grotto with a statue kneeling before the Virgin Mary.
At that same church, this lady watches over the door.
I don't remember what this building is, but I liked the different
geometric patterns in the picture.
This was our hotel, the Hilton Dubrovnik. Believe it or not, I
took this picture in near darkness, the camera just did a good job of
capturing all the available light.
At noon each day, in one of the larger squares, there is apparently a
tradition of feeding the pigeons. The pigeons know this and
gather in advance. Once the food has been scattered, it looks
something that must have inspired Alfred Hitchcock some number of years
One last city view of Dubrovnik. We walked all around the path atop the
city wall, and got to see a lot of beautiful views like this.