Thursday, August 21, 2014

Europe Trip - Part 2

Thursday August 21


We had set the alarm clock for 7 am. After all, it got a bit late last night. We quickly got ready, packed and showed up at the table as agreed. And the four of us had breakfast. Oh that German bread. I should not get on the scale for a while when I get home.

At 8 o'clock we are on the way to the Zürich Airport again.

It is a gorgeous morning. While Corry is driving I take a picture of the "Hohentwiel" a landmark of this area, a little mountain with ruins on top. I have been up there in 1975.



Corry tells us that it is not totally predictable how long the drive will take but she has no problem whatsoever and we are there in good time.

Finally we board our first flight Zürich - Zagreb. I think our plane is called "Istra" and the picture looks like a Capricorn. Strangely google translate tells me that word means "research". Oh well...



It's a long time since I have flown in a propeller machine.




James thinks this is the "Lake of Konstance" (Bodensee) with the Insel Mainau.



The next flight Zagreb - Split.



The view was gorgeous. Too bad the pictures don't show it like that.




We will have two nights in Split in the Hotel Slavija. It is inside the Diocletian's Palace which is now like an old city center. Actually some of the old walls (including in our room) where part of that palace from the 3rd century.



Right from our hotel entrance we walk into the hassle and bussle. The whole area is pedestrian and really seems like a maize with the narrow streets, nooks and crannies. You never know what you will find around the corner.



Roman Emporer Diocletian (245-311) ruthlessly persecuted Christians. He built this palace and a mauseleum for himself. His mauseleum ironically later became a cathedral and bones of Christian martyrs where interred right next to him.

The bell tower was constructed in 1100 AD.



There were so sooooooo many tourists there that we decided to do our sightseeing the next morning. Instead we found a little place in a side alley where we had some very nice local beer and shared an appetizer.




Ha-ha, I do sometimes forget to take a picture of the food ... contrary to my reputation. But this selection of Dalmation specialties was very nice. And the Croatian people LOVE their bread.



After that we went down to the harbor. No letting the toes testing the water but we found a bench and the view was lovely. Of course this is a panorama picture so some distorting occurs.



After some rest in the room we ventured out again for dinner. It is so nice to sit outside. And the people watching is fun too. It rained a little during our dinner but it didn't matter at all.

Neither one was hungry so a portion of mussels (local) in white wine seemed like a good idea. And it was!



There is one of my friends who likes to read my blogs who should take a close look at the name of this restaurant (Kim!)



Parties were still going on in the streets in front of our hotel ... but we didn't hear a thing through the thick stone walls and slept well.



Friday August 22


After the excellent included breakfast in the hotel we headed out.


We went along the alley around the corner and find the windows to our room.



We went to the cathedral first and yes, there are not as many tourists yet.



The plaza is not so large so I have to take a panorama picture.



And the bell tower is way too tall to get into a picture from so close so panorama again.


We buy tickets which entitle us to visit several places. So, the cathedral (which was built as a mausoleum) first.



A curved pew. How about that?



The altar from the other side. There were two "rooms".



Behind the pillar on the right was the font in the next photo.

Since a photo doesn't really show things I took a VIDEO.



My guess is that it is for holy water because it was next to the door.



Oh the doors!!! Fascinating. I have to look them up at home when I have better internet (and time).



There are 24 sections like this with motives from the bible about Jesus' life.



Next I climb up the Bell Tower. James decides to skip this because of his ankle. My no-nonsense James!



I am a bit huffing and puffing but the view is worth it. This is a panorama again. Really, I can't document what we are seeing and experiencing in the photos.








Somewhere in there is our hotel but I can't find it.



I took this picture because I thought it was so funny. On the balcony in the front was a couple. He was standing/working at the ironing board while she was sitting at the table eating breakfast.



Going down I past the bells again. Good thing they didn't toll right then.



Somebody told us that around the corner was a museum in honor of the 800 year anniversary of the carved double door. I had hoped there was a publication I could buy. The panels would be great ideas for church banners. Internet when I am home?






Then we went into the Crypt.



And walked around.




The Baptisery! Fonts used to be outside of the sanctuary because people needed to be "cleansed" before they allowed to enter.



Practical. Sections on the sides so the priest would not get wet.



The sealing! Like the faces?




Walking along the outside of the palace. See the roman soldiers?



The keeper at the entrance to the Baptistry had told us about the sculpture we had to see and rub the toe for good luck. Well, I would have thought he might know that it was under renovation.





Wow, when we went back through the plaza ... hordes of people. There was a little performance of "roman soldiers".



So we went into a side alley for lunch. We didn't think we each could eat a "personal" pizza.



On every corner there is ice cream for sale.



A selfie with our ice cream. My comment: it actually looks better then it tasted.



We rested a little in the hotel and then ventured out for dinner. We got lucky. Sitting at the edge of all the tables having a wonderful view.



Some restaurants have free Wi-Fi and happily give you the password. Got a text from Helen that William misses Omi.

I took a selfie and sent it.



Text came back that he would give me a kiss but I had my glasses on (I always take them off when I give him a hug because I don't want to hurt him). So I take the glasses off and take another selfie (not very attractive but the things you do for loved ones).



The meal was perfect. James had mussel again but even better then yesterday.



I had octopus salad which is on every menu here and I had to try it. Oh so good!




It was almost 9 pm when we were done with dinner. We remembered that there was supposed to be a concert in the underground of the palace (basement halls). By chance we found it and it was perfect timing.

A harp and two flutes.



Not totally perfect timing because no more seats. James stood leaning against the back wall and I sat on the floor until a gentleman insisted that I take his seat.



It was great! We have a sampling.

Video 1 from Christa

Video 2 from Christa

Video 1 from James

Video 2 from James



Leaving tomorrow to go on the boat.


(Trying and trying to upload ... the video links need to be added later)


1 comment:

  1. We are following along. We were talking today about what we would do with a three week European vacation (dreaming). Mike just amended his itinerary to add Croatia! I was watching some show about a bakery. Can’t remember where it was (maybe Philadelphia), but one of the customers was German and said, “Their bread is as good as German bread”. I was reminded of you and here you say it again. I apparently need to get myself to Germany and eat bread!

    Those views, that gorgeous old wall in your hotel and an amazing, historical city. What a lovely welcome to Croatia you had. I loved the Shook restaurant. According to Mike’s dad’s genealogical research ‘Shook’ is a Holland name. Perhaps he should look to Croatia for some family history! The pizza looks wonderful! Wish someone in Richmond would make it like that. Mussels and octopus salad! We would eat with you two anytime, anywhere.