A Travellerspoint blog

Sukosan and Pag

June 16th and 17th

semi-overcast 22 °C
View Grandfolks Grand Tour on Combes Caper's travel map.

17TH JUNE ZADAR AND PAG
Sun out this morning so we tripped out to see the sights. However, we were not early enough to get parking in Zadar to see the old town. Such a pity. It was so manic and the one car park we found, we didn't feel that it looked safe to leave car with dodgy window in! So doing a quick bit of looking at map, we set off for Pag. Now Pag is on an isthmus jutting out into the Adriatic with a narrow channel between it and the mainland and another between it and the next set of islands. It was about 40 minutes drive and the scenery changed totally to something more like coastal southern Spain. The islands to the west were rocky and without vegetation, the hills to the east were majestic, limestone folds with patterns which I found fascinating and the formation of the clouds atop them, I could have watched for hours, the clouds were white with grey tones, folded into fluffy floating pillows which slipped and slid along the top of the hills. The road goes down the spine of the isthmus, not too much traffic today, but quite a few lorries.
Not long before getting into Pag, I spotted some straw umbrellas on the edge of the channel, reminded me of those in Sharm el Sheikh, perched precariously on a tiny scrap of pebbly beach.
Pag is a biggish resort, so there is need of provisions and merchandise to be shipped in and out. The centre of Pag is typical Mediterranean port village, lots of narrow, narrow lanes weaving around with tall buildings either side. The main square was a bit unprepossessing, though it had a good sized seating area outside the bar. It lacked planters and flowers to cheer it up.

Found a very interesting clothes shop, with some unusual designs, very reasonable, sadly too skimpy for me, but so good to see something not run of the mill, but fun and good prices. Down at the harbour area, there were plenty of places to eat and drink, nicely shaded in the middle of the day.

In my photo subject hunt today, I got all excited at what I thought were a flock of flamingos on the salt marshes, so on the way back we stopped for a photo shoot. OOOPS, it turned out the flamingos had four legs - salt marsh sheep! That booboo tops Sue H not knowing L from R eh? A little further on a flock was shepherded across the road in front of us, just managed to snap the tail enders as we zipped by. Also on the way back we dropped down into Razanac to take pictures of the hills and their formation. It was a darling little harbour, with a few boats and locals having a swim and enjoying the sun. Plus one man painting his boat. We took to the place much more than Pag.
tonight we thought we would go to the Marina at Sukosan where we were last evening and eat at Gusto again. However, we found that others wanted to go there too and we would not have had a table until 9.30!! Back to base, got other recommendations and at Porat a neighbouring restaurant to Gusto. Although we had a nice meal, the staff were more occupied with the football than the customers. At a neighbouring table, there were Brit and Norwegian sailors, lots of talk about stolen boats and hazards at sea! William, you could fetch your boat down here and have a great time, but as for going to sea, please don't suggest we join you! Well you can take Bernie..... Julia and I could go shop.
Our host was interested in the classic cars so we had a long chat with him that evening. He told us something about the war in Croatia which lasted about 4 years, how hard the tourism industry is at the moment. He says that it is really only worth being open 3 months of the year, as any money you make in the other months is not sufficient to cover the costs. When he was a youngster he used to ride bareback all the time, and, as he lived in a forested area, he got used to bailing out by reaching up to the nearest branch when things got too hairy and he needed to abandon ship!

Posted by Combes Caper 00:46 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Sukosan and Pag CROATIA

June 16th and 17th

semi-overcast 22 °C
View Grandfolks Grand Tour on Combes Caper's travel map.

17TH JUNE ZADAR AND PAG
Sun out this morning so we tripped out to see the sights. However, we were not early enough to get parking in Zadar to see the old town. Such a pity. It was so manic and the one car park we found, we didn't feel that it looked safe to leave car with dodgy window in! So doing a quick bit of looking at map, we set off for Pag. Now Pag is on an isthmus jutting out into the Adriatic with a narrow channel between it and the mainland and another between it and the next set of islands. It was about 40 minutes drive and the scenery changed totally to something more like coastal southern Spain. The islands to the west were rocky and without vegetation, the hills to the east were majestic, limestone folds with patterns which I found fascinating and the formation of the clouds atop them, I could have watched for hours, the clouds were white with grey tones, folded into fluffy floating pillows which slipped and slid along the top of the hills. The road goes down the spine of the isthmus, not too much traffic today, but quite a few lorries.
Not long before getting into Pag, I spotted some straw umbrellas on the edge of the channel, reminded me of those in Sharm el Sheikh, perched precariously on a tiny scrap of pebbly beach.
Pag is a biggish resort, so there is need of provisions and merchandise to be shipped in and out. The centre of Pag is typical Mediterranean port village, lots of narrow, narrow lanes weaving around with tall buildings either side. The main square was a bit unprepossessing, though it had a good sized seating area outside the bar. It lacked planters and flowers to cheer it up.

Found a very interesting clothes shop, with some unusual designs, very reasonable, sadly too skimpy for me, but so good to see something not run of the mill, but fun and good prices. Down at the harbour area, there were plenty of places to eat and drink, nicely shaded in the middle of the day.

In my photo subject hunt today, I got all excited at what I thought were a flock of flamingos on the salt marshes, so on the way back we stopped for a photo shoot. OOOPS, it turned out the flamingos had four legs - salt marsh sheep! That booboo tops Sue H not knowing L from R eh? A little further on a flock was shepherded across the road in front of us, just managed to snap the tail enders as we zipped by. Also on the way back we dropped down into Razanac to take pictures of the hills and their formation. It was a darling little harbour, with a few boats and locals having a swim and enjoying the sun. Plus one man painting his boat. We took to the place much more than Pag.
tonight we thought we would go to the Marina at Sukosan where we were last evening and eat at Gusto again. However, we found that others wanted to go there too and we would not have had a table until 9.30!! Back to base, got other recommendations and at Porat a neighbouring restaurant to Gusto. Although we had a nice meal, the staff were more occupied with the football than the customers. At a neighbouring table, there were Brit and Norwegian sailors, lots of talk about stolen boats and hazards at sea! William, you could fetch your boat down here and have a great time, but as for going to sea, please don't suggest we join you! Well you can take Bernie..... Julia and I could go shop.
Our host was interested in the classic cars so we had a long chat with him that evening. He told us something about the war in Croatia which lasted about 4 years, how hard the tourism industry is at the moment. He says that it is really only worth being open 3 months of the year, as any money you make in the other months is not sufficient to cover the costs. When he was a youngster he used to ride bareback all the time, and, as he lived in a forested area, he got used to bailing out by reaching up to the nearest branch when things got too hairy and he needed to abandon ship!

Posted by Combes Caper 00:46 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Cars and Croatia

Monday June 16th

all seasons in one day 24 °C
View Grandfolks Grand Tour on Combes Caper's travel map.

s it has grown to have basement, large groundfloor quarters and one bed apartments and two bedrooms on the first floor! She brought us some redcurrant cake for breakfast, thought of Tasha and the currants which must be ripening on the bushes at home!!
We took the scenic route from Bled to Vransko, west of Lubljana to see the car glass repair people. When we got there, after a trip through different rural Slovenia, this time more open country and crops growing in the fields, we found we had been directed to the financial department of Carglass! So, yet again, lovely lady re-directed us to another town, yet another 20 miles in the wrong direction for Croatia, to the correct outlet. Another lovely lady, when we arrived, soon got on the case and was so organised she said they could fit the new glass there next Saturday, provided we could be there by 8 a.m.!
Heavens, that meant would have to reorganise our routing. So have now scratched the trip to Plitivice Lakes and we are spending two nights at Maribord, which is not far from Lubljana really. So not only can we get secure again, but take a trip into the old town of Lubljana, which we are told is a must see.

On the road down to Sukosan, we went across country and actually passed close to Plitivice, but as the journey was taking us longer than planned we decided not to divert, the weather was also going downhill. What we did notice, sadly, were the blown apart buildings, the relic of the Balkans wars of not so long ago. There was a distinct downturn from the confident, affluent environment of Slovenia, to a more gritty and disadvantage air to Croatia. Hopefully they will pull through, as the Croatians we have met are so warm and welcoming. As we went down the last leg towards Sukosan, the clouds thickened and once we were on the motorway again the rain started. Boy, did it come down, surface water in abundance, mist, thunder, lightning and then, nearing the coast the crosswind! It was fiercesome, even in the X-Trail you felt the wheel go. I was worried our temporary window fix would burst out, which would have been awful!
Happily we got to Sukosan, somewhat damp getting the bags from car to hotel, but glad to arrive. We are right on the seafront, our room has a huge balcony and overlooks the sea, so am planning getting wet today.
Last evening we ate in the marina at Gusto, late diners were still arriving at 10.30 as we left. Full to bursting we were, with a huge steak and super veal chops, preceded by soup and mussels. The mussels were quite different from the ones at home, served in a fishy stock with parsley but delicious.
Although there are clouds about, hoping that the sun stays with us while we go and explore Zadar.

Posted by Combes Caper 00:06 Archived in Slovenia Comments (0)

VASICA FALLS, BOHINJ LAKE SLOVENIA

Vasica Falls got spelling wrong!

overcast 23 °C
View Grandfolks Grand Tour on Combes Caper's travel map.

These falls and Bohinj Lake are not far from Bled. Scenic route through alpine villages. The road is a motorcyclists dream and there were also plenty of cyclists too. The 30 mph limit is just as well as with all there is to see plus the narrow but sweeping lanes it is safer for all. Wished there were more places to pull in and take photos. Becky, you would love it here, Noah and Darren would be in the river fishing and the cycling is so well catered for. When we got to the Savica Falls there were 500 steps up and believe me to do it in the 20 mins it says on the signboard you need good legs! The path is very well prepared and there are several rest stops on the way up. The silver birch trees give a great backdrop to the limestone rocks and with the sun speckled through would make a terrific painting. You are advised not to go off piste, as it is very steep and there are myriad fallen trunks, branches and loose stones. The falls at the top are spectacular! Bernie decided to count the steps on the way down, good job he didn't on the way up! Although it was only 17c this morning, the afternoon has warmed up to about 24c. It was only about 17c in the woods.
Tonight we went up to Bled Castle, but were too close to our dinner booking to take a look inside. However the scene was fantastic enough.
We ate at the Ostartja Peglezn, our waitress was Alenka. She was super. Had excellent English learned as she said "watching too much television". A mine of information and very helpful with our onward plans. Made us feel quite ashamed that we only knew please and thank you in Slovenian. As Trip Advisor said, the males in the restaurant were very macho, a smile reserved for the nubile women only!!! However, ALL the staff were extremely helpful and the food was just as you would like, whatever you asked, you received. I tried the juniper brandy, it was surprisingly sweet. The only downside, as far as we were concerned was that there were quite a few Americans in the place. So visit sooooooon! However, as it is Bled Film Festival, they will go home soon!
A couple at a nearby table kept everyone amused with a trick involving wine corks. Not being very dextrous, I can't get the hang of it, but Bernie did!
What is so nice here is that everything is within walking distance, so no need to drive or call for taxis after a night out.

Posted by Combes Caper 12:55 Archived in Slovenia Comments (0)

Bled, SLOVENIA

Walkies!

semi-overcast 23 °C
View Grandfolks Grand Tour on Combes Caper's travel map.

June 14
Had very lazy start to the day. Weather is cooler here but still mostly sun. Bled is a very beautiful
area, surrounded by wooded hills, many rivers and backed by mountains. Vintgar Gorge is very
close so we went down there. It wasn't discovered until 1891, by two cartographers, but the good old Victorian era saw
the gorge opened to tourism within two years! The path down through is gradual, so many photo
opportunities along the way. At the moment the melt waters are easing, but the river still puts on
quite a show. The noise is terrific , the water freezing, and colour ranges from white foam to sea
green to deep turquoise. There are a couple of sizeable waterfalls , the biggest one churning the
water and in the spray the sun turns a rainbow. There are loads of full grown timbers in the water,
somehow someone has been down in places to chainsaw them into sections! Presumably to stop a
dam forming. The whole walk took about an hour, with a good cup of coffee at the far end. There
were a fair few Brits along the path, some were students backpacking. Just as well we went when
we did as this afternoon after lunch there have been 2 or 3 storms, it can chuck it down just like
home. Tasha, Max would have had a great time on the trail. This time of year onwards I would think
the water flow would drop, it must have been spectacular a month or so ago when snow began to
melt.
We drove back through the lanes and came by the far side of the Lake. Got a close shot of the
island church, passed by the swimming area but noticed only youngsters in the water! Took some
pictures of various house designs, but as Bernie said, most would not look so cute in our
countryside. Am taken with the verandas and balconies as well as by the size, which by our
standards is large.

Posted by Combes Caper 11:04 Archived in Slovenia Comments (0)

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