Ljubljana, Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar
30.10: Munich -> Ljubljana
31.10: Ljubljana -> Dubrovnik
2.11: Dubrovnik -> Herceg Novi -> Dubrovnik
4.11: Dubrovnik -> Trsteno -> Neum -> Split
5.11: Split -> Trogir -> Split
6.11: Split -> Krka national park -> Sibenik
7.11: Split -> Zadar -> Ljubljana
8.11: Ljubljana -> Munich
Planning and overall impression
Perhaps because Croatia is so close and not so exotic, I've never
seriously considered Croatia as a travel destination. The reason to go
there was that I had one week of time and as a new, never
visited country with suitable weather at the beginning of November,
Croatia seemed to be a convenient "low hanging fruit". I considered for
while to fly to a further away destination, but then abandoned this
plan mainly due to time and budget constraints. I wasn't
expecting too much from this trip and was more thinking of spending a
brief, easy and
relaxing holiday with the family.
surprised me due to very interesting sceneries, combined with its
culture and history, moderate prices and decent food. But it's mostly
the geography which makes Croatia so interesting. It's a montainous
country with plenty of interesting spots and geological features and a
very cool and long coast with bays and islands. Plenty of photo
I was a bit unsure if I should drive
to Dubrovnik, so far away in the south of Croatia, but in hindsight I
must say that it was exactly the right spot to visit. It's beautiful
city in a beautiful setting, with an excellent tourist infrastructure
and good weather at the beginning of November.
The timing was also good, because November was low season, i.e. not so
many tourists but weatherwise still warm enough to spend the whole day
outdoors lightly dressed.
While Croatia is not a low cost country,
the pricing level is very reasonable for a European country. Hotels and
restaurants have relatively moderate prices, while at the same time
offering high standards.
I'm not sure if we sampled real authentic
Croatian food (or even what that actually is), but we found in most
good food at quite moderate prices. Delicious ice cream everywhere - we
ate too much of it. We had three full meals every day, which doesn't
happen that frequently in our trips.
We booked rooms in hotels of good
standard in Dubrovnik, Split and Ljubljana. Due to the large number of
tourists there is a good tourist infrastructure with many rooms at
different price levels.
Money / Exchange rate (November 2015)
Euro = 7.6 Croatian Kune
1 Euro ~ USD 1.09
To my surprise the Euro was in use in Montenegro.
ATMs are easily available in Ulan Bator.
phones and prepaid cards
Because roaming charges dropped so much in recent years we simply used
our mobile phones in roaming mode. For mobile data we bought daily
packages. Had we stayed two weeks however, we might have purchased
local SIM cards, because data roaming is still a bit pricey.
In all hotels and also in many cafes and restaurants there were free
Internet WLAN hotspots. While on the road, we used mobile data from the
We were very lucky, because in the week we travelled it was always
sunny, with peak temperatures around 21°C (which in the sun felt even
warmer). No wind or rain the whole week.
Health / Vaccinations
None needed for Slovenia and Croatia. The sun wasn't that strong
either, so we didn't need suntan lotion.
VISA / Entry requirements
No VISA needed for none of us, even my Malaysian wife. No border
controls until Croatia. To get into Montenegro a car insurance green
card is needed. If you don't have it, you can purchase one for 15 Euro.
No problems at all.
- Dubrovnik is very, very cute. Also the area around it is beautiful
- Practically the entire Croatian coast is beautiful, very very
- I wish we had had more time to visit the islands.
Things to avoid
We drove to Croatia by car from Munich. Having an own car was very
good, because it made us independent from public transportation. The
road network is very good, i.e. very easy to get around. Parking is a
problem in Dubrovnik (leave the car in a parking).
Hotel Birokrat, Ljubljana. 90 Euro for a nice room
with flart screen TV, fridge+minibar, phone, free WLAN, nicely
furnished (long table, chair, drawers, large cupboard in two sections).
Electronic safe. Toilet with shower. Excellent buffet breakfast with
everything, high quality.
Weather: cool (9°C) and overcast in Munich. Fresh
in Ljubjana when we arrive.
We manage to leave our flat around 4:30pm, but only reach the motorway
entrance shortly before 5pm. At this time the car navigation system is
showing an estimated arrival time of 8:12pm in Ljubljana. We soon get
stuck at the Munich south interchange, where we essentially lose about
40 minutes in a traffic jam. Maybe next time I'll try an alternative
route which avoids this interchange.
It was actually already dark when we entered the motorway, and the
whole drive will be in the darkness. Not too terrible, because at least
it's not raining. Shortly before the Austrian border I buy motorway
toll stickers for Austria (8.60€ for 10 days) and Slovenia (15 Euro for
7 days, my goodness - 30 Euro for 30 days). Really expensive for
Slovenia, considering how small the country is. But there is no way to
avoid Slovenia, unless I plan a longish detour through Hungarian
"airspace" or I drive back across Italy, an even longer detour.
Then, surprise, surprise there will be more tolls to pay (11€ and 7€)
for motorway tunnels in Austria. Quito soon after Salzburg the motorway
gets really empty. Interesting that nobody is driving towards Slovenia
or Croatia on this Friday.
The drive proceeds smoothly without interruptions. There are no
controls at the borders (but there are controls at the borders in the
opposite direction, because of the refugee situation. Am curious how
the border to Croatia will be tomorrow.
Around 8:30pm we stop for dinner at a motorway restaurant, and continue
driving around 9pm. With the help of the navigation system we finally
reach the hotel shortly after 10pm.
31.10: Ljubljana ->
Adria, Dubrovnik. 83 Euro for a large modern room with seaview, flat
screen TV, phone, fridge, A/C, good furniture (large table + chair,
cupboard for the clothes, electronic safe etc.), free WLAN in the room,
balcony. Large toilet with shower, hairdryer.
foggy in the early morning in Ljubljana. By 10am all fog has gone and
the sky is blue. Maybe around 13-14°C. In the evening in Dubrovnik
around 16°C. Strong winds along the road to Dubrovnik.
We get up at 8:30am, have breakfast and check out of the hotel a bit
after 10am. We then drive towards the centre of Ljubljana and after
some searching park the car in one spot along the street (70 Euro
cents/hour, inexpensive parking). Then we walk towards the centre, i.e.
the pedestrian area with the old buildings.
Ljubljana is a quite modern and clean city.
The young people on the
streets, especially the women, all are carefully and fashionably
dressed and pay attention to their looks. Seems as if nobody wants to
get caught with an unfavourable look.
Very little activity, few people on the streets. The shops seem closed.
For a moment I even think that perhaps in Slovenia shops close on
Then finally we
find the entrance to the pedestrian area and
the old town. Very quickly we reach the area with the three bridges
across the river. Very cute and nice, reminds me a bit of some cities
in Austria or even Bozen.
I quickly realise that Ljubljana is a small city, with a very small
historic core, actually minuscule. It's all around the three bridges
area and the castle. At 11am Shirley and I split. She will shop around
a bit with the kids, I will walk up the castle. Meet again in the three
bridges square by 12pm noon.
So I walk up to the castle (and lose some time finding the start
path). There is by the way, also a funicular which brings up old or
lazy people to the top. There is no entrance fee to the castle. The
castle itself is open, with some museums and cafes. Nice view of
Ljubljana from the ramparts.
At 11:50am I rush back to the three bridges square, where I meet
Shirley. We start walking back to the car, but on the way back find a
restaurant serving Asian food (the "wok" restaurant in the pedestrian
area). The offering looks good, but my rice teriyaki with chicken has a
far too strong flavour, which makes it almost uneatable. Looks like
they put too much sauce or seasoning into it.
After lunch, at 1pm, we walk back to the car. We start driving towards
Dubrovnik around 1:20pm. We stop briefly at a petrol station on the
motorway where we refuel the car (diesel for 1.10€/litre, a bit more
expensive than in Germany). Then we continue driving towards Croatia.
At one point we have to leave the Zagreb motorway and drive for quite
some time (half and hour?) along small and winding mountain roads.
Makes one wonder why there is no motorway in this section. Alissia ends
up vomiting - no wonder on such roads.
Finally we reach the Croatian border. We almost drive through without
stopping. Not clear to me if there are border controls - yes, there are
and the border guard instructs us that this is the border and we need
to show our documents. The check takes about 5 minutes (I guess they do
not see so often a Malaysian passport). Then we continue driving
I must say that until now the roads and motorways have been quite
empty. Very few people driving towards Dubrovnik. Good for us, as there
are no traffic jams, but quite curious that there are so few cars on
After some more driving on land roads we finally reach the motorway. To
get in you need to pull out a ticket, which is later used to determine
how much you have to pay (motorways in Crotia are toll roads). The
motorways in Croatia are in a good shape. The speed limit is 130km/h,
but on a motorway like this in Germany there would be no speed limit.
It's all motorway until about the
last 80 km before Dubrovnik. On some
motorway sections there is a very strong wind, which makes driving
Then it must be so that towards Dubrovnik they must have added a piece
of motorway, because it's not in out navigation system. The last 80km
or so are narrow and winding coastal roads. Quite tedious to drive at
We stop briefly for a snack in a motorway station at 6pm, then cross
the Neum corridor around 8pm. Here we briefly enter Bosnian territory
(two border crossings: Croatia-Bosnia and Bosnia-Croatia; in both we
have to show our travel documents).
Finally we reach the hotel in Dubrovnik shortly after 9pm. A wedding
party is going on.
Adria, Dubrovnik. Good buffet-style breakfast with lots of choices,
although not a great as the breakfast in the hotel Birokrat.
sunny, blue sky with only some small, thin clouds layer. Very little
wind. The temperatures climb during the day and by noon time it's warm
enough to walk around in a T-shirt.
We get up at 8:30am and have
breakfast until 10am.
Then we get back
the room and leave the hotel around 10:40am. We drive to Dubrovnik and
park the car in one of the parking areas outside the walls. Today it's
Sunday and you only pay until 12pm noon (after the parking is free). 10
We then walk into Dubrovnik. Quite cute, medieval era city surrounded
by walls. Today it's not too crowded. The usual combination of
sourvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. Walking down the stairs, we
immediately reach a big rectangular square. Luckily we didn't book
accomodation inside the city, otherwise we would have had to carry
ourselves all suitcases by hand into the city.
We spend some time exploring the place, looking for a way to get onto
the city walls, where we see people walking. In the end it turns out
that there is just one (or two) place from which to access the city
walls. We get onto the walls on the western side. The entry ticket is
quite steep (100 Kuna for an adult, 30 Kuna for a child).
We spend over an hour walking around the walls, doing one complete
circle from before 1pm to after 2pm. The views are pretty cool,
actually very, very cool, but the kids (and even me) are in the end
tired of the walking up and down the ramparts.
Since it's already 2:10pm, we look for a restaurant. We are not in the
mood for doing extensive searches, so quickly settle on one place.
Turns out that this place makes overpriced, not so good food. I suspect
that most restaurants in this area are the same. Luckily we ask for the
daily menu card,
otherwise the cost
would have been even higher. We'll
skip the tourist restaurants in Dubrovnik tomorrow.
After lunch, at 3pm, instead of taking the cablecar to Mount Srd, we
drive there by car, thereby saving 400 Kuna (the cablecar tickets cost
100 Kuna per person). It's a one-lane, narrow mountain road. When cars
are arriving from the other side, you have to find one of the bays and
wait there until the car has passed (or viceversa).
We reach the top of Mt Srd at 3:45pm. There there is a nice cafe with
great views of Dubrovnik and the sea. We have some cake and tea and
stay there until sunset at 4:45pm.
Then we drive back to the hotel. Later the kids and I have a swim in
the internal hotel pool. In the evening we have a dinner in the hotel
2.11: Dubrovnik -> Herceg
Hotel Adria, Dubrovnik
Weather: same as yesterday: sunny, blue sky the
whole day, almost no wind, same temperature pattern. Surprisingly fresh
The event of the day is the trip to Montenegro, which I do
are quite close to the border and Iäm curious about this small country
where I haven't been yet. After breakfast, we leave the hotel around
10:25am. It's about 50km until Herceg Novi, a small city in Montenegro
which should be cute according to the Lonely Planet guide.
driving there we have the opportunity to get an idea about how the
region south of Dubrovnik looks like.
Around 10:50am we spot a Konzum supermarket in a small town 10km south
of Dubrovnik. We stop there and buy some groceries. Then we continue
driving towards Montenegro. The landscape is relatively unimpressive,
basically maquis shrubland, hills and rocks. Near Dubrovnik the road
proceeds along the very steep coast.
I can't remember exactly, but it must be around 11:40am when we reach
the border. Shirley fetches her backpack and looks for the passports.
Surpruse, surprise, they are not inside there. Now I remember that when
I gave them to the reception in the Adria hotel, they didn't return
them to us. Brilliant.
So we drive back to the hotel to get the passports. Luckily it's a
relatively short trip (only around 30km), but then I guess the Crotian
borderguards must have wondered why this German car makes a U-turn at
In any case, we reach the hotel. I go to the reception and tell the guy
that they must have our passports. I also tell him that I just came
back from the Montenegro border. The guy grins a bit and hands over the
documents to me. Then we drive again to Montenegro.
At the Croatian border everything proceeds smoothly and they put exit
chops into the passports. But at the Montenegrin border there is a
because they want
to see the green card and I don't have
it with me. No problem, I can get an insurance for 15 Euro at the white
building 50m from there.
So I get this insurance and finally drive to Herceg Novi, arriving
there at 1:40pm (quite late indeed).
Now, Montenegro makes the impression of a country which is less
developed than Croatia, or at least the part of road until Herceg Novi
is not that impressive. Then it seems that they are using Euros in
Montenegro and the price of diesel for cars is a bit lower than in
Croatia (1.06 Euro vs 1.10 Euro).
Herceg Novi is a very small city, but quite cute.
We park the car in a parking (0.80 Euro/hour, relatively cheap) and
walk towards the centre of Herceg Novi. All houses and streets are
clean and nice, there is a flair of a mediterranean coastal town. Many
little shops everywhere, many cafes. Lots of Italian restaurants and
cafes, i.e. you can see that this country has been influenced by Italy
for what concerns the gastronomy.
After some walking we stop for a late lunch in a small cafe restaurant
just outside the city walls. Again the food is not good (I only eat
half of my mushroom pizza - the mushroom are not fresh and the cheese
is not mozzarella)
Around 3pm we walk into the city walls.
Quite soon we realise that the
historic core is very, very small. Not that much to see. We walk around
a bit, then down towards the sea. After some more wandering around, we
finally reach the harbour area with the cafes and shops.
After the kids have played a bit on the cobblestone beach, it's almost
4pm and the sun has already set behind the mountains. We have an
icecream in a cafe along the beach promenade, then walk back to the car
and drive back to the hotel. We spend the rest of the day in the hotel,
having dinner there.
Hotel Adria, Dubrovnik. Today again when we come
back the room is not locked (cleaning lady forgot to close it properly).
Weather: again a day with a wonderful weather:
sunny, blue sky, no clouds, no wind, temperatures a bit over 20°C peak
in the afternoon. Very pleasant weather, although not warm enough for
Today we spend the whole day
resting in Dubrovnik. In the morning I
drive with the car to a couple of places along the coastal road from
which there is a good view of Dubrovnik, to take some nice panoramic
photos of the city.
When I'm done it's around 11 something am and I'd like to check what
time there are boat trips to Lokrum island (because in the hotel they
don't know exactly the departure times). I try to drive as close as
possible to the harbour, but there is no place where I can stop with
the car and I end up making a big loop before leaving the car in the
public parking building (10 Kuna/hour).
From there we walk slowly into the old town, using the staircases and
the pedestrian paths. At 12pm we enter Dubrovnik from the western gate
and slowly proceed across the old town. Shirley spends quite some time
buying souvenirs in the shops.
We are on the main square, in
front of the rector's palace around
12:40pm. I briefly walk to the old harbour and check what boat options
there are. There is a boat to Lokrum island leaving at 1pm and then
every hour and there are boat tours with the glass bottom boat, doing a
loop around Dubrovnik and Lokrum island, costing 75 Kuna and lasting 50
minutes. Apparently also these leave every hour.
So I get back to the square where I inform Shirley of the boat options.
We have a lunch in a restaurant on the square (the food is not as
terrible as last time). A very busy cat is bothering us quite a bit,
begging for food and even tries to get on our laps and on the table (!).
Shortly before 2pm we are done
with the lunch and walk to the harbour. There we buy the tickets for
the 2pm boat trip. This immediately starts
and we are the only customers in this boat.
Lokrum island looks quite
interesting. Heavily forested, seems a good
place for a short excursion. On the side of the island not facing
Dubrovnik there are some people sunbathing naked. Perhaps this is why
the boatsman suggested to make another loop (it could be that he saw
that I have two girls and he thought they shouldn't see naked guys).
This may be a glass bottom boat, but in reality we see no sealife at
all through the bottom. The sea water is not that transparent.
At 2:45pm we are back in the harbour. There the girls ask for the
second icecream of the day. Never mind, and we try out the ice cream
parlour of the harbour. Delicious icecream in very large portions.
By the time we are done with the icecream it's already 3:15pm
late to drive to the Trsteno arboretum. So we basically spend the rest
of the day in Dubrovnik, slowly strolling through the streets and doing
some more shopping.
Interestingly the kids state that they like this place. My big girls
didn't say that about Iran. Maybe it's the combination of the shopping,
the ice creams, all those cats with whom to play and the nice
comfortable hotel. Even Shirley seems to like this city more than the
other places we have visited before.
We are back in the hotel around 6pm and have dinner there.
4.11: Dubrovnik ->
Trsteno -> Neum ->
Boban Luxury Suites, Split. 100 Euro for a room
with two bedrooms (small ones) and a toilet with shower in the middle.
This place is more expensive than the hotel in Dubrovnik, but actually
seems not that much better, except for the much nice decorations (the
rooms are really set up very nicely, but who cares, if space is missing
for your own stuff?). There is a tea making equipment (was missing in
Dubrovnik). The room has a balcony, A/C and heating, flat screen TV,
furniture (table+chair, cupboard). Free WLAN in the room.
Weather: same great weather as during the past
days: sunny, blue sky, 21°C peak, no wind.
We leave the hotel shortly before
11am and start driving towards Split.
The first stop is at the Trsteno
arboretum, about 15km northwest of
Dubrovnik, on the way to Split. This is sort of a park/botanical garden
which is listed in the Lonely Planet guide. It's on a cliff overlooking
the coast. The entrance costs 45 Kuna and it's a bit overpriced,
because while being a very pleasant place where to stroll around, it's
actually a bit small and not very well kept. Still, on such a beautiful
day and considering the very scenic setting on the coast, it's a nice
stop to make. A very pleasant place to visit.
It's almost 12pm
when we finally
leave the Trsteno arboretum. The next
stop is in Neum, in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Here the road from Dubrovnik to
Split passes briefly on Bosnian territory. There is nothing to see in
Neum and in fact the only reason for the stop is the fact that this is
Bosnian territory and it's 12:30pm, a suitable time for lunch.
We drive a bit around Neum, looking for the historic core, hoping to
find one along the harbour with cafes and restaurants. But there is no
such thing in Neum and after a brief time we park the car and have
lunch in the Bonaca restaurant, which proudly claims to have a rating
of 4.5 out of 5 in tripadvisor.
And in fact the food is not bad and not
overpriced either (26 Euro for the four of us). Forgot to mention, nice
terrace with a great view of the bay.
It's 2pm when we finally leave Neum and start driving to Split. The
entire coast is abslutely awesome on this beautiful sunny November day.
every now and then an island. If time
wouldn't matter, I'd walk along the coast, soaking up the atmosphere.
But time is limited unfortunately and I have to make it to Split before
We reach the centre of Split shortly before 4pm, parking the car right
in front of the Diocletian palace. It's about one hour before the
sunset and the scene is again beautiful. Lots of cafes along the
waterfront, the Diocletian palace behind it, the cruise ships in the
background. Also here one could sit down in a cafe and order something,
but we are too curious and spend the time walking around and checking
out the place.
Suddenly, while Shirley is about to buy something in a souvenir shop,
panic spreads. She can't find her wallet and can't rememebr where she
put it. We call the Adria hotel asking them to check if the wallet has
perhaps been found. Later I'll find the wallet under her seat in the
In any case, at 5:20pm we drive to the hotel, so that we can check all
bags and see if perhaps the wallet is in one of the bags. The parking
fee is 25 Kuna (for about one hour and a half), a bit pricey for
The hotel is in a narrow side street, less than 2km from the centre of
Split. A bit tough to drive in, because some big car parked in a narrow
road where there is actually no space.
In the evening we have a dinner in the hotel.
5.11: Split -> Trogir
Boban Luxury Suites, Split. Good buffet breakfast
with good service.
same as yesterday. Either it's always like this at the beginning of
November in Dalmatia, or we are just lucky. Sunny, blue sky, peak
temperatures around 21°C, no wind, no rain.
We leave the hotel around 10:20am
and initially drive to the Diocletian
palace, leaving the car at the parking next to the palace. On this
Thursday morning there is plenty of life and activity in this area:
lots of open shops, many people, there is even market east of the
Diocletian palace (no idea if only today, or if this market opens every
We walk in from the southern entrance and get into some cavernous
halls. Some souvenir stalls selling souvenirs. Then we walk out from
the other side and are in a central square which must be the centre or
highlight of the Diocletian palace. These may be ancient Roman ruins,
but they are mixed with structures and buildings of several ages. Lots
of shops and boutiques in the area, some cafe as well.
I notice that it is possible to clmb on the bell tower and do so
(ticket is 15 Kuna). Nice view of Split from
the top. Many Asian
tourists in Split (and not only in Split: also in Dubrovnik there were
many Asian tourists). After taking some pictures, I walk downstairs and
meet again Shi rley, who has been shopping around
with the kids.
We spend some more time exploring the area, which on this sunny day is
quite nice and photogenic.
It's about 12:15pm when we
finally are back in the car. I key in the
coordinates of Trogir and start driving. I briefly stop at the
Jadrolinija office in the harbour to check the timetable of the
ferries. I can't find it quickly and on the other hand I've left the
car where it blocks the exit of the cars from the ferries, so I get
back quickly to the car without knowing exactly the Hvar island ferry
From the Internet website it appears that in November there is a ferry
at 8:30am (a bit too early for us) and a later one which is too late.
It was one of the options to take a car ferry from Split to Stari Grad
on Hvar, driving across Hvar island and fetching the ferry from Sucuraj
to Drvenik in the late afternoon, then driving back to Split. But given
the unsuitable departure times from Split and the risk of getting stuck
on Hvar island should for some reason the required ferry be not
available, I'll end up deciding not to get to Hvar island. Not on such
a tight schedule and with the kids.
We reach Trogir shortly before
1pm and park the car in the parking
right out of the city walls (5 Kuna/hour). Trogir is a small historic
city and a UNESCO world heritage site. Turns out that it is indeed cute
but very, very small. So small that in less than two hours you run out
of things to see. It's not a place which keeps you busy for half a day.
We walk across Trogir to the other side, looking for a restaurant.
There are not that many restaurants and in the end we choose the Mircek
restaurant on the southern waterfront.
The food is quite good and
relatively inexpensive. Best pizza I've had so far in Croatia.
At 2:20pm we have finished our
lunch and continue exploring Trogir,
walking along the southern waterfront to the end, where there is some
sort of fort or fortress. Then we walk to the northern side. It quickly
becomes clear that that's it - there is not that much more to see in
But it's just 3pm and I was planning to stay in Trogir until after
sunset, to take some blue hour shots, i.e. until about 5pm, which means
two more hours. If I knew Trogir is so small, I would have left Split
an hour later.
On the other hand in the whole of Trogir there is also no nice ice
cream parlour where you can sit down and have a nice big ice cream.
Trogir may be a UNESCO world heritage site, but is not that terribly
touristy, i.e. lacks tourist infrastructure (shops, cafes, ice cream
places, attractions etc.).
So we decide to take the car and
drive to the other side, meaning that
island connected to Trogir by a bridge. Right when we are about to do
so, we change our mind and decide to simply stay in Trogir until sunset.
In practice we'll be on Trogir
until after 5:30pm. Beautiful late
afternoon colours and reflections in the water at dusk. We walk back to
the car and around 5:45pm drive to the City Center One shopping mall in
This is a new mall, opened in 2010 and with 57000 m² is supposed to be
the largest shopping mall in Dalmatia. Getting there takes about 40
minutes, because there is some traffic and we have to key in again the
address into the smartphone, as I didn't have the exact address
Huge free parking at this mall. Very big, clean and modern, tall floors
(lots of volume and space). Many discount brand retail outlets (i.e.
Bata, Deichmann etc.). Not that many high end luxury shops (actually I
see none). This seems to be a middle class mall, targeted at people who
don't want to spend so much.
There is also a large Cineplex cinema complex on the top floor. By the
way, lots of tall people in this mall. If this is representtive for
Croatia, I'd say that lots of Croatians are quite tall. Definitely
Croatia is not a country of short people.
We have a simple dinner in the food court near the ciname, and later an
icecream (excellent icecream by the way, 8 Kuna/ball). We leave the
mall around 8:30pm (mall closes at 9pm) and drive back to the hotel.
The plan for tomorrow is to visit the waterfalls in the Krka national
park and Sibenik.
6.11: Split -> Krka
national park ->
Sibenik -> Split
Boban Luxury Suites, Split.
Weather: again perfect weather, with a sunny blue
sky, no wind and temperatures peaking at 21°C.
We leave the hotel around 10:40am
and reach the Krka national park
entrance at 11:30am after a smooth drive. The entry ticket costs
30 Kune for an adult and 20 Kune for a child. Near the ticket counter
there is a big parking,
are supposed to leave the car and
proceed with a bus to the waterfalls. But because it is low season we
are allowed to continue driving with the car to the waterfalls.
It's 4km of a narrow and winding road which brings you down to the
river level. Nice panorama view of the lake/river from the road. Below
there is a parking for cars, where visitors are supposed to leave the
car and proceed on foot.
There is a set of plankways and
paths which allow to walk around the
waterfalls, from the level of the car parking to the level below the
big waterfalls. It's an area where the river becomes very wide and
flows over a number of terraces which are sort of small watefalls. Lots
of trees in the area, very scenic place. Then later the path becomes a
bit steeper and leads to the lower level with the bridge from which you
get a complete view of the large waterfalls. Then you walk up again on
the other side.
Also here there
are panoramic terraces from which to
watch the waterfalls.
There is a restaurant/cafeteria not far from the car parking, which
however we avoid because it looks like they only serve rather basic
food. Some souvenir shops.
All in all we spend about an hour and 40 minutes at the waterfalls,
longer than I had imagined. But it's time well spent, because the area
is beautiful. I wonder if you are allowed to swim here in the summer.
It's about 1:30pm when we finally are back in the car. I key in
as the next destination, because it's not far away and there should be
a better choice of restaurants than in and around the Krka national
We reach Sibenik at 1:50pm and park the car along the waterfront (10
Kune for three hours). Then we walk back to the restaurants we had
spotted along the waterfront and have lunch at 2pm in the restaurant of
the Jadran hotel.
Sibenik is smaller than I had imagined it. It's also less interesting
than I had thought.
The St James
cathedral is a UNESCO world heritage
site, but actually it's not that impressive, so it's not so clear why
this not too big church should be in the UNESCO list. While I visit it,
it's undergoing renovation (scaffolding both inside and outside). The
seafront of Sibenik is picturesque, then there is a fortress on the top
of the hill overlooking Sibenik and below there is the old town with
its maze of alleys. But overall there is not that much to see and the
town is not that touristy.
We have an ice cream, then at 4:20pm drive to the Kanal Luka area on
the other side of the sea channel,
from which there is a good view of
the city. This involves doing a long U-shaped drive which takes about
20 minutes. There I park the car and do some blue hour photography of
Sibenik until after sunset at 5:30pm.
At 5:45pm we drive back to Split, reaching the City Center One mall
shortly after 7pm. We have a light dinner in the food court, then shop
around a bit and finally drive back to the hotel.
One thing I've noticed is that there is no shortage of tall people in
Croatia, or at least here in Split. At the City Center One mall there
are even quite a few really tall women, while I don't usually notice so
many really tall women in MUnich and for instance in Beijing people are
on average really short. I wonder if Croatians are like that - a
country with many tall people as is the Netherlands.
7.11: Split -> Zadar
Hotel Birokrat, Ljubljana. 90 Euro for a room with
breakfast (same room we had one week ago)
Weather: again sunny, blue sky, no wind.
Temperatures peaking at 24°C a bit inland (21°C along the coast).
We check out of the hotel and leave by about 10:40am.
Since the car kit
of the smartphone broke yesterday and we need a way to fix the
smartphone next to the windshield (to use it a navigation system), we
drive to the Joker shopping mall in Split, where according to the hotel
there should be a
Technomarket outlet where they sell such
We reach the Joker mall shortly before 11am. It's in Split town,
1-2km north of the hotel. Nearby there is a big parking where we leave
the car. The mall is smaller than the City Center One, but is much more
elegant and nice. Lots of activity on this Saturday morning. We
purchase a car kit for the smartphone, then leave the mall around
11:30am and drive to Zadar, arriving there at 1:20pm.
Zadar is a city along the Dalmatian coast, 120km northwest from Split
(160km if you drive).
It doesn't have
too many sights, but is a very
pleasant place, because the historic centre on the peninsula has plenty
of cafes, restaurants and shops and is quite photogenic. On the west of
the (small) peninsula there is a beautiful waterfront, again with
cafes. The neoclassical architecture dominates the cityscape of (old)
Zadar, but there are also earlier buildings, some dating back to Roman
We park the car in a free parking on the eastern side of the
then walk into the old town and quickly find a restaurant where to have
lunch. After lunch we explore a bit Zadar by foot. It's not a big
place, but a very pleasant one, especially with a weather like this.
At 3:15pm we leave Zadar and drive to Vinjerac, on the other side of
the fjord, from where there is a nice view of the Velebit mountain
range. Shortly after 4pm we start driving towards Ljubljana, where
we'll spend the night.
We reach the motorway at 4:20pm. The motorway climbs up the
then crosses the Velebit mountain range in a series of tunnels. When
driving to Dubrovnik one week ago there were strong winds in this area,
but today there is no wind at all.
Once we have crossed the Velebit
mountain range the scenery changes
dramatically from a Mediterranean shrubland to a central European
forested area. Basically the mountain range is shielding away the cold
and humid climate from the coastal area.
It's all motorway (and a pretty
empty one) until close to the Slovenian
border, where you leave the motorway and for the next 80km or so drive
through small landroads, before getting again on the motorway in
Slovenia, about 60km from Ljubljana. Once in Slovenia we buy a motorway
vignette for 15 Euro (valid for 7 days).
We reach Ljubljana at 8pm. After a dinner in an Italian restaurant near
the hotel, we drive to the hotel.
8.11: Ljubljana -> Munich
Home, sweet home
Weather: another sunny and warm day. Temperatures
around 20°C, surprisingly also in Austria. Blue sky, no clouds.
We basically leave Ljubljana at 10:40am and reach home around 4pm,
after having a meal in a KFC restaurant near Munich. The drive is
smooth (all motorway), there are no traffic jams, except the one at the
border between Austria and Germany, where we lose half an hour (due to
the refugee crisis border controls have been reintroduced). Tolls of 7
Euro in Slovenia and 11 Euro in Austria for tunnels.
Copyright 2015 Alfred