Our trip officially begins! But now, I want to call this Day 1 and that would mess up Charlie's organizational work, so let's go with Day 2....
09/02/2019 - 09/02/2019
Recap of Travel Plan B: We left PHL on Lufthansa. they apparently have computers that work, as well as in-seat entertainment screens. After arriving in Frankfort, we had a deadly-long five hour layover before our flight to Split. During our layover, Charlie checked on the luggage status, and AA reported that it was apparently enroute to Rome.
Did we experience a joyful reunion with our luggage in Split? That would be a hard no.
Now, to return to our regularly scheduled travel blog: Where are we? Well, Croatia (officially the Republic of Croatia) is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, located on the Adriatic Sea. Croatia borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, and Bosnia and Herzegovina (one country) and Montenegro to the southeast. Croatia shares a maritime border with Italy. Croatia has an area of 21,851 square miles and a population of about 4.28 million. And we are finally here!
We were met at the airport in Split by Jane and Jay, with whom we have shared many update emails regarding Saturday's travel drama.
BY the way....SURPRISE!...we are joined on this journey by Tommy and Maureen Vallante, who our faithful readers have met before (and whose flights got them - and their luggage - to Croatia yesterday). The "Four Cats" (Els Quatre Gats...see our Barcelona blog) are together again!
We popped in the van and traveled to Kaštela, which is located in the central southern portion of Croatia, part of the Split-Dalmatia County. Also included in the county are Split (the largest city and administrative center), Trogir, Omiš, and Makarska, and these islands: Brač; Hvar, and Vis.
We will be staying at Hotel Villa Zarko for two nights.
This is our room, and the view from our balcony.
Kaštela consists of seven villages: Štafilić, Novi, Stari, Lukšić, Kambelovac, Gomilica and Sućurac. We are staying in Kastela Lukšić a touristic village in the middle of Kaštela's bay, well known for its botanical garden with Mediterranean trees and plants, and beaches with small pebbles. Kaštela is best known for its Renaissance castle, Kassel VItturi.
We took a walk through the village to locate an ATM.
We love looking at the roofs.
Here is the village church, which had the name Tomislva on a plaque by the door.
In the late afternoon, we ventured out on our first group excursion, visiting Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage city. Trogir was originally a Roman municipality, until the Croats settled there is the 6th Century. The Venetians claimed Trogir in 1420, occupying the area for four centuries, until the area was claimed by Napoleon in 1797. The land then was seized and controlled by the Austrians from 1814-1914, becoming part of Yugoslavia after WWI. After the Bosnian War, Trogir remained part of Croatia.
We entered through the city wall gate.
Gradina Kamerlengo is the castle and fortress of Trogir. It was built in the 15th century by the Republic of Venice. Kamerlengo served for a time as the governor's palace, offering commanding views over the sea, and is now an entertainment venue, with outdoor courtyard performances.
Walking through the streets was so enjoyable.
The Katedrala Sv. Lovre (Cathedral of St. Lawrence) is a Romanesque structure, with both Baroque and Gothic influences. Construction commenced in 1193, and was finally completed around 1500.
One of the cathedral's most notable features is this amazing Romanesque door. Unfortunately, time did not permit the tour, so I took these photos through a gate.
The Cipiko Palace is located in the Town Square, right across from the main entrance of the cathedral. The Cipikos, one of the region's most prominent families, built this palatial home during the 15th-century. Note the gorgeously carved Venetian window.
The beautiful Clock Tower features a large blue face and a domed roof that was once part of the church of St. Sebastian. It is located on John Paul II Square (Trg Ivana Pavla II) next to the Loggia. The statue of Justice was carved by Nikola Firentinac in 1471.
We enjoyed a beautiful welcome dinner on the waterfront. Everything was served family style, and the table was (inaudibly) groaning from the weight of the platters. We started with a squid salad, and three pates (black squid, whitefish, and liver). Dinner consisted of a seafood platter with sea bass, sea bream (whole fish), langostino, mussels, and grilled squid, and a meat platter with beef, duck, pork, and lamb. The dessert platter held panna cotta, tiramisu, cheesecake, and chocolate torte. Suffice it to say that no one left hungry! (Sorry that I fell off on photos...fatigue got the better of me).
We ended our evening on the phone with American Airlines...with promises that they will attempt to get the luggage to us.
Photos are tagged Croatia, Kaštela and Trogir