Dalmatia Blog September 2016

 

This report covers my latest trip to Croatia – to Dalmatian Coast. I visited Split, Trogir, Brac, few wineries and Zadar. Other parts of Croatia which I visited before are Dubrovnik and Zagreb which are also worth to visit but not visited this time.

The sites listed here are not in particular order.

Trogir is a small town and harbor, UNESCO Heritage site. It is the city with 2300 years of tradition. Its rich culture is created under the influence of old Greeks, Romans, Venetians. It is located within medieval walls on small island, connected to mainland by one bridge and to the island of Ciovo by second bridge. .    Its Patron is St. John.   As it can be expected authentic Trogir dishes (like all Dalmatian cuisine) are oriented to the seafood.

Below are some images of beautiful  Trogir.

 

We’ve met a chef Tatiana at the market and went shopping. Dalmatian food is light and healthy, based on Mediterranean diet. Characteristic of Dalmatian coastal cuisine is its digestibility and simple preparation. Fish, meat, or other cooked dishes are grilled or roasted, or lightly sautéed with adding some olive oil. Of course, taste depends on ingredients and all food we were shopping for our cooking class and lunch were on the market, fresh local vegetables, fruit, bread, cheese and seafood. We got sea bream, vegetables and fruit for salad, berries for desert, local cheese and bread. We went to Tatiana’s home which is a wonderful cozy house in the center if medieval town, within the walls, housed in former 13C palace. The tourists were sticking their heads in the front yard…

We dropped food at the house, and while Tatiana’s husband Kiah was setting the table, we went to see this small town. You can see it one hour, but the town was amazing with narrow picturesque cobblestone streets. In the main square, in the center, at the Cathedral, the  men quarter was singing traditional songs. We went to the harbor and saw large castle. We returned, and started to cook. We made staffed eggplant with vegetables and cheese and roasted in the oven, sautéed seabream, salad from fresh ingredients, Dalmatian version of ratatouille, cheese with honey and nuts, mascarpone cream, figs and pomegranate seeds for desert. This was supplemented by local wine, and great conversations.

After lunch, we reluctantly parted with Tatiana (I liked the fact that she has one room upstairs and maybe once I will get back to stay there for few nights. Breakfast and access to refrigerator is included so I can have all cooking classes leftovers!) . But we needed to go to next place.

We went back to Split, and took a ferry from the harbor to island Brac.  Brac is known for its stunning beach Zlatni Rat, on the South Coast of the island in the village of Bol. By getting on the jeep to the top of the island, we enjoyed great views. We visited new hotel Lemongarden (children not allowed there), it is nice upscale hotel on waterfront of Bol.

We saw the hermitage of the Glagolitic Order (Glagoljica – Croatian ancient alphabet) raised on the steep cliff. Blaca were established by Glagolitic priests from Poljica that fled to island of Brac running away from the Turks. In 1552. they established monastic community and in 1570 they got permission from the bishop to raise monastery and church. They produced wine, honey and other cultures – by time they became very powerful and rich. Being wealthy, they built a world known astronomic observatory.  Very unique place!

We continued to Senkovic winery on the island and had wine tasting with paired food. The food was cooked by owner’s young wife and she had the talent of Michelin Chef. The dishes were exquisitely prepared and presented.

We got back to Split by ferry and this concluded our busy and interesting day.

Here is the video of Trogir, market, cooking and lunch.

 

 

Split. We had a morning tour of Split with local guide and inspected some hotels in Old Town. Split is unique because the ancient center lies within the walls of Roman Emperor Diocletian’s summer palace which was built in 3c ad. Later on, XV-18C it was ruled by Venice and became as one of the major trading ports and there were built magnificent Renaissance palaces. Habsburg took control in XIX century, and it was well integrated in their empire.

So it is a very interesting town to explore (called Grad), all historic monuments lay within walls of Diocletian Palace and they even have s Sphinx from Egypt. Diocletian owned Egypt, so he could take from there whatever he wanted.  Jewish travelers find of interest a synagogue of Split. We even have a Jewish guide, member of Jewish community to conduct tour and introduce you to local community.

Game of Throne fans will see many spots which were featured in the movie. So Split has everything for everyone!

Here is video of Split

After Split, we left the town for Zadar. One the way we visited Bibich winery in Sibenik  but it the food paired with wine was more like commercial (of course were spoiled by small Senkovich winery) but the wines were good. Looks more like California winery..

We arrived Zadar and checked into hotel 4* Relais and Chateaux Bastion.

Zadar was yet another small town, located on a small peninsula 4 km long and 500 meters wide. It has beautiful Roman ruins, medieval churches and palaces. It had lovely promenade where we spent some time and had a dinner. I loved Sea Organ – so unusual! Designed by local Architect Nicola Basic, it has pipes in stairs, descending into the sea. When water moves, the pipes produce sounds. The sounds increase when large ship or ferry sails by.  We went there by sunset and enjoyed music and lights color.

Here is a slideshow of my trip.

 

 

Copyrights of Sophia’s Travel, 2016

 

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