Trogir is just a half hour north of Split but it takes us much longer than that to get there as the GPS keeps directing us into the same dead-end alley behind Diocletian’s palace. We finally figure out how to program it for our destination and are on our way.
Trogir is a small island sitting between the mainland and a larger island. We park on the mainland and take a small pedestrian bridge, over a canal that looks like a moat, to the picture-perfect fishing village/medieval town/tourist magnet that is Trogir.
The waterfront Riva is like a fake movie set. Impossibly picturesque. Our hotel, the XII Century – http://heritagehoteltrogir.com – is smack in the middle of the action on the Riva.
Besides a fort, several churches and a small museum, which we pass on, there are many, many restaurants, either on the Riva or tucked into small courtyards. We decide to spend our time here eating!
From Trogir we drive to Zadar, along another stretch of scenic coast, stopping for a walk around one particularly gorgeous town. Can’t remember the name now, but it was something with a lot of consonants. Craig remarks, as we enter the town through a gate in the wall, that Disney could not have done a better job of creating all of the Croatian towns we’ve been in.
We drive on to Zadar, getting there mid-afternoon. It is yet another walled city with Roman ruins, churches, a fabulous archeologic museum, and the oldest university in Croatia. We check into our hotel, the Kalelarga – http://www.arthotel-kalelarga.com/en – and hit the streets and the museum. We are looking forward to a final Croatian dinner when we realize that we have misplaced a day and our flight home from Venice leaves a day earlier than we had thought. As in tomorrow, not the day after!!
It is now 6 PM, the flight leaves at 10 AM and it is a six hour drive. We pack up, check out and make for the highway. The good news is there is little traffic. The bad news is we have wasted a hotel night in Zadar and our booking at the airport hotel in Venice is for the wrong night.
We drive to the Best Western Airport hotel anyway, hoping they will change our reservation. By the time we get there it is after midnight. They are fully booked. We envision spending the rest of the night in the car.
But we find another hotel and check in for a few hours. We have to return the rental car and be at the airport by 8. And we have to fill the car with gas. And repack our bags to accommodate our purchases, including several bottles of wine that we are tempted to uncork and drink.
Travel always has lessons. History, politics, interpersonal communication, GPS … we’ve learned lots about all of these. As well, the importance of checking flights, dates, times, etc, well ahead of time. Although you’d think we’d have learned that one last year in Peru when we showed up at the Cusco airport a day early. Maybe some lessons need repetition and reinforcement?
On the other hand, this could have been so much worse. We could have showed up a day late and missed the flight altogether. We could have been at a concert in Las Vegas instead of on an amazing Adriatic adventure. We might not have had lunch’s left-over pizza to sustain us on the drive. We might not have had such a great travel story. Although, compared to Budapest and Boston this is pretty minor.
And sitting in the Venice airport, awaiting our flight, we are not unhappy to be going home, even a day early. Doviđenja!