Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Dalmatian Coast

The train ride from Sarajevo through the mountains to Ploce on the Adriatic is full of unexpected treats. The series of horseshoe curves and stacked viaducts is quite something.  Even the coach in which ee travel is unexpected. It carries a plaque to denote that it was a gift from the Swedish rail network to thst of Bosnia. Ot is spacious and comfortable if somewhat ramshackle. The , an with the tray of Turkish coffees was another bonus, as was the cance to watch the engine change at the border. Croatia runs the isolated 20 km or so closest to the coast and do it their way. This stretch is not linked to the rest of their system.

At Ploce we have time for a quick beer and then squeeze onto the next bus to Split. This takes a scenic route along the coast but the cramped bus and sweltering heat make this amongst the worst three hours that we have endured since leaving London. The level of affluence in Croatia  is in marked contrast to the other components of former Yugoslavia. The hordes of tourists from further north in Europe and also from the US are very noticeable.

When the coach finally gets to Split we dump our bags and head for the beach area where we are made welcome in a friendly bar. We are so thirsty that we actually start on soft drinks. The food is adequate rather than inspiring but they are happy to let us use the loo for changing into our swimmers for a reviving dip in the Adriatic.

A half hour swim and float, followed by a seat in the sun as the bar tab slowly mounts proves to be the ideal prescription. Revived, we take an early evening tour of the Old Town with its Roman remains before heading back to the railway station for our overnight train to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.

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