Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dalmatia revisited

We have visited Split before. In 1974 and 1975 we travelled in our Renault 4 through the Balkan countries, Romania and Kosovo included. That's an awful time ago, many years have passed and a war was waged after that. But we found Split in the way we remembered it, agreeable, beautiful and very touristic. We spent a day wandering through the old city-centre, which originally was built by the Roman emperor Diocletianus as his summer palace. We also vivited the museum of the here very famous sculpture Mestrovic and the museum of Fine Arts. Both worthwhile the visit. We concluded the day with a dinner at the campsite restaurant. Like we experienced in Italy, also here the quality and atmosphere in these restaurants meets rather high standards, especially when the price is taken into account. But you can imagine a dinner at the beach on a warm evening, not bad to have it now and then.
The next day we got on our wheels again to ride the Jadranska Magistrala southward to Dubrovnik. The name Magistrale was given to this coastal road because they were so proud when it was finished in the late sixties or early seventies. Before that most of the settlements on the coast had been isolated places, only to be reached via the sea, as this coast is all mountains. Technically it indeed was quite an acheivement. It was a dangerous road from the beginning. Motorism was new at the time, for ourselves (we owned our first car in 1970) but certainly for the locals here. (Development of Yugo-Slavia lacked behind Western Europe). The road was all slopes and turns, cars were less safe than nowadays. I remember the old wrecks lying down the slopes. Now it has been improved and, though pretty busy, is a wonderful scenic road. We have done 160 k on it now and are some 35 k before Dubrovnik, our next destination.
The road goes up and down, so we have to do our share of climbing again. This is to be done, but what is makeing extreme is the heat. We are having a heat wave at the moment. The locals are telling us that they have never had it this hot before, inland there was even a measurement of 50C. My gps came to 39C. And what are we doing? Riding! We don't find it an option to sit and wait till it's over. And it can be done, we ourselves are the living proof. But I must say that I'm not enjoying the fantastic panoramas the way I would if it had been some 15 degrees cooler.

No comments:

Post a Comment