Thursday, January 1, 2015

Croatia, To Split In Less Than 60 Seconds



IMG_0618After saying goodbye to a jolly old friend until next year, we make our way to gate H-41 at Munich Airport.






At 9:50am our boarding call for Zagreb is made and we get a renewed taste of German winter weather as we have to go outside to board a bus that will take us to our airplane.

I am looking forward to our flight on board a turbo-prop aircraft (DH-4) which I think is one of the coolest ways to experience the miracle of flight. The hum of the huge propellers is always relaxing and mesmerizing to me.

With freezing conditions and falling snow we have to complete a deicing process before we become airborne and I fall asleep. It is only an hour flight and I wake up wedged between clear blue skies above and small towns covered with pure white snow. Minutes later we touch down in Zagreb, Croatia.

As seems to be the norm in Europe, it is a quick process through Immigration and Customs before we head to the Avis/Budget rental car counter. In less than twenty minutes with a thousand Croatian Kunas in my pocket, we are on our way to Split.

Directions from the airport to our ultimate destination for the night is easy. Our journey is mostly along a toll road that cuts through a mountainous landscape that is covered with fresh and brilliantly white snow. Across bridges and valleys our little white VW battles fierce winds that at times make me think we might become airborne.


IMG_0641No road trip would be the same for us without a slight detour. We leave the toll road and give up 40 Kunas to do so.





Next we are driving through a postcard of country roads lined with evergreen pine trees decorated with dazzling snow. A few turns and we face a border checkpoint where we pull off to the side and weigh our options.


IMG_0625Our detour is a delightful one and a few hours later we are back “on the road again”. Added to battling the fierce winds across bridges and through valleys, snow begins to falls as the sun has left us for the day.




Traveling through tunnels with white, red and green traffic lights makes it seems as if we are sliding down a Christmas tree, kind of fun.

Another toll exit where we give up 140 Kunas and we are just 16km from Split. It takes a stop at a local hotel to help us find ours, The Royal Suites. A super friendly check in at almost 9pm and we have less than 10 minutes to make a run to the local market (Tommy). A hot relaxing shower, a glass of wine and we are ready for our final adventure of the day.

Layered up as much as possible we step out into the freezing bitter cold (14 degrees) with howling winds night air for a stroll around the old city. I enjoy night photography of lighted city buildings but I am sure not much of it is going to be happening tonight.



IMG_0657Our faces are frozen and hands are numb as we step into a warm late night bakery where we enjoy the best pizza we have ever had...

In of all places, Split, Croatia.






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