It’s an 07:05 start on the rails today. We get three cabs from our hostel to the station. Our train to Ploče awaits. It is comprised of three carriages donated from Swedish Railways. I say donated. I do hope the Swedes paid for the transit of this shed on wheels.
Today is another “world class” train trip. We’ve had half a dozen so far on the trip. This is probably the most spectacular to date. We wind our way down through truly awesome limestone canyons. Across a plateau through Mostar, and on to the Adriatic. We are in Croatia. Not quite euro-dollar territory yet, but as of last week we are at least now back in the EU.
Next job, get the bus along the coast to . The ticket lady throws a wobbler when I ask for nine, yes NINE please, but we all get on. It’s a 3 hour bus drive along the Makarska Riviera. The views of the imposing limestone cliff face that runs the whole length of this route look spectacular on camera. They look infinitely more impressive up close , bleached white in this searing heat. The ride is actually better than I expected. It’s a big wide road, but it is still 3 hours on a bus along a very rocky coastline. My back is now definitely giving way.
We arrive at Split. It’s stupendously hot. We manage to dispense with the bags and make our way to the other side of Bacvice beach and a restaurant we can use as a base. Swimming cossie was part of the obligatory kit list, and almost all of us go for a dip while enjoying a beer and a G&T, and a beer and a G&T. There are as many voices around us from Bolton and Brisbane as there are locals. This was intended to be our beach day and it performs admirably. Once the sun has calmed down a little we go for a quick run round Diocletian’s pad and the subsequent Venetian stuff that is Old Split, and then make for the train. Everything is within 200 yards of each other.
The platform is strewn with backpacking youngsters, most of them American and all of who seem to think that you don’t just need one ridiculously over packed rucksack to go backpacking, you need TWO. Patronising rant time. Kids, you need; passport, wallet, toothbrush and a spare pair of undies. I guess smart phone is an item of utter necessity these days. Everything else you can bin. Of course all these guys now know that they brought waaaay too much shit.
The train leaves and we head off into the Dinaric Alps. The local and quite excellent plum brandy is consumed, and another successful day is chalked off.
Start: In a dorm in Sarajevo
Train 22 07:05 Sarajevo to Ploce
Bus 4 Ploce to Split
Train 23 20:10 Split to Zagreb sleeper
Finish: Dalmatian Mountains
Also on this day
Paul’s Photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_clarke/sets/72157634663303131/
Lloyd’s Blog http://www.lloydshepherd.com/2013/07/17/day-11-12-back-in-the-eu/
Darren’s Blog http://blog.darrenf.org/2013/07/hey-eu.html
Dave’s Blog http://disorientateddave.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/dalmation-coast.html