Friday, May 23, 2008

Šibenik.


Š
ibenik. Definitely not a tourist hotspot. It lacks the name recognition of Dubrovnik, the charm of Trogir and the hustle and bustle of Split. Georgraphically located where the Krka River flows into the Adriatic Sea, it was our destination this afternoon.

We arrived into Šibenik from Stradin. When we returned to Stradin from Krka National Park, we headed straight for the Tourist Information center. Earlier that day, the receptionist there had tried to call to book a taxi for us. Then, she did not have any luck getting through to the taxi service so we thought we would have her try again. She did and still not have any luck - the phone just rang and rang. She sent us around the corner to the ferry dock. There, we walked into the office of the local boating club. We explained our situation to the woman sitting behind the counter. She picked the phone and tried calling for a taxi. Again, no luck.

Then, by chance, one of the men who works at the boating club walked into the office. The woman explained our dilemma to him and after a brief conversation in Croatian, she turned to us and told us that this man would take us to Šibenik....for a price to be agreed upon between him and us. Woohoo!! What luck....and he only wanted 100 HRK (about $16 for the two of us) which was half the cost of the taxi.

We piled into his car and headed out. Traveller chit chat filled the air as usual. We found out his name is Michael (spelling it Anglo Saxon style) and that he's a boating captain who lives in Šibenik but who works in Stradin. He loves his life and having been to Stradin, I can't say that I blame him.

20 kilometres and Michael dropped us off at the bus station. We asked him to do that so we would know where we had to be to catch the bus back to Trogir. We gave him our sincere thanks and made our way to the ticket office. We decided we better figure out the times of the buses to Trogir and get our ticket before spending a minute in Šibenik.

As usual, we had no map of the city but we could see the water from where we stood so that's the direction we headed towards. Walking along the Adriatic Sea, we once again made mental "breadcrumbs" so we could find our way back to the bus station.

I don't remember which came first - the hunger pangs or the smell of food wafting out from the waterside restaurants. No matter. Both of us were absolutely famished. Neither of us had had any breakfast and we had walked all morning long. We found a restaurant that looked popular and managed to find ourselves a table and two comfy chairs to plop ourselves down into. Ahhhhh....sea air, the smell of food, the shade of an awning and a comfy chair. Perfect.

We ordered our food. Croatia is all about the seafood. Lunch for Lei was a dish of very fresh and succulent scampi and mine was a classic dish of seafood crepes. Oh..., we were in heaven.

















With our blood sugar levels back to normal, we paid our bill and walked in a direction away from the water. Surprisingly, we found the Cathedral of St James, the town's most renowned historic landmark.

Designed in the Decorative Gothic style by Juraj Dalmatinac in the mid 15th century, and finished fifty years later by Nikola Firentinac, the building is recognised as a masterpiece of Croatian architecture - it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.






















The Cathedral of St. James is located in a small town square that also houses a small church.





















The visual character of the Cathedral lies not in its interior which is very modest and to be honest, nothing really memorable but in ts exterior façade - particularly the decorative elements of the Cathedral, such as a remarkable frieze decorated with 71 sculptured faces of men, women, and children. Each of the faces is different and it said that they were modeled after citizens of the town.






































After visting St. James, our time in Šibenik was up. We retraced our steps back to bus station and boarded the bus for the long ride back to Trogir. It had been a long day and I was tired. Tomorrow, we're off to Dubrovnik! Can't wait!!