Croatia 2018

The Croatian coast is known for its barren islands, clear waters and unspoilt nature. In 2018 we had the chance to take a ship along the Kornati, starting from Trogir.

Since we arrived early in the morning in Trogir, we had the chance to explore the well-preserved old town. The narrow streets and a mix of Renaissance, Baroque and Romanesque buildings give the city a very special charm. Our ship, the Bodul, is anchored on the promenade near the fortress Kamerlengo and by noon everything is on board and we leave.

After a first dive - did I mention that we are traveling with the Bodenseetauchclub? - we moored to the pier at Zlarin. Almost 300 people are living on the island, but as it is Saturday, there is a festival in the harbor and all locals and tourists enjoy the wonderful summer evening there.

Every day our captain "Marino" seeks two beautiful areas for diving: sometimes it is a steep wall, sometimes a wreck and sometimes a sloping piece on the coast of a small island, on which only a lighthouse stands. Since I'm still one of the absolute beginners, so I enjoy having so many professionals who support me with words and deeds. After a few problems with my equipment, the stress disappears and I start really enjoying it.

The second evening we spend in Tribunj, a nice small town, in which a lot is going on. We find a small bar on the 1st floor overlooking the harbor and from there we watch the hustle and bustle. Finally, we also take place in one of the sidewalk cafes and it does not take long to meet our colleagues from the Bodul.

"On the last day of creation God wanted to crown his work, and so he made the Kornati from tears, stars and breath". When the Irish writer George Bernard Shaw wrote this sentence, he probably would not have thought how many times he will be quoted. The reason is that this is the perfect description for the beauty of this region, which consists of about 150 islands, islets and rocks, 89 of them belong to the National Park.

Not only the nature is impressive, but also the dry stone walls, which always extend from the sea to the sea, so from one side of the island to the other. The walls are so high that sheep can't jump over them grazing in a foreign meadow. The fortress Tureta is also worth seeing. It was built in the 6th century, at the time of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian.

Life on board is chilled. During breakfast, Marino records the departure and dive stops of each day. Once the divers are underwater, everyone else is allowed to swim or snorkel. Some prefer to stay aboard, reading or playing cards. For lunch and dinner we are spoiled by our chef. These are simple dishes that the Croats would cook at home. Everything is fresh and tastes wonderful. We will certainly get home 5 kg heavier. When we stay overnight in a harbor, we take the opportunity to drink a good glass of wine. If not, we all meet on deck and then somebody plays the guitar and we sing togethe until midnight. The whole day we are in the fresh air and we rarely feel as relaxed as on board of the Bodul.

The port of Sali is reached in the late afternoon. We have to moor as the 4th boat next to three others. All who want to leave the boat, must first cross the other three. But it's worth it. Sali is a place with a thousand year old fishing tradition and old olive groves around the village. From here you can also make trips to the Nature Park Telašćica, but we only stay one night. So there is no time for that.

At Zadar we stop for fuel and fresh water. After the many small harbors, it is strange to be back in a big city. Everything seems too loud and too crowded. But it is also a city with an interesting and changeable history. Above all, the Roman and Venetian ruins in the old town  are wellknown. The Roman Forum is surrounded by the 11th-century Monastery of St. Mary, and the 12th-century Cathedral of St. Anastasia and the 9th-century Pre-Romanesque St. Donatus Church are worth a look. Most of us, however, prefer the play of light and the sea organ, whose sounds are generated by the wave motion of the sea under large stone slabs.

Vodice is a lively town. As soon as we dock, we notice a big hotel that resembles a ship. Chris and I walk there to see the pool deck on the 9th floor. From the bar  you have a great view over the harbor.

In the small street many small restaurants and bars are situated and there is a lot going on. We also notice that the boat next to us is decorated for a big party. We are a little worried when we see the giant boxes being assembled there. But after midnight, the boat leaves and so we still have a pretty quiet night.
From here it would not be far to the Krka waterfalls, which we visited many years ago by motorbike.

The many small bays and islets to which we anchor are amazing. They make you want to sail along the coast by yourself. So we plan to make the coastal patent during winter and come back next year. It does not always have to be a long-distance trip, if you have such fantastic regions almost on your doorstep.

Our last stop is Drvenik Veli. The small town has seen better times. Many of the buildings are in a very bad shape and young people are no longer finding jobs here. But I like the morbid charm and so next morning I get up at 6 clock to take some nice pictures.

It's already time for the last dive and then the big desalting and drying starts on board. Every free space is used to prepare the equipment for the trip home. We reach Trogir around noon and have a few more hours to shop souvenirs, go to the market, eat freshly caught fish and review the holiday.

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