Post 6 Heading North… Korcula, Split and Trogir.

So now we start heading north again, continuing to explore Croatia as we go. (In Chris’ case…test the craft beers!) Another car ferry takes us to Korcula island, and we visit the little beach at Lumbarda, where we get out the chairs (a rarity for us), and read, and paddle!

Then to the delightful town of Korcula, a classic mediaeval hill town. Limestone walls, tiny narrow streets and red tiled roofs by a lovely harbour. We look into any open churches, as they all have their own beauty. Sadly, many have firmly locked doors!

Then a night in an olive grove, before the early ferry to Split, watching the sun rise, as we, and Boris, cruise the Adriatic!!

Split is a complete contrast. A bustling city and seaport, with a fascinating centre. The Romans came here, and in 305AD, Emporer Diocletian ordered a vast palace to be built, with an octagonal mausoleum at it’s heart.

Gorgeous 14th century carved doors.

In 605, freed Christian roman slaves came and revitalised the city as a Christian town. The Venetians and Byzantines added to it, but all keeping the structure of the Roman palace. So we can walk through vaults, see buildings and artefacts that are 1700 years old, bound up with baroque architecture, or a modern museum.

The Cathedral is inside the octagonal mausoleum.

Suddenly an art nouveau building will pop up, another reminder of the centuries of new life breathed into this city.

Next onto Trogir, a Venetian town, used as Qarth in the Game of Thrones filming recently. A stunning town.

14th century marble pulpit.

14th century wood carving.

Golden limestone walls, a fortress and numerous beautiful churches and Palazzos. Here we saw several Weddings. Immediately after the church services, everyone poured into the square. Traditional music was played. Everyone sang , Croatian flags were waved and fireworks let off!

There were tiny churches everywhere, and the town square had a beautiful Loggia, which would have been the town meeting place.

Camping Rozak is lovely. We are right by the beach, and the evening sunset was breathtaking.

However, thunderstorms overnight, and a rainy morning presented the perfect opportunity for housekeeping! Laundry, and changing the bedlinen must be done. We even caught up with admin, and played some games! Back into Trogir, for a super dinner, tucked in a quaint courtyard. The fish is excellent, especially the Carpacccio of Swordfish!

Chris had a local meat dish, braised in red wine with mountain herbs. Yum!

October 2017 Bimble..  hoping the site will work this time!

Hello!

Last time I tried to write a blog it would not work properly. I am hoping it will work for this trip. Let’s see! (It has taken me a while to sort this out so in the meantime I have been doing facebook posts as a diary. The first few blogs will be a copy of my facebook posts! )

Hooray! Finally we are on a proper Bimble in Boris. We have enjoyed an excellent, smooth 24 hour crossing from Portsmouth to Santander in Northern Spain. We are now encamped in the beautiful Picos de Europa mountains in Galicia. 

It is all the more sweet because we have had a very worrying week. I would like to sing the praises of the NHS! A week ago I found a new lump in the breast where I had cancer. I phoned my Gp who saw me the next day and did a fast track referral to Bournemouth hospital. I was seen 6 days later by 2 doctors. Tests done and results given in 3 hours. And, thankfully, it was just a blocked duct. Needless to say we were extremely happy and grateful.

So after delaying our departure, we were able to rebook our ferry and set sail on Friday evening.

The food on board was lovely, and nice warm weather on arrival.😊 

We ❤ Brittany ferries! 

17. Last legs! Charente Maritime to Christchurch, England!

Another day catching up with Jenny and Tim (I wish they would stop running off!), and visiting the lovely and historic town of Saintes (rhymes with pant!). Roman and gothic relics abound and the newly pedestrianised centre makes it a super place to Bimble away a morning. The formal planting was quite impressive too!20150918_115743The serious business of the trip was to find a good lunch spot. We can wholeheartedly recommend La Terrasse, by the river, whose 18 euro 3 course lunch was exceptionally good quality and value.20150918_13130420150918_140343

Rain was forecast for the rest of the  afternoon so we headed back to the house and had a good session of cards and nattering.

Saturday September 19th

My birthday! A nice breakfast and a lovely gift of a picture frame from Jenny and Tim, before our sad departure 😔. Thank you to Jenny, Tim, Mimi and Monti for a super stay, but Mimi…. you need to improve your hide and seek technique before our next visit!20150918_103452

We headed north via the outskirts of Rochefort and La Rochelle. This is an excellent way to avoid motorway tolls!

We used to own a cottage in the Vendee and as we drove by we resisted the pull to go and see the village …We had a more important mission!

When we had the cottage we also had a favourite vineyard.. Chateau de Rosnay. We wanted to get there before it shut for lunch!

We made it in time, and soon 2 boxes of our favourite white wine – Tendresse – were installed in Boris. Time to head north again, picking up the autoroute just south of Nantes from where it is free all the way to Rennes and Caen.

It was a good drive. We stopped to picnic on the Nantes – Brest canal, but that was our only pause before arriving at Carrefour at Ouistreham to stock up with cheese and other ‘essentials’.

However we were not heading straight for the ferry. By using the ferry at 8.30am next morning we saved £140, and having the camper we could sleep in an aire free of charge so didn’t need to pay for a hotel room. So we crossed the river at the site of Pegasus bridge and went a few miles east to Cabourg, where we enjoyed a bracing walk along the promenade and the dunes before returning to Boris to get changed.20150919_18582220150919_190601

I had booked a restaurant for dinner using their Internet booking site. Au pied des Marais had super reviews and we were very excited. When we arrived  it was a bit of a shock when they said they had not received the booking and were full. My face fell and they took pity on us and found us a table. Wow am I glad they did. The food was exquisite and very unusual. Presentation was excellent and the service was so courteous and helpful. The owner / head chef was charming – he takes all the orders and serves the main courses , and is often clearing tables and serving drinks and chatting to his guests. There was a roaring fire which some of the dishes were cooked upon.

For our foodie fans, here are some photos of our choices. Nibbles were followed by 2 amuse bouche – a veloute of carrot, pleurotte and broccoli and a broccoli, and chorizo mix with tomato cream on top.20150919_205435

Starters – Chris had Oysters while I had a tower of Lisette (tiny fish) with vegetables and asparagus topping in a gazpacho coulis. 20150919_210943Then the Trou normande. . A delicious apple sorbet over which they drizzled Pommeau (16%) or Calvados (42%) – your choice!

Entrée –  we both had Skate in a tower with vegetables, spinach puree and a sensational apple cream sauce. 20150919_214600Then cheese – a bon bon Normande  which was a parcel of melting camembert.20150919_221015

Finally, the dessert and to my astonishment mine arrived with a candle and Birthday greetings piped around the edge, and served by the owner..who offered to sing but said he didn’t recommend it!20150919_22301420150919_223023

Finally coffee with home made bonbons!

Sublime. And the price of that whole menu was 36 euros..  about £27.50.

What a treat. Thank you again Chris as this was the second half of my birthday present!

Finally, we left at 11pm, and went from the sublime to the ridiculous. We drove back to the port at Ouistreham and Boris crept in to the aire next to the docks, where about 40 other campers were already hunkered down for the night. We found a spot and snuggled down for our last night in Boris for this holiday. We set the alarm for 6.45 and both slept like logs!

Sunday September 20th

The alarm worked and we were soon queueing at the ferry terminal. It was a foggy start but it soon lifted and we had a flat calm crossing, arriving into Portsmouth by lunchtime. Best of all, we spotted a gannet and an arctic tern which took our bird total from a frustrating 149 to a brilliant 151 for the holiday!20150920_124925

Then home, and after some unpacking etc. Jen arrived home and cooked us a delightful birthday dinner. 20150920_19275320150920_195739Delicious. 💗 A fabulous end to a great trip.