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Riding Adriatic Wonders: Trogir and Zadar

the policeman couldn't wrap his mind around Liliana, a woman, riding a Triumph Tiger 900. Imagine his disbelief! After a few laughs and a glimpse into our motorcycle adventure, he decided to skip the ticket for Liliana and threw in a 50% discount for mine. The catch? I had to make a pit stop at the nearby post office to settle the bill within the next 5 minutes.

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Hey there, 2wheel adventurers! Rui here, back in the saddle, and ready to share another thrilling episode of our Balkans escapade. Picture this: the sun gently kissing the horizon, the sound of waves serenading our senses, and the promise of a new stage in our journey. As we bid farewell to Split’s inviting waters, day 12 unfurls ahead, a stage that takes us from Split to Trogir to Zadar. Today we’re not only testing the waters but also going to do something completely different.

Morning Bliss: A Dip in Split’s Waters

Ah, mornings on the road – each one is a canvas waiting to be painted with adventure. But today, we decided to start with a splash. Imagine this: the warm waters of Split’s coastline, the sun peeking over the horizon, and the joy of an early morning dip. With the rest of the day stretching out before us, we indulged in a moment of pure bliss – a treat we earned through countless miles on the road. We also had a short stage coming so… why not indulge?

A Short Stage with a World of Wonders: Split to Trogir to Zadar

With the sun-kissed morning setting the tone, we geared up for what promised to be a day of surprises. Day 12, a relatively short stage spanning around 160 kilometers, took us on a journey from Split to the ancient town of Trogir and finally, to the coastal gem of Zadar. As we are in the spirit of doing things differently, I’m taking a diverse approach to writing as well. So, let’s try to give you information that you can use practically, in case you want to ride along the same spots.

Trogir: A Gem of History and Beauty

Our first stop of the day was Trogir, a picturesque town located on a small island between the mainland and the larger Čiovo Island. Known for its remarkably well-preserved medieval architecture, Trogir is a UNESCO World Heritage site that transports visitors back in time. The ride from Split is around 30 km, and it’s a coastal wonder as you might have guessed by now.

Trogir

What to Visit in Trogir:

  1. St. Lawrence Cathedral: A true masterpiece of Romanesque-Gothic architecture, this cathedral is the heart of Trogir. Its intricate carvings and stunning portal are captivating, and climbing the bell tower rewards you with panoramic views.
  2. Kamerlengo Fortress: Sitting at the water’s edge, this fortress offers a glimpse into Trogir’s historic past. Its rugged walls and panoramic vistas make it a must-visit spot.
  3. The Old Town Streets: Lose yourself in the maze-like streets of the old town. Discover hidden squares, charming cafes, and local shops selling crafts and souvenirs.
  4. Game of Thrones Connection: Trogir might not be as famous as Dubrovnik for its Game of Thrones filming locations, but it played a role too. It was used as a backdrop for scenes set in the city of Qarth, adding a touch of fantasy to its historic charm.

Trogir is fascinating. Even if Westeros is not your thing, the city’s history is so rich that you might as well be like us and leave wishing you could have stayed longer. Now, back to our ride.

A Tale of Fines and Chuckles: The Policeman’s Surprise

As we were preparing to leave Trogir, fate had a playful twist in store for us. As we were walking back to our trusty motorcycles parked at the roadside, when suddenly, like a character from a comedy sketch, we realize a policeman got there first. Turns out, our bikes weren’t parked quite in the right spot. My bike had already been adorned with a 30-euro fine, and Liliana’s bike was next in line.

But here comes the comedic climax – the policeman couldn’t wrap his mind around Liliana, a woman, riding a Triumph Tiger 900. Imagine his disbelief! After a few laughs and a glimpse into our motorcycle adventure, he decided to skip the ticket for Liliana and threw in a 50% discount for mine. The catch? I had to make a pit stop at the nearby post office to settle the bill within the next 5 minutes.

Lost in Translation at the Post Office

Now, paying a fine should be simple, right? Well, that’s not how it unfolded. At the post office, I was met with the monumental task of navigating a form written in Croatian. My Croatian skills? Let’s just say they were as advanced as a toddler’s first steps. After a valiant effort, the post lady took pity on me and took over the form-filling mission. Apparently, my grasp of Croatian is as strong as a kitten’s roar. For me, it was back to the parking spot to present the awaiting officer proof of the payment. Can you believe that he was still trying to grasp the idea of a woman rider? He stood there waiting to see us depart just to be sure that it was possible.

Embracing the Coastal Breeze: Journeying from Trogir to Zadar

With the laughs and bureaucracy behind us, it was time to embark on the final stretch to Zadar. The ride from Trogir to Zadar is just over 100km, it’s amazing, and we adopted a relaxed riding style enjoying it thoroughly. Half way we stopped at a coffee near a supermarket where people were so nice they even invited us to use their outdoor tables to eat our road lunch.

Zadar: Where Adventure Meets Tranquility

Zadar is yet another city not to miss. Nestled along the stunning Adriatic coast, Zadar is a city that beautifully marries ancient history with contemporary innovation. With its rich past dating back to Roman times, Zadar’s modern twists make it a unique destination that caters to all kinds of travelers. For our part, we picked up some provisions, checked in at the hotel, and departed to enjoy the fullest of our afternoon and evening in Zadar. Exploring the city, seeing the sunset, followed by a great dinner? What’s not to like about it? Well, for us, only the prices. The best hotel rate that we could find, and it was nowhere near the city center, were 160 per night. I would imagine that for someone that wants to enjoy the full benefits of a hotel, its “doable”, but for motorcycle travelers like us, a hotel means somewhere to sleep for a few hours, have a shower, and depart first thing in the morning in pursuit of the next adventure. Come to think of it, that should make us the hotel managers’ favorite guests.

What to visit in Zadar:

  1. Sea Organ: A masterpiece of modern architecture, the Sea Organ is an underwater instrument that transforms the waves of the Adriatic Sea into harmonious melodies. Sitting along the promenade, it’s a mesmerizing experience at sunset.
  2. Sun Salutation: Right next to the Sea Organ, the Sun Salutation is a circular installation that lights up in vibrant colors as the sun sets. It’s a celebration of the elements, offering a sensory experience like no other.
  3. Historic Old Town: Wander through Zadar’s historic old town to witness Roman ruins, medieval churches, and charming squares. The Church of St. Donatus and the Roman Forum are must-see landmarks.
  4. Alfred Hitchcock’s Viewpoint: Zadar’s sunset was so captivating that even legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock was moved to describe it as the most beautiful in the world. The viewpoint bearing his name offers a panoramic spectacle.

This Balkans adventure has been like a treasure trove of experiences and shared memories. Tomorrow’s stage marks the beginning of the way back home. Will it be as memorable as the time we’ve spent here? Only the future will tell, so stay tuned and see you all on the road.

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