27.12.09

Croatia Trip - Split - Baptistery & Mt. Marjan










In the 5th morning we visited the temple of Jupita (Baptistery), Meštrović museum and hiked up to Mt Marjan.  The baptistery is for total immersion.  It is beautifully crafted.  Next to it is a statue of Saint John the Baptist. 

Meštrović museum is detailed in another section.  Please refer to Day 5 Split - Ivan Mestrovic

We started the climb of Mt. Marjan around midday.  The sun was high.  The ascend was quite steep.  But the view over the town was spendid.  The path was barren.  We hardly saw any people, perhaps one workman who was on duty.  There were some Romanesque churches along the way.  The first one looked bright white under the sun.  It's beautiful.   Continued on the white 'sandy' path, second and third churches came into view.  Hu hu, destination reached!  For a while the sky turned cloudy.  It did not rain, fortunately. 

We went to a public swimming place to immerse into the water after the sweating walk.  Yeah yeah we did not know previously nice beaches are on the western side.  It's far to walk back.  But we still had another day.

26.12.09

Croatia Trip - Day 5 Split - Ivan Meštrović

Ivan Meštrović is one of the most important artists in Croatia.  A very nice museum of him is found in Split.  It is situated on the western side of the city, nearby gorgeous beaches.  The museum is Ivan Meštrović's residence.  The villa is at a wonderful location, overseeing the sea with fresh air.  It was built between 1931 and 1939.  Unfortunately, the artist lived there for two years only.   The white marble statue right at the middle of the display hall got my attention.  It's so beautiful.  The tranquility and a dash of frozen sadness caught my admiration. 

Some of the artist's sculpture were displayed in the garden of the villa.  They are huge and realistic.  If you were there, you would be amazed.

I was touched by his version of Pietà.
 



Heading further west, you will arrive into Kastelet, the artist's chapel ornamented with his wooden scuplture of Jesus' life.

It is a pleasant walk from the city centre to the musuem.  Nearby the museum are beautiful beaches.  Be sure to take your bathing clothing with you.  Here is much nicer than the public swimming place nearby the bus station. 


13.12.09

Croatia Trip - Day 4 Split


Day 4, it's time to leave Dubrovnik.  Our next destination is Split.  Long distance buses leave from the Gruz Harbour.  The bus terminal is easy to find.  It's one of the most efficient bus terminals we've ever been in Croatia.  If you stay in Dubrovnik, it is just a bus ride.  Bus from Durbrovnik to Split leaves every half hour.  It's a 5-hour journey.    Beauty is all the way long.  We passed by nameless beautiful spots along the coast. 


The sister of our landlady was waiting for us at the bus terminal.  It's the busiest place in Split. She took us to our little apartment, passing by streets with figs on the ground, hawkers selling all sorts of things outside the palace wall.  Then we were at our little paradise with a lovely garden outside.    A supermarket was nearby.  We stocked up food for our breakfast quickly and started our sightseeing.


Split is the second biggest city in Croatia.  It is also the spot of one of the unesco sites - Diocletian's Palace.  It was built between the late 3rd and early 4th century AD.  Emperor Diocletian built this palace for his retirement.  Barbarians invaded the nearby villages in 7th century. Lots of residents fled to the palace.  It then evolved to become an important commercial and residential centre.


Our apartment is close to the palace but retains its quiteness.  Croatia's famous sculptor, Ivan Meštrović has its Statue of Gregory of Nin guarding the city.  The statue is a giant.  Then we hopped to the main streets, key squares, esplanade.  The shopping street was quite empty, relative to most European cities.  The esplanade was more welcome.   Citizens and their families spent a lazy afternoon there.  Beautiful buildings, hotels, shops and restaurants line up the Esplanade.  Unfortunately, there is no tree shade.  We climbed the cathedral tower to have a fabulous view of the city.