What used to be Yugoslavia was where my interest in travel started as a teenager with visits on six occasions with my grandparents in the late 70s. This was my second visit since those initial trips and I have to say that I love it as much now as I did then. These days, though, I am in Croatia not Yugoslavia.
It didn’t, though, start dramatically well. I had booked a flight on Croatia Airlines from Gatwick to Split with a change of plane in Zagreb. This flight was cancelled sometime afterwards so the only option was to go later from Heathrow which, in itself, wasn’t a great issue but meant the loss of half a day. Come departure day and the later flight from Heathrow was delayed: I had reached Heathrow too
A fish merchant attempts to pacify a bad-tempered seagull at a Split market
View over Split from the tower within Diocletian's Palace
early and the lack of interest shown by Croatia Airlines didn’t add to the experience of four hours in Terminal 1 with the prospect of having to possibly stay overnight in Zagreb when my first stay in Split was short enough as it was. Somewhat luckily, a lot of the delayed passengers were going beyond Zagreb so Croatia Airlines
did get their act together much better in Zagreb and held two planes up so that we all made our destinations that evening. I suppose it would was in their interests to hold up a couple of planes rather than put around fifty people up in Zagreb. I was pleased to have booked a transfer through the excellent Jam Transfer in Split and their driver, Josip Mandic, was waiting patiently and got me to the excellent Radisson Blu Split hotel by 11.20pm.
Travel agents are lucky people if we take up the favourable rates offered to us by Radisson and their companies. Yes, okay, this isn’t a very subtle plug for them but I do have to say that this hotel is fantastic: having reached there pretty tired, I received a warm welcome and an upgraded room – no, I didn’t ask – with seaview ( which I first saw in the morning). The breakfasts were excellent but, for some unknown reason, I greeted the breakfast waiter in...
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