My two nights in Sibenik started with the realisation I was staying at the cleanest hostel in the world and that here, I had access to a kitchen and a balcony! Stocking up on supplies to make my first meal since I left, I then took an evening stroll into the Old Town and along the harbour and the coast of the Adriatic Sea. As I watched the sunset, I was so relaxed I might as well have been asleep.
Whilst my time here was fairly brief, I knew that this was a small place without a great deal to do, unless you travel out to surrounding villages and kind of nearby National Parks that aren’t really that nearby. I accepted the fact that I was going to relax here, rather than go at it full steam, particularly as I still have top hits such as Slovenia and Venice in the coming week.
In the Old Town, you can easily get lost and quickly found in an ongoing repetition; as long as you can take sight of the water, you know roughly where to go. The narrow streets don’t actually resemble the Roman streets of Split. They’re a lot more chaotic and at varying heights, also with lots and lots of steps. Packed into maybe 2000m you have several churches and you can’t turn around without seeing something worthy of a photo.
Taking my time on my second day, I was joined by the smallest of the hostel tortoises for breakfast, before I sat in the park by the Church of St.Fane and monastery, admiring the statue of King Petar Kresimir. This is where I just thought wow this heat still isn’t letting up. I know a couple of people who have just been to Lake Bled where its 25C so fingers crossed I get a few days out of the blazing sun! Little did I know, it would be in this park that an Italian woman would talk to me for quarter of an hour… in Italian. I find it so funny how much you can actually understand; she told me that I had good teeth whereas she had none and offered advice on my mosquito bites, of which I have 26. Sadly, I do not know what her advice was! Mamma mia.
Highlights of the Old Town were the beautiful town hall, where you can now stop for a cake and hot drink, the Cathedral of St. James (currently undergoing refurbishment) and of course, the Fortress of St. Michael which dominates the skyline. Trekking up here at first seemed like an easy task but it was easier to get lost and climb up additional steps in mega heat and humidty. Costing about £1 to enter, the panoramic views are spectacular and I rested up here before heading back down to the beach 250m away, following the old town walls, the sound of waves hitting boats making me smile. I honestly think just walking through this old town is the most relaxing of all things to do in Sibenik, but then again, I am a walker.
Walking back along the coast admiring the unique islands – the densest island group in the Adriatic Sea – of rock cliffs and the expensive yachts, I checked out the train station for my journey to Ljubljana tomorrow! This was a last minute change of plan; I was going to spend the day here and then get a night train but I realised that I wouldn’t be able to shower or properly rest for two days if this were the case. The night train actually stops twice at small stations in the night where you need to change trains. I figured this was a recipe for disaster as I was meeting Will in the Slovenian capital to head to Lake Bled, the cherry on the cake of this trip and the halfway point, for which I didn’t want to be tired.
By being flexible with my plans, I’ve now got an evening and near enough a full day to explore Ljubljana, which is meant to have a cool Medieval Castle and you guessed it, great panoramic views. The buildings here are also terra cotta, which I won’t ever get bored of seeing.
With tomorrow a travel day and a hotel (an actual hotel!!) booked for Slovenia on a last minute deal, I’m spending the evening on the balcony, watching the hostel tortoises stroll around the bar and chatting to fellow travellers who are making there way east as I go west, meaning we have a lot of stories to share. In the back of my mind, I am worried something might go wrong with getting to Slovenia tomorrow as it’s an odd route but I’ve always got where I was going for the last month, so I’m sure I’ll get there in the end 🙂 Bloody memories of Malmo spring to mind!
What have I learnt from Sibenik? You can’t possibly do everything when you travel, so don’t be hard on yourself for taking a break.