Mixing Fine Architecture with Fine Gastronomy
We landed at the Split airport at 10:00 and checked in at our accommodation at 10:30. You might say that’s impossible. Split is 25 kilometers from the airport, so how could we manage to get there in such short timing?
That’s because we weren’t going to Split. The Split airport is closer to Trogir, only 3 kilometers away, and since Trogir was anyway on our to-do list, we decided to spend our first day in Croatia in Trogir.
The plan proved sensational!
The First Impressions of…
Trogir was the perfect introduction to Dalmatia. The typical Mediterranean coastal town, with ancient history, awesome architecture, and a warm, cozy ambient.
Just before the landing, we could see the old town from above. We could see it was situated on a tiny island between the land and the other island, which is much larger, and which the modern Trogir is spreading to.
But it was only upon our arrival and crossing the bridge that its full glory revealed to us.
Suddenly we were wandering the narrow lanes of some pirate city from a blockbuster filming set. Towns like this exist. Rub your eyes, this was not a movie.
The First Contact
We were to find our hotel. It was hidden somewhere inside this whirl of passages, streets, terraces and town squares. We could spin in circles like that forever. The better option was to ask someone.
– Pardon, do you speak English?
– Of course, I do.
– Would you be so kind as to show us the direction of our hotel? Its name is Pa…..
– Oh, I see it. My cousin works there. I will take you.
– Oh please don’t bother…
– Noooo problem, it’s just around the corner. Follow me and we’ll be there in a second.
The first man we talked to showed us the famous hospitality Dalmatians are known for. His name was Ante.
Not only did Ante directed us, but he also took us to the hotel, helped us with check-in, joked with his cousin to take special care of us, and joined us for our welcome drink in a hall.
The hotel was amazing. It was an authentic Dalmatian stone house with renaissance decor. Very classy.
And so was the staff. They spoke in fluent English and took care of all our needs with a smile.
Outside, Trogir was waiting for us. We went for an afternoon tour, excited to discover the town we’ve been reading about so much.
Of Architecture and Scents
Trogir itself, the entire old town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997. Historical monuments are all over the place. We toured the Cathedral of St. Lawrence with the Chapel of St John, the best renaissance site in Dalmatia. We visited the city loggia with relief by famous sculptor Ivan Meštrović (the author of Chicago Indians sculpture), depicting Petar Berislavić of Trogir. We also toured the Kamerlengo fortress and enjoyed the palms along the promenade.
The town was fantastic. Everything was nice, but something else was intriguing to us even more.
The whole afternoon we were accompanied by delicious scents coming from restaurants, mixing up in the air on the corners, drawing our appetite crazy.
The Town of Scents
Trogir is full of fine restaurants. The scents never leave you as you tour around the town.
Frankly, it was at moments hard to focus on historical sites, while your palate strives in another direction.
– See that building? Wau that’s beautiful. Amazing. But, wait a minute. Where is that coming from? Mmmmmmm. Delicious. Tempting. If only I could try some of that.
And so, we shortened our city tour a bit to take our glance in some of that fantastic scents. We found a restaurant that suited us. It had an airy terrace in the atrium of the stone house, romantic ambient with candles and capers growing from the walls.
– Good evening.
– Hi. We’d like to dive into some of that fantastic scents.
– You’re lucky. The octopus under a bell with potatoes and vegetables is just ready.
– A bell?
– Yes. It’s the authentic cooking invention that we use here in Croatia. The food is baked under the bell that is covered with a glow. It’s both baked and juicy at the same time. You should try it.
And we did.
Oh, what a sensation of scents, tastes, and aromas it was.
We started with appetizers. Salted sardines in olive oil, dried tomatoes, and cheep cheese from the Brač island.
Then the octopus came to the table.
The octopus juice was fused with red wine, and it gave the potatoes and vegetables the royal aroma. The meat, however, was just as the waiter announced – crusty on surface, juicy inside.
We had a glass of local quality wine from Korčula island which launched us into the higher spheres of hedonism.
Trogir is the city of gastronomy. Its reputation is not exaggerated. And you can tell it from the moment you enter its streets.
We’ve never been to a place that was so tempting and inviting with scents. It was like we were bewitched, hypnotized, or dazed. And fairly awarded.
And this was only the first day of our holiday in Croatia.
The rest will stay secret.
We want you to discover it yourself.
But, it will take you to come to Croatia and open your hearts and souls to these beautiful people and their cuisine.
It’s only then that the magic can happen.
Your CTC Team, S.J.