To Trogir - Balkan Dreams - CycleBlaze

October 10, 2020

To Trogir

There are a few reasonable choices for biking from Šibenik to Skradin. When we covered this span in the opposite direction two years ago we followed the coastline most of the way.  Scenic, but we didn’t really care for it too much because of the traffic. This year we’re following one of the  two marked bike routes instead: the most inland option, the N1.  There’s also the EV8, the Eurovelo route, to consider; but close examination reveals several unpaved sections.  Maybe if we come back here some year we’ll give that route a try, but for today we’ll stick with the pavement.

The first ten miles are a gradual climb south on a minor highway that generally follows the train line.  Pretty, but there’s just enough traffic that you can’t really relax and sink into the natural beauty of the surroundings.  We want to allow plenty of time to explore Trogir after we arrive anyway, so we keep a steady pace and clip off the miles.

The first ten miles out of Sibenik were along this road. Generally quiet, but busier than shown here. Just enough traffic that you can’t really relax and look around much.
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When you do look around though, it’s very pretty country. Small-scale agriculture, green, with low ridges lining the shallow valley we’re following.
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Ten miles in, we leave this road for a much smaller and quieter one, still gradually climbing and following the rail line.  The quality of the ride immediately improves as the traffic disappears completely and we cycle along past scattered homes and small settlements, the road lined here and there by low stone walls.   This middle third of the ride is beautiful and relaxed, easily the best part of the ride.  At its end we come to the head of the short valley we’ve been threading through and climb a low, surprisingly steep wall to rejoin the main road.

Wild hog ahead.
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A yellow double mystery, just waiting for a solution.
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Bill ShaneyfeltClouded sulfur butterfly http://www.learnaboutbutterflies.com/Britain%20-%20Colias%20crocea.htm
on goldenrod
https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/50575#toPictures
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltTWO gold stars!
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2 weeks ago
As we continue south the terrain gradually grows more rugged.
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And stonier. We’re starting to see stone walls lining the road.
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It’s almost a windless day. The turbines are motionless.
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Who was that biker that just raced by? And why didn’t she stop and give us an apple?
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I like this. Here and there the house is just part of the wall.
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The only real climb of the day, as we cross over from the interior to the coast. It doesn’t look like much here but I’d put it at 12-15%.
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Looking back and down into the valley we’ve biked through for the last half hour.
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We continue climbing as we turn west toward the coast, eventually sumitting out at about 1,300’ - nearly enough to qualify as a pass climb, so we’ll call it that to make ourselves feel fit and powerful.  Disappointingly there’s no summit sign at the top to pose beneath and crow about our awesome accomplishment, but take our word for it - easily a Cat 2 ascent, if not more.

The descent to the sea is the most dramatic third of the ride, if not the most enjoyable because once again we have a bit of company whizzing past our shoulders on the short straight stretches before the next blind curve.  Before long we pull in to our waterfront hotel in Trogir, too early to check in so we stop first at a bar to kill a half hour and eat our lunch it’s still early afternoon, so we have plenty of time to explore this tiny but special place, which we’ll show you more of when you turn the page.

For dinner we forego the busier waterfront restaurants in favor of a tiny establishment inside the walls with just four outside tables crowded along one side of a narrow thoroughfare.  It’s Saturday evening, and while we wait for our meal we enjoy listening to church bells chime from the nearby cathedral and watch people gradually trickle in and enter the small chapel opposite us for evening mass.  A very nice evening, missing only a table cat to share some scraps with.  Where’s our table cat?

Crossing the ridge, the Adriatic comes in sight. It’s nearly all downhill for the final nine miles.
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Until now we’ve generally followed the train line. Here though we diverge and drop west to the coast, while the rails continue south, gradually dropping to Split.
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I don’t think I’ve ever seen tracks supported like this. Instead of trestles, they’re resting on what looks like a series of earthen dams. They look like they’d be unstable, unless it’s all cemented together.
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The rail line continues on south to Split. It makes me anxious looking at this. I wouldn’t want to be on those tracks during an earthquake.
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Video sound track: Mali dućan (little store), by Studio Fresno

Entering Trogir, our penultimate stay in Croatia.
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Ride stats today: 34 miles, 2,000’; for the tour: 1,504 miles, 72,900’

Today's ride: 34 miles (55 km)
Total: 1,504 miles (2,420 km)

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