Departing Split we headed North (away from our final destination for the day) in order to make a couple of stops. First was a tiny town on the coast called Kastel Gomlica, which was used as a filming location for Game of Thrones. (For GoT geeks, this is where Arya wheels her fishmonger’s wheelbarrow.) There is absolutely nothing to note that the location is anything special and there were zero tourists around. It is a small site, but very quaint and it was nice to have it to ourselves.
From there, we went to the nearby town of Trogir, also used for GoT filming, but this town has a lot more going on, and a lot more tourists, including a couple of super yachts tied up on the dock. The old town is actually on an island and has a very impressive fort on the seaward end.
We headed back south along the coast and stopped at the seaside town of Gradac where we had a nice lunch and I took a bit of a nap. Driving on towards Dubrovnik, you actually pass though a narrow strip of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the town of Neum. This is Bosnia’s only coastal access, and it also means that Dubrovnik and the surrounding territory is separated from the rest of Croatia, which isn’t entirely surprising if you know that Dubrovnik was its own city state called Ragusa (similar to, and rival of, Venice) until Napoleon folded it into the French Empire in the early 1800s.
We knew as we got close to the tail end of our trip that we would be spending the final few days in Dubrovnik, from where we would fly back to Dublin. We also knew we wanted to drive over the border to Montenegro and drive the Bay of Kotor. So, we decided to stay a couple of nights in Catvat, about 25 minutes southeast of Dubrovnik, close to the border and actually right next to the Dubrovnik Airport.
The advantage of this is that we could stay in a quieter and less expensive place than Dubrovnik, get a head start on our Montenegro trip and experience another Croatian village. As we later discovered when we stayed in Dubrovnik, accommodations and food ended up being way less (maybe as much as 50%) of the bigger city, and the small town has a lovely bay view and very relaxed feel.
On our second night in Catvat there was a huge lightning storm – the most powerful I have ever experienced. It started around 8pm and didn’t finish until at least 2am. I’ve taken photos of lightning before, which is somewhat specialized, and not particularly easy with the camera I had with me. What amazed me on a couple of the shots is that I had the aperture set for its minimum setting (i.e. the smallest hole letting in the least amount of light), and when I looked at the ensuing photos, the scene was lit up like it was daylight. This means the light generated by the lighting was incredibly bright, and thus very, very close. Made for some good photos though! The image below was taken after midnight.