Thirty-six Hours in Trogir

Trogir is an historic city and harbour on the Adriatic coast of Croatia and a UNESCO World Heritage site.  We arrived in the afternoon on Wednesday and anchored off the castle but were later invited by the harbourmaster to moor alongside the quay where we stayed for two nights.

Whilst Mike and Nick stayed on board to wait for the engineer who would be coming to make some structural adjustments for the bimini, Carolyn and I went ashore and she gave me a quick tour of the walled precincts of the city.

We walked through the narrow, high sided alleys over shiny, rounded and slippery marble cobbles, past several shoe shops, gift shops, jewellers, restaurants.  She pointed out some fine examples of the architecture.

Emerging the other side we crossed the road to an open market with fixed heavy marble slab tables on pedestals where all manner of fresh and preserved goods are sold.  Some vendors are elderly women, dressed in black, selling surplus produce perhaps.  I noticed poly bags of shelled broad beans, bundles of long thin asparagus, pale sugary dried figs, herbs.  A cornucopia of goodness.

It all looked beautiful and would be fun to cook with.  We bought some cherries to take back to Verity, we would be returning the next day for a lengthier shop as Verity will need provisioning for the forthcoming week when there will be Three Men in a Boat.

Carolyn had said that she wished to buy Nick his supper for being such a helpful crew.  As his consort I get to get thanked too.  We went to a fish restaurant close by the quay where Mike and Carolyn shared a handsome grilled sea bream, Nick chose Beef Stroganoff and I ate Scampi risotto again because I love it.

On Thursday morning the noisy work of trimming the colonnade of palm trees on the quay continued.  As the lower fronds were removed it revealed an opportunistic ephiphytic flora which had seeded itself in the axes of the fronds with the trunk: antirrhinums, fig treelets, ferns…

At the market I bought a kilo each of cherries and dried figs.  These figs are so much more appetising than the large squashy greasy-looking figs we buy at home.  I also bought four jars of the anchovy stuffed olives we had enjoyed on Verity at the beginning of our passage.  My clan has an unhealthy passion for salty things.  I later discovered one of them was a bit leaky so enveloped them in tissue and plastic film for transit in my hold luggage.

Returning to the boat, work on the bimini was underway.  But we also had an ‘appointment’ with the launch of the Novogradnja in the shipyard across the straits.  This was an experience that merits its own post.

Returning to Verity I then set to, to cook the 2 kilos of prawns the boys had ordered the night before.  Kya the Harbourmaster had kindly offered to pick these up for us at the fish market. They were raw, locally fished.  I chopped garlic, melted butter and cooked them in batches, sprinkling each batch with some Tabasco and salt.  Bit by bit the Le Creuset pot in the oven was filled to overflowing.  We sat in the cockpit under the newly fixed bimini and, with a bowl of crisp lettuce, tomato and cucumber we helped ourselves, peeled and ate until we could eat no more.

Towards the end of the afternoon Carolyn and I went to the Internet Café.  She had some large email files to download and I wanted to upload a blog post.  This was speedily executed for the price of only 8 kunas (£1).

We were due to eat onboard and we would have quayside entertainment laid on.  The ferry behind us was to become a concert stage and disco with appropriate lighting and speaker systems. A group of barber-shop type singers followed by a live group of singer and musicians entertained us for 4-5 hours with a brief interval for political speeches.    The candidate was Communist.  Later in the evening the small crowd of quayside audience and café onlookers thinned and the pace of the music tightened.  It was music to ‘rave’ about: insistent, impossible to shut out but I was asleep before the music came to an end.

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