Croatia in 35mm: Šibenik & Trogir

Travelling to a new country shouldn’t only be about visiting the popular destinations, but also about discovering new places and seeing things that are off the beaten path. This is one of the reasons I choose to travel by road whenever possible. In the age of smartphones we no longer have to grapple with conventional print maps or worry about getting lost. It’s simple and economical to get a local SIM anywhere and as a result, easier to get on the road and take the scenic route to your next destination. Sibenik and Trogir were two towns that I discovered this way.

On our last day in Zadar we woke up bright and early and decided to start off the day by scaling the bell tower of the church of St. Anastasia. We then explored the cathedral of St. Donatus (read here), got some much needed breakfast and began our drive towards Split. After the heavy rains that lasted through the weekend, the bright sunshine and clear weather were a welcome respite and made the drive an absolute pleasure. The drive ahead was approximately 180 Kms and takes about 3 hours, so we decided to “Split” it up (see what I did there!) by making our first stop for lunch at Sibenik. A quick check on Tripadvisor revealed that Sibenik is home to “Pelegrini” which was adjudged as the best restaurant in Croatia in 2016. Barely able to contain our excitement, we walked to the restaurant but were disappointed to find that they weren’t open that day for lunch and only doing dinner service. Thankfully we found another great lunch spot called, “Anima Mare” right on the marina and the lunch was just perfect with some traditional soup and fresh grilled adriatic squid. Sibenik is a large city and can easily keep you occupied for an entire day. Since we didn’t have as much time, we gave ourselves about an hour and explored all the parts that were close to the marina. One place that I would definitely recommend is, “The Medieval Monastery Garden of St Lawrence”. A serene garden with some of the most beautiful rose bushes that I’ve seen, it’s the perfect place to sit down, relax and enjoy a nice cup of coffee.

Around late afternoon we decided to head towards Trogir, an hour away from Sibenik. Although both Sibenik and Trogir are part of Dalmatia, Trogir’s architecture has a heavier venetian influence and its historic centre is registered as a UNESCO world heritage site. As the early evening lit everything up in a golden glow, it was the perfect time to explore this wonderful city. It was hard not to spend more time here and as is customary with most cities in Croatia, Trogir too has a bell tower. The St. Michael bell tower was an especially tricky climb and probably the scariest one of all. With narrow staircases that didn’t necessarily feel structurally sound, I wouldn’t recommend this for the faint of heart. Of course, once you get past this challenge and make it to the top, you’re rewarded with spectacular views of the city and the coast. I did not regret my decision one bit! After exploring the spectacular and grand interiors of the cathedral of St. Lawrence, it was time to unwind with a beer at “Caffe Trogir” before getting back on the road and heading towards Split.

My photos from the two cities were split perfectly between film and digital, I shot 35mm film in Šibenik and digital in Trogir. While my decision, in part, was driven by the dwindling light in Trogir, I’d also just about run out of film. I was able to restock only after getting to Split.

I hope you enjoyed reading and definitely hope you enjoy the photos.