As I write this with hot tea in hand, it's snowing outside! It's the first real snow in Zagreb. But just a couple days ago we were on the central Dalmatian Coast in the beautiful town of Šibenik. It's a very small, walkable city just an hour up the coast from Split, with narrow, pretty streets laid in centuries-old cobblestone and tons of stairs, winding in and out and up from the Adriatic. We loved walking the Riva in the morning to Banj Beach and again at sunset when it felt like the whole town was leisurely out doing the same. We also loved the Monastery Gardens and the incredible views of Šibenik and Kornati Islands from Tvrđava Sveti Mihovila, St. Michael's Fortress.
Šibenik is small but it has four fortresses around and within it! If you look into it's history, it's not hard to see why. Like most of the Croatian coast, Šibenik was fought over and conquered at various points by Venice, the Hapsburgs and the Byzantines and occupied by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany during World War II. It was also heavily damaged not long ago during the 1990's War, but the people of Šibenik defended it, and have since rebuilt and restored the buildings that were destroyed. Walking through this beautiful city with thousands of years of history, trying to understand it, is a bit to me what it's like as an American living in Croatia: It is an incredibly easy place to love, but a hard place to understand. Cam and I are thankful we get to call this beautiful country home for a few years and learn a little more each day.
(A few recommendations in Šibenik: Hotel Life Palace -- it's in the perfect location in the center of the old city and everyone there is so kind, helpful and lovely! Restaurant Gradska Vijecnica -- located in the main square next to the Cathedral. We had delicious wine and food and John Shea was able to run around. Pelegrini Tavern & Enoteca -- also in the same square overlooking the Cathedral and Šešula Riba i Sendviči -- a cute hole in the wall for fresh fish sandwiches. We didn't get a chance to eat at these but we heard great reviews for both)