Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a sovereign state at the crossroads of Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. Its capital city is Zagreb, which forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with its twenty counties. The region was settled by Liburnians and Illyrians, while the first Greek colonies were established on the islands of Korčula, Hvar and Vis. In 9 AD the territory of today's Croatia became part of the Roman Empire. Emperor Diocletian built a large palace in Split when he retired in AD 305.
During the 5th century, one of the last Emperors of the Western Roman Empire, Julius Nepos, ruled his small empire from the palace. The period ends with Avar and Croat invasions in the first half of the 7th century and destruction of almost all Roman towns. Roman survivors retreated to more favourable sites on the coast, islands and mountains. The city of Dubrovnik was founded by such survivors from Epidaurum.
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Our time at the Klis fortress was so long that we decided to drive to the ruined city of Salona as dusk was already approaching. As usual, loaded with a lot of information along the way, we returned to Solin and stopped at the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre, which, at least on the ground floor, were excavated and left an extremely impressive impression on us.
As is unfortunately the case too often, this time our time window was too narrow, so we were only able to take a short tour of the amphitheatre in Salona. Nevertheless, we were deeply impressed by what we were to see in the immediate vicinity of Split: the remains of the monumental amphitheatre building from Roman times.
Already during our first, short visit to the ruined city of Salona, Robi mentioned the name of an archaeologist who was responsible for the excavations in Split, who we would meet several times during the further course of our stay: Frane Bulić.
We were able to spend unforgettable days with Robi and his family in Split. Not only did we find an excellent host and tour guide in Robi, but the so-called family connection with his wife and children was very warm and profound despite the few days which was shown again and again in small gifts, shared morning coffee and also in conversations.
Early the next morning we drove into Split with Robi, because we were finally going to the well-known old town of Split and to Diocletian's Palace, which actually forms the nucleus of today's city of Split.
The first point of our sightseeing program was scheduled early the next morning, which was to lead to the castle and fortress of Klis. The fortress has always played a crucial role in the eventful history of Split and the surrounding area, as it was the first place to pass if you wanted to get from the hinterland to the coast.
For several years now, Split has been a popular summer tourism destination in Croatia again, but our travel points with Salona, Klis Castle and Deocletian's Palace in Split were significantly removed from it, and not just seasonally.
We had learned and appreciated Robert and his team as part of our project journey "A journey of Intimacy and Culture along the Roman Roads" and within his conception to the creation of a truly genuine archaeological cultural tourism so far hardly explored environment in cooperation with the competent authorities, organizations, museums and archaeologists as new perspective for obtaining cultural property that can really create new ways.
For several days, we now dwell in the region around the ancient Salona, take part in the archaeological excavations in Siculi, a first excavation carried out with archeology tourists within an excavation project, which we will continue to support.
During our second visit to Solin we were again visiting the ancient ruins of Salona near Split together with Robi, this time our main focus was directed to Porta Caesarea and to the still existing parts of the Roman Road in front of the remains of the city gate including the Roman bridge.
Mostar is located on the Neretva River and enchants visitors with its narrow streets that are reminiscent of an Ottoman or Turkish bazaar. If you stroll through the streets, you will not be able to avoid the most important building of the place, the bridge Stari Most.
Our visit with the extended tour of the Stari most bridge was so impressive that we immediately decided to extend our stay in Mostar even further, especially since there is also a small campsite in the immediate vicinity.
Although the young state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which emerged from the multi-ethnic state of Yugoslavia, is not yet really known as a tourist destination, the more courageous travelers of this country are definitely drawn to the city of Mostar and its most famous landmark, the Stari most bridge.
For traffic reasons Robi had chosen the route through the Valley of Poljica to Omiš, just to escape from the tourist traffic at the coast. The valley runs almost parallel to the coastline of the Adriatic, is predominantly used agricultural until today and slowly arises outdoor tourism, although offering interesting mountains and forests for hiking and mountain biking.
After a few hiking tours, it was now time to relax a little and even enjoy the pleasure of "daily" life: we wanted to participate in one of the well known rafting tours on Cetina river. We probably do not need to tell anyone of our readers what is going to happen during this so much popularized recreational sport, if, at all, the customer / us usually uses wild water of different levels of difficulty.