Red roofs in the sunset glow, Vrboska

Red roofs in the sunset glow

Since I wrote my article on Red roofs as part of the landscape last month, I’ve been looking with different eyes at buildings – and paintings of them. So many artists over the years have taken architecture as their subject, including red roofs (Camille Pissarro) and even blue roofs (Paul Gaugin). So let’s have a…

Red roofs as part of the landscape

I love the look of the traditional Dalmatian houses – they fit so perfectly into their environment. Which, when you think about it, makes a lot of sense, as the building materials are also likely to have come from the very same landscape! The stone and red clay would at one time have been locally…

Salona – the ancient capital of Dalmatia

Driving into Split on the main road from Trogir, you pass by what appears to be a large municipal park with some ruins. This is what’s left of Salona, Dalmatia’s largest and most important city two thousand years ago. You’d hardly credit it, even walking around the park, as it’s all very low-key, most visitors seem to be locals walking their dogs. On the day we visited, there were few other tourists, and it’s possible to enjoy the place in peace, connecting with its ancient past.

In through one door… and out through another

The word for a door in Croatian is vrata, which comes from the old Slavic word vorta. It’s always plural, in the same way that trousers or pants are in English. And vrata means both the opening, and the object we use to close it up. Now that may be a wooden door, glass door or wrought-iron gate, inside or outside, in the house or garden or field – vrata covers all types.

A Sunday morning walk around Split

One of the great benefits of catching the early morning ferry into Split, is the opportunity to wander around the backstreets when they’re not so busy. On this particular Sunday, we had a plane to catch, but that wasn’t until lunchtime. In the meantime, we could have breakfast on the Riva, and explore the old town.

Dalmatian shutters – stylish and so practical!

Where I grew up, in Edinburgh, only the older stone houses had working shutters, and those were on the inside of the windows to keep out the cold in winter. In much of southern Europe, houses are shuttered in the summer to keep out the heat. I also really enjoy the ability to close out the world when it gets cold, dark and wet in winter, especially when there’s a bura blowing! It’s all terribly convenient, and so much cheaper than extra heating or air conditioning.