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A Johnny’s place and Sibenik

To find this haven in the centre of Sibenik made me feel like goldilocks finding the three bears house. I was met by the patient Maria-who had waited rather longer than expected- at the foot of the stairs by the cathedral, no taxi can reach Johnny’s.

To find this haven in the centre of Sibenik made me feel like goldilocks finding the three bears house. I was met by the patient Maria-who had waited rather longer than expected-  at the foot of the stairs by the cathedral, no taxi can reach Johnnys. Maria led me through the stairways that are the streets in this part of town to a huge wooden doorway, surely the same for the last 200 years. Through this and more stairs which became ever more beautiful, faded painting covered the limed walls. Eventually to the apartment , with its atmospheric lighting and sweet Jazz music I felt immediately relaxed… but intrigued. This was the goldilocks moment. I had so many beds to choose from, did I want the day bed under the window with the view of the cathedral? Or the huge double on the corner with dual aspect?. (When an estate agent mentions dual aspect they just mean two windows, but here the windows face the sea with the beautiful harbour, and the stunning cathedral of Sibenik with only the square between.)

I chose my bed, and flung open the shutters to bring in the sounds of the square far below, a party with gentle music and dancing.

Surprisingly quiet in the night for somewhere so central, perhaps because it is so high above the street, but the morning was not quiet, so high is the domain of the swift. At 8am these hooligans were screaming past my window so close I could have touched them. I love their joyful careering, like youths on bikes with the freedom of a hill.

I could not stay in bed with the day promising so much already, so I leant over the ledge to see what was to explore. The sea, the harbour, and the maze of lanes. From here I could see the far reaches of the coastline, and the intimacy of the neighbour deadheading the flowers in the window box. All I saw of the neighbour was an ethereal hand reaching out from behind the shutters.

I visited the Cathedral first, an elegant building, where I was moved by the skills of the craftspeople and designers, not so much by bishops tombs. The baptistery is a delight, and though I was advised no flash, the door to the street was open admitting plenty of light to this delicately carved white stone cave. I started walking, weaving my way in a journey of exploration up, always up, perhaps a right then a left, just letting my feet take me. I was on the way to the Fortress. I had arranged a pick up back at the quay so I was anxious to be on time, and asked at the fort if one hour would be sufficint, only to be told that in this time I could see all of it 3 times! Perhaps you could see the fort in 20 mins, but time to drink in the views could be much longer. From this elevated  point you can see other islands, the waterways between, you can look down over the old town, and also understand the other fortifications of the town and how they join up.

A different meandering route down took me to the monastery garden. A fine spot to enjoy an icecream.

monastery garden

Down and down some more, surely not a good town to be a builder, these had a plan for moving the barrow.

stone flags

But the bit that will really stay with me is the beauty of the flag stones.

Smoothed by so many feet, some had been hatched to stop them being slippery, but with so many years of wear they have become tactile pieces of sculpture. Each one unique, some bruised or cracked telling their own story of the history of this town.

Joanna

monastery garden 2

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