I have been so busy the last ten days I haven’t blogged about Split (except for the fire – read it here – which is all done now). ¬†No disrespect – in fact it just shows how great this place is. ¬†We have done and seen everything we can, trying not to break the bank. ¬†It’s been a lovely place for a visit but our time in Split and Croatia now comes to an end.
We loved our little Airbnb here, tucked into a courtyard just off a very quiet street, our stone house was a stones throw from Diocletian’s Palace
and the harbor. ¬†A perfect location for anyone¬†visiting.
I think the best thing about Split is Diocletian’s Palace. ¬†I didn’t really understand before coming here that the “palace” is actually the old town.
Originally built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian in 4th century as a summer home, he enjoyed it for six years after abdicating the Roman throne. ¬†After his death it fell into demise for centuries until people from the neighboring village fleeing the Croats ended up here. ¬†Slowly the local people took away the stones and built-in and around the palace a city. ¬†They rebuilt within the dilapidated walls of Diocletian’s house. ¬†Today the
beautiful glistening stone city is built-in and around the original palace walls and grounds and it is so beautiful. ¬†And certainly unique as far as antiquity and historic cities go.
Alas it is also crowded, but we came to Croatia knowing this would be the case. ¬†We did not see as many cruise ships in Split’s harbor as we did in Dubrovnik but there is definitely more yachts and
small cruise boats. ¬†The most beautiful yachts I have ever seen in my life. ¬†The harbor itself is also nice, a beautiful promenade lined with restaurants and shops and benches to sit, enjoy and watch the beautiful people go by.
We did some great training for our upcoming
Camino walk while in Split – walking up Marjan Hill, and around the Peninsula. ¬†Very nice place to walk. ¬†We spent a little time at the “beach” although the crowds are not to my liking and the rocky area makes for a not so relaxing experience. Late in our visit we found a nice beach at the end of the peninsula within Marjan park – so we visited there twice.
We took the ferry out to the island of Brac¬†and spent the day enjoying the lovely village of Supetar, also
full of history. ¬†We swam and had lunch and it was a nice break from the “big city”.
One of the funnest things we did was a two-hour sunset sailing cruise around the bay. ¬†Dalmatia has more than a thousand islands and sailing is a national past time. ¬† My mother in law Lynn, who was with us for two weeks, sponsored this little sailing excursion and it was a lovely way to end her time with us here. ¬†We saw a little wind, a beautiful sunset, sipped wine and ate local cheese and
enjoyed listening to our captain talk about growing up in Split and all his adventures. ¬† ¬†Lynn has really enjoyed Croatia, especially the pastry, the gelato,
the history, the boats, the music and most of all the people watching. ¬†Me too.
On the last night with Lynn we had a delicious and very authentic Croatian meal at Konoba Marjan. ¬†I great seafood feast prepared in the local style and a great way to celebrate our time in
Towards the end of our time here we began a “game” of wandering off into the depths of the old town, down narrow alleys and pathways just to see
where we would end up. ¬†If you’ve been to Venice, Split is smaller but similar in that you can get lost in the belly of the beast. ¬†Pretty fun to see where you end up.
After we said farewell to Lynn and shipped her back to Seattle we had a couple of days left. ¬†We did another Camino training day and then today a stay
home and pack day, which I actually always enjoy. ¬†It feels good to pull everything together again each time.
Tomorrow is our final day here and we have plans to enjoy another authentic Croatia dinner and then attend an outdoor opera performance in Diocletian’s palace of “Aida”, part of Splits Summer Festival. ¬†It will be a lovely way to end our time in this beautiful country.
We will take a¬†rental car to drive us north into Slovenia. ¬†We plan to make a stop at Zadar to see the sea organ, an art installation that plays music via waves (I’ll post photos) and then arrive in the village of Piran in the late afternoon.
But for Croatia – I highly recommend it, it has so
much to offer. ¬†Just be prepared if you come in the summer for lots of crowds. Spring and fall are good times to travel here too – it’s beautiful and bountiful no matter the
So now Chapter Nine continues as we make our way North to Slovenia. ¬†We have visited Slovenia before, and this six-day visit is focused primarily on our friends the Chaussins (the family of our exchange student from ten years ago) who spend their summers in Piran. ¬†We are looking forward to seeing them again and having six days to just relax after the whirlwind that was Croatia, before we head off to Portugal.
So, farewell to Split – it’s time to Split – away!