Trip Start Feb 21, 2012
111Trip End Jun 05, 2012
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Some of you are probably wondering what Schengen is. For most of us, it's nothing that really concerns. Essentially we are allowed 90 days to travel within the Schengen Area, which includes EU countries but also a few non-EU. A little confusing, but if you google, the list, you'll see who is. Croatia is not - yet. Their joining of the EU may change that soon
Anyhows back to the fun stuff, today I arrived in Split, Croatia. It's old buildings are simply stunning as I can't remember the last time I thought WOW when I first wandered through the city. I'm staying at great little apartment right in the Diocletian Palace. As the private single room I booked as still occupied, I got a free upgrade to a studio apartment. Thanks to the helpful owner, I also got a great map including a walking tour route so I used the last hours of daylight to soak in as much of Split as I could. I can't remember when I was this gung ho about exploring a city on an arrival day.
The walk started nearby at the cathedral and Bell Tower. There are two combination tickets for several attractions, but I think you might be better off buying the individual. The cathedral is quite small, but amazing in its age and the fairly elaborate decor given the space. It only takes about 5 minutes to wander though. The cheapest combination ticket also gets you into the Temple of Jupiter, across the street into a narrow alleyway. The individual ticket is 5kn, so this is probably a better option. I forget what the third attraction is on the cheap ticket...The bell tower is part of the longer ticket at 35kn, but otherwise you can access it for 10 kn, climb it and get a panorama view of Split
After that I strayed a little off the suggested path and just wandered along Riva (runs along the coast) before turning into the small streets lined with shops, squares and cafes. The streets aside from the main ones are quite narrow but can be bustling and quaint. Along the way I saw remnants of the old city wall and stopped by the Grgur Ninski stature. You have to rub it for good luck, so I did =) One can never have too much luck. It's quite easy to find, just go straight up northwards through the Peristil Square until you reach the wall. His toe is quite shiny from all the rubbing over the years.
My magnet hunt continued as the I let the route relax a bit, wandering the numerous stalls. There is some variety in the items. Lavender seems to be quite popular in these parts. One woman was really friendly and helped me pick out a magnet. She was right, it was the best one I saw - the Split shorefront with a couple on the side dressed in traditional Croatian clothes. The people here are really friendly and helpful, already I'm hoping to come back here for a visit some day.