Split. It's a town, I'm not asking you to leave.
Trip Start Apr 01, 2011
73Trip End Jan 26, 2012
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Split is the second largest city in Croatia and has a population of approximately 300,000 people. The old town in Split is along the harbor and is dominated by the ancient palace of the Roman emperor Diocletian, who decided in the year 295 that Split was a good place to spend the summers and over 1,700 years later, it still seems to be a popular place to spend time in the summer. An interesting difference between the palace of Diocletian in Split and any of the other Palaces we have visited is that at some point in the past, the town moved inside the palace walls and the entire area inside the palace walls is now a maze of narrow walking streets with old stone buildings containing shops, houses, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, hostels and hotels. We spent many hours walking around inside the palace walls and in addition to probably seeing less than half of the streets, we were still unable to figure out where we were going or where we had been. We decided to spend five days in Split so we rented a little apartment that had a kitchen in it so we could do some grocery shopping and prepare our own meals. The apartment was quite small but served our needs well. It had a little bar size refrigerator, a 2 burner stove, a sink, table and chairs, a bed, couch, TV and a washroom with a shower. Outside we had a laundry line and a little patio on the roof with a small table and a couple of chairs
On one of the days, we took a ferry to a town called Supetar on the island Brac. There was a cemetery in the town, right at the end of a peninsula and surrounded by beaches and hotels that had really amazing headstones and even a few memorials that looked like entire churches built out of stone. We tried taking a swim at one of the beaches but they were all very rocky and difficult to walk around on or walk in to the water so we stopped at another one of the beaches and sat and read. A lot of the people we have seen here are wearing swim shoes while they are at the beach and it's starting to make sense. There are a lot of beaches that are described as "pebble" beaches but a more accurate term would be “large shards of sharp broken rocks the size of softballs” beaches but at least the water is always very clean with only a hint of shredded flesh and blood (just kidding… sort of)
We spent a lot of our time in Split walking – to the beach, to the grocery store, around the Palace. On one day we spent a very long time looking for a McDonalds so that we could get some internet access because it seems that every McDonalds in Europe has free wireless internet. After a long walk on a very hot day, we ended up having to ask an older lady who didn’t speak any English for directions. Luckily we weren’t too far away from the mall that had the McDonalds in it, so we were able to understand her directions.
We have been very fortunate that most of the people we’ve spoken with in Croatia know at least some English. It’s really great because in the past, when we’ve been in Spain, France, and Germany, we’ve known a few words and what we didn’t know, you can take a wild guess at what the word means because a number of words are kind of similar to the English word. We cannot do that in Croatia. Few of the words that we’ve seen look remotely close to the English words, and there are some letters that look similar to letters we use, but do not sound the same. It’s a very different language so it’s not intuitive at all when we are trying to read signs that have no English on them
We finally got to try some Slivovitz which is a very strong, very alcoholly booze that seems to be quite common in Croatia. It’s actually a plum brandy and tastes almost nothing like plum, or fruit of any kind. It didn’t seem like the bartender served it very often and wasn’t really sure how it was supposed to be served. We asked for it in shot glasses and as it was close to the end of the bottle, we ended up with extra large shots :-) After the fire in our throats went out and we contemplated whether it was good or bad that the shots were extra large, we left the bar and went for a walk along the water, a little tipsier than when we started out.