Today was a slow start to the morning for most of the group. Eventually we organized ourselves and 3 of our 4 rental cars went out to visit the city of Split. The problem with travelling with such a large group is that immediately everyone went their separate ways without thinking about where the drivers were. Fortunately neither of us need to worry about that because Mike's a driver and Elysia is never forgotten! Fortunately we found two others from the group, Sezen (from Germany) and Drew (from the US) so they didn't have to worry about rides either!
We just spent time exploring the old city centre. Split is the second biggest city in Croatia. We didn't really know all that much about the city when we got there, and were so surprised to see such an old roman influenced city centre. The city is approximately 1700 years old, which is dated by the construction of the Diocletian's palace (a roman monument and UNESCO world heritage site). The old city is built into the Diocletian's palace, and so you can wander the narrow, pedestrian cobble stone streets that are lined with stores, restaurants and apartments. As you can tell,
this is not really a palace, more of a walled city now. The city itself is not as touristy as other places in Europe. There were a lot of people there, but it was mostly Eastern Europeans. Particularly in the huge market that is just outside the palace walls, there wasn't a lot of English spoken. Every morning some of the people in our group would come to this market to pick up fruit, vegetables and bread for the day for us all. This was also the weekend of the holiday for the Protector of Split. I guess since the city has lasted so long, this is the spirit that they thank.
The palace sits right on the sea, and they have this beautiful promenade that walks between the old town and the water. We walked a fair distance around a part of the land that jutted out into the water, and looking back on the city was beautiful. Not only do you see such gorgeous old roman buildings, but you also see the water and a backdrop of mountains. We would highly recommend to anyone to come visit Split!
In the centre of the old town, there
Elysia's Favourite Croatian Food
Butterfly loaf with sugar on top
was a square where people were dancing various latin dances. It was so neat, we thought we'd come back in the evening to check it out.
Our plans for the evening didn't work out quite as we had hoped. The guy who had rented us the house (not much older than us) invited us all out to party with him and his friends in Split. We thought that might be fun to see what the locals do, but we both didn't want to stay out too late because we were leaving early the next morning. So after dinner, a group of us (including Maria from Portugal, Cristina from Switzerland and Richmond from Australia) left the house before the others because we wanted to see the city at night and check out the dancing before we met up with the landlord. The city at night was beautiful, we walked around and marvelled in the beautiful lit up buildings. We went to the square, but there was no dancing. Instead they had a Croatian concert with many different groups. It was very beautiful music and we stood behind the performers and watched for awhile. We were supposed to meet up with
Zhen, Anna and Emma enjoying Split
L-R: Zhen (Malaysia), Anna (Germany), Emma (England)
the rest of the group at 10:30 but they didn't show up then and we couldn't get a hold of them. Even the landlord was late, but he eventually sent us a message to meet him at some flagpole at 11:20. We eventually found him out on this pier that looks toward the city. This is apparently the hot spot for the locals to go public drinking. He said that in the summer months, it gets really crowded there. We looked around at the crowd, and not only did it look young, but probably not the crowd none of us would normally hang out in. He made some comment to Elysia about the people that are too cool for the pier, and we were thinking that we might be part of that group. In any case it was an interesting experience to sit out there and have a few drinks. The really annoying part was not so much the atomosphere of the pier, because it really was pretty, but the attitude of the landlord. He was obviously drunk and was acting really arrogant. He wanted us to bring these egg-shell shots but we couldn't find the place so we didn't.
He was quite rude about it saying that he gave us perfect instructions. We weren't even drinking so we didn't know it was necessary. He was also really annoyed that the rest of our group was late, even though it was he who ordered taxis for the others. His "I'm the best" attitude got really tiring and we anxiously awaited the arrival of our friends, so that we could leave and go home. After an hour of waiting, the others finally arrived so we could go home. It probably would have been better if there had been more of us, but at that point we were too annoyed to stay. One of the girls who had come, scoped out the situation and turned right back to come home with us. We didn't regret it at all. The others spent the rest of the night in a club with him, and they had fun but they would have had much more fun without the landlord! In any case, it was a Croatian experience! Tomorrow to the Croatian island of Brac (pronounced Brotch)!
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