A Travellerspoint blog

Split - June 17

sunny 89 °F
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One of the first things we noticed upon arriving to town yesterday was that Split has a very different “feel” than anywhere else we’ve been in Croatia so far. Whereas the other places have had more of a laid-back, relaxed, “chill” ‘feel’ to them (which we loved), in Split you can instantly feel the high energy and excitement. It’s also very much more “touristy”, which you can tell by the fact that we can easily get by with our English here (it’s listed first on many menus here rather than 3rd, 4th, or not at all), & all the locals seem to speak it, and you can also tell by the prices of things! That being said, it is amazingly beautiful - Natalie says if she were to move to Croatia (which she’s not - breathe, Grandmas!), that she would have a hard time choosing between Split and Zagreb.

I also noticed the shorts. Crazy thing to notice (though if you were walking up and down stairs and hills constantly in this heat for a week you’d understand!). Natalie had said that women in Croatia/Zagreb don’t wear shorts. I had assumed she meant that the “cool kids” didn’t.... but no, in Zagreb, in 87-94 degrees, I did not see ONE woman wearing shorts (many men do, though). It was pants, capris, or dresses. Sometimes even long sleeves! I conformed other than the day we went to Plitvice, when I wore long shorts. At the coast I started seeing a very few women (mostly tourists) in shorts, so yesterday I finally wore them (and promptly froze on very air conditioned boat and bus!)..... and in Split, I fit right it - MANY women are wearing them. Phew!

While I’m on the topic of differences between home and here: pedestrians. In Croatia, pedestrians rule. Not only are many streets pedestrian-only, but when a pedestrian wants to cross a street, they just step out (there are lots of crosswalks painted on the road, but it could be anywhere), and all the traffic stops. The only time they don’t are at busy intersections, where there are crossing lights like at home. It’s a little unnerving, and we drive them crazy because we wait for them to come to a stop, while Croatians are already halfway across the street by then!

Back to today. We first went out for crepes for breakfast - they were delicious, and after “savory” ones (meats and cheeses), NIck, who usually isn’t much for sweets, LOVED the Snickers crepe, and shared with us :). Also, as you can see in this pic, the coffee here is not like ours at all. It is one size only, usually what I would call tea-size, and the closest you can get to “regular coffee” is either instant or what they call “Americano”, which is a shot of espresso with hot water.

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After breakfast we did a walking tour of Split, mostly in and around the palace. Split was built in and around a fortress-like complex called Diocletian’s Palace, which was built by the Romans in 4 BC. Now, homes, shops, bars, cafes, restaurants, etc have been built right into it, with the old and new blending together. Rather than type a ton, here’s the link of the tour we loosely followed, if you’re interested in reading more about Split and it’s history: https://www.split-walking-tour.net/free. A couple favorites of mine were the gladiators and the world’s narrowest street!:

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After walking all over, we were hot and tired, so stopped at a cafe that had a view of the sea, was shaded, and was spraying a cool mist every 20 or 30 seconds.

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We then decided to check out a local beach, and at the suggestion of one of Natalie’s friends, went to Znjan City Beach, which was only 2.5 miles from our apartment, but was a 25 minute Uber ride, due to the mountains and the back and forth route we had to take. It’s a “pebble beach” (looked like gravel but was very clean), but that did’t seem to stop anyone. The photos are from shortly after we got there around 3:30 - by the time we left a couple hours later, there were twice as many people! The water does drop off very quickly.

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For dinner, we went to a place that Latica (Natalie’s first host mom, who grew up in Split) suggested - it was a little less touristy, near a beach (not the one we went to today) and delicious.

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We then walked the boardwalk around the marina area, then took what felt like 10 million steps up to an overlook that had amazing view. In the pics, where you see the far side of the marina - we walked from behind there. There was a bar/restaurant up at the top (not really the top - we could have hiked further up the mountain, but it was the top of the steps and a landing/overlook area), so we sat and had a drink (and caught our breath!) while the sun set — just beautiful! Well worth the workout,

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Tomorrow we have a long but fun day - a boat tour 7:30am - 6:30pm where we will tour the blue caves, snorkel, and visit 6 different islands!

Posted by Rowlandfamily 14:12 Archived in Croatia

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