Our next main destination on this vacation was Split – a large coastal town known for its Roman ruins, beautiful waterfront, and proximity to a bunch of smaller islands. Split did not disappoint. The town itself is sprawling – encompassing not only the waterfront, but a large inland area as well – complete with multiple suburbs.
We stayed outside the city center, in an area that I’m sure was gut renovated post-war (there was an old gun turret at the end of our block that for some reason I completely forgot to take a picture of).
The place we stayed was good – on a nice quiet stretch of waterfront walkway (quiet enough that we didn’t hear the revelers when Croatia won the semi-finals of the World Cup).
Our main destination in Split was Diocletian’s Palace – right at the City Center waterfront. For my history nerds, this palace was built around the beginning of the 4th century BC as a Roman emperor retirement home. For my Game of Thrones nerds, the basement was used as the underground passages in Mereen.
The palace itself is interesting – not much remains of it but some outer walls and continuing excavation into its basement – which was laid out to mirror the upper floors. Some interesting rooms to explore down there, and good signage on history (thankfully history signage instead of television signage).
Nowadays, the upper street is a twisting warren of alleyways packed to the brim with shops, restaurants, religious houses, guest houses and apartments – good luck finding an address quickly.
Note: this is the first place we ran into where you have to pay to use the public restrooms – at a cost of 5 kuna.
After spending half the day wandering the alleyways of the palace, we hadn’t gotten our full Roman ruin fix, so we jetted out 5km or so to the suburbs and the ruins of Salona. This was a couple-hour jaunt in the direct sun, with of course not enough sunblock or water or hats or anything that would make the trip more comfortable. That would be silly – and waaaay too responsible. So we explored. And me in flip flops. Also had a mini version of one of our infamous death hikes through an olive grove looking for a more direct route back through the neighborhood we passed through (how weird would that be?!).
After our trek, we burger & beered and passed out early to prep for a day of island hopping.
Part 1 – Zagreb
Part 2 – Plitvice