Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Split, Croatia

Our last port stop was Split, Croatia - the fifth country we visited on this trip.


 
Once again we tendered into the harbor. From the docks, we could see just about everything we wanted to visit, so it was very easy to get around Split.

the Riva

the Riva; Diocletian's Palace behind it

the Croatian flag

the Riva

the Riva


We first went to Diocletian's Palace. Diocletian was a Roman Emperor who grew up near Split, and this was his retirement palace. Not too shabby. Maybe one day I'll have a retirement palace, too?




street band in the palace

The Golden Gate
 
another, lesser-known and non-functioning, bell tower

Statue of Bishop Gregory of Nin


At this point in our trip, the Olympics had just started. We were extremely disappointed that our ship didn't play them on TV (apparently the rights are really expensive on international waters, and most non-Americans don't really care about the games! Insane!). We wanted to eat lunch at a sports bar so we could catch some of it on TV. We found a really cool fish market but it wasn't quite what we were looking for.






Finally we found a "Sport Bar" (aka, smoothie shop) that had a bunch of outdoor tables and TVs. But silly us, other countries don't broadcast American games...and they don't speak English. We weren't exactly interested in watching the Croatian Men's Waterpolo team's, with Croatian announcers, but we embraced it and cheered them on anyway. They had a special place in our hearts so we followed them throughout the games, and they ended up winning the gold! Obviously, because of our cheering.




After the waterpolo game was over, we went back to Diocletian's Palace to climb the Bell Tower. I'm glad we waited, because if we had done this first I would have gone right back to the boat without seeing anything else in Split.

Bell Tower of the Cathedral of St. Dominus

 
Bell Tower of the Cathedral of St. Dominus

After climbing (part of) the Kotor Fortress, the Acropolis, and riding a donkey up a cliff, we didn't think twice about climbing up this tiny bell tower. But let me tell you, this bell tower kicked our ass. I can't remember being so sore in my life, and we didn't fully recover until a few days later when we got back home to Atlanta. Each step we took was extremely tiny but very tall so it was as if we were doing vertical lunges the entire way. The stairway is also very narrow, so you can't really stop or go too slow because you will hold up everyone else. It was a great workout, but not ideal while on vacation - especially in a dress and sandals. The view was breathtaking, and the platform was a decent size so we could hang out up there for a while. Good thing, because the downward lunges to the bottom of the bell tower were almost as hard, if not harder, than going up. It was brutal. For this reason alone, we were glad this was our last port!










After that trek, we were more than ready for some beers and an early dinner. We went to Sperun, another Rick Steves recommendation (his tour books are our vacation bibles!) and it was awesome.




Croatian beer was amazing - and dirt cheap (about $1 for a large beer). We actually liked Kaltenberg better, but it was on draft and didn't have a matching glass with the name on it, so here's a picture of the other beer we tried that was still very good.

 
Bo's dish - pasta cooked in cuttlefish ink. We've only had this once before. Rare but good!

my seafood risotto - third favorite meal of the trip


After lunch, we walked along the Riva back towards the docks.

 




We really liked Croatia. Everyone was really friendly, the food and drinks were really good, and it was really cheap. I think we've seen all we cared to in Split, but next time we go to Croatia, we'd love to visit Dubrovnik.







2 comments:

  1. I've always wanted to go there. Beautiful photos

    xo, Courtney
    girlavantgarde.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I sure hope you make it there, such an awesome place!

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