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Travel is a Wonderful Thing The journey not the arrival matters.. T.S Eliot

Split. Croatia

CROATIA | Sunday, 23 September 2012 | Views [187]

Day 1 Split

Sufficiently recovered we bid Plitvice Lakes goodbye, loaded the cases into the buzz box and set Gavinshka on her next target, Split. 3.5 hours was the time and away we went. Around the lakes national park and onto windy roads past small villages then onto the highway. These guys know how to build highways!! No mucking about 2 or 3 lanes each way and if there is a mountain in the way then we go through it. One such tunnel went for 6 kilometres and you don't slow down ( sorry I meant you slow down to 100kms). The scenery went from thick forest to Mountain Range then back to forest with towns dotted along the way. We also saw in the distance an amazing mountain range that we would skirt around and through. Meanwhile Gavinshka let us go and buzz box settled in at about 120kms. The kilometres screamed by and the terrain started to turn rocky and sparse about 1 hour out of Split. Gavinshka came back into the game and we turned off the highway after 180 kilometres and we came to the outskirts of Split. At first we saw industry and grey buildings in desolate surroundings then it turned into a town.We turned a corner and there was the ocean. Gavinshka was working hard now as we are staying in the "Old town " which is alleys and small one way streets. It was hard driving while going oooh and aaah but we made it. We found the car rental office and said goodbye to buzz box and made our way to the Old Town which was a 3 minute walk. We were very close to our accomodation but mildly confused so we stopped a guy to check directions. Turned out he was an Aussie who had lived here for 20 years. He jumped on his phone to ring our apartment and above our heads a young girl stuck her head out of a second storey shuttered window and waved at us, we are getting good at this! The apartment is lovely and is in a great location with restaurants, small alleys and tucked away shops all around us and we are on the edge of Diocletians Palace. Nida (the owners daughter ) showed us through the apartment then took us on a tour of the area and marked a few of her favourite haunts. The place is a rabbit warren of old old old houses and cobblestoned streets and it will be great fun to get lost in. The harbour is only 3 minutes away and is teeming with cruise liners and boats. They leave in the afternoons for their next destination and the town is left to the locals and a few of us lucky ones that can stay a few days.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 2. Exploring

Ventured out to dinner last night and it was a warm balmy evening. Every one seems to be out on the streets just sitting or socializing. We had a delightful local dish called Pasticada. It was beef in a rich sauce and gnocci, very filling. A local beer and I was done in. Slow walk along the harbour and back to the apartment. It seems to be a mans world here as many cafes and bars are full of locals drinking beer or coffee all day and into the evening. Lots of local women have very nice shoes! This morning we had breakfast in the Palace square. It is a very warm morning and is due to get to 28. After people watching for a while we headed off into the lane ways. Diocletions Palace is not what I imagined. It is the walls, alley ways, squares and rooms of a Palace built thousands of years ago that have become inhabited by a new generation of Croations. It is facinating and a hive of activity but as you wander you can only imagine what it would have been like living here all those years ago. The harbour this morning has 3 cruise ships and a massive sailing ship in port with their cargo of tourists spending up for the day.  Eating and drinking is not a problem as every nook and cranny is used but it has not lost its charm. Some of the small lane ways have washing hanging way up overhead which adds to the atmosphere. We stumbled down an alleyway and found the oldest Jewish Synagogue still active in Europe. It was built in 804ad. The Palace walls housed many individual courtyards and dwellings of various Princes from over the years. The afternoon was spent wandering the alleyways and along the harbour. We did think about getting more adventurous and walking a bit further afield but it was only a fleeting thought. Out to dinner and magical Split is almost done. Ferry to Hvar tomorrow.



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