Its beautiful here. The coast apparently hasn’t heard that its November, so its perfectly comfortable wearing just a short sleeved shirt out. I spent part of the morning sitting on a bench seaside waiting for Janice who was having trouble with her debit card. Croatian bank machines randomly decide they don’t like our cards and spit them out – I had the same problem in Zagreb. Everything was a little damp that morning because of the thunderstorm the night before. Storms here are so cool because you see them for hours as the roll in off the sea, slowly getting closer and closer to you. That morning, and for the rest of the day it was mostly clear, only a few clouds in the sky. Many Croats seem to be out and about – old men meeting friends for coffee, little old ladies with their morning shopping and families out with babies and small children.
When we arrived in Split the night before I was a little nervous about finding our way from the bus station to the hostel (based both on the trouble we had in Zadar and that the hostel owner told me on the phone it was hard to find). Luckily they had given us such good directions that we felt we already knew the way there. When we arrived, the hostel staff (Damien) greeted us and turned out to be such a nice guy. He gave us specific directions and recommendations for how to spend our time and both nights we ended up hanging out with him watching bad movies and laughing.
Our dorm was pretty empty both nights and as luck would have it, our companions both nights were Canadians – the first night was a guy from Milton and the second night we shared with a couple from Montreal. Canucks abroad… and together.
The next morning after we had sorted out the bank issue, we headed up the hill to one side of the harbour – Damien had recommended we have coffee up there. It was about a thirty minute walk up a series of staircases but the view was very much worth it. The town is so pretty and the view over the harbour was amazing. After coffee we headed down and bought train tickets for the next day before having a proper breakfast (plus more coffee) and writing postcards – hopefully everyone has gotten one by now (or the should arrive in the next week or so) If not, let me know because they may have gotten lost (or I put it in the wrong box!)
After our errands were done we headed up the shore to the beach and spend a few hours relaxing, watching the locals play frisbee in the water. We went wading ourselves – it wasn’t too bad! We wandered back into town to a fast food joint the Australian couple we met in Plitvice had recommended and ordered what was labeled “little fish” on the menu. Turned out to be battered, deep-fried whole minnows. Which weren’t bad – if you could look them in the eye! We followed our fish with gelato as we wandered around the ruins of Diocletian’s palace – a massive retirement home for an Emperor build in the 4th century (AD of course). Pretty sweet gig – ruler of civilization and then a sweet palace to retire to? How come there are no jobs like that anymore!?
But the ruins of the palace – the old gates, the Cathedral, the old temples, even parts of the mosaic floors that remain were incredible. So much fun wandering down an alley wondering where it will lead! After our adventures running around the ruins we went for dinner at a local restaurant (another suggestion from Damien) where everyone sat at big tables together. We ate fish (again served whole, thank goodness I can debone a fish!) and cevapici – they really are delicious! That night we hung out with Damien again and in the morning began our train adventures to Ljubljana!