Split, Croatia

Drawn to another 'Old Town'


8/26/20234 min read

Perhaps I am an 'old soul'?. as I seem to have found another place simply named 'Old Town' - this time, it's in 'Split' - in the southern part of Croatia, very near to the Bosnian border. I landed in Zagreb, Croatia (from Athens) - then had a couple of hours to wait - as there were no direct flights here. It was after 1am by the time I arrived down a dimly lit alley, behind the beautiful ruins of Diocletian's Palace - Wikipedia. I couldn't wait to check everything out in the morning, but after a hot shower I was out like a light.

Wow - as soon as I stepped out the door into the huge open courtyard behind the palace, I could see I had managed to score myself yet another stay, right in the middle of another beautiful maze of old marble-lined streets - with cafes, restaurants, and little shops, all resident beneath the historic stone buildings that epitomise these European countries.

A turn to the right, through the large stone archway that leads into the courtyard, and I discovered a morning market, busy with both locals and tourists alike, and filled with colour and the delicious aromas of freshly baked bread, cheeses, fruits, flowers, and lavender stalls. Feeling hungry from no real dinner the night before (other than a fruit cup at the airport) - I decided a slice of fresh pizza would be the order of the day! Yuuum!

Another turn, through the side of the market, and I discovered I was also right next to the beautiful harbour, filled with cruise ships, and lined with a long strip of eateries running through a large central pedestrian area. Wow again!!

Plenty of pics below.. you can see the town is surrounded by distant hills and a sparkling waterfront. A lane of steps at the southern end of the town leads up to what eventually becomes a decent climb - to the monument at the top of a hill that offers a stunning 360 degree view of the whole town and the mountains beyond to the north, the sea out to the west, and right back out towards the airport, even further south. I spent the morning walking up and over the hill, then in the afternoon I wandered the town and found myself wishing again, that I had an empty suitcase and a full wallet - to take advantage of some of the things on offer from the stores.

After initially only booking 2 nights here, I immediately realised I needed to extend for at least one more night, and was able to do that easily, as my host was conveniently located in another apartment close-by. My little room at LENA'S SUITE INSIDE PALACE, SPLIT (splithotels.net) was modest but very clean and well-equipped, and although there was no view, there was no denying the benefits of the location.

After yet another time-zone change and a big day walking, I was feeling pretty jaded, and after 'just lying down on the bed for a rest for a minute' - I woke up about an hour and a half later - just before the sun was due to set! I was keen to get photos of the sunset, so I grabbed my bag and headed back down to the harbour. This is where I had my next experience - meeting cool people along my travels - as a group of 4 ladies that looked my age rallied beside me to get a selfie with the sunset. As soon as I heard the kiwi accents I was sold, so I said 'hi'! Before you knew it, they were asking all about my trip, and inviting me to join them for dinner! (along with their husbands and another couple they were traveling with) They were the best bunch of Aucklanders I've ever met 😍 - and although we are often reminded of the '6 degrees of separation' theory - I believe it is much less - as it turned out that one of my closest friends from high-school in Whangarei, had been the best friend of one of the ladies, when they were at intermediate! Mind blown. So we managed to find a restaurant that was able to accept a group of 11 rowdy kiwis - and proceeded to make as much noise as I would have with my own group of friends at home - while enjoying the most amazing food - at PIER WINE & DINING, Split - Restaurant Reviews, Phone Number & Photos (tripadvisor.co.nz) . We all felt compelled to compliment the chef as we were leaving - who turned out to only be 23!

Day 2 here for me was spent with another hike up and over Marjan Mountain to Telegrin Peak and halfway down to the beach on the other side. As it was lunchtime, I grabbed the BEST Turkey salad ever, from 'Feel Green' Our menu - Feel Green restaurant and took it back to my apartment. I got back just in time to escape the thunderstorm and heavy rain that rolled across, then I spent the rest of the afternoon on a HUGE mission to put together the bulk of what is now my itinerary for the remainder of my trip. Scary and exciting at the same time - to think of all the adventures still to come, but also the trip back to a life that will look quite different to the one I was living before this journey.

After finally turning the light off close to 2am - I needed a little sleep-in before breakfast, then a re-pack in preparation for my 4-hour bus strip to my next desto.

10/10 for Split!. Dubrovnik here I come!

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