Croatia Part II – Split: A Dalmation Coast Gem!
Split, Croatia is the largest city in the Dalmatian region of Croatia and counting the Romans and the Greeks has been colonized for about 2,400 years. At its center is the area known as Diocletian’s Palace, a large fortress and palace that was to be the home of Emperor Diocletian but is now hope to shops and homes built right into the remains. This makes for a totally unique city that is breathtakingly beautiful and we were lucky to stay right in the heart of it all! The coastline was stunning, as was the national park we were able to visit, Krka National Park.
Here’s what went on in Split:
Day 83 (10/13/16): After a bus trip from Zagreb we arrived mid-day to find that our Airbnb was right in the heart of Diocletian’s Palace. The streets are incredibly narrow and covered in parts by arches from the ruins and surrounded by old palace walls. Walking into this part of town is awe-inspiring as you see the cathedral at the center along with the Ancient Roman plaza. We checked-in to our apartment and went for a stroll around town, stumbling across a typical men’s choir performing in an open rotunda that remained from the ancient palace. Every corner in this part of town has Roman arches and columns above or below ground. I tried a traditional lamb pita sandwich (that my taunting friends referred to as sausage fingers) which was excellent and the girls made dinner that evening.
Day 84 (10/14/16): We woke up early to catch a bus tour (not much of a tour, more of a transfer) to Krka National Park. The park’s feature is a series of stacked waterfalls. We decided to use a ‘tour operator’ to get there which was helpful but it was not much of a tour as our guide seemed uninterested and not well informed. It turned out not to matter since once you get into the park it’s pretty easy to get around yourself. The girls wanted to take a swim at the base of the waterfall. I DID NOT want to get in that ice-cold water but decided to get in with the group. It was FREEZING! I sat on a rock for a while to warm up and just soaked up the views while the others stayed a little deeper in the water. Unfortunately, I would still have to get all the way back in to get to shore.
After drying off we continued our hike up and around the waterfalls veering off the main hiking paths to find a perch on a ledge surrounded by waterfalls and trees to eat our packed lunches. We then continued our hike around the waterfalls, eventually crossing at the top to see old mills powered by the falls and the original power-plant. Finally, went back to our tour bus for the ride home. On the way back to Split we stopped at another small coastal town and walked around, got ice cream and sat along the water in the harbor before returning to Split.
That evening more fun began as we ventured out to a popular small bar that serves shots in ice shot glasses and then went to the bar next door for a beer. While at this bar a film crew rolled in and wouldn’t ya’ know it but they were filming the show ‘Below Deck’ a few tables over from us at the bar! Look for us in the background of an episode in Split, Croatia! We partied at this bar for a while and ran into a friend we had made on our trip to Krka and then set out to a packed EDM club at around 3:30 am. While attempting to get in we noticed a ‘second line’ on the side of the main entrance where bouncers were letting in a group of girls and we moved over to get in line right behind them and followed them in! So much for waiting in line or paying a cover for us! I have no idea when we left but it was a great atmosphere with a solid DJ and incredible light show.
Day 85 (10/15/16): After the previous night we woke up sufficiently hung over and decided to have a nice relaxing day. We got pizza and wraps and just chilled at our place watching movies. Nichi and I went to a trendy burger place on the water, Justin stopped by to get take-out and Katie stayed in for the evening. Nichi and I went for an evening stroll around town before going back for the evening.
Overall, Split was a beautiful ancient town that you can explore sufficiently in just a couple of days but leave an extra day for Krka National Park and go when it’s warm so that you can swim at the base of the waterfalls. Also make sure to try the traditional lamb sandwiches somewhere in Croatia as they are delicious. Now on to Dubrovnik!