Croatia – Split

After our grueling hike around the lakes, we headed into Split, a coastal town famous for being the site of Diocletian’s palace — the retirement home of one of the later Roman emperors.  He built a giant palace on the shore and, over the centuries, the city grew up around — and in — the old palace.  It’s pretty cool to wander through the maze of the old medieval streets and to see how everything really huddles within and incorporates the old palace walls, columns, arches and temples. 

Navigating said maze, however, is no mean feat.  I was the one driving when we arrived in Split, and we had the GPS turned on to tell us how to get to the place we were staying.  I quickly realized that GPS didn’t differentiate between a 4-foot-wide medieval street and a street on which cars could actually drive.  I was driving, and I made it as far as I could (often with only a couple of inches on either side of the car!), but eventually we had to stop and walk the rest of the way.  It was a maddening labyrinth of dead-ends and extremely narrow “streets” (one of which was only a little wider than my shoulders) and we were easily disoriented.  We ultimately found our way to our lodging and, strangely, once we had finally established two spots (the car and the apartment) with some certainty, the whole place felt much more navigable.  In part I think it was due to having some good points of reference; in part it was also due to having walked, by accident, through pretty much every street in that sector of town…


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This is where we abandoned the car and started wandering on foot.



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At last!  How could we have missed this?

After the travails in the maze, we finally made our way to a restaurant that was recommended in my guide.  It was completely packed, but we managed to get a table inside where we could sit.  And wait.  For a very long time.  We were on the verge of death by starvation, and it was clear that the kitchen was running out of food (they came back to tell Niko that they couldn’t make the thing he’d ordered; and when my plate came they explained it was only a half-portion because they’d run out of noodles).  What made it bearable was the gruffly cheerful old waiter who spent his time running about the place flirting with the women and testing out morsels of the foreign languages of his guests (we could hear broken French, Spanish and English being tossed about).  At one point he came up to us and apologized for the delay and said, “But as the communists used to say: Comrades, we shall overcome!”

Even the scale model was hard to figure out…

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Morning Run

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I ran to the top of this hill.  There was a zoo on top.

Diocletian’s Palace

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What it looked like back in the day.

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What it looks like now.

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Dried fruit!

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Breakfast in the bag (and snacks for the drive ahead)

Breakfast on the Waterfront

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Passed this mountain on the way into town

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