After disembarking from our Jadrolinija car ferry for our island escape in Hvar we drove, oh I mean – we were pushed along in the endless flow and flurry of escalator traffic that streamed from the ferry. Everyone was in such a hurry to lose their relaxed state of mine, island mode vanished as motor bikes, cars and fish trucks inched their way forward like sardines in a can. No one willing to give an inch. Our new accommodation was one street off the Port front but we lapped the block twice as we couldn’t see the invisible street due to high traffic. Once we found our new host standing on the side of the road with a family size pack of toilet paper in hand (she must know I am a scruncher (not a folder) and I am unwilling to compromise a just a few sheets), she directed us into a park. Well let’s talk about this parking issue. The accommodation on Airbnb says free parking!!! But to obtain it you needed shark like qualities as parking this close to the harbour front is limited and then you have to mount a huge curb in a somewhat awkwardly space with impatient cars all around. To finish you need parking skills of an Italian Stallion as your wheels need to be just on the curb so there is still a metre pathway for people to walk on. Let’s just say poor Rob!!! Two women giving him directions on how to turn the wheel.
Once in our top floor spacious apartment it was stunning with windows that gave us views out over the harbour, beach and mountains. We settled in for a 5 day stay.
Watching the paint palette of ever changing hues at dusk and dawn were just beautiful. Something we seem too busy to do when we are working!!!
Extremely large seagulls circled the skies above our veranda and came to rest on our rooftop – they at times seem so prehistoric like pterodactyls patrolling the skies. Born to fly as the wind currents sent them soaring freely through the skies and they were very vocal.
We were able to watch the flurry of ferries and passenger boats scurrying across the waters.
Our first day out was to explore the streets below us in the old town of Split. We knew early bird catches the worm, which is what you need to remember if you wish to have a few quiet moments to yourself in the historical streets below.
So at 8am we set out to explore the early morning beachfront just minutes away.
Then on to the green market full of great produce, we ate a punnet of berries as we browsed the market place.
Through some alleyways to the fish market.
Just near the fish markets we discovered a great artisanal bakery and pizza cafe. Far too early to try their pizza, so we stopped for coffee and shared a scrumptious hot apple strudel. It was worth the stop, this place was called Mano.
It was now time for us to enter the medieval city walls which became maze like labyrinth narrow passageways lined with shops, accommodation and cafes.
This is the Palace of Diocletian. It is one of the best preserved Roman monuments in the world. Now if you don’t come early this is a photo of what you will look like as you are wedged like a stone brick in the wall between huge tourist groups that think the whole pathways are just for them!!! Whilst they listen to their obnoxiously loud tour guide. So we always try to avoid these situations.
We paid an entry fee and visited the Mausoleum Cathedral full of ambient church artefacts, decadent alters, gold lanterns and rich historical artwork . We have learnt to always look towards the heavens as the ceiling in these chapels are usually a master piece on their own.
History buffs were alive and kicking as we headed out into the Peristyle Square of the imperial complex filled with dramatic archways, column pillars, statues and stairs that come up to my knees.
The bell tower over shadowed the square.
This is the area we fell in love with. An open window to the heavens encircled by elegant dome walls. We were even lucky enough to hear some singers and their beautiful voices echo through the chamber.
We wandered through the area called the Silver Gate and in this area we saw the remains of Roman mosaic tiles and a bird resting from the early morning heat.
Later we headed into the underground cellar where some scenes from The Game of Thrones was filmed. This is when crowds were just starting to build like bees!!!
In the Temple of Jupiter or Baptistery of Saint John we marvelled at how steeped in history this place was. It was built in 295 until 305 AD along with the construction of the palace. Inside the Chapel 2 Archbishops of Split came to rest one died in the first century!!
We strolled along the promenade, we sampled an ice cream which was well received in the heat of the morning. This area lead us through endless markets where Italian summer time frocks were abundant. I couldn’t resist two cheap cotton dresses. We got a great view of the wall from the Golden Gate area near the huge statue that billows over the park.
When we left at midday. Split was hot and over run with tourists we retreat back to our air conditioning in our apartment and we spent the afternoon watching the huge storm brewing across the afternoon sky and oceanfront.