Day Eight. No Sea Kayaks for the Adventurous

The three of us were feeling pretty ambitious when we planned to be at a Split walking tour for 10:30 am this morning. We forgot about the realities of a pub crawl, and the morning after a late night like that. To be fair, we were up by about 9:30, but that wasn’t nearly enough time to shower, eat breakfast, and get to town in time. We decided to skip that and to take the day a little slower, so that we wouldn’t have to stay overly rushed all day. We also planned to go to Diocletian’s Palace after the walking tour and then directly to a sea kayaking tour afterwards as well. Skipping the walking tour, we made ourselves eggs and sausages, and some wraps for the road.

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We headed into town and stopped at Diocletian’s Palace, in order to get ourselves back on track. It’s been there, in varying stages, since at least 305 CE. A huge fortress, it’s worth a look. The parts that exist were formerly the substructure of the palace, and were kept in really good condition due to the fact that after a few hundred years, it was filled with debris and garbage. Somewhat ironic but a good twist of fate for the building. Diocletian must have been a pretty impressive guy, not only to have been a caesar, but to get this built solely for his retirement.

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After the visit, we came out into the main courtyard, where plays are performed or bands play most evenings. We sat for a half hour or so and finished our wraps, but then decided to go book our kayaking tour and to get ready for that. We had a promoter for it come up to us even as we sat eating, so we were sure that there would be spots for us. Getting to the office, we asked to book the tour for that day, and the receptionist turned us away, saying that not only the tour was full, but that you have to reserve a minimum of two hours ahead of time, which is written no where. Not wanting to make a fuss, we went on our way and tried to make a new plan for the rest of the day. We were left extremely impressed by the private beach we were at yesterday, and decided to repeat that endeavour. We swam for a couple of hours and tried to enjoy the lovely weather for the rest of the afternoon.

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Walking back to town, we decided to go for a nice dinner, as the kayaking and the tour both kind of didn’t work out today. We found a lovely little place right off the main boulevard, and sat for a couple hours just talking the night away while we watched the sunset. Deanna ordered herself some fish and spinach, and Nastassia and Jan decided to share a meat plate that sounded delicious. The food was pretty great, and the company even better.

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Finishing the night off on a sweet note, we noticed that a gelato place had ferrero rocher flavoured gelato out, and we couldn’t resist. Delicious, sweet gelato to wrap up a good time in Split while staring at some twinkly lights over the water. All three of us went home perfectly content and now we just have to spend a little time packing up all of our stuff and making sure that we are ready to go for out 6:15 am bus tomorrow morning!

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Spavati zbijeno!

Day Seven. Beaches, Sun, Tanning

Wanting some serious beach time today, the three of us had a quick breakfast, made some wraps from leftover burgers the night before, packed some towels and some beers and hit the road. We walked through the old town to get an overview of all that it had to offer before going to Marjan Park to enjoy the sunshine. The hills in split, combined with narrow streets and the seaside architecture made for an interesting walk there.

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The park has many mini-hiking paths, as well as a great jogging trail, with the beach surrounding it almost from every side. We did an easy hike/walk for an hour or two just to explore the park and to find our bearings, and then set up camp at our favourite little beach that we’d seen along the way. As it was lunchtime already, we set up our feast on the table and dug in. The wraps tasted even more delicious when paired with the gorgeous view of the sea and the sun and the Croatian coastline.

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Swimming in the Adriatic sea, we took advantage of Jan’s waterproof camera again and spent the afternoon in complete bliss, just swimming, diving, and enjoying the perfect weather.

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Walking back to town around 5, we stopped by Split’s biggest market to pick up some in-season grapes, peaches, and pears. We also picked up some walnuts and enjoyed them later back at our flat. Walking through the market, you can really feel a different culture than you’re used to, one where bargaining or selling is a way of life, and the fresh fruits were really picked within the last 24 hours and are really and truly fresh.

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This night we decided to go on one of Split’s pub crawls. Starting by the bell tower behind Diocletian’s palace, it took us to 4 different pubs and clubs around Split. We met a ton of other travelers, enjoyed some free pizza, danced at a seaside club, and played some flip cup with a bunch of fun people. Back at our flat at the end of the night, we felt a little bad that our panda mascot had missed out on all the fun the whole day, and we arranged him in a way so that he could have his own pub night while we went to bed.

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Živjeli!

Day Six. Good Morning Croatia

Taking the train from Budapest to Split, Croatia, you would probably think that you would first wake up to some gorgeous scenery flying by. However, we actually woke up to a slamming on our cabin door and the curt exclamation ‘Passport Control!’. Trying to rouse ourselves as best as possible, we all presented our best and sleepiest faces to the officers checking our documents. Once everyone in the cabin was checked we relaxed, put our documents away, shut off the light again, and let our heads drop to our pillows. This short repose was disturbed by more knocking at the door and the exclamation ‘Police!’. When we unlocked the door and looked at the new officer with completely blank faces, he explained in ways we, in the midst of trying to regain consciousness for the second time in one night, could understand. Pointing his finger down the hall, ‘Hungarian Police.’ Pointing his finger at himself, ‘Croatian Police’. Understanding finally, we all got our passports from the depths of our bags again, and went through the process again. After this second intrusion, we all got to sleep for the last time that night. In the morning, all was as it should be, and we got to watch the hilly landscape fly by as our train came closer and closer to the sea, and to Split.

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Split’s train station is right next to their harbour, and the three of us had a quick bite next to the docks while we figured out how to get to our apartment. Our train had come in roughly 2 hours later than it should have, and our original plans kind of fell through. But with a little adjustment and a really nice airbnb host, we were soon at our flat.

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Our flat this time around wasn’t so central as in Budapest, and so we decided to take the day to get our bearings right and to make sure we really knew where it was located. We walked from our flat to the centre of Split – which took roughly 45 minutes. But the weather was in our favour again, and the hilly city kept us in a great mood while getting there.

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Split is a gorgeous seaside city, with palm trees down their most commercial strip and a really unique city centre built on top of Diocletian’s Palace. The constant up and down hillside nature of the city really keeps you working up a sweat while you go from place to place even within the city centre. We grabbed some gelato to help us ward off the heat, and enjoyed the sweet taste while staring at a gorgeous view with a seaside breeze.

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Testing out Split’s public transport, we made it home in 15 minutes once we were ready to head back for the night, minus a bit of time to make a pit stop at the grocery store. We cooked up some burgers, potatoes and salad to finish off the night, and then spent the rest of the evening doing some research into all Split has to offer in order to get the most out of our next two days here.

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Laku noć!