I ‘split’ this blog entry into two parts. One for the city of Split, where we spent the most time, and another for the drive to and from Split, which was beautiful in its own right.
Split is the capital of Dalmatia, so easily the busiest city I’ve seen in Croatia. Parking seemed crazy nearby our hotel, but luckily they had reserved a spot for us, since I had forgot to do that…oops. The first night it was late already when we got there, so we just went to the old town looking for dinner. We found this great place called Luxor that had great food, though small portions, and beautifully painted walls and ceilings.
We ended up walking most of old town after dinner, as I think the local wine gave us some extra energy. It was beautiful at night…but quiet. They really take their tourist and non-tourist season definitions seriously in Croatia….if you find yourself here in non-tourist season, some places close early, ferries run less often, and the towns have a sleepier feel to them.
We closed out the first night craving some beer, so we stopped into a casino by our hotel, as it was one of the only places still open. It seems that casinos are everywhere in Europe, as gambling is a big business and totally legal. This is one vice I’ve never gotten into…I give
myself $100 of gambling money when I go to Vegas, and when that’s gone, I’m done. This casino definitely wasn’t at the level of the ones in Vegas, but they still had the human drones mindlessly pulling levers hoping for a big payday, not realizing the house always wins…I guess casinos in Croatia aren’t all that different.
The next day we headed back to old town to see it during the daylight hours. I saw some weird market that had baby chicks for sale – I took a video – not sure I want to know what this was for!
We took a moderately long walk to check out the main viewpoint of the city, but it ended up just being good, not great…the gray weather certainly didn’t help. I loved seeing the flag of Croatia flying everywhere around town.
We spent some time looking for the only Irish pub in town, and it turns out it closed a few months back. We had tentatively planned on watching a local football match that night, but it was too cold and windy so we ended up back at Luxor for another great dinner.
Split is a nice city, but it definitely has the ‘port town’ vibe to it. I think it’s most popular in the summer when the ferries frequently go out to the surrounding islands, and come back the same day. Being there in April, we were there about a month too early for this.
The drive to and from Split was very unique. There are two ways to get up the coast, either the A1 highway or the coastal drive. We were on the A1 briefly, and it was definitely quicker as the road was very empty, but for the most part we chose the coastal drive for the scenery.
We hung out here for a bit at a café by the water, mooching off their free WiFi, then we drove another 30 minutes to catch the sunset in Omis. We basically just went to a beach bar there, taking photos of the sunset and watching a couple local dogs play around at dusk.
On the way from Split we passed through a cool town called Sibenik, and eventually ended up in Zadar, our final destination where we were flying out of. I’d been to Zadar before, but it was one of my first solo trips in Europe so I didn’t see a lot of the sights in town. There’s a cool ‘sea organ’ there, basically holes in the promenade that cause the waves to make a pipe organ-like sound.
They also have a ‘solar circle’, though I’m not sure the significance as it just appears to be intermittent colored lights flashing on the ground near the water.
The drive to and from Split really highlighted the beauty of Croatia. From Croatia, with love….