Split was our home base for the two weeks that Sherry came to visit. We spent a lot of time at the beach, enjoying the sun, watching the locals play Picigin (a game where you stand in the ocean and very dramatically splash around to prevent a ball from touching the ground), and just wandering through town. Oh, and Sherry was sick a couple days so we also watched our fair share of youtube videos (gotta stay connected somehow!).
The Split main area next to the harbor is called Diocletian’s Palace. The palace is from the year 300 A.D, built as a retirement home for Roman emperor, Diocletian. It mostly consists of buildings within an outer wall, so it’s more like a fortress than a typical palace. The stone walkways of the palace area are made of limestone and marble, taken from Brac Island (they claim the white house is made of stone from Brac Island as well). The palace area reminded us of tiny streets in Venice, only shinier. The palace is extremely well-preserved, despite being conquered by most empires in history.
The only touristy thing we really did was to see the basement halls under the palace- a series of walkways with the same layout as the city above. Rumor had it that Dioclesian had such a fear of being murdered that he slept in a different room each night, and sometimes used the basement rooms. But they also said it was a passageway for sewage, so who knows what’s true and what’s not 🙂
We took two side trips to nearby islands, the first to Supetar, on Brac Island, which Lonely Planet doesn’t recommend but we actually really liked. We randomly wandered into a winery down a residential street from the ferry dock. It was down someone’s private driveway, and looked completely deserted, so I was contemplating whether we should really walk in and knock on the front door. Before I knew it, Sherry was halfway down the driveway.
I’m so glad she moved forward, because it was one of our favorite parts of the trip! This old woman answered the door and spoke exactly ZERO English so there was a wild pantomime in which we had a whole conversation about where we were staying, how it was going to rain, how the mosquitos were coming out because of the rain, whether we wanted red or white wine, and that she and her husband make the wine themselves. We all had a glass of wine (her husband had to suck a tube to siphon the wine) and then ordered a 2 liter container which came in a giant Fanta container. Just our style!
Supetar was just a day trip; we had a great meal and went for a swim, then to a rooftop bar for sunset before returning home to Split.
Our second side trip was a four day venture to Hvar Town on Hvar Island. What a beautiful town. We were in Croatia in the off-season, and I imagine during the summer there are many more yachters spending time in this town, but when we were there it was pretty mellow. We stayed at a beautiful airbnb overlooking the town with a great view of the sunset each night. More time spent lounging on the beach and going for runs, and eating great food (we found exactly one reasonably priced restaurant in Hvar Town).
Overall Croatia was gorgeous. And it was so fun to spend it with Sherry.