Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Stayed up late last night enjoying the balcony and cool breeze
off the Adriatic and decided to sleep in this morning. There's no
breakfast offered at our accommodations for the rest of our trip,
so we are on our own. This morning it's cold cuts. I slept till
9:30 and told Tom to sleep as long as he wants.
Split and Trogir
By the way, have I mentioned the crummy towels yet? Every place
we've stayed, the towels have been rough and small, about 22 inches
by 14 inches. Shall I dry my hair or my body? Maybe I'll use both
towels, and Tom can dry himself with his T-shirt. See what happens
when you sleep in? Ha!
We left our soba in Omis around noon and walked about 50 yards to a
bus stop. It's about 40 minutes by bus to Split's Stari Grad (Old
Town). We had no interest in driving into the center of the busy
city of Split (population 190,000). It was bad enough driving on
its outskirts yesterday.
The bus dropped us off right across the street from the Old Town's
bustling Green Market, located on the east side of Diocletian's
Palace. There were lots of fruit and vegetable vendors, along with
flowers, tacky souvenirs, cheap sunglasses, etcetera. We never met
a farmers market we didn't like. I bought a bag of cashews for
Colorful Green Market,
In 293 A.D. Roman Emperor Diocletian had a huge (720 feet by 590
feet) palace built here for his retirement. At some point the
palace was abandoned. Then in the 7th century, locals fleeing from
Slavic invaders moved in, and a town sprang into being. Today, over
2,000 people live and work inside the palace walls, an interesting
mix of residences, mostly used as rentals during the tourist
season, public buildings, shops and other businesses, and religious
The Gradska Luka (City Harbor) and Riva promenade are to the south
of Diocletian's Palace. We went to the harbor first to check the
ferry schedules. From here we had a great view of the south wall of
the palace, lined by shady palm trees. Homes built just a couple of
hundred years ago use the wall of the palace as the back wall of
Diocletian's Palace from
Houses built against
Entering the palace through the Brass Gate entrance in the south
wall, we found ourselves in the underground chambers of what used
to be Diocletian's living quarters, now lined with souvenir stands.
This must be the oldest shopping mall in the world. I love that
they actually use their ancient buildings in Croatia instead of
treating them as museum pieces.
Emperor's palace /
We emerged from below into the Peristil, the colonnaded central
open courtyard whose original purpose was to allow access to the
Emperor's living quarters and temples. Here we found a high
concentration of Roman ruins, plus a couple of guys dressed as
Part of the Katedrala
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Diocletian's mausoleum, on the
east side of the Peristil, was converted into a cathedral,
Katedrala Svetog Duje (Cathedral of St. Dominus), the oldest
cathedral building in the world. Construction of the bell tower
began in the 13th century and took 300 years to complete. Of
course, we climbed the 183 very tall (at least 13-inch) steep
steps, up an extremely narrow and claustrophobic tower, to the top
and were rewarded with fantastic views.
Katedrala Svetog Duje
Jana in the bell
We wandered out the west wall of the palace and stopped for lunch
at Macho Burger in Narodni Trg (People's Square). When Diocletian
occupied the palace, a Roman village popped up here, just outside
this wall. The atmosphere of the square was better than the
Outside the north entrance of the palace is a giant statue of
Bishop Gregory of Nin, a 10th century priest who tried to get the
Vatican to allow Mass to be said in Croatian rather than Latin. Now
it seems he has become the patron saint of Disco. At least, that
would explain the pose.
At 4:00 we boarded the Bura-Line ferry to Trogir. Tickets are purchased as you
board, only 24 kuna each, the same price as a bus. We showed up 30
minutes before departure, ensuring we'd get a seat outside up top.
They packed a ton of people inside on the bottom level. I can't
imagine that everyone got seats. It's about an hour between Split
and Trogir, with a five-minute stop en route at Slatine.
Split from the
Mainly we took the ferry just for the boat ride on the Adriatic,
because we'll be spending the night in Trogir in about a week. I'm
so glad we did. The Croatian coast is unbelievably beautiful!
Perfect weather today, low 80s with brilliant sunshine.
In Trogir we went up in the Katedrala Svetog Lovre (St. Lawrence
Cathedral) bell tower and also into the cathedral and treasury.
Yes, we have to go up every bell tower, or other high thing,
possible. I wasn't sure it would be worth another 5 bucks to go up
in yet another tower, but it was! The inside of the cathedral was
From the bell
Tom captures the
Inside Katedrala Svetog
Afterward, we ambled through town a bit and then walked to the bus
station. The ferries had stopped running by then, so we had to take
the bus from Trogir all the way to Omis, changing buses in Split.
The ride back to the apartment took about two hours. There were
some loud, ignorant, young American women on the bus with us from
Trogir to Split. Tom and I shrank down in our seats and kept our
mouths firmly shut, so as not to be associated with them.
We had dinner in Omis at Caffe Bar Pivnica Panorama. This time I'm
the one who ordered pizza, and Tom got spaghetti bolognese. Tonight
we tried Crno pivo dark beer. The beer wasn't actually dark, but it
had a slight touch of hops, so at least it had a little flavor,
unlike most of the beers we've tried. The food was fine, but it's
getting pretty repetitive.
Sign our guestbook