Taking the Long Way travel blog

The main boardwalk

Inside the basement chambers of the Diocetelans Palace




The palace




The intriguing mix of modern buildings and derelict ruins




Split is the second largest city in Croatia, with just over 200,000 inhabitants, and is the largest city on the Adriatic coast. Coupled with its strong history - it emerged from a palace built by Roman emperor Diocletian, and was also an important city within Yugoslavia - this lively city was a great place to stop for a couple of days (despite the fact I was furiously devoured by an army of bugs one night in my hostel). Its not so much a place to go to DO things but rather a great place to sit, enjoy the gorgeous harbour and surrounds and do alot of people watching. Oh and ice cream and pizza eating...which is getting a bit out of control.

The Diocletian Palace was built as a massive structure, much like a Roman military fortress. It faces the sea on its south side, with its walls 170 to 200 meters long, and 15 to 20 meters high, enclosing an area of 38,000 m². The palace is still standing is a gorgeous building to visit, even if only for its cool dark rooms that are like a breath of fresh air after the exhausting Croatian heat.

The architecture of Split is quite startling with modern and ancient structures not just side by side, but combined and unified into one building. I have never seen anything quite like it anywhere else in the world. The promenade, which is fairly quiet by day comes alive as the sun goes down and its filled with thousands of people, eating drinking, sitting, walking dogs, busking...you name it and its down there. It makes for great entertainment without having to do much at all.

I went to a pub for a couple of beers one night and some how the owner of the empty pub decided that the 100 Kuna I had handed him, for a 30 Kuna bill, must have been a particularly generous tip and so as I walked back there was the owner merrily pouring us shots of Galliano at the bar. I was at a loss as to how to get my change back without appearing rude. There was nothing to do but drink the shots down...then ask for my 70 Kunas back and disappear swiftly into the night after that :)

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