|So on the advice of friends and everyone in Split I headed off to Trogir this morning on the 8:30 bus. Fortunately the bus ride was only 30 minutes so it was tolerable. My only excitement on the bus was the lady trying to sell me a huge chunck of cheese. Now I have to admit I like the cheese but even this piece was too big for me. I arrived to a very pretty little city with another old walled city. Not as fantastic as Dubrovnik for the walls but the buildings were lovely and there were many churches - I think I counted about 7 or 8 towers. It seems I have gone from the Prayers of Islamm to the bells of the Catholic Church. My good Catholic friends would feel very comfortable here!! My first encounter this morning was with a delightful woman selling tablecloths in front of the church. Of course when I asked if they were hand done she gave me a line about not lying in front of the church!! Anyway she did join me for coffee and we had a great chat - 25 with two little children and just finishing off a college degree in agriculture. She lives in Zagreb but comes here for the summer session to sell to the tourists (for her mother in law).
The old town is set along the water with a lovely promenade to walk along. I did go into the old fort, dated back to the 1200s and climbed the steps to catch the view from the top - what can I say each view from these cities is breath-taking. It was so hot along the water that I decided to eat lunch in the shade inside the old city before doing a bit more poking around and admiring the buildings, windows and of course plants growing out of rock walls. A huge highlight for me was a pedicure. I have asked around in different places and couldn't find anyone until today and it was sooooo good. My feet were in desperate need. I'm not sure that the blue toes are me but Gaila's "old lady red color" comment from Istanbul had stayed with me so I thought I neeed a change.
I made a bit of a blunder coming back and didn't get on the express 30 minute bus and ended up on the regular city bus which turned out to be almost one hour on a hot and not very nice bus, followed by a 15 minute walk to the old city. Yesterday I had tried on a pair of very nice and light walking sandals. I had decided to go back today and get them - would you believe the store was closing up and all the shoes were being hauled out!!
Split is quite a vibrant place. There was the big countries fair the other day and today there are all kinds of booths set up and a stage with very loud and old music e.g. Knocking on Heaven's Door being played. It looks like some kind of youth event and there are certainly plenty of them hanging around. It is interesting to see the youth, many of them sporting Nike, Adias, etc and others with Guns and Roses tee shirts. This country certainly is much richer than Bosnia and is reflected in the styles and dress, although some of the dress is down right weird. Not being an European traveller, I'm not sure about where Croatia fits in but it does seem more European to me. So I started in a Middle East country, a cross between West and East in Turkety, an extremely poor and slowly developing Bosnia and now more of an European flare. Not bad for one trip.
Just returned from dinner in the old city and it is still busy. When I walked onto the main street in front of the water it was absolutley packed. It is unbelievable how many people were drinking coffee or eating ice cream. People of all ages were out enjoying themselves and sometimes just sitting on the benches watching everything. Of course there were some engaged in a few other refreshments. All things you would not see at home.
I found out what the big activity was. It is the high school grads celebration day. The booths were projects they had made and the singing on the stage were different students performing. Lots of other activity happening and many people milling around watching and enjoying. I talked to one teacher. The grads are out next week but then have to do a work placement and write a report on it. On my way back I bought some deliciously sweet strawberries and tasted the tiniest cherries you have ever seen.
As I was walking back to my place I came across a group of older people. One guy had a guitar and the group of about 6 were just having a wonderful time singing. What a different way of life from home.