After 5 and a bit hours sleep I got myself showered and dressed for my first forage on Croat soil to that of the supermarket to acquire some bread, butter and some local processed meats for breakfast. 114 Kuna I returned with my plethora of products.
Before any concerns I only had 2 of the rolls and some ham and cheese accompanied by a glass of Orange Juice. Very good start to the day so felt ready to take on the world. I venture down the path that leads to the promenade that is called “Riva”
Riva is very reminiscent of Promenade Anglais in Nice. Cafes and bars scattered across the pavement and little stalls selling local artisanal products or artists selling the masterpiece of their Mind’s eye. I stop for a Iced Coffee to indulge in a favourite past time of my mine on holiday….people watching.
I didn’t really have anything planned for today other than to get my bearings and a feel for what Split has to offer. The city itself is pretty small but with lots of back streets and squares to easily lose yourself or lose someone else if they were being irritating. I will post in detail some of the sights later in the week when I actually take them with more detail.
The cathedral was one of the highlights of my fact finding mission around the city and I will look forward to being reacquainted later in the week. I am always drawn to churches particularly on foreign shores. Strange given that I’m not particularly papistical.
More striking religious sights are just around the corner including this gargantuan tribute to Grgur Ninski by local sculptor Ivan Meštrović. More on the man depicted in the statue later in the week but it’s sheer size indicates that this man has an interesting story and one I’m intrigued to discover more about. By now I’m getting a bit hungry so I find a spot for lunch. Bistro Aquarelle lured me with some interesting local delicacies to send my tastebuds tingling.
Lunch arrives and it’s quite the feast. The dumplings are similar to Gnocchi but don’t have the starchy taste you sometimes get with Gnocchi. The sauce was lovely and complimented the dumplings wonderfully. I recall watching my travel hero the late great Anthony Bourdain talking about the truffles in Croatia and finding it quite difficult to actually describe how they taste. He’s right you know I can taste the cheese but there’s another familiar yet unknown taste which must be the truffle. The old adage of things tasting like chicken springs to mind and without word of a lie there was something chicken like in the taste. I expected mushroom but it was more meaty mouthfeel. The bread was light and very crispy. 8 slices was too much so made do with 4. Drink with lunch was a radler which a very refreshing drink. Like if a brewery made a soft drink this is the likely result.
Back to my 1st day of exploring. Next interesting site was that of the Diocletian’s Palace. This has a very interesting back story and I will share this when I take in this in all its glory later in the week. But it’s a spectacular sight and dates back a very long time. There is even a market underneath this palace with lots of interesting local products such as olive oil and hand made jewellery.
It was very warm so I decided to take to a local craft beer establishment to partake in a sampling of some local Croatian Craft Beers and to my surprise this bar was showing UK football and to my amazement the Rangers game was being shown. I parked myself in easy distance of the one telly showing the match and asked the waiter to surprise me with a local beer.
Both very good beers and I look forward to sampling some more over the next few days. Less said about the Rangers result the better but back to the apartment for bit of rest ahead going out for dinner. During my meandering around Split today I had seen a number of interesting eateries but that was in daylight and it’s now pitch black outside so not sure if I will be able to find again given the chance nature of today’s saunter. Quick shower and spruce up I’m heading out for dinner.
I am just minding my own business when I decide to take a video of the square and there is a busker who started to play Dust In The Wind by Kansas. This was one of songs played at the Fiona’s funeral. Of all the songs and I’m not too manly to admit that I did feel some moisture in my eye. But just as I started to feel sad I felt such a warm feeling almost like how I remember Fiona’s hugs to be. So I smile rather than let the sadness take over. Miss you Fiona. You loved Croatia and I think I’m starting to see why. Dinner I had steak and chips. Steak was slightly overdone for my taste but was still quite enjoyable.
Tomorrow I venture outside Split to Sibernik and Krka so stay tuned for highlights of Day 3.