My time in Split was divided into two chunks – two days at the beginning and three days at the end leg of my trip, since Split was my port of arrival and departure. My second stay in Split was in the Split Hostel, which I chose since it was close to the ferry station. It was super clean and nice, but lacked personality. There were several feral cats that would come watch me make breakfast though, so that’s gotta give them a couple points in the personality department.
At this hostel I met a very cool woman from Norway. We went out to dinner a couple nights and she showed me beautiful pictures of Norway (she was a big hiker and outdoory person). Let me say, DAMN Norway is fiiine! I’ve been some beautiful place, but her photos of snow-capped mountains and beautiful skies took the cake. Norway is now near the top on my list of places to go.
Finding the Free Split Walking Tour
On my very last day in Split, I managed to catch the free Split walking tour from Diocletian’s Hostel that leaves everyday at 11am. Sounds easy enough to catch, right? Not too early, not too late. But it took me four attempts before I finally caught the free Split walking tour. I probably should have just given up and either not done the tour or paid for one. But I am cheap and like my historical facts spoon fed to me by someone far more knowledgeable.
The first time, I just plumb got lost. I had no idea where I was going and was too confident in my natural sense of direction skills, which apparently are not so fantastic after all. The second time, I just overslept because I had gotten little sleep the night before. The third time, I was all up and ready to go. The only problem was, I had forgotten sunscreen.
I went out to the only supermarket I knew of near me to buy some, but they had none! I knew that as a girl with Irish heritage and skin pale as a vampire, I couldn’t possible do a walking tour without sunscreen in harsh 11am I-want-to-burn-you-alive-sun. So I had to trek across town to the other supermarket I knew of to buy sunscreen. By the time I got to where the tour was suppose to leave from, I was 10 minutes too late. So it was the last day that I finally got it. Too bad, because it was a great tour too. Learned some great things about Split hours before leaving.
It was weird leaving Split on the ferry. I’ve spent enough time there that it felt a bit like leaving a good friend. By then I knew were all my favorite alleyways were, where the best gelato places were, what areas had the least-crowded cafes, my favorite park benches for reading and snoozing, etc.
Before I left, I made sure to find the giant statue of Bishop Gregory of Nin. Rub his big toe, and it’s said you’ll have good luck, and will return to Split again. It’s also said that at one end of Split he holds a thick book with the names of all the virgins entering the city. There is another statue of him near the opposite side of the city with a much thinner book, with the names of virgins leaving Split. Hmmm OK Split, you crazy city you.
Magical virgin encyclopedias aside, I hope at least the magic toe is true because I really enjoyed ol’ Splato (Split in Italian) and would love to come back someday.
P.S. On the ferry ride back, I bought a space in a four bed room, but it ended up being just me in a two bed room! Good thing because there was no ladder and I have no clue how someone would get up to that bunk. I tried and nearly fell off. The ferry going to Italy was quite a bit more dingy and dirty than the one going to Split. It’s probably a reality check for folks returning from a vacation of summer fun.
I felt very fancy in my single, private room, like Queen Elizabeth herself. The only downside was the speakers outside my room playing really weird, what I imagine to be 50s music, which they didn’t shut off until 11. Then at 7am they reset the CD so that I got to hear a sad, strange song about Christmas Trees twice. Proud Mary was pretty sweet though.