We Split!, A Luxury Cruise on the Adriatic.

Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 15

A wonderful day on a luxury day cruise on the Adriatic from Trogir to Split. Well, for us it was luxury, and, you know, I would not trade our little trip for the same trip on one of those huge yachts!

The first stage was a little put-put passenger ferry, about double the size of a Granville Island ferry, from near the campground into Trogir. We then had about 90 minutes for coffee and another look around Trogir while we waited for the ferry to Split.

That ferryboat was a catamaran style passenger ferry, about 100 ft long, with an open upper deck and a closed lower deck… could probably carry about 200, but I figure there were about 80 of us on the trip. It was a lovely little trip, with one stop along th way… about an hour altogether, and a far nicer entrance to Split than the hectic road entrance.

We docked about 100 metres from the entrance to the famed Diocletian Palace which forms the core of the "Old Town" of Split. For those unfamiliar with Split, the Diocletian Palace, built around 300 AD by the Roman Emperor for his retirement home, forms a walled inner town of about 4x4 city blocks. It has been substantially torn up and infilled over the centuries, so the interior is a mish-mash of old Roman walls, gates and archways with medieval and renaissance little homes. Shops and villas. The central square is still very Roman with gates and archways all around, and Diocletian's main entranceway on the western side. One highlight was a male acapella quintet which sings regularly in the circular foyer to the palace. At first the reaction is “tourist schlock”, but they are really very good, and they sing traditional Croatian folks songs. They sing 2 or 3 songs, then hock their CD in a low key kind of way, head off for a break and a smoke, then come back when the next tour group arrives, and sing 2 or 3 more songs… so you get to hear them in a few small doses.

We finished the walk around by about 3 pm, and still wanted to see the gallery and garden of Ivan Mestrovic, the famous Croatian sculptor. The gallery was about 5 kms out of town, and we also wanted to check out the ferry terminal for tomorrow’s trip… so what to do about transportation? Well, the obvious solution was to rent a scooter, right? And there happened to be a little outfit right at the harbourfront where we needed to be.

So, for 100 Kuna ($20), we rented a little Aprillia 50cc scooter, which was great fun.

The Mestrovic Gallery was breathtaking! It is located in a big villa and garden which he designed for himself, with a beautiful view. And his sculptures, which neither of us had heard of before, are amazing! They are very extremely expressive and evocative, which he achieves by using unusual body positioning, especially the heads, and by playing with depth, relief and perspective. I will post a special blog entry on Mestrovic for those who are interested.

We had beer and pizza on the waterfront, and then caught the return boat as dusk fell. We had an hour to lay over in Troghir before the little put-put to the campground, so we watched an evening stage event…mostly “amateur hour” for the town’s school students… not bad, but I think Simon’s students in North Van do better.

When we went to catch the put-put, we were bemused by the fact that one of the two boat operators (fortunately the deckhand and not the pilot), was pretty well three sheets to the wind! We did make it home all right.
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