Trip Start Jan 08, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Croatia  ,
Saturday, July 2, 2005

Wanting to avoid the expense of the last minute first class rail travel again, we bought our 2nd class regionali seats the night before for our Rome-Ancona trip that would lead us to Croatia.

We checked with the guard who assured us the whole train was 2nd class so we located some seats in the only air-conditioned carriage and made ourselves at home. Just as the train was about to leave, three older larger italians got on looking to sit together but their only option was the two empties facing us and one single seat across the aisle. The ticket inspector arrived and the three of them erupted! From our limited italian it seemed that they weren't happy that we were there. They said 'tourist' and '2nd class' alot. The guard looked at us, at our tickets, at their tickets then shrugged his shoulders and walked off. They glared at us and we ignored them, as you do.

Summary of Anonca - not much there, but really friendly people and the best value gelati so far! Two tubs later, it was time to board the ferry.

Overnight ferries are like overnight buses - no sleep!!!


There were people at the port offering rooms but at 6 in the morning it's difficult to haggle, especially in broken german. But this was the only common language we could comuniate with. We negotiated our price and were led away by Miki to his house '10 minutes away' but with the weight I was carrying it seemed more like an hour! We were given refreshments and shown our room, which had the most magnificent view over the entire town and environ. Mountains to our left and sparkling sea to our right, gorgeous weather, what more could you ask for?!

We freshened up and went into town which was actually only a 5 minute walk to the centre. Well, would have been 5 minutes if I hadn't slipped and gone A over T on the bloody worn old roman marble steps!

We arrived at Diocletian's 'Palace' - I use the word 'palace' loosely because had I read my information correctly I would have seen that 'ruin' featured in the description. Very impressive anyway, but only the four outer walls and excavated basement halls remain, oh - and the bloody slippery, bloody roman, bloody marble paths that run right through the historical city centre!

Over the centuries various rich people and merchants have built houses and businesses within the walls so there are some lovely lanes to wander round and interesting architecture. Plenty to photograph. We climbed the tower that is attached to what used to be Diocletian's mausoleum (but is now a church) for some overall views. We could even see our balcony! There are colonnaded squares, temples and churches from all ages - medieval and 20th century so we walked around them as well as skirting round the outer city walls. After a huge dinner, we chilled on our balcony watching the sun go down.

David had read about an old Jewish cemetary on the hill behind our place, so we walked up the stairs only to find it locked up. We noticed an information board telling of the various other churches located around the hill (Mt Marjan). There were some old hermit caves in the cliff faces that had been turned into churches in the 12th century so I was on a mission to find them. We marched on up the mountain and eventually were faced with three choices - left, right or straight. We headed straight as it seemed the obvious choice but ended up at the top. Brilliant views of the surrounding islands but no churches. We went back to the junction and decided to take the right path. We ended up back at the jewish cemetary which was still locked. We were roasting and David was ready to give up, but I was determined not to, so I coerced him into continuing on our quest. Once again we arrived at the fateful junction - left was our only option. Not far down, our mission was complete, the caves\churches were in sight!! We scaled the rocks and tried to get in but to no avail so we had to be content with photos.

As a reward we treated ourselves to a bottle of the local wine. Back on the balcony we sat back watching the sun go down but discovered that not all wines of the Med are palatable. Red wine vinegar would have been a better choice. The summer festival season was beginning and there was a huge firework display to accompany our vinegar.

Split has so much to offer, but red wine isn't one of them.
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