The train from Zagreb to Split was 6 hours long and the scenery was cool to begin with, but after a few hours I just wanted to get to Split. My ipod ran out of battery about half way through the journey which meant I had to listen to the conversation of the dozen 18 year old English kids sitting around me. It was partially entertaining for the first 10 minutes of so, but after that it was just annoying, really annoying.
Once in Split I had no map, so no idea where to go, but I took a guess at which way to turn and ended up outside the Old Town, which is where I wanted to be. I knew that there was a tourist info place at the centre of the old town so it was just a matter of finding the middle. Only the old town blends pretty smoothly into the rest of the town so it took me a while, strolling around in mid 30 degree heat, with all my luggage
. But I'm kind of used to it now, so it actually wasn't too bad. The hostel was really centrally located but had no sign as the whole town is heritage listed and signage is not allowed, so was still hard to find....it was actually behind a newspaper stand, down a narrow alley then up some stairs. But I got there eventually and after setting up, went and bought some food and a beer and hung out in the terrace outside the hostel. Got chatting to another Aussie guy, a bloke from London, an Aussie girl and a girl from Finland. We all had stuff on the next day so the plan was to have a few quiet beers then go to bed. I was actually meeting up with a Canadian girl I met on the train a few days before at 10 and by that stage it was pretty clear that it was no longer going to be a quiet night. My new friends from the hostel and I decided to meet up at a bar called Charlie's after I had gone to meet Janika, the Canadian from the train. So I met Janika, then took her to Charlie's to meet the others. We started with jugs of beer, then progressed onto some kind of cocktail that contained 5 different shots and a can of red bull.....we all had one each. I have no idea what was in the drink but I watched them make it and it was very potent, but pretty much just tasted like red bull. We hung out at the bar, then down by the ocean for the rest of the night and I probably ended up in bed about 4....so much for a quiet one, but it was a great night. I doubt I'll see any of the people I partied with again but they were all top people and a lot of fun.
Saturday 10th July (the beginning)
Woke up feeling pretty good considering the night before. Met up with Janika for brekky then went to the harbour to board my boat for a week long cruise through the islands along the Croatian coast. I booked this tour a while before leaving for my trip and I was looking forward to having someone else plan my movements for the next week or so
. I'd been on the go for two and a half weeks and I was pretty tired, so leaving the planning to a tour guide and just sitting back and having fun sounded like a pretty good idea. So after exploring Split during the morning (and purchasing a new wallet at the markets outside the city walls) I boarded my boat about midday for what would turn out to be easily the best week of my life....no exaggerations.
Split is a cool town, although it's a bit tatty outside the Old Town....the train station is really run down and is not a good way to enter a place with so many cool old buildings and such an amazing history. The night before I slept inside the Old Town, which was once a palace!....which in itself it really cool.