We split to Split - Sun, Seafood and Swim

Trip Start Mar 21, 2010
Trip End Mar 16, 2011

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

5 AUGUST 2010 - We get a knock at the door at about 5:15am, its time to get off the ship as we have arrived in Split, Croatia.  I didn’t want to get out of bed but we got up and had breakfast and then get our first glimpse of Split.  Mary first impression - mmmm it looks like a cool place but not as pretty as I sort of expected and seen photos of but that is ok we need to explore it more. We get off the ship about 6:15am. We go through passport control and then grab our instructions and make our way to the hostel. We find the main street and walk past some guys carting in fresh fish to the nearby markets. We find the supermarket on our instructions and around the corner is our hostel.  Well that wasn’t hard to find and took about 10 minutes to walk in front the wharf.  We arrive at the hostel about 6.30am and its probably way too early for anyone to get up and check us in.  So we wait around for a few hours and then someone turns up at 7.45am and we are told that we cannot get into our room till about 11am. The owner has a chat to us and he was friendly and kept saying “do you understand me” because his English wasn’t fluent.  We think his English was fine.  We just both want to go back to bed, its way too early and who would have breakfast at 5.30am, its just against my religion.  We sit around in reception both pretty tired and using internet and reading to kill some time. We decide to go for a walk around town so we did for a while before walking back to our hostel.  We finally get our room at 11.30am after several apologies for not getting in quicker.  Our room is quite basic but its clean and comfortable and has airconditioning which is nice.  We are shown the tiny kitchen and bathroom and we settle into our room.  We are so tired so we spent sometime in our room and late afternoon we went looking for a supermarket as the one near us was closed.  

We walked around everywhere trying to find a supermarket that was open and it was frustrating because they were all closed. We bought a loaf of bread and few other bits from a bakery by pointing our finger at what we wanted. I wish I could speak Croatian. We walk up to one supermarket and its closed too and then we had some friendly local guys telling us to go up the road.  We didn’t understand a word they were saying but sign language is a wonderful thing, it works wonders!  We found it and went in and bought some food like tortellini, pasta sauce, cheeses, nutella, jam, bread, soft drinks, onions, tinned mushies, yoghurt, muesli, tea bags, zucchini, chick peas and corn. We saw lots of people walking around and this town is really pretty, lots of shops and markets selling some gorgeous stuff. We get back to put everything in the fridge and guess what it doesn’t work and its a mini fridge.  Not happy I went to ask if we could use another fridge, no we cannot.  So our food stayed in the useless fridge overnight and I was pissed off.  We bought two packets of tortellini but only planned to eat one packet tonight but since it was fresh stuff we had to cook up both.  Troy made tortellini with pasta sauce, onion, tinned mushies and zucchini, it was nice and we definitely crave vegetables a lot. We jumped on the internet and finally worked out how to put credit on our skype account and made a call to our bank at home.  It was time to sleep.  

6TH AUGUST 2010 - Today was a very relaxing day.  We didn’t leave our room. We spent a few hours on skype to Troy’s Ma and Pa and my brother and Mum. It was great to speak to everyone.  My breakfast was muesli which was yum while Troy was sleeping.  My lunch was nutella on bread and then later some cheese on bread.  We actually had showers and   caught up on our blog.  We were going to go to the beach but Troy fell asleep and I couldn’t be bothered.  We were told the fridge should get replaced today or tomorrow, will see not holding my breathe.  We cooked up pasta and sauce for dinner and ate whatever else we had in the fridge.  Not happy that we had to eat food that we planned to have over a few days.  The kitchen is tiny here and well its not really equipped too well with the essential items for cooking so we had to fish out the tortellini one by one (no colander which is great, not), no big spoons for sauce so spooning it a bit at a time was fun.  We spent the rest of the night in our room.

7TH AUGUST 2010 - A slack morning which is nice.  We cook up breakfast, salami, tomatoes, mushies, eggs (which stuck to the crappy frypan even though it was coated with a fair bit of butter) with bread and some cheese, yum.  It was nice to have juice and tea as well.  After breakfast we chill out in a room for another few hours, both tired.  We decide that today we are going to step out of our room and head to the beach.  It’s about a 15 minute walk to the beach.  We walked past the waterfront covered with beautiful yachts and the scenery is pretty, the backdrop is beautiful old buildings, gorgeous church and some stunning mountains.  Its a nice sunny day, not terribly hot but like a pleasant spring day.  We walk along the pebbly beaches which some of its just massive rocks covered with towels and bodies.  Europeans will sun bake anywhere.  We keep walking up the beach and find a spare spot so we park our bums on the pebbly beach which isn’t comfortable using a small towel and one thin sarong. We happen to be sitting next to a bunch of loud Aussies, geez can’t get away from them.  In we go, the water is cold but clear and cleaner than other parts of the beach and its quite a pretty spot.  Troy gets his waterproof camera and we take some photos.  After a few hours here we keep walking up the beach and found a shack selling food so we have a late lunch/early dinner at about 5pm.  It was pretty good actually, pita bread with sausage and salad and pomme frites (hot chips).  On the way to our hostel Troy admires all the yachts in the water.  We get back to our room and chill out for the night but trying to find some suitable accommodation for Dubrovnik which has been frustrating.  We did book some for Hvar Island so that is good.  Troy wanted to go out for a walk at night but we never made it out, finding accommodation took hours and we had no luck as yet. 
8TH AUGUST 2010 - Not been able to find accommodation for Dubrovnik yesterday made me get up early and jump on the internet.  I am still searching.  Troy wakes up and starts reading the Lonely planet guide.  I start munching on muesli and then I get breakfast in bed, muesli and yoghurt yum.  We decide that its a photo session today, going to check out Split and I am trigger happy.  We walk around this beautiful town and every corner we turn its just so gorgeous.  We are walking around the old town and its has so many little alley ways that it feels like a maze.  Its such a cool city as we walk on big cobblestones, checking out the touristy shops and beautiful old buildings. We stop and buy a triangle piece of pastry similar to a slice of pizza but it just has spinach in the middle, not sure what its called and it was ok probably would of been nicer if it was hot. Around here its 1700 years old and we love it as its so old and has so much character.  The apartments have beautiful old doors and windows with washing hanging on lines.  We find the office to book our ferry trips which will do soon and we come across a post office which of course is closed its Sunday.  We head back to our room, chill out, make dinner with whatever we have and another day has gone by.  

9TH AUGUST 2010 - Accommodation for Dubrovnik finally went through on the website.  Muesli and a cuppa tea for breakfast and we head out to do a few things.  First we go to the supermarket and buy a drink and some lunch and as we are lining up at the cashier Troy just about gets shoved out of the way by two alcoholics desperately wanting to get in front of him to grab beer from the fridge. As they are mumbling away Troy quickly learns not to get in the way of an alcoholic and his beer.  Next stop, the optometrist to get Troy’s glasses fixed, needs to replace one of the little pad thingos whatever you call them.  We are told to wait 10 minutes so we leave and next stop the barber so Troy has a haircut.  The barber doesn’t speak English which is cool and tells Troy straightaway to sit down.  A great haircut - I think he couldn’t believe how much he cut off, we all laugh. We go back to get the glasses and Troy asks how much it costs and they didn’t charge him a cent, he was surprised and grateful.  Troy is set, new haircut, clean and fixed glasses he is a new man. We walk down one of the main streets and once again we see that freaky looking busker dressed up as a clown and wearing a mask.  He looks like he should be on a horror movie or something - Bless his heart, trying to make a living. We get to the ferry office and line up in the sun only to be told we cannot buy the tickets in advance, you buy them on the day.  OK, so we go to the post office and send the electoral forms home, thank god it is open and its now gone.  

We sit on a chair on the promenade ripping up the bread roll and stuffing it with swiss cheese for lunch.  We chat and watch the people go by and admire the old man wearing all white, white pants and a white Boy George t-shirt, cool - we thought it was rather funny!  

We explore the fruit and vegetable, clothes and craft markets.  Mary gets blasted by an old lady at the fruit market for trying to take a photo of Troy at the markets.  I wasn’t taking a photo of her and I pointed to Troy but she didn’t care telling me go away from her hand.  Oh well see you grumpy old lady.  Today is quite hot, hottest day so far but its just beautiful.  More and more tourists are arriving so its not as quiet as when we first got here.  We decide to go to the beach so we head home to chill out for a while and then go and throw ourselves in the ocean.  We went to the other beach on the other side of town.  Its not as pretty here with some sand and lots of rocks and concrete slabs where people were sunbaking.  To me, not the most comfortable place to lie on - rocks and concrete ground.  The water is refreshing, no waves and only about waist high.  It was nice to cool down and then we walked back home to get ready for dinner out for the first time. We had a nice meal of delicious calamari and Troy had risotto.  We walked up and down the promenade which was packed with people, spotted a dalmatian dog which was so cool (a dalmatian on the Dalmatian coast).  We listened to a band which was playing cool music and it had great atmosphere.

10TH AUGUST 2010 - Today we didn’t do anything exciting.  I spent the whole day in our room trying to check bank statements with ATM slips, attempted to do my tax return and sorting things out. Some bank websites are so NOT user friendly and my tax this year is complicated and I am very frustrated I got nowhere.  Also I am not real happy with our real estate agent.  I feel like screaming. Why can’t things be easy! (No pics today).

11 AUGUST 2010 - A better day today.  Today is a beach day.  We walked around town for a while and decided to have seafood for lunch.  We stopped at a little cafe/pub and we ordered a plate of calamari and a plate of small fish (papafine) and salad.  The meal was rather cheap and the calamari was fabulous.  The seafood here is really good. The small fish was fried and about 4-5 cms and cooked whole.  Troy had a plate full of whole fried fish to get through.  They weren’t bad but eating a whole plate of them wasn’t easy to get through.  Mary had some and couldn’t eat them whole, I had to cut the tiny tail and head off because I ate it and seeing all these little heads on my plate was a bit yuk.  After lunch we headed to the beach.  There are two main beaches here in Split and we like one better than the other, Bavice beach is ok it has sand but we like the other one in the opposite direction. After spending a few hours at the beach soaking up the sun, taking heaps of dips in the water we both agree European budgie smugglers are definitely not a good look - who wants to see your package mate??? It makes us laugh that a tiny wave comes along and people scream with joy.  We do miss the best beaches in the world, the Australian beaches.  The beaches are nice but nothing like our beaches at home, here they are so rocky and its not very comfortable sitting on rocks or concrete slabs.  We miss the sand and size of our beaches.  As we walk home we stop for a while as we heard three guys singing and playing the guitar, they were really good. We get home, and then head out for dinner and we find a little takeaway joint and have a Croatian meal - two cevapi rolls (bread rolls with small meatballs with onion and a homemade capsicum sauce). They were really good.  As we were eating we both were admiring this gorgeous little boy who was related to the owner of the shop.  He was so cute, I was doing the high 5 with him and he had big smiles.  The owner told us that he is his nephew, I said he looks like you.  I asked if I could take this little boy home, they laughed.  

After dinner we walked around town, this place is seriously beautiful, it looks so nice lit up at night as we walk past heaps of cafes, restaurants, shops that are everywhere, even in tiny little streets and side alleys. This place has so much character and big limestone cobblestones, lots of buskers and good music.  We had a gelato, wandered the streets and then headed home.    

12TH AUGUST 2010 - We spent the morning at the hostel and then headed out in the afternoon for another photo shoot. I buy a Croatian charm for my bracelet which is quite cute. For lunch Troy had a packet of almonds and Mary a bunnet of blackberries from the market, almonds were nice, blackberries very sour.  

We went back to our hostel and grabbed our towels and went to the beach.  Lying on the rocks and concrete slabs and can be bloody uncomfortable but its nice to be by the beach.  We jump in the water, its clear and cold (parts of the beaches aren’t so clean).  We spend a few hours here and as we walk home Troy admires all the beautiful yachts in the water, some are huge. As we walk home there are heaps of locals sitting around especially oldies chatting and drinking beer - great life here.  We grab some groceries at the supermarket and head home.  Troy cooks up our yummy pasta dish with vegetables and sauce. 

The weather here has been fantastic.  We didn’t realise that each day has been in its 30’s but it doesn’t feel that hot as we get nice breezes from the ocean.  Its great to stop here for  10 nights as we desperately needed have stop and take a break from been on the go for 4.5 months.  This slower pace is so nice and could get very used to it but no we have more adventures ahead.

13TH AUGUST 2010 - This morning was a photo session for me so we walked around town and once again was very snap happy.  This town makes you so trigger happy.  We had calamari at our little pub/cafe where its quite cheap about $8 for a plate of great calamari.  We then headed off to the beach.  We park our bums on the pebbly beach on a beautiful warm sunny day and the beach is crowded.  Next to us arrives two seriously wannabes Miss Croatia, oh my god they were strutting their stuff like they were supermodels and body language like hey look at me everyone, I’m beautiful. These beaches aren’t big and they do get crowded so you are sitting very close to everyone is not what we are used to.  

We spend a few hours at the beach and then head home.  We chill out in our room and then go out for dinner.  We splash out tonight and have a delicious seafood platter.  The waiter tells us that you don’t need salad or chips so we didn’t order it.  When it came out yeah it was lovely seafood but I could of done with a salad.  We walked around town and took some night time pics, this place is so cool lit up at night. This place has heaps of gorgeous restaurants, cafes, shops and bars.  There was some sort of concert happening in the main street and the lights lit pink on the buildings. Next minute, BANG scared the hell out of us, its fireworks. We listen to some of the music but it was that techno crap so we headed home.  

14TH AUGUST 2010 - After a morning packing our stuff and having breakfast we go to the beach in the afternoon.  Surprisingly not packed today.  We have lunch at the cafe at the beach, sausage and salad in a pide bread, chicken with salad in a pide bread for me.  We swam here for a few hours enjoying the cold water and watching the beautiful yachts sail by.  The water is quite flat so the crowd goes wild with screams when we get a wave that is about no more than 50cms high.  Its so funny to watch the crowd go nuts and its like panic, oh my god a wave, help.  Troy and I just have to laugh, no wonder Europeans get into trouble when they swim in our beaches at home.

We head off home and then chill out for a while and then head out for dinner. We have some Croatian food - cevapi for dinner, so yummy.  
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