Days 10 & 11 in Europe: From Mostar to Split, Croatia

12 Oct

Wow. I somehow saved the best part of this trip for last. Scroll down to the pictures and you’ll see what I mean.

It wasn’t easy getting here to Split though. They printed the wrong departure time on my bus ticket, so I missed the bus by 10 minutes and got the wonderful reward of sitting four hours in a depressing bus station as hard rain poured down. The next bus got me into Split by 4 p.m., and the rain was still on again, off again.

I found my accommodation and met my wonderful host, Melina. If anyone reading this ever goes to Split, she’s the one for you. For most of the remainder of Sunday, all I did was eat and try to dry off. My shoes were completely water-logged.

But then this morning dawned gloriously. Wow, again. Split is amazing. At the city’s heart is a history-filled old quarter that faces the promenade in front of the Adriatic.

I took a guided walking tour and learned about the key structure at the center: the amazingly preserved remains of the palace of the Roman emperor Dioclesian. Amazing to walk through the gates of the palace walls, knowing that they were built in the year 305, 1,700 years ago.

Among the many amazing achitectural details: there are red granite columns brought over from Egypt, along with several 8-foot-long sphinxes.

The city inside the palace walls is a strange mix of the original Roman with medieval and renaisance architecture after that. Exploring the narrow passage ways might bring you to a Venetian merchant’s house, a guardhouse for Roman soldiers, or a temple to the god Jupiter.

With the awesome weather this day — sunny and low 70’s — I went a little crazy with the camera. Please click to expand them. What a photogenic place.

And early tomorrow morning I begin the journey home to Seattle. Thanks for reading.

A view of the south Palace wall from the seaside promenade.

A view of the south Palace wall from the seaside promenade.

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A clock tower at the western gate of the palace.

A clock tower at the western gate of the palace.

Palace passageway.

I just liked the colors.

The colorful farmers' market outside the eastern palace gate.

The colorful farmers’ market outside the eastern palace gate.

Market action.

Market action.

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Looking up at the detail in the Roman columns at the center of the palace.

Looking up at the detail in the Roman columns at the center of the palace.

The bell tower, which dates to the 1500's. I climbed to the top for an amazing view.

The bell tower, which dates to the 1500’s. I climbed to the top for an amazing view.

Lucy, the guide for our walking tour, is a Split native. If you look up above where she's pointing, you can see a Roman cross on one of the sarcophagi.

Lucy, the guide for our walking tour, is a Split native. If you look up above where she’s pointing, you can see a Roman cross on one of the sarcophagi.

After the tour came lunch, featuring local seafood.

After the tour came lunch, featuring local seafood.

I walked to a city park for this amazing view.  The palace area would be pretty much at the center of this.

I walked to a city park for this amazing view. The palace area would be pretty much at the center of this.

Ferries come in from the islands.

Ferries come in from the islands.

View from the belltower.

View from the belltower.

View from the belltower with the south palace wall in the center.

View from the belltower with the south palace wall in the center.

My view while enjoying a drink in the promenade, watching the tourists and Splitizens go by.

My view while enjoying a drink in the promenade, watching the tourists and Splitizens go by.

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