Split, Croatia

The ferry ride from Hvar to Split was only an hour, and took place on a much more upgraded ferry than the Dubrovnik-Hvar connection. More tables, less seats.

Taxis took us to Hotel Dujam approximately 20mins walk from the central Fortress area. Having dropped our bags at the hotel by 11am, we walked as a group to the Golden Gate at the Diocletian’s Palace. There we were met by local tour guide Natasa Divac Orlandini from Split Walking Tours. She provided us with a 2hour guided tour around the Palace, which in reality is more a walled area containing architecture from the turn of the 4th Century to present day Croatia. A mix of marble flooring, limestone pillars, a mausoleum converted to cathedral, uPVC doors and air conditioning.

At the conclusion of the walk, as is mandatory in the tourist industry she provided us with her TripAdvisor card and encouraged us to leave a review, quoting her name.

For lunch we joined some of the others for a meal at the riverfront and then walked through the Basement Halls of Diocletian’s Palace. It’s exactly as described, consisting of rocks, archways, halls and not much else. If anything it was a nice change from the excess heat above ground, but there wasn’t much in the way of substance.

On the way back to check in at the hotel I had a haircut. For HRK40, I had a number two shave including a shave with a cutthroat blade from a barber who spoke not one word of English. By far one of the best haircuts I’ve ever had.

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In the evening the whole group met up and went to Restaurant Kavana Perivoj. It felt pretty upmarket but the prices were reasonable. I had the beef carpaccio for starters, the calamari for main and the white chocolate cream for dessert. The carpaccio was excellent as was the dessert. The main was fine, but not much to my taste. We said some of our goodbyes as this was officially the last meal of the tour. Some of us then went further into the city to have some further drinks.

The next day after the damage done by alcohol the night before we decided to walk to the peak of nearby Marjan Forest Park. The climb, mostly of steps was very rewarding with a view of the sunset to the west and panoramic views of the city to the south and east.

After dinner we had a few drinks at a nearby bar and then stumbled into a gay fetish bar, then decided we had enough excitement for one night and retired to bed to our new overnight digs at the Soukki Town Suites.

Sunday was a recovery day. We always say that a good holiday requires another holiday to recover from, and this one was no exception. We tried our best to make this Sunday a recovery day. In the afternoon we grabbed an early dinner at local restaurant Konoba Lučac. This one was a good one. Away from the tourist traps it felt much more rustic and local. Staff always seemed much happier and less stressful at eateries away from tourist centres and this was no exception.

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By 6pm we went to the bus station and hopped on the dedicated airport shuttle service to the airport. At HRK30 it was a real bargain over the HRK270 that taxis and uber were charging.

We flew back to Luton with Hungarian Airline Whizz Air. The plane was as barebones as it could be, with much less leg room and non adjustable seats, but the highlight of the trip out of Split would have to be the bus that drove in a 100m radius to take us to a plane that was parked 20m from the gate.

As I’m writing this entry in real time I predict this will be an awful and soul destroying flight.

Update: Can confirm, it was.

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