4th June 2016: Split, Croatia
Using our phones to navigate the small and twisting cobbled streets, Rach and I made our way to The Judita Palace Heritage hotel. It was in a picturesque old building overlooking one of Split’s small squares with pretty orange shutters and flowers everywhere. Through a small courtyard area with a cafe we reached reception where a very tall, eccentric man – who was immediately very funny and likable – told us off for not calling him to come and pick us up in his electric golf buggy!
Our room was simple in a charming and understated way which is what I prefer and had great big shuttered windows which opened up onto the square. The voices from the people drinking in the cafes or just walking through bounce off the buildings around giving the place a friendly and buzzy vibe.
More friends were due to arrive today to celebrate Daz’s 40th birthday and message on our phone told us they were enjoying lunch and a cold beer coincidentally in a cafe on the square below. So we headed down and joined in the fun!
About half of the old town of Split is all within the former outline and remains of the ancient Roman fort known as Diocletian’s Palace. This was a large square fort built in about 300AD for the Roman Emperor Diocletian and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Although only parts of the original palace remain – the whole area is a collection of cobbled walkways, old buildings and is beautiful to look at. After lunch, we decided to explore the palace ourselves and headed out to join the bustle of tourists.
There are several well preserved buildings that date all the way back to the original palace and the addition of a few people dressed up as Roman Legionnaires added to the fun and perhaps what it may have been like!
We continued to explore all afternoon mostly staying within the palace walls but also exploring outside where there were street markets as well as more cafes and shops along the quayside where we had picked up the ferry yesterday. Here also we checked the ferry times for Brač where we would be heading tomorrow but there were plenty to choose from so we didn’t need to worry.
In the early evening, we found a lovely bar tucked into the side of one of the narrow alleyways which specialised in gin. We enjoyed several recommendations from our waiter who also taught us about how the different tonics and how they are poured can influence the taste. It was a fun place to be and I’m sure we will be back if we could ever find it again!
For dinner that evening, we all met in a great restaurant called Bokeria which was quite close to the square our hotel was on. The food was great and the staff friendly all making for a very fun evening!