A Travellerspoint blog

Split and Trogir

Day 9


View adriatic on get2will's travel map.

Our plan today was to take an early morning ferry from Hvar to Split. After walking around Split for the morning and afternoon we planned to pick up our rental car and visit and stay in Trogir (troh-GEER).

LINK TO WEB IMAGES OF SPLIT

LINK TO WEB IMAGES OF TROGIR

This morning we took the passenger ferry from Hvar to Split, the second biggest city in Croatia.

Ferry
1-DSC_0614..rry_in_Hvar.jpg

First we visited a few small art galleries featuring sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, one of Croatia's most famous artist. He actually lived quite a while in the US. Disagreements with the communist Croatian government after World War II spurred him to take a professorship at Syracuse University. He was offered US citizenship, and the ceremony was presided over by President Eisenhower.

DSC_0640.jpgDSC_0638.jpg
Adam and Eve, too bad Jen's photo is fuzzy
DSC_0660.jpgDSC_0659.jpg

The most impressive thing to me was the biblical woodcuts. You have to carve it like a 3-D sculpture, but use perspective like a 2-D painting. Tough.
DSC_0667.jpgDSC_0671.jpg
DSC_0679.jpgDSC_0666.jpg

Grabbed lunch in a cafe on Republic Square.
DSC_0684.jpg
DSC_0685x.jpg

We then met our guide Milka for our tour of Diocletian Palace (the Roman emperor). Split is unusual because the 'old town' is actually the palace. Settlers incorporated the palace into the town after it was abandoned.

'Riva' oceanfront cafes in front of the palace wall.
DSC_0617.jpg

Houses built into the front of the palace.
DSC_0615.jpgDSC_0688.jpg

Palace basement
DSC_0692.jpg
DSC_0701x.jpg

Above the old basement of the palace you can see the floor of a few houses
DSC_0699.jpg

Roof of the entry to the peristyle
DSC_0710.jpg

Peristyle (open columned porch at the center of a Roman residence)
DSC_0711.jpgDSC_0729.jpg
DSC_0725.jpgDSC_0759.jpg

Climbed the bell tower on the peristyle
DSC_0754.jpg

Here is a 12 century container used to submerse people for baptism. On it shows the social order of the day, the ruler on the right, and the worshiper under the foot of the bishop on the left.
DSC_0722.jpg

We grabbed a drink at a cafe in the palace.
DSC_0747.jpg

Windy and claustrophobic streets
DSC_0724x.jpg

We then walked around the perimeter of the palace.

Mestrovic statue
10-DSC_0734-Bishop_of_Nin.jpg

Peoples square
DSC_0737.jpgDSC_0743.jpg
DSC_0738_2r.jpg

The city is both old and modern, so the architecture is an interesting mix of old and new.
DSC_0750x.jpg

One of the defensive towers set up around Diocletian Palace by Venetians (1400s) after they took over Split. These towers are mixed into the more modern city.
DSC_0739.jpg
DSC_0756x.jpg

Then we took the bus to the Split airport to pick up our rental car. There we witnessed a cool moment. A guy walked up and spoke to our car rental agent in Croatian. He then turned and spoke so hopefully to his son in a perfect British accent, asking his 7 year old son what he remembers about Croatia. All the son said was that he remembered how to say things like excuse me and hello, nothing specific about the place itself. Heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time that he wanted to reintroduce his home country to a son that probably remembers very little of it.

We drove our rental car to Trogir and unfortunately got to our accommodations, Palaca Stafileo, late. Feeling guilty, we apologized repeatedly to the owner. No time for that-he makes a phone call confirming our arrival, then of course out comes the homemade brandy. This time the glass was filled so high it was impossible not to spill. I take a couple of sips and then shoot it. I think it is walnut brandy. Meanwhile Jen takes a sip, “I can’t do this, it’s too much, drink some of mine while he is not looking.” I drank a little of her’s, but it was too much for me also. It remained unfinished.

Our top floor room was small, cute, and had great views of the windy streets.
DSC_0761x.jpg

View from our room
DSC_0769.jpg

The town is on a small island.
The town harborfront
DSC_0784.jpg
DSC_0770x.jpg

Kamerlengo Fortress
DSC_0790.jpg

Old buildings
DSC_0788x.jpg

Windy street
DSC_0828.jpg

Earlier I wrote that one of the goals I set was not to rush around too much, and until today we’ve been moving at a relaxed pace. Well, we packed way too much stuff into today. After we rented the car at the airport and got to Trogir all we wanted to do was walk around a little bit, get a quick bite to eat, and turn in early. The stairs in Hvar shredded our feet and we need some more recovery time. Plus we planned to leave Trogir very early tomorrow morning so we could make it to the Plitvice Lake hike before it is flooded with tour groups.
Didn’t happen. Let me back up and explain why. When we first booked this trip and found out Croatia was joining the EU on July 1st while we were here, I figured there would be a massive celebration, so I did some looking around to try to find one. The only one I could find was in the capital, Zagreb, where we would not be going. Finally I gave up. Early in our trip it seemed like the local reaction to joining the EU ranged from a cautious “We’ll see” to “This is a very bad idea”. Maybe people are not excited, hence no celebrations. The current state of the EU is much poorer now than it was when they applied to join over ten years ago. However, when we arrived in Split earlier in the day they were erecting a stage with an EU banner on the Riva.

DSC_0741.jpg

When our local Split guide, Milka, first saw the stage, she was surprised and had no idea there was any celebration planned. Split is the second biggest city in Croatia, so I guess it makes sense there was going to be a celebration, but I was surprised that few people seemed to know about it beforehand. Unfortunately we were staying in Trogir. When we started walking through the main square in Trogir, some people started moving café tables out of the way.

Main Square in Trogir
DSC_0772.jpg

Church on the square
DSC_0776.jpgDSC_0780.jpg
Carved doors on the church
87A941312219AC68170140E2FC697B77.jpg87A8F3842219AC6817801ED28447EBB4.jpg87B278F52219AC68179EEFADBDD83537.jpg

Then we saw lighting equipment erected on the square.
DSC_0775.jpg

We checked in later and an orchestra was being seated. Locals were gathering in the square and the crowd was slowly building and building. We decided to find seats and watch the growing spectacle because this was a unique event that could never be experienced again. I think regardless of the mixed feelings some Croatians had about joining the EU, all of them realized that this is a threshold, a special and unique historic moment for their young country. And it showed . . . there was great dancing in traditional outfits, music, and singers belting out songs that the whole crowd knew the words to (except us!). We even shared a moment of laughter with a mother. In the crowd we were sandwiched between her stroller bound 2 year old and a woman who was wearing a hood. The toddler kept leaning out of his stroller to look around us and try to see underneath that mysterious hood. We were giggling at this kid, and finally he got so curious and leaned so far out of his stroller he almost fell out!! We all laughed. Finally after the festivities we trudged back to our room tired, but happy.

DSC_0807.jpgDSC_0804.jpg
DSC_0794.jpgDSC_0823.jpg
DSC_0825.jpg
DSC_0808x.jpg
Unveiling of the EU flag
DSC_0827.jpg

Posted by get2will 18:46 Archived in Croatia

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint