The opportunity to travel was there so I took it to see what Split, Croatia had to offer during New Year’s. “Winter” temperatures were as high as 15 degrees Celsius so there were a couple warmer days where I wore a lighter shirt and jacket.
It takes about 4.5 hours for the bus from Dubrovnik to make the trip to Split. Though that was only a part of my travel time. It was a survivable ten hour trip from the taking the bus, boat and another bus and couldn’t wait to get to my rented apartment. The highway road was narrow, winding and along the seaside which offered spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea. In Split, inner city buses are convenient and the price is 11 Kuna if you pay cash. I think it’s cheaper if you buy at a kiosk.
The apartment I rented from AirBnb was clean, cozy and the location ideal as it’s a short walking distance to the Riva, old town, cafes, bus/train stations and ferry port. The host even invited me to a party she was hosting the night I arrived. Good times with great people, music and food.
Marjan Park is a forested hill on the peninsula where you can walk, hike, jog, bike or hit the beach. I found myself spending the afternoon walking around the park on its perimeter checking out the coastline. There’s a roadway tunnel under the hill for cars to go through so that the park’s quietness can be preserved.
Diocletian’s Palace is of architectural and cultural significance in Split. It was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD. The palace represents the most valuable example of Roman architecture on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. Here you’ll find the Peristyle and the Cathedral of St. Domnius. I spent most of my time here wandering the maze-like palace and sitting on the Riva drinking coffee and reading.
I also visited the local movie theatre at the Joker Centre Mall to check out what’s playing and decided to go see Life of Pi. It was a great movie though what annoyed me was that many locals were talking throughout & answering their cell phones. This is a common occurrence in the region in part because locals are reading the subtitles and not listening to the English dialogue.
There were a few days where I could not get a cappuccino from any café along the Riva. I had visited multiples cafes in succession and every time I asked for a cappuccino the server said it’s not available; even though I’ve previously had cappuccinos at those cafés before. I heard from a source that it’s because the servers are most likely “unmotivated” and would rather pour me a regular small cup of coffee for 8 – 10 Kuna instead of spending a minute or two to make me a cappuccino that costs 12 Kuna.
New Year’s on the Riva
It didn’t take me long to figure out that Split is a city to party in. Even on New Year’s I found myself standing on a rooftop patio with a panoramic view of the city watching fireworks going off everywhere. Some people even launched distress flares when they ran out of fireworks. On the Riva there was live music, food and drinks to be served. There must have been at least 50,000 people crammed there making it challenging to move about.
That same night I lost my wallet with my ID’s, credit card, bank card and a couple hundred Kuna. I spent the next day at the police station submitting a report of the missing items. Luckily, I still had my passport and enough cash to get me back to home base with some leftover to enjoy a meal as well as a cappuccino on the Riva since they started serving it again. When I first realized I couldn’t find my wallet my mind went into overdrive trying to figure out where on the Riva I was and retraced my steps. Though at first I thought it was in one of the eight pockets distributed amongst my pants and jacket. Since it’s easy to lose things even when you have them on you. It took a nine minute call to the credit card company/bank to cancel the cards. My new credit card should be here any day now. No worries.
Dispute a couple manageable setbacks, spending a few enjoyable days in Split felt like only a few hours. The plan is to head back at some point by taking a ferry instead of bus from Dubrovnik. Though that particular ferry route/service is offered only during the summer months.