I thought I would be taking the train to Split, however, since there is construction on the rail line, I had to take the bus instead. I was able to get on for free since I had the Eurail pass, but normally, I believe it costs about 95 or 100 kuna. I’m usually pretty carsick, but I was able to read pretty much the entirety of the bus ride, which was nice. I arrived very confused in Split because a) I was really into a good book and b) I thought I saw a sign that said Zadar. Whoops. As I descended down the steps of the bus, I was immediately accosted by several women offering accommodation. I told them no several times, but they didn’t seem to get the message. I eventually was able to pull out the directions and find my hostel. I made myself some dinner and settled in for the night.
I had met some nice people in the hostel the night before and we decided to go to the island of Brač off the coast. We hopped on the 9:30am ferry and arrived to the island about an hour later. After getting a map at the tourist office, we decided to walk along the coast to an old Roman quarry called Hercules. We explored around a bit, walking over 13km before starting to head back to make the 6pm ferry. While walking along the side of the road, this nice young couple who had been on the ferry with us picked us up and drove us all the way back to the ferry terminal. It was my first hitch hiking experience! Plus, we made it back in time for the 3:30pm ferry, which meant we could catch the sunset from the shore. It was nice to just have a relaxing day without too much to do. A return ticket costs 58 HRK, making it totally worth the trip.
I did almost nothing on this day besides look into where to book my next destination. I did go out for a few walks to see the harbor. After some time, two of my new friends and I went out for dinner at Fife, the local place at everyone recommends for traditional Croatian cooking. I ordered the lamb with peas and mashed potatoes. The potatoes were literally just mashed potatoes without any butter, milk, salt, anything. The lamb was incredible, including the sauce it came in. Definitely a good choice. After dinner, we walked around and made plans to go out for the evening. We drank a little in the hostel and then made our way to the pubs, where we wound up having fishy-smelling glasses and moved onto Charlie’s, a travelers’ bar. We had some cheap drinks and met up with other friends. I met this guy with a awesome mustache, and yes, I took a pitot with him. Some people headed home, but I decided to head out with a few people to a club that opens at 1am. We headed out, danced a bit, and then I decided it was time to leave.
After nursing a small hangover and deciding that it was wise to takes breather, I decided to book another night to give some time to soak up a bit of the city. For most of the day, I hung around, made myself lunch, went to the grocery store and wandered around the city before taking a nice nighttime walk around the city with a friend.
I decided to actually go ahead and do something on my last full day in Split, so I went on the free walking tour in the morning of Diocletian’s Palace. From the outside and even the parts I had been in, it didn’t seem that large, but his tour guide was incredible and took us through a huge part of the complex that I had never even seen. Plus, we were graced with some fantastic traditional a cappella folk Croatian music. Granted, they were selling CDs, but it was nice to just hear the songs. After the tour wrapped up, I decided to take a short walk to the lookout point of the city and it was well worth the 400 steps or so up. Starving at this point, I went in search of food, looking at the Green Market full of fresh fruits and veggies and decided to get a small sandwich at the bakery instead.
After much deliberation with myself, I decided to head down to Dubrovnik, a city that I had been dying to see since I heard about it almost 5 years ago. It was a decision between there and Romania. I went to the bus station and booked my ticket for 12:30pm, and ran to the grocery store for some bus snacks. Due to some weather conditions, the bus was running an hour late and we didn’t even arrive in Dubrovnik until 2 hours after promised. On the bus ride, I met Matt and Alexandra, and we found out we were staying in the same place, so we just sat and chatted almost the entire way, trying to forget about the sharp curves and the speed at which the driver was taking them, as well as his liberal application of the brakes at inappropriate times.