A Travellerspoint blog

Croatia

Split[ting] hairs on the definition of a beach?!

sunny 28 °C
View Euro trip 2013 on travellinglise's travel map.

"I brought sand to the beach 'cos my beach is better.
You can keep ya beach 'cos that beach whatever." - Jay Z

Foodie moment

Tired of walking, we found a restaurant close to our apartment which looked popular called Bistro Toc. Little did we know it was mini Australia as all the tables inside had groups of Australians eating! The food was good though, we tried the traditional stuffed peppers and the not so traditional Taco Salad (trying to ward off scurvy!).

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Cultural moment

We were excited to get to Croatia to hit the beaches, and as the beach was just near our apartment we set off to check it out. This was a culture shock! The beach was a series of concrete steps with swimming pool type ladders that led into the water. There was a a small strip of pebbles, but the majority of the area was made of concrete. This was perfectly normal for the people though, as they all lay and sun-baked on the concrete steps! Another entertaining moment was created when some big cruise ships went past the normally calm bay. It caused waves in the beach, and the children went crazy, hoards of them sprinting madly into the water throwing themselves into the waves, jumping, diving and screaming. It made us laugh to think what they would think of Torquay or Portsea!

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Wow moment

Diocletian's Palace is the 'old town' section of Split, and until the 14th century all residents of Split were contained in its walls. It was built at the start of the fourth century by the Roman emperor Diocletian. It is an amazing place, completely enclosed in walls and entered by a series of ornate arches and gates, or in one case, by going under the walls via stairways. The inside is a maze of tiny laneways and streets leading onto tiny courtyards and large squares. One of the main attractions within the Palace is the Christian Cathedral. The interesting fact is that it was once a a mausoleum and a place of Pagan worship for the Romans. Diocletian was known for being particularly cruel and brutal towards anyone who was Christian instead of Pagan. Once the empire fell and the Christians returned to Split, they built a Christian cathedral right on top of the old Octagonal mausoleum as a statement of the end of their persecution by the Romans. The cathedral also has a large bell tower that you can climb and get amazing views of the whole palace, as well as the ocean and port.

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What we learnt today

Croatians have invented their own sport called Picigin. It was invented in 1908, and was developed because the Croatian water polo team wanted a game to play in the shallow waters at the beach. It is played with a small rubber ball, and has only two rules: Don't let the ball touch the water and You can only use the palm of your hand. There is no winner or points, but the main objective of the game is to pull off amazing aerial manoeuvres in order to keep the ball in the air, and to have fun! We saw lots of groups playing it at the beach, and it was fun to watch with lots of dramatic dives into the water after the ball! Kind of like Hacky sack but with your hands.

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Posted by travellinglise 06:16 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

Hmmm.. we may need to 'Split' this bill.....

sunny 30 °C
View Euro trip 2013 on travellinglise's travel map.

Foodie moment

Our first taste of Croatian food was good. A cheese burek for lunch was a quick tasty snack. For dinner was an ok seafood risotto and a new delicious meal - Pasticada. It is a stewed beef meal cooked with carrots, cloves, nutmeg, red wine and diced prosciutto for hours, it is then served with home made gnocchi- yum!!

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Cultural moment

The most distinctive cultural moment that stands out in Split happens at twilight. As the sun goes down, every park bench, pier and wall near the marina has a group of men sitting, drinking beer bought in the convenience store and chatting about the day. It is just a guy thing, and it seems to be taken pretty seriously!

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Wow moment

The promenade in central Split is a great place for a wander, checking out the market stalls and enjoying a sunset beer. The interesting thing is that this one of the few harbours in the world that is able to cater for small local fishing vessels as well as huge cruise ships. Everything has its place and it all works together.

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What we learnt today

Biggest learning curve of the trip so far - Croatia is not cheap! The rising popularity of the country has meant that prices, particularly in the tourist areas, have risen dramatically. It almost seems like Croatia was a country that struggled economically for so long, that now they have a chance to make money they are jumping at every opportunity. Whilst there is still cheap options around, the prices match those in Australia and London - not the Eastern European ones you might be searching for!

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Posted by travellinglise 14:07 Archived in Croatia Tagged split Comments (0)

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