We started the day with an awesome continental breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt, cheese, eggs, and baked goods. We headed to the bus stop where a taxi driver offered to drive us and a couple other travelers to Split for around the same price as a bus ticket. According to the bus schedule the bus would have taken about 8 hours. The taxi took 3 and a half. Our speeding driver saved a lot of time. On the journey we saw plenty of abandoned buildings, and a good number of bullet holes in the sides of building where fighting during Croatia’s war of independence must have taken place. Arriving in Split, we checked into our hostel and then walked down to the beach to consider a swim. The large swells from strong wind discouraged us, as we’ll as the fact that there wasn’t actually a beach, just concrete with ladders right next to the ocean. (Also it was only 16 degrees Celsius outside which was apparently way too cold to swim in for the locals, but felt nice for us.)
We walked around the town a bit and checked out Diotecians palace, an old roman palace in the middle of the town which still survives in places where it wasn’t torn down in centuries past. It was full of beautiful white cobblestone streets and buildings from various centuries and architectural styles. We paid for access to the bell tower of the church inside of the palace. After a few claustrophobic and very steep stair cases we came to the open tower. The stairs wound around the inside of the tower which was open to the wind and the elements. It was an extremely windy day and Amy only made it a few stories up before turning back because of serious anxiety. Jon made it to the top and got a great view of the city but had to hold onto the camera very tightly so that it wouldn’t blow away! This is where our camera battery died (we accidentally left the camera charger in Ljubljana).
We got an excellent dinner at a local restaurant (Amy had gnocci with diced cuttlefish and a sauce made from cuttlefish ink while Jon had the best calamari he’s ever had) and then headed home to watch a movie and go to bed. Its worth pointing out that not only was the hostel one of the cheapest we stayed at, it also had a large flat screen TV and computer in every room. Through the computer you could access about 4000 illegally downloaded movies through a network share the hostel had set up. We watched In Bruges, since everyone we had met on our trip asked us if we’ve seen the movie after we told them we went there.