From Mostar we head back to the coast of Croatia to the city of Split, the largest city on the Dalmatian coast (the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea) and the second largest city in Croatia. Between our map and our now working GPS, we felt pretty confident about this leg of the journey.
We began on what appeared to be a brand new freeway, but the GPS unit didn't recognize it. There is a difference of opinion about what happened next. Bob thinks the new road ended and we went the way we were supposed to and only felt lost (he subscribes to Tolkien's theory that "Not all those who wander are lost"), but I think the GPS unit, confused by the new freeway and not up-to-date on its maps, led us completely astray. Where we ended up on our printed map was far from any main road. It took several stops to ask directions of non-English-speaking Croats who gesticulated, spoke loudly, and repeated the same unintelligible words multiple times, but somehow got us back to where we needed to be. Note: If you are planning a driving trip in Southern Croatia, make sure your GPS has the latest maps uploaded, or that you are using navigation on an updated cell phone. Talk to your hotel people before you leave about how much of the new freeway is done, and carrying an old-fashioned map is always a good idea.
When we got to Split, we headed straight for our hotel, the Guesthouse Vrlic.
It is just a block from Diocletian's Palace, an absolutely fabulous location. It is nothing fancy, but it is very clean and charming in its simplicity. Our room had a fridge, which came in handy as I will show later. My only complaint is that the "wi-fi in every room" was really "wi-fi in the hallways." It was a minor inconvenience compared to the awesomeness of the location.
|The smallest tub I have ever bathed in.|
The owner/manager has a very green thumb; the yard is filled with potted flowers.
On the day we were there, there was wonderful variety and a riot of color and texture:
Honey production is a very important cottage industry all over the Balkans, and there were numerous honey stands at this market. Bottles were often reused containers with handwritten labels.
There were other home-production items, such as olives and infused oils. These olives were somewhat bitter and weren't nearly as good as olives we've had in Italy or Greece.
After all that testosterone, I needed a break, and I didn't have to look far. Just around the corner from the meat market is the flower market.
Split's farmers market is a must-see (and a must-taste), and the great thing about it is that it is located just outside the Silver Gate (also known as the Eastern Gate) to Diocletian's Palace, the city's main attraction.