The main attraction in Split is Diocletian’s Palace, built in the 4th century by the Romans. Today it is simply part of the old city with fancy shops and many restaurants primarily for tourists. Split had the busiest harbor we have seen since Gibraltar. There was a constant flow of cruise ships, ferries and yachts.
Busy Shipping Port in Split, Croatia
The apartment we rented had a large terrace and a view of the busy port in Split.
Watching the cruise boats, ferries and private yachts come and go was an evening pastime. The classy Costa Cruise ships broadcast the well-known Italian song by Andrea Bocelli, “Time to Say Goodbye” for the entire city to hear. That song is the best selling single of all time in several European countries. The horn blowing is coming from another cruise ship leaving at about the same time.
Charter Yacht for $750,000 a Week
In addition to the expected cruise ships and ferries, the 240 foot luxury charter yacht Grace E cruised into port. Who would be on such a yacht? So I searched the Internet. This yacht is available for weekly charters or around the world excursions. It will only cost you $750,000 per week. You and eleven of your closest friends can cruise wherever you wish, in seven state rooms pampered by a crew of 20. Diesel costs are extra. Not sure about the food. You can probably even dine at the Captain’s table every night.
By the way, skulking around the ship taking photos with a large camera at all hours of the day is not the way to get invited onto a luxury yacht.
Here is the link to the yacht charter site for those of you interested. GRACE E Yacht Charter Services
Diocletian’s Palace, the Main Attraction
Emperor Diocletian voluntarily gave up the throne of the Roman Empire in the year 305. He had this palace built after his retirement and settled here on the beach in Split. He wanted to be able to literally cruise into his palace, step off of his ship and be at home. The receding sea in the years since has left the ocean far from the palace entrance. This palace area now is home to about 3,000 Croatians. I would expect the vast majority work in the tourist industry. Why else would you live in this mob of foreigners with endless parades of loud tour guides crowding the narrow alleys every single day taking photos of you hanging your laundry. Even the fishmarket vendors were not left alone by the tourists, as you will see…
The singers were the same people every day. They mostly sat around at nearby tables eating and drinking in the shade waiting for the next tour group to wander through. The wait is never very long. They would then jump into action, sing, collect some tips and sell their CD’s. My attempts at photography would start when the tour group and singers left.
This photo is taken about 60 minutes after sunset. The yellow around the windows is from light bulbs, not the sun. The vivid blue sky will only look like this in the photo, not when viewing the scene. The exposure for this type of photo is normally around 15 seconds.
Quaint Town of Ormis, Croatia
After traveling and visiting towns we learn what we should have done if we knew more or had done extensive research. Rather than spend a week in Split, staying in the nearby town of Ormis and making a day trip to Split would likely have been better for us. We do not go into the fancy shops, nor do we do any fancy clothes shopping or dining as offered in Split. Our suitcases are already quite full. Walking the quieter, less congested streets of Ormis is more appealing to us. Zero cruise boats visit as the harbor is too small. Better yet, it is not mentioned by Rick Steves, so his book-following crowds are also not present.
LAST Fish Market Photos, I Promise
Once again this guy from the northern mountains of New Mexico is excited about the activity in the daily local fishmarket. Vendors grab anchovy and sardines by the handful for their regular customers. Some wear gloves, others do not. Their entire house must reek with the smell of fish. Do they smell yesterday’s shirt to see if it is clean enough to wear today?? Is clean clothes even on their list of concerns? “Mom! What’s for supper?” “It’s your favorite, honey, the dog fish your dad could not sell at market yesterday.”
The dogfish pictured above is at least 2/3 head and fins. Internet photos show this fish can get to be well over 100 pounds. I do not think they fish with worms, but I could be mistaken here.
Sampling the fresh foods grown and caught locally is a big part of my traveling experience. With no outdoor grill and cooking fish in our rental vetoed by others in my traveling party, my selection of fish was limited to anchovies. This lady had a 20 gallon container full of the anchovies packed in salt. I opted for a tourist sized jar. After scooping up the salted fish with her bare hands for the previous customer, wiping her hands on her apron, she neatly wrapped my small jar in tissue paper and placed it in a baggie. Upon arriving home, the tissue and baggie had to be tossed out. Not as in the kitchen trash tossed out, but as in outside down the ally trash. I was able to eat half of them on crackers and bread before we split.
Red Lake Sinkhole of Imotski
When leaving Split, the Red Lake Sinkhole was next on my list of places to visit. It is free, requires no hiking and takes about 15 minutes, at the most, if you lollygag. There are not a large variety of viewing angles. There are two such sinkholes on the same road, very near to one another. At one of the sinkholes, very aggressive types can hike down on a steep narrow trail for a swim or just walk around the rim a bit. Just set your GPS for the town of Imotski and followed the signs.
Next Stop, Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Good night from Split, Croatia.