Day One on the Dalmatian Coast (Croatia Part 1)

I spent just over a week in Croatia, visiting several different cities along the coast and ending my trip with a day in the capital of Zagreb. I can’t tell you which city was my favorite because they were all beautiful in their own way and I really enjoyed my time there. As always, the people make the trip, and I was surrounded by amazing people the whole time.

My journey started with a day in Split (I flew directly from BCN). I spent the day resting and sightseeing, trying not to melt in the heat as I walked around the historic center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I went to visit Diocletian’s Palace which I was told was a must-see. It is also a filming location for Game of Thrones, which would be fascinating to me if I wasn’t one of the only people in the world who doesn’t watch that show. Sorry, guys.

I entered the market set up beneath the castle, purchased a ticket, and walked all around the underground hallways and rooms… sometimes wishing I wasn’t alone as it was rather creepy. You really feel like you’re stuck in the sewers, somewhere below ground, listening to the water drip in the corner, waiting for bats to fly into your hair. Or at least that’s how I felt. Don’t get me wrong, it was really cool, but after a black cat crossed my path in front of me, I thought it was time to go back above ground…  not superstitious or anything.

I wandered up to the Peristyle where you can often find funny men dressed as Centurions. It’s a beautiful little courtyard space to sit and listen to music. I sat down to relax for a few minutes and then decided to make the climb up the bell tower (I’ve lost count of how many bell towers I’ve climbed on this trip). There’s only one staircase that takes you up and down so you have to time your climb carefully so no one gets stuck or runs into anybody else.

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The bell tower (that tall thing in the background). Split, Croatia. August 2015.

I climbed up the tower and made a trade with a family —you take my photo and I’ll take yours (a person can only take so many selfies…) While I was waiting for the strategic moment to ask this family to take my photo, I sat in a little nook between columns on the top and had a quiet moment, enjoying the incredible view. It was nice and cool up there because of the wind, although my hair was knotting itself up in a million different ways. I sat there breathing in the fresh air, gazing out at the sun sparkling on the water, and the red-tiled roofs laid out below us. It was beautiful.

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Looking down from the bell tower. Split, Croatia. August 2015.
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The view from the bell tower. Split, Croatia. August 2015.
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The view from the bell tower. Split, Croatia. August 2015.
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Enjoying the view from the top of the bell tower. (Thanks to the random family who took this for me). Split, Croatia. August 2015.

After my bell tower visit, I walked around on the boardwalk and went back to the hotel for a nap. On my way home, I thought to stop at the ferry ticket office since I needed to get to Vela Luka (Korčula) the next day for a parkour workshop. Should be easy enough, right?

I went to the ferry port and asked for a ticket for the next day. Oh, there’s no more tickets for tomorrow. We’re all sold out. Shit. Nothing at all? There’s no other boats going to that island tomorrow? I asked. Nope, nothing. Well, that sucks. Okay, I guess I’ll take the first boat out the next morning? I buy my ticket and start walking away and then my gut tells me to try a different window. I go to the next window over and ask for a ferry ticket for tomorrow. Sure, what time do you want to go? You’ve got to be f***ing kidding me. I bought the ticket for first thing in the morning, and went back to the other window. I want my money back, please. I just got on another boat for tomorrow. She looks at me like I’m a child who has just spit on her shoe. Oh. She says. I didn’t know. I smiled politely and bit my tongue.

I got on the ferry the next morning, which was actually a catamaran fast boat so you couldn’t sit on the deck. It was like a giant airplane stuck inside a boat (the seating I mean). I’d never been on a boat like this before, but it went by quickly enough and I managed to snag a window seat when we stopped in Hvar on the way to Korčula.

When we arrived, I thought okay, cool, I can relax for a while, I’m not meeting the guys until later tonight. I went to a restaurant to use the wifi and eat some delicious vegetable risotto. And then I decided to check the map for some reason and I realized that I was on the wrong side of the island…

To be continued…

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