We landed in Pula, a small town in the north of Croatia. After a blur of a very foreign and smoke-filled lounge where we got in touch via technology and killed time, we boarded our night bus to Split, which was definitely the lowest point in the whole trip. Each time I managed to drift into a rocky semi-sleep, we were jolted awake by the lights, a jerky stop, and an icy gust of wind, and a disorientating glimpse of rural Croatia. However, even at night, the mountainous coast looked unbelievable which kept our spirits high. We finally made it to Split and our lovely hostel, Beach Hostel, which was run by an adventurer named Ladybird. We slept for a few hours and then went out to get lunch (I tried Dalmatian style risotto) and walk around for a while, despite the cold, rainy weather. We made in into the market housed inside of Diocletian’s Palace, an ancient “retirement home” for the Roman emperor who hailed from Dalmatia.
The next day, we awoke to beautiful blue skies and a warm sun. We grabbed a pastry and explored the picturesque port area of Split, with its sunbleached buildings, palm trees, and fishing boats bobbing in the tide. We hiked to the top of a park where we enjoyed gorgeous views of Split, the Adriatic Sea, and the soaring glacial mountains behind us.
We wandered back down and had ice cream, warming our faces in the bright sun by the water. Then we found a wine and cheese bar called Paradox, where we tried Croatian sparkling wine and a variety of Croatian cheeses. Later we did some shopping and hung out in the Beach Hostel. Finally, we had a three course dinner for 50 kuna (about 8 euros)—I picked my way through a whole fish, head on and all!