We had to check out of our place in Hvar by 10 so we got up and showered and prepared for a long day. Our ferry to Split didn’t leave till 1 so we had some time to kill. We did this by going and getting breakfast at the place we had scouted out earlier, and lounging on the couches at Carpe Diem. I will have to come back to this place.
We got to Split and put our bags into a lockup at the train station and went off to check out the Roman palace of Emperor Diocletion who first built the thing as a retirement home for himself. The (ongoing) excavation of the palace had revealed an elaborate basement tunnel system that looks like a dungeon from The Legend Of Zelda. We explored the tunnels for a while and learned a lot about the history and evolution of the palace from Emporer’s residence, to Emporer’s retreat, to town, to town refuge, to city, etc.
(there is no air conditioning in this night train so we have the window cracked…whenever we go through a tunnel ashes blow in the window…our car is going to look like Pompeii in the morning…I’m also listenig to Chris’ Picks 2008 which is exceptional…)
After that we walked up and explored the rest of the palace which is today home to the decendents of the people who fled from the invasion of the Slavic tribes behind it’s walls after Roman rule. It’s like one city was built right on top of another and, in sections that are still more or less ruins, you can see the architectural progression of the evolution. Very cool.
We paid a few Kuna to climb the church tower which was erected during the middle ages. I offered some pretty good views of Split and the port outside of the walls of the palace.
We walked around, went into a few funky looking places (one in particular had a picture of Robo-Cop as the sign for the mens room) and just genuinely relaxed. We found a park on the north side of the city (I think that ‘Being Here’ by The Stills on Chris’ Picks 2008 is the most overlooked song on the mix…it’s soooo good) by a statue by some dude who I unfortunately can’t rememebr right now called Gregorian of Nin (i think) who was a clergy man who fought for the right to do catholic mass in Croatian rather than Latin. The left big toe of the statue is said to give luck if you touch it. I did not touch it.
We went and ate in a typical Croatian family restaurant and went and caught our train…
Pictures (hopefully in the correct order)
1) A poorly lit shoot of the giant statue of the Nin guy.
2) Robo-cop mens room.
3) A bust of roman emporer Diocletion found when excavating the palace.
4) Ruins of a roman temple surrounding the now catholic church (converted) and tower.
5) A fairly uninformative shot of the underground infrastructure.