Where We Be
We set foot on Croatian soil for the first time
and began with a walk along the Riva. The Riva
is the city's famous promenade beside the sea,
fresh from a $12 million renovation completed in
2007. The Riva was packed with people eating at
the cafes since there were three cruise ships in
port, but it was still a pleasant place to amble.
The biggest sight to see in Split -- and the one
we were the most excited about -- is Diocletian’s
Palace. This palace is unique in the world: a
grand Roman monument where people still live.
Shops, hotels, and cafes co-exist with the
historic buildings of this 1,700-year-old palace.
The walled enclave was built as a retirement
retreat by Diocletian, the Croatian-born last
pagan emperor of Rome. It covers 10 acres and
took 20,000 slaves 10 years to build. It’s a huge
palace but a relatively small historic town, so it
only took about an hour to wander through its
warren of streets.
|Inside Diocletian's Palace, we stood under an oculus (a huge hole in the ceiling) looking up at
the sky while a Croatian singing group harmonized, making use of the room’s unusual acoustics
|The Riva makes for a pleasant place to amble -- and on the other side of those palm trees are dozens of cafes with outdoor seating
|This closer-in view from the tender dock shows Split's palm-lined Riva, or waterfront promenade
|Robin jumps for joy at setting foot in Croatia for the first time
|A first peek at the 1700-year-old walls and towers of Diocletian's Palace
|The Peristil is a lovely town square near the palace's center that was once Diocletian's reception room. Now, as you can see, it's a reception room for tourists!
|This unusual art installation of the Last Supper was located right in the Peristil. How often do you get a chance to pose with Jesus?
|One of the original walls of Diocletian's Palace -- still standing after 1700 years
|Late in the afternoon, the crowds thinned and we were able to wander the back streets of what was once Diocletian's Palace in relative peace
|This is what Diocletian's Palace once looked like -- the city of Split grew out of it
|This is a view of Split and its harbor from our cruise ship -- we took tenders from the ship to the city
|This huge statue of Gregorius of Nin (a Croatian religious
leader) stands at the northern gate of Diocletian's Palace
|Now residents live within the palace's crumbling walls
|The still-intact basement of Diocletian's
Palace now contains shops and cafes
|Croatian is definitely not a romance language -- thank goodness for pictograms like this one
(for a pedestrian zone) or otherwise we'd have no idea what the signs were saying