Friday, November 6, 2009

Split, Croatia

Following a terrific time in Tuscany we hopped via Ryan Air to Zadar, Croatia. From Zadar we rented a "van" where all 6 of us safely squeezed in (with 2 carseats, plus luggage). We headed out with our fearless driver, Eric, and navigated to Split, Croatia. Split was to be our home base for the next three nights. We rented a house right near Old Town which turned out to be a wonderful fit for our families. I had never done a 'vacation rental by owner' type thing, but now I am a complete convert. With a rooftop terrace overlooking the city, large bedrooms, and all the conveniences of home - it was hands down a better value than any hotel we could have picked.We wasted no time setting out to explore Split. The air was beachy and tropical; Croatia just seemed an entirely other world. Much more Caribbean than European. The random street lights, like the one above, were exact and beautiful in their own way. I instantly loved Croatia.
We read that promenading along the Riva, Split's main drag, was the evening activity. We joined right in. The harbor to our right, Old Town to our left, palm trees lining the made a beaming welcome to Croatia!
Split's history stretches out to the times of the Roman Empire. It was here that Roman Emperor Diocletian wanted to retire so he built a huge palace. The ruins of Diocletian's palace remain the nucleus of the city. A maze of narrow alleys is home to fashionable boutiques and galleries, wonderfully atmospheric cafes, and Roman artifacts around every corner.
As Adair and Eric scouted a place for us to eat Kirk and Connor took in the harbor view. Father and daughter exploring Europe together. I feel like they could have been one of those Priceless Mastercard commercials!
We ended up getting burgers and fries along the Riva. The food was fabulous and we breathed the ocean air. Kirk was the kid magnet!
As we headed back "home" I spied that same street lamp, now lit and glowing in the night. Yep, Croatia was going to be amazing! No doubt about it.
I just have to share with you Rick's description of Croatia. If this doesn't make you want to pack your bags then I don't know what will,

"Set sail on the shimmering Adriatic, to a remote island whose name you can't pronounce, but whose wonders you'll never forget. Corkscrew your way up impossibly twisty mountain roads to panoramic vistas of cut-glass peaks. Lie on a beach in the hot summer sun, listening to the lapping waves as a Venetian-style bell tower overhead clangs out the hour. Ponder the fading scars of a recent war, and admire how skillfully the locals have revitalized their once-troubled region. Dine on a seafood feast and sip a glass of local wine as you watch the sunset dip into the watery horizon...feeling smug for discovering this place before all your friends did. Unfamiliar as it might seem, Croatia is what you've been looking for: stay-a-while seashore, soaring alpine peaks, epic history, delectable food and wine, and some of the friendliest people in Europe"

We found ALL of the above to be true. Stay tuned for more about our Croatian vacation!

1 comment:

Dallas said...

Great photos on this post - some really nice portraits. Croatia looks fantastic!