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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Korcula - Split

Day 13: Korčula - Split

We had to get up really early for the ferry from Korčula to Split, which left at 6 a.m. and where you are asked to be there at least 15 minutes before that. We wanted to make sure to get on board even with our ticket already in our hands and went there even a bit earlier for our two and a half hours trip to Split. It worked and the ferry was full. When it stopped in Hvar we saw more crowds of people wanting to get on board and it seemed like not everyone - even with a ticket - was allowed on board (at least it looked like people were showing tickets but were still denied entrance and inside there wasn't a place not occupied - the not so happy people seemed to get sent to another place maybe for another ferry though). It was fortunately not our problem and we soon arrived in Split. 

We had booked a studio-apartment in the "Beach City Pearls Apartments", because it seemed nice and has a great location in walking distance to the ferry pier, the main bus station, a big beach and the old town. After we found it with the help of our map we were at first skeptical, because from outside it looks quite old, run down and looked almost like a ruin. But don't let it fool you. We were welcomed and showed to the next room where we could store our luggage and were already impressed by the look of the room. But we couldn't check in yet (as it was still early in the morning and our room needs to be cleaned first) but the nice woman told us that we could leave our luggage there and come back in an hour. She recommended a café at the beach while they are cleaning our room.

That sounded lovely and so we went the five minutes to the beach, where already a lot of elderly people were enjoying a morning swim. We enjoyed not only a coffee but also pizza and chicken at a nice beachfront café. There was still time, so we decided to use it to go back to ferry pier to buy our ferry tickets for the next day to Stari Grad on the island of Hvar. It was a pleasant surprise, because there was neither a queue nor a time restriction for buying the tickets (which we had gotten used to already) and so we had that already done.  

Back at the "Beach City Pearls Apartments" we could finally check in and the apartment looked grand - modern with a particular nice design, spacious, clean and modern bathroom, kitchen, Flat screen-TV with loads of channels, free Wi-Fi and quiet but effective air-con. The house only has a few apartments and it has a nice garden where you can sit. It is quietly located and cost less than some other hotels on our trip - we loved it.

Enthusiastically, we started our Split sightseeing tour and walked towards the old town, the Bell Tower of the St. Domnius Cathedral already in sight. In front of the old town, which is a World Heritage Site, were many booths with souvenirs and stuff within a lively atmosphere. Just after walking through the Silver Gate we are already in the Diocletian's Palace ("Dioklecijanova palača") and at the St. Domnius Cathedral ("Katedrala Svetog Duje").

We bought tickets for the St. Domnius Cathedral and took a look at the inside of the Cathedral, including the treasury and the cellar. Because of a little bit of acrophobia, we skipped going up the airy stairs to the bell tower. At least we went to the first stage of the stairs and got there already a nice sight. 

After some time at the busy square in front of the Cathedral, where lavender was sold and costumed guys walking around to be photographed with tourists. We went down some way, but there was just some kind of a shopping mall with more booths, selling souvenirs. But we spontaneously opted for the nearby Ethnographic Museum which was a welcome surprise. It showed a lot of traditional clothes of Croatia, gave an impression of another part of the cultural heritage and was much bigger and spacious than we had expected. Everything there is presented quite lovely.

We treated ourselves with a melon salad, some new drinks in the heat and bought local cookies, before we went to the huge Gregory of Nin statue, but forgot to rub the toe of the statue for good luck. Fortunately, we didn't drink from the nearby fountain - because we followed the water and some guy was washing his foot at the top of the little water channel leading to the fountain while another woman was bathing her child.

Being on our trip for some time, our wardrobe was now pretty much used up. We were not able to wash clothes for two weeks. Though we brought enough, the heat in the country kept us sweating alright and I usually take a shower three to four times a day. So we went shopping. We didn't really need much, our wardrobe just fell about one day short. We walked a bit, until we found a shopping center, which we had seen on our map. It didn't offer much, so we continued until we found a nice shopping mile. From there we came to the huge and beautiful Republic Square ("Trg republike"). After a short stop we slowly walked home on the nice promenade, passed by a grocery store and bought stuffs for dinner.

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