From Zagreb, we headed out to the beautiful coast of Croatia! We flew into the Split airport, but opted to stay in the charming town of Trogir rather than in the city of Split. We only had one full day on the coast so we took the bus into Split and spent most of the day there!
The bus dropped us off right along one side of Diocletian’s Palace, which makes up a good part of Split’s old town at the center of the city. While it is called a palace, it’s actually more like a fortress with pedestrian streets and buildings within its walls. It was built in the 4th century AD for Diocletian, a Roman emperor who wanted to retire to Split.
Having had such a good experience on our walking tour of Zagreb, our first order of business was finding a walking tour of the palace. We did an hour and a half tour with the blue umbrella tour group, and our tour guide was very enthusiastic and passionate about the city and its history. As we walked around the palace, we learned about all the different influences making up what we see today – from the Romans who first built it to the Christians who were there centuries later, both made their mark on the palace.
The walking tour ended near the center of the palace in front of the Cathedral of St. Domnius. We went inside to get a look at the smallest cathedral in Europe and then started climbing the bell tower. Now I’m not usually afraid of heights, but this climb had me shaking by the time I made it to the top! It began with large stone steps that were so steep at some points, I was using my hands and feet; then about a third of the way up, they turned into metal stairs with only a little railing between you and the open windows of the tower! Plus there’s only one way up so we had to share to steps with people on their way back down – I was glad it wasn’t the busy season! But after all that, the climb was worth it – the view of the city was incredible!
After the just-as-scary climb back down the bell tower, we walked along the water for about 20 minutes to the marina, where turning around, we had a great view of the old town across the water! We got dinner at a restaurant right next to the marina and then wandered up to a park just behind the marina.
Then we walked back into town to find the bus station and headed back to Trogir for the night! More on Trogir coming soon!