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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

BACKPACKING EUROPE: Split, Croatia

A view from the sea, Split
Friday 1st May, 2016

It was a 3 hour bus ride from Zadar to Split and although it was hot and sweaty and a little claustrophobic, the view of the Dalmatian Coast really made up for it. As we stepped off the bus, the thick and humid air surrounded us immediately. Feeling irritable and argumentative, as we were bombarded by locals asking us if we needed a room, Jack and I decided to take a time out (before we killed each other) and grab a cold drink before we headed to our hostel.

The walk to the hostel was pretty exhausting. We kept going in the wrong direction and down the wrong street and the weight of our backpacks, coupled with the sticky atmosphere, made me even more irritable and argumentative than before. If we didn't get to our hostel within the next 5 minutes, I was going to scream.

Walking into Back Pack Sack I instantly felt relieved, as the air conditioning swept over me. The hostel was small, quiet and full of bright colours and I liked it immediately. Suzie, (the manager and owner) was a kind and friendly, welcoming lady with a very bubbly personality. After she showed us to our dorm room (which was super cozy and spacious), we sat in the kitchen for a little while conversing over coffee and biscuits. Feeling refreshed and ready to see all that Split had to offer, we left the hostel and began to explore.

The beautiful houses of Split


Side streets of Split Old Town
Although, Split was surrounded by sea, mountains and vibrant architecture, it was very crowded and full of people so it was difficult to appreciate the Croatian culture. To be honest, all I wanted to do was sit in the shade with a cocktail and admire the Adriatic sea but as the restaurants along the port front were ridiculously expensive and ridiculously crowded, Jack and I decided to venture down one of the side streets to find a cheaper restaurant instead. After a glass of white wine and a pricey Mediterranean salad, we roamed around the town. We spent ages wandering through Dicoletian's Palace, a Romanesque complex (also featured in Season 4 and 5 of Game of Thrones), which surrounds most of the Old Town in Split. It was pretty beautiful actually.

The centre of Diocletian's Palace

The remains of Diocletian's Palace and it's Sphinx's 


An ancient tomb in Diocletian's Palace


After a day of sightseeing, we went back to our hostel to freshen up for dinner and having read that Croatia offers some of the best seafood in Europe, I was really excited to try it for myself. As we weren't hungry just yet, we decided to check out the nightlife in Split first so we headed to Charlie's Bar (a bar recommended for backpacker's) with a really sweet Columbian girl called Lena who was also staying at our hostel.

The bar was pretty cool actually, it was decorated with belongings and memories of previous backpackers and the drinks were really cheap. A few jugs of beer and some embarrassing dance moves later, Jack, Lena and I decided it was time for food so we headed to a nearby restaurant. Having craved seafood all day, I decided to go with a seafood platter. As the waiter placed it in front of me, my mouth watering with hunger and excitement, I couldn't wait to get stuck in but as I chewed away at a king prawn and some baby squid, I was extremely disappointed. The prawns were pale, grey colour and the rest of the seafood platter was tasteless and obviously not fresh. It was that shit that it put me off trying any more seafood in Croatia. The restaurant was right next to the seafront and advertised 'fresh fish' so the fact that they were serving frozen fish made me feel sad and unsatisfied. I decided to just get over it and not complain, perhaps it was karma for not sticking to our daily budget, again! So after a very disappointing meal and a day of ancient admiration, we headed back to our hostel for a good nights sleep, as we were leaving Split tomorrow.

Goodbye Split





Overall, I would say that Split is a very busy and exuberant city, with a balance of tradition and modernity and although, it is very beautiful and has plenty to admire, it is pretty expensive for backpackers. I would still recommend it to fellow travellers though, as it's great for photography and is a good way to experience the relaxed, Dalmatian lifestyle. Just make sure you definitely stay at Back Pack Sack and don't eat the seafood unless you know it's fresh!


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9 comments

  1. I'm going to Croatia this summer, so excited it looks gorgeous in your pictures! x

    adelelydia.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh lovely! Croatia is such a beautiful place. I have a few more posts on Croatia, which will be up this week so check them out for more inspiration :) Thanks for your comment. Daniela ox

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  2. stunning! I love your blog :) I visited croatia very briefly a couple of years ago when holidaying in the neighbouring slovenia, they both are very similar and both quite beautiful.
    You must visit Ljubljana and tell me what you think!

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    1. hahaha! looks like you have visited already!!

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  3. Aw thank you much for your kind words :) Yes, Croatia is very beautiful. I ended up spending two weeks there last year because I loved it that much. I have more posts on Croatia, which I'm looking forward to writing and they will be up this week if you're interested.
    Slovenia is amazing, I visited Ljubljana back in April and I loved it! You can read about it here if you like: http://wanderinginthenow.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/backpacking-europe-ljubljana-slovenia.html

    Daniela :)

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  4. I guessing that it was 2015? Hopefully that area will remain somewhat safe so that my husband is able to enjoy the adventures that this community has had. He has worked a normal job and has been so responsible, always supporting my self-employment. Thank you so much for the tips, as I hope to let him quit his job soon. No sense in waiting until you're older to see the world - better to live life to the fullest!
    Best wishes in love & war!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I guessing that it was 2015? Hopefully that area will remain somewhat safe so that my husband is able to enjoy the adventures that this community has had. He has worked a normal job and has been so responsible, always supporting my self-employment. Thank you so much for the tips, as I hope to let him quit his job soon. No sense in waiting until you're older to see the world - better to live life to the fullest!
    Best wishes in love & war!

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  6. Traveling to Croatia and other exotic locales around Europe has got to be one of the best life experiences ever, the rich cuisine, engaging culture, and countless ideal locations for learning more about the area's long history. I only wish that I was able to be in your shoes, seeing the world firsthand.

    Gregory @ Harbor Grill

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Have a great day ॐ

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