We came in late October just as the tourist season began to wane. It was an interesting transition from the hustle and bustle of the crowds and festivities to near silence. There were days in mid-November we would barely see a tourist until a cruise ship would arrive. Some of the restaurants and shops in the old town closed for the season and the ones that were open often adjust their schedule based on the arrival of the cruise ships. The touristy old town goes into hibernation until the spring when the next season starts.
It was definitely an intriguing time to visit, especially for an extended stay. We really enjoyed it!
We wanted to share some thoughts and tips, especially for visiting Split in the fall.
There’s a lot to do in Split and the surrounding area, including many beautiful UNESCO sites, which we didn't cover. Also, there are amazing outdoor adventures and intriguing local foods. For example, if you want a food adventure, right outside of Split there are towns that specializes in frogs and lamb. Split and Croatia seem like an endless adventure. We will be back for sure!
Come to Split and go exploring!
P.S. Sorry we have not provided updates about our boat as we promised, but I did sneak in a photo in the slide show above.
Grocery Beer Price Index: 7 kuna for 500ml Karlovako ($1)
No Dragons! This is probably the biggest disappointment after a week in Split. Of course that is a Game of Thrones reference. And we love GoT! Visiting and staying in Croatia you get to see many of the spots that the show was filmed in (scenes from Split). It's fantastic! Oh, you might catch us reenacting a scene or two as we walk through the city. It’s like waking someone sleepwalking – it's dangerous, be careful. ;-P
Split is so much more than GoT. It is the second largest city in Croatia behind Zagreb. It’s not only a tourist attraction with beautiful historical sights, but a city people actually live in. So you can find a genuine experience here.
After the first week, here are our top things to do.
It's not always perfect. Our apartment is beautiful and is built within the Diocletian Palace. The palace is more than 1700 years old, but living in a place like that has a few drawbacks. First, there are a lot of tourist/tour group that go by our door all day long. It’s busy and can sometimes be loud, but most of the time just festive. We are right next to the bell tower and the bells ring starting at 6am every morning and does so several times throughout the day. This hasn’t been a problem for me since I’ve been up before 5am every day, but I imagine once I get over jetlag it can be a problem. Finally, living in the old town, you can smell sulfur (or sewage) every so often. We’ve stayed in 3 apartments/hotels now in the old town and this has been a problem for all. You can even smell it on the Riva at times as well. Probably not a big problem for a short visit in town, but maybe something to think about if you are here for longer stay.
That is our impression after a week. It’s a great city to start our adventure. No dragons, but it’s been pretty amazing!
The next few weeks will be about working through more of the boat details. I know folks have been very curious on our social media accounts. We will be sharing some of that soon!
If you ever wonder if the sketch comedy Portlandia is a good representation of Portland, well you will have to discover it for yourself. Although it is not rare to find free range organic chickens in people’s backyard or bearded hipster tech worker on a fixie bike or a tattooed gluten-free master beer brewer in the city. Reality is probably much more interesting than fiction.
Portland is a place where academics (one of highest per capita with college education), nude cyclists (well established tradition), alt musician (The Dandy Warhols, Everclear, Pink Martini, Sleater-Kinney, The Shins, Blitzen Trapper, The Decemberists), environmentalist (top 5 greenest cities), craft brewers (more than 60 breweries), and food cart (over 700) purveyors can live together in harmony. Blend that with the beauty of the Northwest and intimacy of a small friendly city, Portland is a hard place to beat. It is one of our favorite places in the world.
We are spending most of our 3 weeks off before we head to Europe in the Portland area. We both essentially spent most of our formative years in Oregon and we both lived in Portland after college. Portland is a special place for us not because it amazing, but also that so many of our family and friends live in the area.
So what do we like to do while we are in Portland? It’s hard, as the city is constantly growing and evolving, to make absolute recommendations, but there’s a lot of great things. Here are our top things to explore when we are in Portland:
We hope that helps. The links we provided represent some of the quintessential things to check out while in Portland. Come visit Portland and don’t forget to be weird!
Grocery Beer Price Index: $1.85 for 12oz (355ml) Deschutes Mirror Pond