The Jadrolinija ferry pulled in to the ferry port close to Stari Grad on Hvar Island around 4:30p, disgorged passengers, vehicles, and workers began scrubbing down the hull. We stood, and watched until boarding began at 5:00p. While standing on deck, a second, larger Jadrolinija ship pulled into port loaded with half naked passengers who were sprawled over the top deck, getting in those last rays of sun. This ferry was heading to Bari, Italy via Split and even though it left after us, it still arrived in Split five minutes before we did.
Off the ferry two hours later in Split, all of today’s cruise ships had departed. At least two a day pulled into Split’s harbor, inundating the small area inside Emperor Diocletian’s Palace. Gone today by 7:30p was:
- Royal Caribbean’s gigantic Splendour of the Seas with 1,800 passengers (glad we were in Hvar), 69,130 Gross Tonnage, Rock-climbing wall, 18-hole miniature golf course; and
- The Ocean Majesty, originally built as the ferry Juan March in 1966, with 535 passengers. This ship has been renamed, owned and operated by many different companies since then and now runs charters.
Even if a person isn’t “starving” to begin with walking around Split, you will be in a nanosecond. Every third place was either a fast-food stand, bakery, ice cream or cafe. Not that we need urging, we’re always ready to eat. I had already decided where to dine and immediately made our way through the still crowded streets to Apetit Bistro/Restaurant. This restaurant is always crowded since they have a daily special of soup, salad, fish or grilled meat for 12 Euro ($17 U.S.). Ordering off the extensive menu can sometimes add up to a few Euro less which is what we did. One-half carafe of very good red wine. A salad to “split” in Split (yuk-yuk), grilled chicken breast with french fries for me, rump steak with grilled vegetables and french fries (chips) for Steve. Nice sized portions, “adequate” tasting food.
As long as we’re talking about food… Walk through the nice-sized Ribarnica fish market during the day (close to Republic Square or follow your nose) to ogle a bountiful array of all sea critters being cut, weighed, and bought. I only wish someone could have told me what the different fishes were (supermarkets at home have nice signs in front of each fish otherwise I’m clueless). This market has stood in this location since 1843. Get there early for the biggest impact, a bit of advice we never followed.
My favorite fish market sight had to be the woman in the photograph below, carrying her whole fishes down the street in a plastic bag.
Although filled to the brim with food, we still managed to squeeze in one more ice cream before exiting Diocletian’s Palace through the Golden Gate.
We’ll really examine the architectural wonders of Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, built for his retirement, tomorrow… What a day today was!