28 June: Returning to Split, our final night cruising

Author: Mrs A

Location: Stanići, Omiš and Split, Croatia

We left the island of Brač early and were mored up near Stanići and the bikes unloaded by 8am. Within half an hour we were off on our day’s cycle, relieved at the cooler temperatures (only 27 degrees centigrade) and early morning shade.

Riding along the waterfront in Omiš

Our ride took us along the coast a short way to Omiš and then followed the River Cetina for a way before climbing up into the hills.

“Car back”…”Passing”…the constant call as we ride along the riverside

Unlike our island cycleways which had little shade, many of the roads were treelined and cool, and there was a lovely breeze to help refresh us on the climb up the switchbacks into the mountains.

Oliver takes a second to look at our beautiful surrounds
Appreciating every scrap of shade that comes our way!
A drink break beside the river
Climbing up and up
The hills keep on coming
At 70 years young, Don is our most senior cyclist, but completes the ride with ease and no battery!
The strongest riders making it first up to our next rest stop
Final ride team photo – Mrs A, Mr A, Tim P, Paul, Oliver, Don, Glen, S-J, Dave, Tracie, Michelle and Tim C

Once up at the top we had the reward of a winding descent back down to the river and back along to the boat.

Space and dry mountain tops
The lower reaches of the River Cetina
One of the many butterflies that kept us company on our ride

We finished our 28.5km ride with a swim before lunch was served and the boat upped anchor and headed off to our final destination, Split.

Our boat docked in Split, the seventh boat in a row of cruise boats of different shapes and sizes. We had to jump between boats to reach the shore, and set off to explore.

Split is quite unique in that it combines a literal maze of streets within the fortifications of a former Roman palace built for the Emperor Diocletian. The historical core of Split was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.

The Silver Gate entrance into the palace
The Peristyle – the palace’s magnificent courtyard is a popular space for relaxation in the shade. Much of the marble for the pillars has been mined from Brač, the island we left this morning.
Look out for the perfectly preserved 3,500 year old black sphinx here, taken from Egypt by Diocletian’s armies.
The temple tower

Split old town was our destination, and we were immediately taken with the combination of new with old, older and very old architecture. Roman pillars integrated with medieval archways, topped with Venetian style balconies and more Roman architecture. The limestone pavements are worn smooth with centuries of feet walking across them. It was Friday afternoon and the streets were bustling with tourists exploring, but it was not hard to escape them.

Everywhere you walk you cannot help but look up to see layers upon layers of architecture
Of course it would not be a Croatian town without cats…
Check out those ice rink polished floors…plenty of quality shops to browse through
Quiet little alleyways host restaurants and stairways to whole new worlds
Many keep looking at ground level at the variety of shops selling shoes, jewellery, knives, bags, food…but look up and you can observe more than 600 years of architecture
A refreshing juice is just the ticket for a late afternoon pick me up

We enjoyed exploring the little lanes, the warm afternoon dictating our route through the maze – if there was shade, we’d head in that direction. I found a gorgeous bracelet from an artist in Studio Naranča – she has glass beads custom made for her on an island just off Venice and shipped over to create bracelets, earrings and necklaces. If you’re in town, check it out! We stopped for a fresh juice in a shady square, taking the opportunity to just sit and people watch for a few minutes.

New bracelet!
The underground shopping area is hosted within part of the ancient palace’s sub structures

We went back to the boat for showers and get ready for a final night’s dinner with our friends. Tomorrow everyone goes their separate ways – some returning to home, others continuing travels throughout Europe or elsewhere in the world. For us, it is back to Truffy the truck and life on the road.

We still have a few days in the area, and definitely plan to come back and explore Split a little more. Meanwhile this was a great finale to a fabulous week exploring the coast and islands between Dubrovnik and Split. In many ways it feels like we just had a taster of several areas, and we definitely have a wish list of places to return to and explore further.

A delicious final meal at Mazzgoon – highly recommended
Courtyard dining at Mazzgoon
Just a young cat watching dinner from an old Roman pillar….

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