SPLIT, CROATIA

I’m finally back after a month (ish) of travelling and I just want to write a little post about each of my final two destinations: Split and Dubrovnik.

I arrived in Split on the 31st of July and stayed at En Route hostel for 5 nights. This hostel is perfect for anyone who is travelling especially if you decide to travel solo as it has such a great atmosphere and there is a lot of opportunities to socialise. It’s also only a short 10 minute walk from all the nightlife/activities/restaurants but there is a supermarket round the corner and other places to eat and drink nearby.

The following day we went to find some of the Game of Thrones locations that Split had to offer – which isn’t too many but enough to give us something to do. We found the dungeons where Daenerys keeps her dragons, and her throne room in the city of Meereen and we also found the spot wher Ser Barristan Selmy dies (RIP). We then drank mojitos for breakfast and ate açai bowls (which I had never tried before and they were delicious!). We generally spent the majority of the day exploring the centre and visiting souvenir shops. We even found one that had a replica of the iron throne so of course this was the perfect opportunity for some pictures. In the evening, after having about 3 cold showers as a result of the 34 degree heat, we went to Bokkamora for pizza – which was absolutely delicious and well worth the 25 minute walk – before heading up to the Marian peak for a view over the city and a stroll through the forest park. The views from the top were stunning and made the climb up worth it.

On our second day, we took a day trip to Krka National Park, the home of some of the most stunning waterfalls I have ever seen. This place was like something out of a children’s fairytale book with the park hosting over 1000 species and subspecies of flora and fauna. I felt in my element and inspired to write stories about this beautiful area. The only downside to the park was the vast number of tourists allowed in at the same time. Perhaps limiting this would help reduce any damage to the natural landscape. Of course, you are also allowed to swim in one of the waterfalls in the national park, known as Skradinski Buk, but getting pictures without people in the background proved challenging. Fortunately, we found a small spot on the opposite side of the waterfall which looked like it would hold the potential for some great photographs. It took a lot of climbing and I thought my feet would honestly drop off with the pain of standing on sharp rocks and branches but we got there and it was well worth it.

The next day, I decided to take a trip to another Game of Thrones location situated just 20 minutes outside of Split: the beautiful Klis Fortress which doubles as the city of Meereen. The fortress sits amongst the hills and looks out across the city and the Adriatic Sea. It was magical and I really did feel like Khaleesi waiting on her dragons. I took an Uber back into the city and visited the shopping malls to buy some souvenirs and chill for a while. I thought about catching a movie but saw that there was another mall a 25 minute walk away. I thought there was no point in wasting the hot weather so began walking towards it. Of course, it would only be me that got caught in the only torrential rain that occurred the whole trip and I ended up having to walk through the shopping mall dripping from head to toe, my white t-shirt turned completely see through. I even had to replace my shoes.

That same night turned out to be one of the best nights out I’ve had on my entire Europe trip – and very entertaining. After having some drinks at the hostel and meeting some lovely girls from England, we headed out with the intention of going dancing and just having a good night without drinking too much. But even at midnight, the city of Split was roasting hot, at least 30 degrees and all the bars are filled with people. So we thought, what better way to cool off than to jump in the fountain in the middle of Split city centre? We planned it so that we could get in and just get our feet wet before the fountain started spraying any water, that way we wouldn’t get completely soaked. Of course, we miscalculated and all three of us ended up absolutely drenched. I don’t think I’ve laughed as much in a long time, especially walking down the promenade with water trailing behind me (again – but this time less embarrassed as I wasn’t alone). We sat in a bar for an hour before heading back to the hostel where we met a grown man who had managed to lose his shoes, wallet, keys and couldn’t remember the name of his hotel. He also hadn’t brought his phone on holiday and was travelling alone so we offered to let him log in to his email to check the name of the hotel. Of course, yahoo wanted verification that it was actually him but he had no way of verifying this so we all ended up sitting on the steps of our hostel keeping home company for 2 and a half hours before he eventually packed it in and went to find someone else who might help him. It was such a nice feeling sitting with all these new people hearing their life stories and experiences and I think that is my favourite part about travelling.

On our last full day in Split we decided to go sea kayaking in the evening where we were taken to a small beach for cliff jumping, swimming and snorkelling. After my near death experience (no exaggeration whatsoever) jumping off a boat in Thailand last Summer, I passed on the cliff jumping and decided to swim around in the beautiful waters for a while beneath the setting sun (very poetic – I know). This was a highlight for me especially watching the sunset on the horizon, being in a kayak always makes my heart happy, just not when I’m being thrown down a river as I discovered last year.

Split was absolutely beautiful but for me it was a little too ‘party island’ if that makes sense. I’m not really into going out a lot so I think Dubrovnik was much more my style.

Laura.

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