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Croatia: Buzzing city of Split

Croatia's second largest city, Split is a great place to see Dalmatian life as it's really lived. Always buzzing, this exuberant city has just the right balance between tradition and modernity. 

For me, this is actually the meeting point (did you catch my pun?) with my friends (Adela, Irina and Tache). With the four of us we are going to do a road trip along the coast of Croatia, to discover Northern & Central Dalamtia and Istria.

We stayed in Split for 3 nights and only 2 days full to discover the city.

In the first day we went to two beaches and did a hike on the way back through Marjan Forest Park.

The first stop of the day was this amazing viewpoint at Marjan. This is a good spot to enjoy beautiful sunsets, like the one captured in the cover photo above. In the morning when we got there was quiet. On the way back in the evening it was bustling with people wanting to capture the last rays of sun.

Viewpoint to Marjan
After taking some instagramable pictures at the viewpoint with no tourists in the background or waiting behind, we went for breakfast at Kat's Kitchen Deli.
Absolutely delicious 
After a copious breakfast we headed towards the first beach: Kupalište Kaštelet (no idea how to pronounce it!). The picture speaks for itself what to expect, words are unnecessary. One thing we should have known before: there are no facilities nearby (no toilet, shops, beach bars). It's worth coming to this side of the city because it's quite and peaceful, but come prepared with water and snacks!
In love with the turquoise water 
One more practical thing, most of the beaches in Croatia are rocky and pebbly, so a pair of water shoes are very handy!
We spent a few hours sunbathing and swimming in the cool water! Afterwards we moved to the next neighbouring beach: Kasjuni Beach. I loved this one better mainly because of its green surroundings and the background hills. 

Can't stop enjoying the water. After getting my swim diploma this summer I feel more confident to swim even when the water becomes deeper.
Kasjuni beach from a different angle
And the good part about this beach is that there are two beach bars where you can grab something to eat or drink. After we enjoyed the refreshing water and the warm sun of September we started our ascending to Marjan Forest Park.

The hike is easy, most of the paths are like the one above. 

Adela is leading the way!
Group picture!
The steep stairs were worth climbing for the amazing view from the top.

There were a few small churches on the way, this one in particular, was beautiful with the concrete bricks that were reflecting the golden hour light.
Near Split there are a lot of small and bigger islands
I want to return to Croatia for an island hopping adventure.
The red dotted trail from the middle is the one we tried to follow from the left corner to the right. The point on the right side is the viewpoint that we visited in the morning.

The path on one side, the sea on the other side

Can't get enough of this landscape!

This corner was at the church above where we took advantage of the perfect light for a photo session
After swimming all day and the hike on the way back we deserved a feast!

A feast with fish and seafood

You can see inside Irina and Tache
The restaurant where we ate was Konoba Marjan. The waiter was showing us the catch of the day to choose what kind of fish we want. The square in front of the restaurant is very charming.

After dinner we went for a stroll down the old city streets.
In front of Diocletian's palace there was a band playing at one of the restaurants on the left side and people from the audience were dancing on those rhythms.

For the second day we booked a kayak tour in the morning and we spent the afternoon discovering the old town of Split.
The tour was amazing! We were so lucky to be the only ones booking the tour and we ended up having a private experience. And compared with other tours we found this one combined kayaking on a river and sea. We booked the experience through Airbnb but this is their address: SUP Center Split, Adriatic-SUP.

We got to see also a mini-waterfall
It was possible to choose also SUP instead of kayak. I did the river route on the kayak and then asked the guide to try SUP on his board.

What a big difference compared with the first time I tried last year. I was feeling so relaxed and even when there were small waves I was so calm and just ride with the wave. I want to do it again soon!

The entire tour took around 3h more or less. We also stopped at a small beach to swim or do snorkeling. 
Lunch please! Shrimp gnocchi seem to be popular here
In the afternoon we explored the Roman monuments that stand still also today. Split is famous for one of the most imposing ancient Roman structures in existence today, Dioclentian's Palace, which is also UNESCO heritage. I will let the pictures to guide you through this impressive complex. I would say close your eyes and imagine being brought back to 4th century AD but you can't see the pictures anymore.

The Golden Gate - the biggest and the grandest of city gates

A Roman cat guarding the city

The Romanesque bell tower was reconstructed in 1908

The Vestibul

I love this picture! I was the right moment to capture this moment. At every step there's a cat

The tables on the right side are on the stairs and they remind me a lot of a similar spot in Lisbon

There are around 3000 residents within the palace walls

This is a queue for an ice-cream. We passed around this place a couple of times and we decided to queue to see what's the fuss about this place: Gelateria Emiliana

Was it worth waiting ~20 minutes? YES!!! 
Our stay in Split ends here. Next stop is Pula for another 3 nights and on the way there we are going to stop in the historic city of Trogir, which is another UNESCO site.


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