I had another moment today when we were hiking through the forest in the sweltering heat. We were prepared this time for a hike and were decked out in our sports gear, buffs and all. We came out of the trees to an opening of a walking trail overlooking a gorgeous view of this crystal clear turquois water. Looking out at yachts and catamarans floating in the calm ocean and searching for a spot on the rocks Mark and I could jump in. It hit me. My god are we lucky. I have to remind myself sometimes where I am. So many times I have looked at Mark and said, “We’re in Croatia right now!!” Like the entire trip so far has been a dream and I need to be pinched and reminded that we are here, we are doing everything we set out to do! Those 5 week hitches and 14 hour days were all leading up to this…diving off a rock and floating around in the Adriatic sea in Croatia with the love of my life. Reminding myself how lucky I am. That I have given up my life twice to travel, with no hesitation or fear and to have done this by the age of 30 makes me extremely proud of myself. Its not always easy, I dont have a place to call home, I dont have pets, I’ve lived out of a bag for going on 5-6 years now and I couldn’t love life more in those moments during a hike in Croatia, sitting on a beach in Spain or driving through the Great Ocean Road in Australia.
Split has been pretty amazing so far. The heat here is different from Turkey. Less intense and a bit more humid. Dont get me wrong, its still stinking hot at about 30 degrees but it does cool down at night and you usually get a wonderful breeze coming off the ocean between the buildings. This place reminds me a lot of Santorini in way. Just because of the type of people you have here. A lot of tourists, mainly younger crowds in their early 20s. This seems to be a huge party hub as bars and clubs stay open until 6am. We noticed that the beaches dont fill up until mid afternoon so our guess is that most are too hung over to come to the beach before 1pm.
We spent a day walking through the streets, getting to know our area and checking out the downtown area. We are really close to everything at our Airbnb and central is about a 5 minute walk away. The harbour is really beautiful. Filled with high end shops and restaurants along the walking street and a foot path to follow the water and gaze at the expensive yachts docked near the shore. Some with ski-dos and even helicopters sitting on the top deck. I secretly hope while walking by someone will invite us in and take us for a spin but that hasn’t happened yet….
About a 20-30 min walk from our place is a pretty nice beach called Jezinac. Usually packed with people but you’re still able to easily find a spot to lay your towels down. It stretches pretty far and is lined with change rooms, showers and toilets. There is also a bar and restaurant to enjoy a drink at or eat some food. Its a great spot for an easy swim but bring an umbrella if you can, there isn’t much shade.
That evening we headed down to Josipa Jurja Park where they had a big screen set up to watch the World Cup. France beat Belgium 1-0. It was a really amazing experience and the atmosphere was so cool. There was definitely more France fans than Belgium there but that didn’t keep the Belgians quiet. They battled back and forth with their team chants and threw beer in the air when they scored. We went back the following night to watch the England and Croatia game. Mark stood out in his Manchester United jersey, taunted by a few Croats but in good fun for sure! While he walked through the crowd he got stopped on 3 occasions by other England fans to take a picture with him in his jersey, high fiving him and yelling “Lingard!” Not much of a change from all the other places we’ve traveled when he’s wearing his United jersey. We’ve gotten discounts because of that jersey! Unfortunately the outcome of the game wasn’t what we had hoped but it was still amazing to be apart of! They sure love their flares here, every time they scored they lit one up in the middle of the crowd to look like they had a bonfire going! You always worry about that “mob mentality” though, so we made sure to head home quickly to be safe.
The day we hiked through Marjan Forest Park was the best day we’ve had in Split so far. A gorgeous hot day, not a cloud in the sky, we hiked mainly uphill to a lookout viewing the entire harbour and city. This place has gorgeous green mountains surrounding the city making it quite the sight and picturesque. We were headed the same direction as the other day towards Jezinac Beach when we actually bumped into a local taking his pet donkey for a leisurely stroll. We began to question him about the area and pointed us in the opposite direction as we intended to go. I am so glad we listened to him cause where we ended up was ten times better than the beach. Plenty of spots along the waterline to find a place to enjoy at your own privacy. We found a cozy little spot along some rocks to place our stuff and walk into the water. The water is pretty amazing here. Its so salty that it barely takes any effort to float. Mark and I love to dive down to the bottom when we swim but you cant even do that here, you get pushed right back up to the top pretty quickly but it makes floating almost effortless. This is definitely a spot we will go back to a few times before our time ends here in Split. We are very much enjoying being in one spot for a week!
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