Split

Split travel highlights

Diocletian's Palace, Split Croatia - cultivatedrambler.comstayed: An air bnb a stone throw’s distance from Diocletian’s Palace and the ferry terminal. The road out front was a tad bit noisy but the place was super clean with a lovely view. Everything we needed to see was within walking distance and the host snagged us a free parking spot. Score.

Diocletian's Palace cellars, Split Croatia - cultivatedrambler.comsaw: Another Leslie version of the Rick Steves tour. I guess you COULD pay for a tour, but the palace was pretty straightforward to explore. We did pay to see the cellars of the palace, which were re-discovered in the 1950s. It had been a sewage tank and garbage dump from the Middle Ages on, so there was a lot to clean up but much to discover. They also shot some scenes from Game of Thrones in the cellars so you know this fan had to check it out.

Klis Fortress, Split Croatia - cultivatedrambler.comKlis Fortress, Split Croatia - cultivatedrambler.comKlis Fortress, Split Croatia - cultivatedrambler.comKlis Fortress. OK, if you are a serious Game of Thrones fan like moi, then this is another stop for you! The fortress is perched above Split and scenes from season four were filmed here. As we were exploring, we came across these two dudes sword fighting. They invited us over, let us take photos AND showed us how to use a bow and arrow. The look on my face says it all. HEAVEN.

Split Sailing, Croatia - cultivatedrambler.comA day-long private sailing trip. Granted, our captain was MAYBE 17 years old and spent a lot of time on his cell phone but he took us to this lovely cove. He also made us a delicious lunch and we swam and snorkeled the rest of the afternoon. I’ve never seen so many sea urchins in my life! We also had the surprise of a neighboring boat with a nude couple on board. How European! 🙂 Note to travelers – try the anchovies in Croatia. They are gooood!

Split waterfront, Croatia - cultivatedrambler.comconquered: Walking on those slick white stones that seem to be everywhere in the palace. I’d hate to be there in a rain storm. It’d be ankle break city.

Split ferry terminal, Croatia - cultivatedrambler.comAdam conquered climbing to the top of the bell tower. Yours truly did not. My fear of heights is far too great and I was “that person” waiting at the bottom, desperately clinging to the railing.

Anchovies in Split, Croatia - cultivatedrambler.comEating anchovies.

A little bit of relaxation!

Split, Croatia - cultivatedrambler.comTHE BEST action shot ever.

other travel notes: The food wasn’t my favorite here and we had some sticker shock when shopping around for dinner every night. I ordered a seafood risotto for lunch one day and it tasted like they used sea water to make it. Ick. This is where our “split a pizza” dinner started and we pretty much did that for the rest of our trip. Note to travelers – pretty much every place we went had their menus out front so you could check it out before committing. I liked ones that had lots of people dining since it meant it was probably decent.

Croatian coastline - cultivatedrambler.comFor some reason I didn’t realize that the Croatia coastline would be that rocky and mountainous. Towns were literally shoved on these steep cliffs right next to the ocean. That crazy coastline made for some fun driving too. I loved looking for a small line of cars on the side of the road, indicating that there was a little sunbathing beach below!Split, Croatia - cultivatedrambler.com

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Decisions, decisions

image1The most common question I got prior to our trip was, “Why did you choose those countries?” When people think of Europe, I suspect London, Paris or any city in Italy comes to mind. Slovenia and Bosnia probably aren’t on most people’s radars and granted, they weren’t on mine either at first.

But in comes my most favorite of all favorite shows, Game of Thrones. Many of the scenes in recent seasons have been filmed in Croatia and that got me thinking…what ABOUT Croatia? I started doing some research and I came across my dear friend Rick Steves Eastern Europe itinerary. After googling a few of the places, we were sold! History, castles, coastline and cheap accommodations? Sign us up.

I basically took his suggested itinerary and adjusted it to the amount of time we were going to be there. Here’s what we ended up with:

Amsterdam, Netherlands – This stop was an add-on more than anything as the cheapest flight was found through here so we added two days to our trip. The flight from Seattle (with a quick stop in Iceland) was really an easy flight. Highly recommended flying into Amsterdam.

Prague, Czech Republic – Seemed only fitting to really start our trip with a visit to the “Paris of the East!” Plus, it’s one of the few cities that was untouched by the war.

Krakow, Poland – Per my hubby’s request. I should have given us a bit more time here, but it’s hard to narrow it down.

Budapest, Hungary – Also seemed to be a “not to miss” place. Like Krakow, another day would have been great here.

Ljubljana, Slovenia – Recommended by a colleague of mine. She said to add a day to this stop and she was SO right. Give this country at least 3 days.

Zagreb, Croatia – The capitol of Croatia. Not a ton to see, but it worked well logistically in our travel plans. It was a good place to reorganize and pick up our rental car for the drive down the coast.

Split, Croatia – Featured on the Game of Thrones. Enough said.

Mostar, Bosnia – A quick side trip that was the biggest unknown. Will it be safe? How’s the drive? What will we do there? All valid questions that were immediately answered as soon as we crossed the border from Croatia. Yes. Easy. Eat, drink and sight see!

Dubrovnik, Croatia – Also a Game of Thrones filming location not to mention a VERY romantic city. A great place to end our journey!

We spent anywhere from 2 to 3 days in each city, which was fine for some and not enough time for others. It was definitely an ambitious itinerary to say the least. As soon as you got semi-comfortable, it was time to pack up and run to the next train. I’m pretty sure we’ll never travel like this again, but it was a memorable learning experience all around!

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