2019 Croatia: Last Minute Holiday
Last Minute Holiday to Croatia
17 October 2019 | Mri Grout
After a failed holiday a few months ago (vet emergency), months of crappy weather in the lakes, and a very busy couple of weeks at work, Rob and I were determined to get away for a bit of R&R.; We hadn't been out of the country since Iceland last year, so a trip abroad sounded appealing to the both of us. I wanted to visit Pompeii, Rob wanted the Alps, but we eventually settled on Split, Croatia thanks to a wonderful last minute holiday by Easyjet. Two people flying out from Manchester plus five nights accommodation for only £336? Yes, please! I booked it about a week ahead, by far the shortest time I've ever had to plan a holiday. This of course, made me stress like crazy as searching for things to do in Croatia was proving to be quite a challenge. It didn't help that I got distracted by car hire scam warnings and spent one of my very few days left to plan, searching which car company to go with. I was warning away from Sixt and Flizzr due to horrible reviews that mentioned they charge you for extras you refused, charging for scratches already on the car, and holding your deposit for months. After hours of researching, I settled with Nova Rental Car, booked via Auto Europe. And that was about all the planning I managed before getting on the plane... So fingers crossed it all goes well!
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Stepping Back Into Roman Croatia
18 October 2019 | Mri Grout
I love Croatia. The people are beyond frinedly. The landscape is overly beautiful. The climate in October is absolutely superb. And the culture is so laid back, it's relaxing just being here. Last night, Rob and I rocked up at our accomodation (Apartmani Seljacka Kuca) at 22.30 to find a man milking a cow. With his hands. In a shed. Right in the midle of the small town suburbs. It was where we were renting the apartment for the week and they also had donkeys, goats, chickens, and the craziest, friendliest dog. The woman running the apartment had prepared a small tray inside for us stacked with cheese and ham. There was also a jug of wine and a basket of bread. It was a really sweet and loving welcome, the perfect start to our trip. After a good night's sleep, Rob and I set out late in the morning. We headed into Omiš (pronounced something like 'ah-mish') to change our money into kuna, the Croatian currency. However all the car parking we could find required payment and we were hesitant to leave the car long enough to find a money exhange place and then come back to feed the metre. The ATM closest charged, but it also didn't give any coins and the parking metre required exact change so that wasn't a possibility anyway. Eventually we decided to just drive into Split - which was no hardship at all. (: We parked out of town at Joker mall, which offers three hours free parking and walked in to find some kuna. Unfortunately, Rob has been having foot pain for the last year and walking on even, hard pavement hurts too much for him to enjoy. so we didn't get to see as much of the city as I would have liked, but we saw enough of it that I would recommend a visit. You could probably spend a good hour or two walking around Diocletian's Palace in the old town. The alleys are small and windy and filled with numerous shops and eateries to catch your fancy. It's such a beautiful display of historical architecture that it's no wonder it was used as a setting in Game of Thrones.
Deciding it was too hot to walk up a mountain, we then decided to head to the beach. The waters here are so clear, it's insane. You can see right to the bottom as if looking through glass. There aren't many fish so very few sharks, and as far as I'm aware, no jellyfish. Swimming in Crotia has to be one of the most relaxing swimming experiences in the world. It's such a pity our snorkeling equipment was stolen in Spain though! I'll definitely have to get some more prescritpion goggles for our next trip. (: Finished with a swim (for now), we then headed to Solin to visit the ancient Roman ruins of Salona. They're based in the neighbouring town of Solin, a mere eight kilometres from the heart of Split, and were a wonderful finish to our first day in Croatia. You can feel the history clinging to the air, see the rich artisanship of the ancient carvers and architects with just a glance. Salona is more than just the old capital of the Roman prorvince of Dalmatia and the largest archeological park in Croatia. It's also the alleged birthplace of King Diocletian, the rediscovered home to over an estimate of 60,000 people. It's our past mingling our present and the most amazing place to sit and imagine the stories of our past.
Ruins are one my favourite places to seek out and enjoy because of this feeling of connection. If one believed in time traveling spots as portrayed in so many books and movies, then Salona would definitely be one of those places. You can walk between the columns of their ampitheature and end up in the middle of an ancient crowd screaming and rejoicing for death. You can sit down on a stone bench and close your eyes, only to open them to the steamy mist of a Roman sauna. You can walk the Roman road before suddenly being transported back to the life of a merchant. The fee to enter Salona is 15 kunas (roughly £1.75/€2/$2.25USD), but I gladly would have paid more than that.
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Travel Blog 2019 Croatia