Today, we met with Stella, our guide through old town Split. I thought our tour might not happen though, because on our way there, the wind whipped up and it began to pour. Fortunately, it quickly stopped, and we found Stella waiting for us outside the southern gates of Diocletian’s Palace.
Built 4th century AD as a retirement palace for the emperor Diocletian, modern day homes and shops have sprung up inside, preserving much of the complex. These new buildings give the whole thing a jumbled up feeling. New and old clash in a subtle way in most cases. Can you guess what’s old and what’s “new” below?
The rock used to make the walls was quarried on the island of Brac. To my surprise, the stone used to build the White House and Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris also came from Brac.
Below is the “new” bell tower juxtaposed against these ancient stone walls.
This sculpture was made by Ivan Meštrović. He also did the Nickola Tesla statue in Zagreb, the bowman and the spearman in Chicago, St. Jerome the Priest DC, and Gregory of Nin in split (seen here. Rub his big toe for good luck). After fleeing communism, he died at Notre Dame where he was an artist in residence.
On the way down, Stella showed us a tiny “fast” food place that makes these rolled up hamburger type things called cevapi. That is, the meat looks like little rolls and the bread like a cross of pita and foccia. Perfect street food and delicious – especially with the sauce.
Interestingly, Croatians in general think we are either German or Canadian which to me means Americans aren’t coming in throngs yet. There are HUGE tour groups of Europeans and Asians, however, and at times they prevented us from moving forward with our tour. With this being the shoulder season, I’d hate to see high season.
Tomorrow is more Split. But more importantly, Croatia plays Czech Republic in the Euro Cup tomorrow. Good thing the boys are ready with their jerseys!