A boat ride from Dubrovnik to Split not only saved me from a time consuming passport check at the border of Bosnia but also gave me a chance to stop by Korcula and Hvar islands en route to Split. After eight and a half hours sailing on the Adriatic, I arrived at Split around 18:30 which was still not too late to find my accommodation for the night. On the Lonely Planet map of Split, the Diocletian Palace is a walled city but in reality the buildings are either built over the walls or the walls are gone, either way I couldn't find the walls and ended up walking much farther then I should have. An orchestra rehearsal in the Trg Republike caught my attention, I walked in the square and seeing the Hotel Bellevue made me realize how far I was away from the "used to be" walled palace, and I finally navigated myself back to the B&B Kastel 1700.
I couldn't find any restaurants that were recommended by the hotel staff, so I went to one of the restaurants listed in Lonely Planet to challenge their language skills as in the book it stated: Sperun, is a favourite among the foreigners possibly because the waiters seem to speak every language under the sun. Well, it had proven that Mandarin is still one of the tough languages to master even for waiters who seem to speak every language under the sun. And the secret of its popularity among foreigners in this restaurant was, my personal feeling, good hospitality: the chef moved among the customers and a free bottle of water service made this a cozy restaurant.
From a postcard of the old Diocletian Palace, the city was divided into 4 quarters by two straight roads crossing in the center of the city. Each wall has a gate named after metals: gold, bronze, silver and iron for north, south, east and west gates, respectively. From the eastern to western gates, a straight road, Kredimirova, separates the imperial on the southern side from the northern side that was used by soldiers and servants as living quarters. Today, the definition of the old city walls are lost in buildings; bars, shops, restaurants and local residents mix with historical sites, museums and cathedrals. A few turns in the labyrinthine streets in Diocletian Palace, I couldn't tell which direction was north, so I put maps away and just followed my heart then I heard acapella singing from the Vestibule. Like a miniature Pantheon in Rome, the echo in the Vestibule creates the best stereo system for such an enchanting acapella performance.
I loved Trogir at first sight. Trogir is a small island about 30km north from Split, it is connected to the mainland and Ciovo island by 2 bridges on each side creating a 360 degree natural canal that surrounds the island. Unlike Split, it is much quieter and relaxing. Luxury yatchs docked at the trogirshi channel, sitting on a bench by a wide seaside promenade that hosts bars and restaurants, I watched the crowd flow in the sunset. It was so peaceful that I was startled by occational loud exclamations coming from the soccer fans in restaurants behind me. If you ever go to Croatia, you must stop in Trogir, it is a gem.
All public transportations, train, bus and ferry, are next to the Split harbor that is about 300 meters away from the Diocletain Palace.
Split Card is available at the tourist office in the Diocletian palace. 36KN/5Euro for one card and it is valid for 72 hours; the best part is if you are staying in Split for 3 days you can get it for free! The card gives you free access to most of the city museums, half price discounts to many galleries and tons of discounts on car rental, restaurants, shops and hotels. (Details at : http://www.visitsplit.com/15145/split-card/)
Diocletian' Palace Map: Inside; outside
Trogir online: http://www.trogir-online.com/index.asp