17 Oct 2014

Croatia by abbieredmon

6/8

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After taking the (very) early morning ferry over from Hvar (sadly 6:30a and 7:30a are the only options), I spent the day in Split.

It's a nice city with some interesting corners. The palace is in the middle of the old walled city, and its architecture is very Greco-Roman -- lots of columns and arched entrances, etc. I walked up some very acrophobic-unfriendly stairs to see the view from the bell tower, which was nice.

The city looks and feels quite old, and the narrow streets of the walled section are unique and characterful.

I perused the truly massive outdoor fruit and vegetable market set up outside the south/east gate, and I had hot tea and gelato (what? that's a normal combination) in the main square right outside the north/west gate.

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On my afternoon wanders, I found the smallest chapel I've ever seen literally built into the north wall of the old city.

A nondescript staircase takes you up into a corner where two of the city walls meet. Through a door, you find this minuscule chapel, with a old nun standing quietly inside.

She smiled, I smiled.

The room is approximately six feet wide, and maybe 20 feet deep. There is a small altar. Everything is stone. There are a few small windows.

Croatia is full of little surprises.

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I walked up a large amount of stairs to see another view of Split from the corner of a large park on the northwest end of town.

On the way up, I passed a few houses behind fences on either side of the staircase. They each had their own gated entryway at the staircase landings. I looked through the trees into the secluded yard of one of these, a big square stone house. There was a small shrub "maze" in the yard, and a little boy was running through it wearing swim trunks and goggles, taunting his playmates, who were somewhere hidden from my view.

It was like a scene out of "The Secret Garden," or some similar movie.

I walked back down from the viewpoint a different way, through some residential "streets," which were really just deep stair after stair after stair -- downhill toward the center of town.

I spotted a man on a third-floor balcony. He was just gazing into the street, both hands on the railing, and there were two or three bird cages on either side of the balcony door. One of the birds on the left was madly flopping around its cage; the man took no notice.