Split, Croatia

Population 160,000 and the second biggest city in Croatia, Split is a fantastic city. The old town was built by Roman Emperor Diocletian in the fourth century as his retirement palace, and over the centuries houses and shops have been built into the palace complex.

Krka National Park and the colorful waterfalls make a good day trip from Split so we booked a tour. It was raining that day, because it rains every day, so only four people showed up for the tour. We had an entire bus and tour guide to drive the four of us around.

On the way back we hit terrible traffic. In the distance we could see colored smoke and cars blocking the intersection. There was amplified music/chants and a lot of honking. Our guide told us, “There is a manifestation ahead.” Political protest? Economic inequality? Nope. Soccer match and the fans were throwing a car parade. It’s always a soccer thing. Split was playing Zagreb that afternoon and there is a big rivalry. The Split fans organized the parade to the stadium. Each car had three passengers sitting on the windows with only their knees and below still in car. They waved giant flags with each subsequent car carrying a bigger flag.

I took a trip out to the Fortress of Klis above the city. I am still learning ancient military techniques, but the high ground above a city is vitally important for defending from invaders. This fortress stopped the Mongols altogether and held off the Ottomans for 25 years. Most recently it featured as the city of Mereen in Game of Thrones.

One final update: WE’RE GOING HOME TODAY!

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