Saturday, September 17, 2011

Split, Croatia

We sail into the Croatian port city of Split, located on a small peninsula on the eastern shore of the Adriatic.
Through a gothic tunnel of old stones, we pass through the markets into the Old Town.
Split has the Gulf of Kastela on one side and the Split Channel on the other. It is a busy commercial and ferry port, servicing nearby islands.
The Roman Palace was erected by the Emperor Diocletian in the 4th century. What began as an imperial residence and fortified camp is today an intriguing maze of narrow cobblestone streets, where pre-Romanesque churches live alongside Gothic chapels, history-filled museums, art galleries, and bustling cafes. The place was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Croatia is home to the necktie...oh yes! It was a popular tradition for men going off to war to be given silk scarves to wrap around their necks to identify their remains if killed in battle. Today, Split is a gateway for exploration of the coast and the beautiful Croatian countryside.
Split is also one of the sunniest places in Europe...who knew? I thought it was just Rebekah's smile lighting the place up!
Kinu travels in total luxury atop dad's shoulders... oh yes, she directs traffic by slapping me in the forehead and tugging on my ears. Nicely done, kiddo!
The main square within Diocletian's Palace is Peristyle Square, which was built as a meeting place for citizens. The impressive place is surrounded by six columns with arches decorated in garlands.
Besides this clock tower, another attraction is the Cathedral of St. Jude (which is directly below), built inside the remains of Diocletian's mausoleum. He must have really liked that place... can you blame him?
This ain't Diocletian... but a statue of the first bishop of Split, who erected the mausoleum from the old Temple of Jupiter in 653 A.D. He looks pretty serious, huh?
Of course, for me... wandering around these little streets with my daughters on my shoulders is just about the best way a guy could spend a morning. Take a seat in Peristyle, order up a black coffee, watch my kids run around under the archways scarying tourists. Sweet.
Thank you, Diocletian. I'm sure people don't say that enough to you. Such a wonderful day in the sun. AND... as Rebekah says.... Superstar!

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