Last week I took an impulsive four-night holiday in Split, Croatia. It was so nice to get away from the horrible so-called “Spring” we have been having here in England.

Split was the retirement home of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who originally came from a town several miles away. As a military man he built his palace along the same floorplan as a Roman fort. For me, a keen volunteer digger at Vindolanda, it was great to stay in a place of living history. Over the years Split has adapted and changed – there is now a Christian cathedral built on top of Diocletian’s mausoleum – but it still retains the same basic layout and traces of its Roman history are everywhere you look. We stayed in an apartment in the palace walls.

The view from our window. This part of the palace was bombed (by the British) in the Second World War but has been partially reconstructed.

Our roof terrace, actually one of the palace towers, looking out over the Riva promenade.

A quiet moment inside the palace.

Evening in Peristil Square. This was the main square, where a 3000 (or so) year-old sphinx brought back as a souvenir by Diocletian still watches over visitors to the square. In the evening a cafe in the square puts on live music and you can sit on cushions on the steps and drink wine or cocktails.

Hot Romans stand a casual guard in the square every day.

Of course, it was not all about the history, it was also all about the holiday:

Gorgeous view of Split from the Marjan peninsula.

Finding a quiet beach after walking back down the hill, and swimming in the crystal clear water.

The view from Bačvice Beach.

Gin and tonic on the terrace.

Going for a swim by a waterfall in the Krka National Park.

It was also all about the food:

Our roof terrace overlooked a market selling delicious seasonal Mediterranean food. These were fresh red onions and pink garlic. I bought local strawberries for breakfast.

Snickers gelato. Amazing (and so cheap at about 80p for a cone).

I had fish for every meal. This was local river trout, and the side of potato and chard was delicious too.

Carpaccio of fish with rocket, olives and capers was delicious, and something I want to try myself but I think I’ll need to get a really good fillet knife first (I was 20 and vegetarian when I was given my Henckels knife set, so a fillet knife was unnecessary).

It was such a lovely, relaxed place to go – not to mention warm – and I really want to go back now. I see an island-hopping adventure in my future…

4 thoughts on “Split

  1. Split might well be my favourite place in the world – I loved my stay there a few years ago. Can’t wait to go back! It looks like you had a wonderfully relaxing time 🙂

  2. Oh I love your holiday pics!! Fantastic. We have just come back from Italy about 7 weeks ago and the history in that country is out of this world.
    Cheers, Anita.

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