We’re surprised to find that Split is a town of many beaches, so we decide to spend our second morning relaxing by the sea. Our host asks us what our plans are for today. He laughs when we tell him we’re spending our morning at the beach. Why not sightsee in town this morning and return to the beach later when it’s warmer? We explain that being English, this morning’s 25 degree temperature is plenty warm thank you very much. He looks at my pale freckly complexion and sees my point. Frying in the afternoon sun is probably not a good idea and may well be a health hazard.
It’s a short walk to the three main beaches, and it’s like discovering a whole new town, with bars and cafes aplenty. This being Croatia, it’s mostly pebbles, rocks or just lay your towel wherever you please. We walk to the furthest beach Firule, as recommended by our host. There seems to be a prime spot available on the jetty so we lay our towels down, fashion a pillow out of my beach bag and prepare to relax. Except we appear to have stumbled onto a battleground. We’re suddenly surrounded by young boys who think it is hilarious to hurl wet sand at each other. We are collateral damage. I am spattered by wet sand. I try to ignore them and think blissful thoughts. “Boys will be boys” I say as a handful of sand lands somewhere close to my left ear. “Who am I to stop them having fun” I say, narrowly avoiding an eyeful of grit. Eventually I’ve had enough. I attempt to silence them with an evil stare and an angry “Oi”. The response? Another handful of sand whistling close to my right ear. At least their aim is terrible. Huffing and puffing, I admit defeat. Standing up, there is an outline of wet sand around me, like the chalk outline of a corpse in a crime novel. I prefer to think I took the moral high ground, instead of thinking that I was bullied by a bunch of adolescents.
Ovcice suits us much better. I’m with the grown-ups now. There’s a handy café bar where we can get a coffee and I can remove the wet sand from various orifices. We lay our towels on another jetty – not surrounded by kids this time – and enjoy the relaxing morning we had planned. We revisit the handy café bar for a beer. We choose the same table, leaving the waiter to glance at us with confusion…. Had we left? Or had we always been there?
It’s soon time for lunch, but in order to not further confuse the waiter by returning a third time we move on down to Bacvice Beach. There’s plenty of selection of beachfront bars and restaurants here, but we opt for Karaka. We share an octopus salad and bruschetta – we’ve learnt our lesson regarding ordering our own portions for lunch – and test out the standard of the Aperol Spritz. The temperature is definitely rising so we head back to the Old Town where it is relatively shady within the walls of the Diocletian’s Palace. We do a reccee of the ferry port on the way to get our bearings for tomorrow’s trip across the sea. Seems pretty straightforward, but having never caught a car ferry before we like to know what we’re doing beforehand…
We hang around a nice shady alleyway to eat an ice cream before it melts down our arms. Turns out this is some alleyway of great importance and tour guides are stopping their groups and pointing at the two English tourists devouring their gelato. We are sure we’re are not of any historical significance, but some of the group take our photo just in case. It’s thirsty work being a tourist attraction, so we head to Lvxor for a drink. It’s one of those things that has to be done, even though the beers are double the price of those we’ve been drinking elsewhere. They’re still half the price of a standard beer in Copenhagen though, so it’s all relative. Mr Fletche points out that we don’t even get a table for our money, just a cushion on a step. I point out that we paid 6 euro each just to sit down in St Mark’s Square in Venice…at least sitting is free. Table or no table.
It’s our final night in Split, and we’re off to hike Marjan Hill. I am much more suitably dressed for cocktails and dinner than for huffing and puffing up a big hill, but at least it’s a tiny bit cooler this evening. The views are….ok. There are actually better views at the bar halfway up the hill. Which you can enjoy with a nice cold glass of wine without inducing a minor asthma attack. Remember that peeps. But Mr Fletche reminds me its “about the sense of achievement”. Of course. My sweaty face suggests otherwise.
We have pizza and salad at Pizzeria Galija for our dinner…. Service is a little hit and miss (we appear to be invisible to the waiter) but the pizza is very very good. It’s almost up there with Italy. And for me, a non-pizza eater, this is high praise indeed. Pizza ratings usually are between “Urrrghhhh” and “it’s OK I suppose for a melted cheese and tomato sandwich.” We eventually manage to wave our credit card in front of the waiter’s nose, and we’re off to find somewhere to watch the final group England game. This is easier said than done. Wanting to keep an eye on the other game in the group (via TV or t’internet) we rule out last night’s venue Bili as it was one of these terrible old-fashioned bars that has no wi-fi and forces people to talk to each other (what’s that all about?). We head back to the square where we had our first drink yesterday. They’re not so keen on serving us tonight though. Cocktails only during the football, no beer. Because we clearly look like English hooligans. It’s getting close to kick-off. There’s tables available and beer being sold at La Bodega, but one look at the price list and we’re back on the hunt for a slightly cheaper location. We’d disregarded the Riva earlier on because of a slightly unpleasant odour wafting in from the sea, but Dujam has reasonably priced beer, is happily serving beer to England fans and has a prime table available right by the tv. After all that…the match is a load of garbage. Let’s hope tomorrow’s Croatia match against Spain is better…and we will be in Korcula to watch it.