So far all throughout Europe I’ve had to work pretty hard getting accommodations. It seems that Europe is running at capacity right now and getting hotel rooms for a decent price has been really hard. We’ve been averaging about $130 per night even after all the work. With Croatia I never book hotels. That might seem risky but things work different there – you just show up! I’ve only spent half a day in Split so I was hoping it was that way there too. When we got off the boat and through customs (Croatia isn’t part of the EU) we were greeted by a young guy asking if we needed accommodations. What he had sounded interesting so we went with him in his car to check it out. We got an apartment with washer (yay!) for $85 a night. Much cheaper than our hotels and it was a decent apartment too. It was about 10 minutes walk from Diocletians palace. Actually we’re finding out that everything is about 10 minutes walk from everything else. That doesn’t mean they really are but that’s the standard answer for distance here. If you ask someone how far Zagreb is from Split they’d probably say 10 minutes walk (it’s a 6 hr bus ride). One thing that I really like about Europe is the markets. On the way to Diocletians palace we ran into the daily Split market. They were selling clothes and stuff like most markets but there were two huge areas selling foodstuff. I’ve never seen produce quality equal to this before. If you go into your favorite store and dig through the peaches you may find one that equals the peaches at EVERY stall here. It was really eerie because the quality of the produce was extremely high in every stall. The mushrooms were perfectly white with no blemishes, the peaches were fuzzy everywhere with nary a scratch and the paprika was beautiful. This wasn’t ground paprika that we have here but real fresh paprika in the vegetable form. There was also many cheese stalls and stalls that sold meat. We bought some grapes the size of apricots and some peaches. Both were good. Prices were similar the states after you figured exchange rate and the conversion from kg to lbs but the quality was far superior. After the market we wandered around Diocletians palace which was interesting. The streets in the palace are his old hallways and the stores and apartments are his old rooms on each side of the hallways. It was so huge they basically built the city out of it.
At Piper’s request we found a beach and went swimming. We found a sandy beach that the water was so shallow the kids could walk about about 70 feet and it was still waist deep. The water in the Adriatic was real warm. Another difference between America and Europe (especially mediteranean culture) is the attitude toward nudity. One piece womans swimsuits don’t always include a top. This also goes for young girls. Piper and Jade thought it quite strange to see young girls their age swimming without tops. When we went to buy Piper a new swimsuit the lady asked if we wanted both pieces.