August 23rd, 24th 2010
I think Split was the first place I’ve actually spent time lounging on the beach. Three times. Varna didn’t count as I just walked along the beach but after acquiring some serious farmer’s tan on my travels, I had to even it out a little bit. The guy running the hostel, Peter, recommended I go to one of the more remote beaches on the right side of Split, which I did once, only to find out it’s frequented mostly by older folk (and you know how older folk also have to wear their speedos and bikinis…). There wasn’t any sand, mostly smooth rocks. I hate walking on rocks in the water as I keep thinking I might step on prickly sea urchins. The water was nice and deep, perfect for swimming but I personally preferred sandy beaches so I left after a while to go back to Bacevice (the touristy but sandy beach). What’s nice about Bacevice is that everyone goes there so it’s nice for people-watching. The first time I was there, I would soak myself in the water at intervals, then go sit on the sand and stare into the open, thinking about all sorts of things. The second time, I would just sit in the ankle-high water as the tide was lower. I started to remember how much fun beaches were and I am now looking forward to the beaches in Nice, France.
Not much in Split, just usual tourist stuff (Dioclethian Palace being the major one but I was quite unimpressed because the insides of the walls are filled with every imaginable tourist shop). One cool thing was the fish market. Got to see all kinds of seafood being sold that I’ve never really seen in markets before. Later that day, I ate some amazing seafood at a popular local joint called ‘Fife’ (some sardine appetizers, fresh fish off the grill, and some good Croatian beer). Other times, I just had pizza slices from one of the many pizza joints all over the place.
My hostel felt like an apartment; it had rooms, a kitchen, a living area with flat-screen TV complete with channels to watch soccer (caught City vs Liverpool with some hostel-mates), a computer…but it was a small area and the guy who ran my hostel, Peter, told me how suffocated he felt working there. He was the only guy working at this place, so it’s almost like a 24/7 job for him, with no one switching shifts with him. The guy has spent the past year doing this and was going nuts. I felt sorry for the guy so I offered to help watch the hostel for him while he went out to relax or to get food/run errands. I didn’t mind, I was sitting in the living area watching sports and surfing the net anyway. If someone rings the doorbell, let them in, that’s all. I also cleaned up the hostel computer as it was super-slow. It made me realize how much I enjoy fixing, improving, and making things more efficient.
On my second night, at 1 am, the doorbell rang. No one was around so I opened the door and some Belgian guy was asking if there were rooms. Peter was gone for the day and I let the guy use the computer to find accomodation around the area. But it was 1 am, most places were closed already, so I told the guy to take one of the empty beds in the hostel. Funny thing, I had some Bosnian money that I couldn’t get rid of (exchange offices don’t take coins, even if they were worth €5, and this guy was going to Bosnia next, so I changed money with him. He told me he would pay the hostel but I think he left the next day without leaving anything, not even a note.