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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

18 May 2013

Roman city

11th May 2013

Lots of driving today. Left Perast at 9:30am with nowt but an espresso inside me and reached Trogir at 3:30pm with no breaks and a couple of in-car biscuits. One of those things. Didn’t help that Croatians have a habit of putting road signs up before they’ve finished building the road, and not taking road signs down after they’ve been superceded by other roads. Just… don’t ask. Too complicated.

Trogir is beautiful, yet another neat medieval town with polished marble alleyways and no cars allowed. This time on an island, separated from the mainland by an old bridge. We found a lovely hotel room just over the water that has views onto the island for a mere 50 Euros. So having explored Trogir thoroughly and loaded up on a bit of tunch (lunch/tea… well, it’s the first meal of the day but it’s 4:30pm, what would you call it?) we jumped on a bus to Split.

Why? Because I was too intrigued by the idea of Diocletian’s Palace to resist. A Roman emperor’s palace re-purposed as the heart of a medieval town. It’s every bit as brilliant as I’d hoped, the Roman walls still clearly visible but punched through with all sorts of shuttered windows and little cafes. Inside are a warren of medieval alleys (no cars) occasionally opening out into a larger space still scattered with Roman architecture. I’m not sure there’s anywhere else like this in the world. Even in Rome, the remains of ancient Rome are apart from the living city, archaeological curiosities and edifices of no further use. Here in Split the Roman palace is still lived in, it has become the town. I think we explored every nook and cranny until it was properly dark. After a fine seafood dinner we caught the 11:30pm bus back to Trogir.

So this is definitely a record for us. Four UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited in two days. Dubrovnik, Kotor, Trogir and Split, all of them focussed on beautifully preserved walled towns with marble-paved roads too narrow for cars. Very nice indeed.


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