Some more notes from Croatia.
- Spent 2 nights in Trogir, which is more or less a suburb of Split, but on an island which is neat, even if it’s only an island that you get to by bridge, not an island you get to by boat. The name “Trogir” will never not make me think of “Trogdor” — why yes I have moved in nerdy circles for at least 10 years, why do you ask?
- The hostel in Trogir is next to a small square, with a big shady tree and a tiny church. At night, the hostel guests sat around on the plastic chairs under the tree, drinking beer from the nearby convenience store and smoking and swapping notes on where they’d been. The local kids would play soccer in the square, using the church doorway as one of the goals. The hostel owner would sit and chat and occasionally arbitrate in disputes between the kids. “You should send the parents the bill for babysitting,” I joked. “Oh no way,” he said. “Then I’d have to be responsible for them!”
- There’s not much to do in Trogir once you’ve walked through the old town, except find a beach and relax and watch the planes fly into nearby Split airport. As I learned while drinking beer under the tree, the secret to finding a good beach is to slather on the sunscreen and take a walk to the far side of the island, to where the locals go. I failed in the first step and got horrendously sunburnt, but the perfect clear water more than made up for it.
- I only gave myself a morning in Split, figuring it would be over-touristy and underwhelming. It was certainly full of tourists, but if you treat it as a sort of Disneyland for ancient Roman nerds, it was rather fun. I had enough time to climb the cathedral tower, which was an occupational safety nightmare with 2-way traffic on steep, narrow, slippery stone stairways. But they kindly let me leave my heavy backpack at the bottom, and the views were amazing.
In fairness, what I’ve left out of this write-up is that the area is somewhat industrial, the suburbs of Split do sprawl, and if you go to the beach in the wrong spot you’re liable to have a ciagrette butt float past you. Dare I say it, the beaches are cleaner and prettier in the south-west of Australia (but oh my goodness the water is so much warmer in Croatia!) If I were to travel here again, I’d rent a car and head further along the coast until I found somewhere a bit less crowded. But I would also spend some more time in Split and try to see it properly, and I’d definitely drop in at Trogir in the evening and see if the kids have managed to work out who’s goalie yet.