Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Europe 2017 (July) Trip Notes # 5

Europe 2017 (July) Trip Notes # 5


Our hotel was perfectly situated in the older part of town - minutes from many of the "must go to - must see" places...

Traveling and spending time in a place (rather than rushing) has given us more time to speak with the locals as well as to learn. There is so much "old history" in this area that it would be a lot of fun spending time with an archeology team looking for - "stuff!"

We mentioned in a previous blog about the discovery of a Roman cemetery and a chariot wheel. (See below).


Sounds exciting, right?

What about exploring a real Roman palace ca 300 AD?

Emperor Diocletian's Retirement Home

Night Time Perspective

 Cushions Placed On Steps So Visitors Can Sit, Admire and, Perhaps, Have A Cold (And Necessary) Beer

                                        Palace Tower

                  Roman Goddess Sitting On Pillar At 95 Degrees Temperature + High Humidity

Palace Needs Repairing  

Roman Goddess With Her Guards

One Of The Emperor's "Acquisitions" While Traveling In Egypt 

How About A Stroll In A Courtyard? 

Breaking News From The Emperor: 
All Is Well!

Besides being very old, this is not just an ordinary church...
Although the emperor was anti-Christianity, the emperor insisted that he be buried inside the church!

Magnificent Church Door

Roman soldiers guarding the palace...

 and the old town, by day...

and by night!

The Palace's "street level" structure is truly amazing. However, the underground or palace basement - perhaps 50 feet below the ground level is equally fantastic!

This Is A Huge Area With Many Rooms Of All Sizes And Shapes

There Is 1700 Years Of Wet, Mustiness Yuck!

A Large Wooden Beam Was Recently Found Underneath The Floor

 A Grape Press (For Wine) Was Discovered Under The Palace  

Would anyone care to guess the purpose of these carved stone things? 
 They Are Part Of The Palace's Underground Sewage Pipe System 

 How About An Underground Well System For The Palace? 

Throughout The Underground Area Are "Hundreds" Of  Broken Items That are Numbered But Not Yet Put Back Together.

Broken Fountain? Flower Pot?

The actual town of Split grew in and around the palace. As in many Croatian towns, there is the old and the new. We struggled to find the old synagogue. 

Turn left, turn right, turn left again through this maze. With the help of a local musician and "Waze" (like Garmen), we found the synagogue.  Unfortunately, it was closed. 

                           Mezuzahs On Front Doors

Second time around, a caretaker was inside and opened the door for us.

There is no residing rabbi unless "he" visits from another Croatian area when it's a cooler time of year. 1000 Jews are remaining in Split. Intermarriage and migrating to another country will quickly cut the population in half.

                                     Old Clock
This "clock" building has two unexplained situations:
There is a stone relief plaque on the side of this building. Sigmund Freud's name is on the plaque. A person in a nearby store thought that he "may have lived on the third floor." Then, there is a Jewish star on the building. People that we asked never realized that it was actually on the building nor did they know the significance.

Newer part of palace - probably (only) 500 years old!?!?!

These two photos tell a lot...

Woman on upper left has enough balcony space to sit on a chair, enjoy a cigarette and check something on her cell phone. The woman on the upper right is the housekeeper for our hotel. She does not seem to be looking forward to cleaning the 15 rooms in the hotel.

On a happier note...

              Statue is Bishop That Translated Bible From Latin To Croatian Language. Rubbing Statue's Toe Brings Good Luck!

This country is sooo clean...

There are city employees walking around - scrapping gum (very little) off the sidewalks, constantly emptying (and cleaning) public trashcans and, of course, vacuuming the pedestrian areas!!!! 

We spoke to a local couple about Croatia's cleanliness standards. They were embarrassed - They thought that their country was not clean enough!

Laundry hanging out to dry has an interesting story...

It's against the law in Zagreb (the capitol) because the government wants to create a more modern, upscale and westernized "look." However, hanging out laundry in smaller towns is encouraged. Why? It gives the older women something to do. Gossip!

We had one of the better dinners, ever - in Split. The restaurant was originally a small palace (within the larger Diocletian Palace). The irregular and uneven restaurant floor - (picture on left / below) was originally a road in the larger palace area. The stonework is 1700 years old. The picture (on the right / below) is a drain running along (what was) the road.

It has been so hot that stores were offering cool and refreshing water.

Evenings are almost as hot as during the day. Everyone is out and about...

How About A Refreshing Natural Fruit Drink?

Lots Of Good Local Entertainment In Split

Split Theater

Many Choices of Entertainment

Split Has Several Pedestrian Zones

Locals Had To Get Out at Night Due To Heat

There was an opportunity for Arlene to try on latest shoe fashion - silver and gold.

There was an opportunity for Jerry to try on uniforms

Ehh! Fox tail decoration on top of helmet gets in the way. Shield is too heavy! 

Nope! Peripheral vision is poor! 

Mail is too heavy! Not his size!

                         No bad. Plenty of mobility! 

Getting closer. An officer and not so much a Roman gentleman! 

Okay, how about settling on Russell Crowe's (The Gladiator movie) outfit? 

We're not ready to leave Croatia. However, it's time to head off to Copenhagen and our Baltic cruise.

Our Croatian memories are very positive. Polite people - Clean country - Good food. 

There are stands in front of restaurants. Managers will wait politely - never trying to get customers to eat at restaurant. Managers will engage only if asked about the food. The same approach occurred in swap meets, farmer's markets and retail stores.

During our many travels to China, we would take interesting pictures of everyday life. The Chinese would look at us strangely. "Why are we taking pictures?" they would ask. We saw a Chinese tour group take pictures of a large Croatian motorcycle club. We were sure that the bikers were wondering why the Chinese were taking pictures. Human nature (and curiosity) does not change!

We had to take 2-3 showers/day and constantly wash clothes. 

This was our first time traveling where we would sit for awhile and watch. 

We drank more beer in two weeks than in two years at home. 

Other than our rental car, everything was inexpensive. We had dinner twice at the same Split restaurant. Great Croatian wine and excellent local beef warranted a second return. The staff was so touched that they gave us two  (very) caloric desserts on the house. Many of the Croatian tourist sites are a must "go to..." 

Most of the tourists are Croatian. Roads are excellent.

The country needs to work on its marketing/promotion techniques.  In most cases, the local's English is very good

Croatia is a country for a definite return!

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