Saturday, 16 September 2017

Split, Croatia Day 4

Our last day in Split started by going to the fish market to buy dinner. I bought a wild caught 1 kg sea bass. The price was more than I expected, 200 Kunas or CDN $40 plus $2 dollars to have it cleaned. Was it worth it? A big yes. I cooked it in the oven, wrapped in foil after coating it with olive oil then seasoning it with salt and stuffing it with parsley. It was outstanding. We also bought broccoli and a head of leaf lettuce. For me there is nothing better than fresh fish drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with parsley and salt and a squeeze of lemon. Yum.

After the market, we walked to the Ivan Mestrovic gallery which was north of the old town in the ritzy part of town with palatial houses overlooking the sea. There were three cruise ships in port which explained why the old town was so crowded.There were three super yachts docked along the waterfront. The Invictus at 216.5 feet long with a crew of 19. It's weekly rental rate was US$476,000. The smaller Emotion 2 was a mere 141 feet long and was just 154,000 Euros for a week. Crazy rich. As we walked along the promenade, Jill looked down and saw a plaque. It was Goran Ivanisevic's plaque for his Olympic medal wins in singles and doubles tennis. All along the way, bronze plaques were imbedded sporadically in the walk for all the Olympic winners of past games. How strange that the first plaque Jill noticed was Goran Ivanisevic, who lived on the street where we are staying. 

Ivan Mestrovic was a renowned sculpture who showed his skills at a very young age. He was born in 1883. He had a brilliant artist career, and spent time as a professor of sculpture in two American universities. In 1952, he donated 132 artworks and four properties to the Croatian people, one of which now houses his gallery. He died in 1962. After our long walk, we rewarded ourselves with a shared beer in their beautiful outdoor cafe. We toured the grounds and I took lots and lots of pictures.

It was mid-afternoon when we got back to our cozy apartment. After some down time, we made dinner and reminisced about how fabulous this holiday has been, probably one of the best ever. 

We leave by bus tomorrow at 9am to Split airport where we will fly to Athens for a one night layover before we head home. I hope, through my blog, you have enjoyed coming along with us on this wonderful journey. Cheers!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Spit, Croatia Day 3

We started our day by going to the market which is a 5 minute walk from our apartment. With two days left we were getting what we needed for our home-cooked meals. The market is a delight with market gardeners selling what they grow. They mostly have a small quantity of a wide selection of produce. Arugula for one, a shallot from another, then a leaf lettuce and lastly a lemon. Most produce is weighed using old fashion counterweights. When buying two very small onions with change in hand, I was waved off with a smile. Hvala is the word for thank you. I have used it a lot. Before we headed out, we had brunch al fresco on our outdoor space with Jill's left over steak and fried bread which we didn't want to waste from last night.

Today we decided to explore the beaches south of the old town. We walked through some beautiful treed neighbourhoods to get to the boardwalk which went all the way to the marina. We were pleased to see that the water was very clear compared to the the stinky murky water of the harbour. The sand was brown and sometimes stoney. There were so many people having fun playing with various sized balls. Not sure what the games were. No frisbees. We did notice that the Speedo bathing suits were alive and thriving in Croatia as were all types of bikinis regardless of body shape. 

Later in the afternoon, we did more exploring in Diocletian's Palace. He was the only Roman emperor to have died of old age. He abdicated and retired in Split. He also was a Dalmatian from a poor family who rose through the ranks. He had an insatiable hunger to build and his passion was referred to as cupiditas aedificandi.  And ... this is all in the third century.

We headed home to make dinner.  We decided on a Croatian prosciutto, arugula, and oyster mushroom cream tagliatelle. It was so good. Dessert was stewed figs with demerara sugar and  Metaxa (Greek brandy) ... yum. Tomorrow is our last full day and fish is on the menu.