Split, Croatia

Why does every Mediterranean city smell like a combination of sewage and fish? Seriously. Barcelona, Venice, Zadar, and now Split all have this characteristic smell. I noticed the same smell around my apartment in the Mission as well, but that may have just been my apartment. Draw your own conclusions.

Architecturally Split is one of the more bizarre cities I’ve been to. Back in the day, Roman emperor Diocletian had his summer palace here. Then in the Middle Ages all the townspeople moved in, and decided to build a town inside the palace walls. So the old town looks like most medieval european old towns, with little claustrophobic stone alleyways and staircases that go nowhere, except mixed in with that are all these monumental Roman ruins. And Diocletian’s palace really was monumental. So there will be an absolutely enormous roman archway with a little house on top of it. Or an elaborate roman window with little shutters, and a llittle flower box, and some old lady’s laundry hanging on a line attached to a gargoyle. The place is full of weird juxtapositions. I ate dinner in a Pizzeria which now ocupies the crypt of the old Temple of Jupiter-turned medieval bapistry.

All the Roman ruins are great too. Some of the best-preserved, and most extensive I’ve seen. Though I havnt been to most of Italy, so that’s not saying too much. Still, it’s amazing that this almost 2000 year-old palace is still pretty much there and relatively intact.

Diocletian’s mausoleum is now the city cathedral, which is ironic because I guess Diocletian was a big fan of killing christians back when that was the thing to do. I climbed to the top of the bell tower which was a harrowing experience. I’m usually not too bad with heights, but this tower was scary. Above the bells there are probably five or six more stories until the top, which have just pillars for walls, and no floor. Its just a little metal staircase pinned somehow to the insides of these pillars that looks like it will fall down any second, with huge drops on either side. Hard to explain, I know. But it was harrowing. Im brave, dammit. Plus there was a storm coming in that night and it was really really windy up there. Anyway, Split’s a cool city, but later today I have to, umm, split. hahahhahahahah. I had to make some kinda crappy pun with the name. sorry

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  1. Apr 28th, 2005at5:42 pm

    Go here:

    the password is “makobako”

    click on the Cat Tackle link

    it reminds me of Pogo and Pronto, a bit



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