How A Canadian Fell in Love with Split, Croatia and Things You Can Do in The Off Season On A Budget

Shout out to the beautiful flight attendant from Easy Jet who kept me talking so I don’t think about flying. You’re a great human!

 Smelly and tired we boarded our plane with 6 other people. Sure, you can buy a business class ticket like some kind of a loser,  but have you ever bought economy only to discover you have the whole plane to yourself? Now that’s some Kim & Kanye shit right there.

As soon as we landed in the Split airport we started thawing from Iceland. The sun kissed us (more like passionately made out with us) and we both felt like a hug personified. Jay’s sickness vanished into the warm air, and for a moment it felt like we stopped smelling like rotten eggs and insomnia (we didn’t).

Since we left Toronto with a lot more optimism and dreams we told our friend not to pick us up because we were going to take the local bus 37 (that will take you to downtown Split) because Jay wanted to be local as fuck.
35 hours of travel later, we regretted the decision.

And for those reasons I’m out.

Coffee and cigarettes 

 Like the old men that gather around convenience stores, Jay and I had a breakfast  beer on the street in front of some mad political graffiti and soaked in our surroundings (you miss the weirdest things when you leave a place, I ,for example, missed garbage containers like I’m a homeless cat) and congratulated ourselves on something, I’m sure.

The first notable difference in lifestyle is the widespread accommodation to smokers. Jay and I went to the neighbourhood bar Elipso (located a quick 10 min walk from the downtown core) for coffee and Cedevita combo that cost us 10 kn (1.5 USD) and he lit the cigarette that had the sweetest taste of freedom.

If cigarette was a scream…for only 4USD.

You are allowed to smoke everywhere in these parts, so for all you non-smokers I’d suggest doing a thorough search on non-smoking bars and restaurants, for the rest of you dirty smokers, welcome to the judgment free zone. 

The Art of Doing Nothing 

We inhaled the sweet air of nicotine watched the (real) History Channel at Elipso (they have a thing for the History Channel in this bar, I’m into it), sipped our strong and flavourful (sorry Canada) coffee, and that European Art of Doing Nothing hit us like an old Asian lady on the subway.

The server, doing his job, but not being overbearing, fake and forced to be enthusiastic to the point it’s exhausting, sat down and lit a smoke in the bar as well. I wished I could tell him how lucky he is, but he’d probably tell me I don’t know shit, so I kept it to myself. 

Average 18 oz Pint of Beer Price in Croatia: 2.5 USD
Average Glass of Wine Price in Croatia : 3 USD

The Food 

Home cooking is widespread in the culture and the ingredients are mostly fresh. You can grow mandarines, olives, lemons, tomatoes, cucumbers and a lot more.
We went over to a friends house (shout out to Maja & Lovel) for lunch, stayed for dinner and the next three days… whatever. 
They, just like my mom, don’t fathom the beauty of having a fuckin fruit tree in your garden, but neither did I until I left and saw they’re selling freaking Kale under superfood for 5$ a pop 
 

Kale, growing on the side of a busy road like the garbage that it is, next to whatever this blue – purple thing is. Go ahead, order your kale smoothie, enjoy the roadside dirt. 

Restaurants can get pricey in the busy season (April – October) but prices go down in the off season, however many places close in the off season so it’s up to you to set your priorities. Jay and I are two lucky assholes that know amazing cooks so we mostly ate around people’s houses since I guess they feel bad for their nomadic homeless friends. 

Average Dinner for Two in Croatia (Busy Season): 50- 70 USD
Average Dinner for Two in Croatia (Off Season):    30- 50 USD

Bakeries are widespread and a couple are open all night. You will find the delicacy called Burek.
For an added fun, ask a Bosnian person (should you ever meet one) to tell you about Burek with cheese. If you’re really hungry you can grab a Burger or Ćevapi.
Want some food at 4 am? You’ll find all your pastries and meats on this street.

Average cost for baked goods: 2-3 USD

I gravitate towards fresh doughnuts, Jay has a serious addiction to Burek. 

The Beauty Off The Slow Season [Oct-Mar]

July and August are gorgeous for spending time on the beach or trying out all the bars and restaurants. They’re also great for getting lost in the sea of old ladies, shitty photos with 3000 people in them and sweating like a whore in a Church everywhere you go. 
This year (2018) November has been sailing smooth in the 20 degree weather [68F], which is warmer than usual, but even when it gets cold it goes down to 10. If you’re coming from a cold climate this will not be an issue. Split is sunny most of the time anyway.

Crowds go away, prices go down and the traffic clears up. You’ll have a higher chance of meeting locals now, because they tend to stay away from the downtown in the summer unless they work in the area.

You can still get lucky and have a gorgeous 20 + day so you can dip in the Adriatic and let the salt water wash away all your worries.
There is no sharks over here so you can relax and go deep (that’s what she said).
Sometimes you’ll find a lost baby shark but live on the edge a little, get out of your comfort zone. 

You can pretend to be a photographer too.

Off Season Nightlife 

You will still find bars open to midnight all over the city.
If you’re really into going out you will find a couple of clubs still open all year long, such as Central.
It’s the only one I’ve been to lately, but I will write about all the cool bars we’ve been to in my next post (stay tuned!)
I tend to stay away from the clubs because they get so crowded I want to stab myself in the eye and drip out my brain on the floor, but to each its own.
You can join a pub quiz group (get a local to translate the questions for you) or you can look up what’s happening in Kocka which is another spot I drank my youth away in. 

Views 

If you drank all your money the first two days and now have to calm the fuck down, views are always free. They’re real, and they’re spectacular!

Marjan  
The forest hill you will see towering over the city is the best spot to go re-think your life, run, cycle or just sit and soak in the views. Bonus: There’s a wild boar hanging out somewhere in the forest, he’s pretty friendly so far.
I went there three times so far and haven’t seen him yet, maybe I should go with food, see if he wants some bacon acorns or something. 

Total Cost : 0 USD 



Sustipan 
The place I drank as a teenager and played the -who’s-life-sucks-more-game with my equally angry teenage friends, too dumb to notice the beauty that surrounded me and the views I should have soaked in instead of the cheap nail polish remover flavoured vodka

The City Beaches 

Will be empty off season so you get the views all to yourself. If you want you can sit in one of the millions of bars overlooking them, sip on espresso, people watch and comment how everything is shit, and they got it right in whatever-other-country-you-think-is-better, or you can just soak up the views and come to a conclusion things could be a lot worse 🙂

Average cost per view : 0 USD

All you need is sun!

 

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. Enjoying your trip along with you… FYI…the ski hills are opening up back in Ontario this Weekend… Horseshoe Valley and Blue Mountain is making snow…the snow belt had its first hit real snow….. At least Bonnie will be HAPPY.. meanwhile back in Manitoba…I’d rather be fishing LOL 🤗

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.