There’s not a ton of touristy stuff to do in Split during the winter, which is all the more reason to slow down and enjoy the place for what it is. We’d been looking forward to our stay at Le Meridien ever since my co-worker Dave recommended it last summer before our trip even began. Once we arrived into Croatia on the early morning ferry from Italy, we headed straight to the hotel and quickly made ourselves at home. Since we did an early check-in, they first gave us a room on the 6th floor, but moved us up to the 9th once it was available. Views from the room and around the property are incredible.
As luck would have it, our old pals and world travelers Eric and Lishan were also in Split, so we met up for an evening around town and one of the best Croatian meals of our trip at Villa Spiza. We ordered two plates of the truffle pasta, a giant bowl of prawns, a fish similar to tuna, some Budweiser Budvar (not to be confused with the American stuff), and Pan Zlatni (standard Croatian lager). It was so good, Amanda and I promised the owner we’d be back the next night. He said we’d gladly be welcome, so long as we spoke some Croatian with him as good as Lishan had. We arrived the next night with Google search results in hand. After a few exchanges of “Dobar dan” (formal Hello) and “Kako si” (How are you?), he decided he’d let us in. We skipped the “Moja je lebdjelica puna jegulja” (My hovercraft is full of eels), despite the phrase website’s suggestion.
We spent a half-day on our own checking out the main sites in Old Split. We decided to pay a little extra to tour the depths of the Diocletian Palace, which happens to be where several Game of Thrones scenes with Daenerys were filmed. We had the place to ourselves, which was especially nice for photos. We also climbed to the top of the clock tower, which terrified my wife because of the precarious stairs.
We also took advantage of a bunch of the hotel amenities during our 4 night stay. We explored the vast property, had two great lunches and dinners at the bar and restaurants, swam at the indoor pool, caught up on some podcasts/reading, Amanda got an 80 minute “sport” massage, and I got a hair and beard cut for 100 Kuna (under $15).
After our honeymoonesque stay, we checked out of our new favorite hotel and hopped on a 4 hour bus ride down to Dubrovnik. More on that next time.