Then skip on over to the old Yugoslavia. It sits on the Adriatic Sea right across from Italy. Today it's called Croatia.
It's medieval, mysterious, classic, yet modern. The cobblestone streets winding between the Roman walls and the Venetian palaces lead you into nooks of boutiques, cellphone stores, handcrafted jewelry, T-shirts, and Italian shoes
Dubrovnik by dark looks like a fairytale. The city’s made of limestone, but smoothed over by centuries of constant pounding, the stone’s got the feel and texture of marble.
And then there’s Split.
Never heard of it?
They got this palace facing the harbor that seems to stretch about a mile. It was constructed in the 7th century by pagan emperor Diocletian. I never heard of him either, but the man was Roman, who made a lot of enemies in Italy, so he escaped to his birthplace of Croatia to get free of the past.
|promenade and harbor of Split|
The soldiers carried out his order, but soon after they were gone, he missed them and regretted his decision. Duh.
Too bad there was no Oprah to plead his case and purge his emotions so ended up killing himself.
Still Split ended up quite nicely.
The city inherited this fabulous decrepit palace lined with stores behind this wonderful promenade sitting in front of this magnificent harbor. Behind the palace are the colorful hills of the city.
And tons of young people and new life are moving in from everywhere.
The day we arrived the entire town was celebrating.
Turns out Split’s soccer club was a hundred years old, and everyone was in on the party. Us too. Huge video screens were set up in the promenade in front of the palace so people could watch the game. We cheered. They lost.
But church bells rang and fireworks exploded anyway. People bought T-shirts, scarves, hats, and beer.
Still it was a success, by American standards and Roman too.
No pagans were fed to the lions, and everyone slept soundly that night.