Croatia is redeemed! Split is a great city and I've had a great day, partly because I had a lie-in and acted like a lazy slob eating biscuits and watching TV, but mainly because of these people's crazy idea back in the 7th century or so to hide inside this old Roman palace and turn it into their home. We've all probably strolled around a Roman ruin or other old building that has been preserved as a monument and struggled to appreciate its significance or, well, been bored. When you combine that historic place with a modern, functioning neighbourhood (and shopping - there must be at least 20 shoe shops) it suddenly becomes far more interesting as a place. The contrast between 3000 year old Roman architecture and tacky souvenirs is a bit distasteful but otherwise it's a phenomenal place and fully deserves its UNESCO title.
All around modern buildings have been butted up against the original palace walls, and the myriad alleyways and arches just beg to be followed and each nook and window looked in. Coming across an underwear shop or supermarket is a bit incongruous but somehow it just works.
You can't help but picture the Romans strolling across these very stones in their sandals and togas (I believe that's historically correct).
My enjoyment is definitely so much greater for losing the burden of the bike and all my stuff and strolling around with only a backpack, taking time to sit down and read and not stand out of the crowd is really great. My thoughts about the way the trip is going to go are definitely shifting (again, stay tuned!)
At last, a British newspaper! Reading the paper is great for perspective and to feel a part of the world again. Cake good too.
Right now I can smell nothing but my shoes and the receptionist is spraying air freshener so I think I will go and put my sandals back on before venturing into any more enclosed spaces. Hopefully I can be forgiven my disgustingness given the context?