I was in Split two days. Two gloriously wonderful days. Split is gorgeous. We camped on a peninsula, with these big great mountains on one side, and a super cute little harbour on the other. I was happiest here, I think. The weather was gorgeous, it was often too hot for clothes and I spent as much time as I could in the water, the gorgeous turquoise coloured water. It was clear, and warm, and amazing. Or sunbathing on the jetty. I enjoy nothing more than being gloriously warm, lying in the sun with not much to do.
I remember going for a swim as soon as camp was set up. Diving in off the jetty, marvelling in what it was like to swim in the sea again. It's been a while, almost ridiculously long. The water wasn't quite cold, but wasn't far off. I remember swimming with Jimmy, and being wary to move away everytime he disappeared under the water, least my feet or legs get pinched.
I remember delving into the book I'd borrowed, well aware that I'd have to give it back soon. I got caught up in it's plot. There was a lot of action and a battle was coming. I was sad when I finished it, anxious to pick up the next one. I was also delighted that I was able to sit in the sun and read. I used to sit in the garden back home, and I'd forgotten how very wonderful it was to pass the time that way.
I remember playing Circle of Death, and I got my first Fourth King. I don't remember what we were drinking. Liquors, I think. I want to say it was some kind of berry schnappes. Needless to say it put me on my behind rather quickly.
I remember sneaking off into the dark with Jimmy. We argued, and laughed, and talked. We got told off for being too loud. We watched fish jump out of the estuary. We went on a bit of a mission, and I climbed over a fence in jandals and skirt. I somehow managed to mangle my ankle. I don't quite know how, whether it was the climbing over the fence, or the climbing over the rocks to get to the fence, but I hurt it. I also had one of those 'aha' moments. Except that it came like a slap in the face, and I was upset and angsted. Still, it was an aha moment, even if it was painful one.
I remember waking up at 4 in the morning, the geometric pattern of the tent hurting my poor, still drunk eyes, and my brain working overtime on that 'aha' moment. I stole the sleeping bag and headed to the jetty. It was cold, and calm. Super quiet. At about 6 people started moving. A rowing team paddled back and forth past me, people went for early morning swims, and cars started down the motorway. A while past then, the sun came up over the mountains. And it was a glorious glorious sight. The rocks all turning pink and orange, the heat as the light hit me, how the whole sky brightened.
I remember that after a while I came to terms with that wretched 'aha' moment. I stretched, and lay out in the sun, having claimed the jetty. After a while Jimmy appeared, and we sat, and snoozed. There was book reading, and comfortable silence. He disappeared, and returned later with a hot chocolate and coffee. We went swimming. I swam in my underwear, because changing would have meant leaving the jetty and I didn't want to. It was glorious, the swimming. Being in the water. I remember thinking that there wasn't enough time here, that I wanted to spend more time in the sun, being warm and doing nothing. I soaked up as much of it as I could, hoarding it, revelling in it. I remember watching Jimmy jump from the conveniently supplied diving boards, laughing at his form. I remember watching the sprats swim in the warm waters nearest the rocks, and crabs scuttling from side to side.
I remember that when it got colder, when the wind picked up (cheers, convection) and we moved to the bar for pizza + drinks. Sitting in the sun, still wet from the swimming. After we wandered into Split.
Split is gorgeous, parts of the old palace (of the Roman Empire Dicletian) is still there, with it's super worn (and slippery) cobblestones, gorgeous archways and awkwardly tiny little back alleys. The St. Duje Cathedral is still there too, with it's old pillars and pretty bell tower. Mostly I remember eating gelato, because it was awfully warm that night.
We wandered down markets, and brought a silly amount of postcards. We wandered through the allyways hand in hand, getting lost in the old part of the city, coming across high st stores in impossibly small places. I remember sitting on the waterfront, with a foot in the water, a Jimmy at my back, talking of I don't even remember what. We watched big giant boats all lit up with little lights leave the harbour. I remember walking by groups of elders, wanting to listen as they sang old Croatian songs. Past the jetty with all their little boats and nets and bouys awaiting the next day. Sitting at a high table with a drink, writing a bunch of postcards. It was a pretty lovely night. I was sad when it ended, and we went back to the campsite.
I left the next morning, bright + early. I was not happy about leaving, I really didn't want to go. I felt that I hadn't had enough time soaking up the sun, enough time swimming, or appreciating being so very close to the ocean. Needless to say I enjoyed Split most, I think. And I've got a soft spot for it. I'm going to go back, I think. Spend more time swimming, and sunbathing.
Still, I felt lucky to have been given a week to see a new part of the world. To see places and people and cultures I hadn't seen before.
I will go back, though. One day, anyway.