One of the best things about cruising with Regent Seven Seas Cruise Lines is that they offer so many different excursions to meet everyone’s tastes. There are at least ten to twenty excursions at each port to choose from and that does not include the excursions with a private driver to take you wherever you want to go. Rarely, did any of the passengers get off the ship and hang out at the port……there was just too much to see!
My thing is to meet the locals. Many times we picked excursions, where we were invited into peoples homes or places of business. This was always for a smaller group of no more than twenty guests. It allowed us to ask questions about their way of life and to get to know a little about them. These were always my favorite excursions. Upon leaving Trogir we stopped at the Konoba Mill in the now preserved Wetland and Bay area. The historic mill has been turned into a restaurant and is owned an operated by a local family. I might also add that the Croatians were absolutely thrilled about the new bridge, (recently finished) to take them directly to Trogir. Previously, it took several hours on the old road and it was very narrow and many times at a standstill with heavy traffic. Whenever we stopped at a local enterprise we were received enthusiastically and the families were eager to talk with you and share their way of life. We also learned that the first language taught in the schools to all children in Croatia is English, followed by the Croat language. So, let’s see the mill! First, there was the sign from the bus.
And then a look around………….
and a look at the restaurant along the marsh…….
Inside we had lively folk music and singing.
The reception area was set up with appetizers of local bread, cheese and ham……….and wine was offered too.
Then we were seated in a small area above the underground spring. The floor is glass or plexiglass and it was really weird walking on this with the water rushing below your feet.
After we sang, danced, talked, ate and drank, it was time to move on to our next destination, Split.
Our destination in Split was another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Diocletion’s Palace was built for the retirement of Roman Emperor Diocletion on May 1st, 305 AD. Although termed a palace, the massive structure resembled a large fortress. Half of it was for the Emperor’s personal use and the other half housed a military garrison. The palace was built on a bay, where the terrain slopes gently seaward and consisted of low limestone ridges. Let’s look at the town before we start our upward climb to the palace.
Our guide is showing us the original palace compound on the sea front. It was huge!
Eventually the Romans abandoned the site and the palace remained empty for several centuries. In the 7th century nearby residents fled to the walled palace in an effort to escape the invading Croats. Since that time the palace has been occupied with residents, who made their homes and businesses within the palace compound and directly in its walls. Many shops, restaurants and homes, still to this day, can be found within these walls. It is one of the most important historical buildings and cultural features on the Croatian Adriatic coast. Due to its preservation, it is the world’s most complete remains of a Roman palace! It is simply incredible!
I kept thinking to myself that I was in Rome……..
Be sure to always look up…………
and down…………and to think I walked with the Romans!
Here are some of the houses and restaurants that have been incorporated into the palace area.
Leaving the Roman palace it is suggested we might want to go shopping………but we walk on past this area because we have been promised something very unique……..
Down below the palace is the dark tunneled lower level. Over the centuries this was where they dumped their sewage and it built up and built up, and built up, until it was full. In this century it was decided to clean it all out and put a shopping area there! Can you imagine what a job that would have been? It is not smelly or dirty now and it was fun shopping at the distinctive shops! You could walk in one side and go out the other…………
Back outside to the beautiful balmy day, we enjoyed a bit of ice cream and people watching before we headed back to the ship.
We have had a wonderful time in Split and would definitely come back here again……
Goodbye, for now!
Our next stop is Dubrovnik! See you there!