13.06.2016 - 13.06.2016
Wanting to get a picture of the night cityscape we awoke a little after midnight and headed down to the Danube. We had just clicked off 10 - 15 pictures of the parliament building, while adjusting the settings on the camera as we went, when suddenly parliament went dark. Confusion clouded our faces and we turned to the Chain bridge, (the thing we were planning on photographing next), to see it shrouded in darkness as well. Then realization hit... It seems that the lights illuminating the main government owned buildings get shut off at 1am. We gave up, headed home and hit the sack.
Only a few hours later, it seemed, we were awaiting the arrival of our private transfer from Budapest to Split. The pickup time, price and itinerary had changed several times already and the latest plan involved missing out on Plitvice Lakes and getting picked up at 1:20 in the afternoon which was a bit of a bummer. Not being able to do much with check out so early and looking forward to getting to Split we were chomping at the bit to leave. As we hadn’t bought a local sim card we were relying on Wi-Fi and had already missed a couple of Ubers over the course of our holiday due to this, and we were worried we might miss this too. We found ourselves by the curb at 1:10pm checking the number plate of every silver coloured van to see if it was ours. By 1:35 we were checking every van full stop! To our relief our ride arrived at 1:45 (25 minutes late) and we were on our way to Split!
The border crossing from Hungary into Croatia went smoothly only taking about 15 minutes. Our driver said that in a couple of weeks (the peak season) it may take up to 2 or 3 hours to get through.
We made about 3 stops on the way and dropped off a couple at Plitvice Lakes before continuing on our way. Driving through the Plitvice area was amazing with once particular set of houses having big and little waterfalls all around them.
We went through a series of tunnels which curved their way beneath the mountains including one that was over 6km long and is the longest one I have ever been through.
We arrived into Split at about 10pm and rolled/carried our bags through narrow lane ways inside Diocletian's palace looking for our accommodation which I had booked last minute through booking.com. Diocletian's palace is the Roman ruins (used to be a military fortress, imperial residence and fortified town) where you will spend most of your time in during your visit to Split. It doesn't really seem like a palace though seeing as it is basically the city's heart and forms most of the old town. It is basically a labyrinth of narrow streets packed with people (lots of tourists), bars, shops and restaurants. There are 220 buildings within the boundaries of the palace. The narrow streets house approximately 3000 people with bars, cafes and the locals' washing hanging overhead. Weaving in and out of the narrow lane ways, asking directions from every waiter along the way we finally located our hotel. As we checked in we were advised that there was only one room left and it turned out to be the penthouse suite. It was a wow of an upgrade and we had a balcony with views of the water, a Jacuzzi and were situated right next to the bell tower which was pretty epic!
Having received recommendations for a dalmatian-style dinner we wandered along the promenade and up a side street to find Trattoria Tinel. It was open and still serving even though it was a little after 11. Having enjoyed some of the local cuisine and some Croatian wine we wandered home to retire for the night.