After three splendid days in Dubrovnik, the plan was to pick up our pre-booked rental car from Dubrovnik airport before starting the two and a half hour drive to Split. I had booked the car through www.autoeurope.com, who I have used in the past, however they didn’t really have a lot of options when it came to pickup/drop-off locations and times. When I went to the UNIRENT office at the airport, the lady advised that if I had booked it directly through them, I could have picked the car from their Downtown office. Anyways, lesson learnt and in the future I’ll search for the supplies on search engines and then contact them directly.
The drive between Dubrovnik and Split was a lot easier than we anticipated, with multi-lane highways and spectacular views. Once we arrived in Split, we fired up the Google Maps and headed for our apartment that Mike had booked for us. We had arranged to get into Split on 17 July, which was the last day of the infamous Electronic Dance Music Festival – Ultra Europe. As a result, we were unable to find any reasonably priced accommodation in the Old Town and booked our 3-bedroom apartment in a seaside town of Vranjic. As we drove into Vranjic, we realised that we were not as close to the Old Town as we had anticipated, so the overall morale took a bit of a dive, until we entered the flat. It was beautiful! It looked plain from the outside, until we walked into a classically furnished flat, with all the mod cons.
Our host, Vatro, was a gem of a guy and possibly the best host we have ever met (more on this later). So we dropped our bags, got acquainted with Vatro and his wife, who had come in to do last minute tidy up. Once our hosts left, we noticed that there were two loaves of fresh bread left on the kitchen counter. Peckish after the drive, we thought it was a great touch and started devouring the welcome gift, until we heard the doorbell ring. Vatro was there to collect the bread that his wife accidentally left on the kitchen counter! Red-faced and with crumbs all over us as evidence, we fessed up to our “crime”. Instead of being upset, Vatro went and got us some cheese and cold meats to go with our bread. Was it embarrassing? Yes. Was it worth it? Totally!
Satiated with our “accidental” snack, we started off again to KRKA National Park, which is just over an hour’s drive from Split. Once we arrived, instead of paying 150 Kuna, we opted to drive to the smaller Roski Slap Waterfalls and pay 60 Kuna. Mrs FOMOist really wanted to swim under the waterfalls, until we got there. The swimming area was quite a way away from the waterfalls and because it was a lake, the water was cold enough to numb our toes while we soaked our feet in the water to cool down, therefore, no swimming was done.
After the National Park, we drove back into Split Old Town for dinner and this is when we all were pleased that we weren’t staying in the Old Town. While it would have been great to be in the thick of things any other day, on this particular day, the Old Town was littered with intoxicated teenagers, wobbling around, glass-eyed, looking for each other, while trying to stay vertical. After dinner, when we drove back to Vranjic, this was the point when we were absolutely content with our accommodation choice.
Spit is a nice city, with a much bigger Old Town and bigger harbour, but it seemed like a bigger, more metropolitan city, as opposed to the more quaint Dubrovnik. If you were thinking of going to Croatia and only had a few days, based on our experience, my recommendation will be to choose Dubrovnik over Split. However, Split is ever so slightly less touristy, but that might be just because of where we were staying.
I would like to give a huge shout-out to our host of Aprtment Villa Bepe (the spello in the word “apartment” in the actual name of the accommodation). In addition to the bread that we took the liberty of scoffing down, Vatro and his family made several deliveries from their kitchen, which included a 22.30 delivery of freshly deep friend home made doughnuts on one night, followed by 23.00 delivery of freshly baked cakes the next night and not to mention the fully stocked up fridge with local wine and cherry brandy. Then, on the last day, he drove Mrs FOMOist and I to the airport (at no extra cost) and then dropped our mates to the airport the next day. I seriously have never come across a more hospitable host in my life. When we got to the airport and got out of Vatro’s Jaguar, it almost felt like that we were visiting a mate’s family.
Finally, this is where we said goodbye to Mike and Darren. We stayed with them the last three weeks before starting our 4-month voyage. They were a huge contributing factor to our eternal love for London. They were the only people we knew when we moved. They were the first people we went out for our first London pop-up bar in December 2014 at night when the temprature was -1 degree Celsius. The first people we went with to our first (and many more) dance parties, to mention just a few examples. Thanks for being our family guys and we really hope we get to see you soon.