To Split

From San Marino I cycled to Ancona in two days,

Arch of Trajan in Ancona.

Arch of Trajan in Ancona.

At the end of the harbour of Ancona stands the Arch of Trajan and, although ít’s built long ago, it still looks pretty good.

From Ancona I took the overnight ferry to Split in Croatia which left at a quarter past eight in the evening and arrived at seven in the morning. I had left the bicycle wit h most of the luggage on the car deck and just took my sleeping mat and sleeping bag to one of the upper decks where I slept very comfortable.

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The above images (1 and 2, as I mysteriously labeled them) are from the Sulphur Spa, an Art Nouveau building in the centre of Split. Walking along the Riva, Split’s promenade along the Adriatic, the smell is distinctive and reminiscent of that of a broken sewer. While making these pictures another smell was apparent from the adjoining Ribarnica, the fish market, which was built here on purpose as the flies are repelled by the fumes of the Sulphur Spa as are most tourists.

Split selfie

Split selfie

The old town of Split is built in and around the palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian who wished to retire there. Much to everyone’s surprise he actually did as he said and by doing so became the first emperor in Roman history to abdicate his office. It is suggested that he built his palace on that particular location because of the nearness of the sulphurous wells which are supposed to help against rheumatic diseases of which the emperor might have suffered. This seems likely because he also exempted sufferers from arthritis from paying taxes. Otherwise, Diocletian is known for the killing of several hundred (?) thousands of Christians. After his retirement he grew vegetables in his garden.

From Split I cycled to Makarska which has a long and boring history during which it was built and conquered and destroyed by several different empires and kingdoms. In its present day it is swamped with tourists.

The following day I cycled to Neum, a small corridor which forms Bosnia and Herzeogovina’s  only access to the sea. At the border I waved with my passport and the border guards waved back. The Croats want to build a bridge because they don’t want to be dependent on transport through Bosnia. The Bosniaks want the bridge, for which the Croats don’t actually have the money, to be high enough because they want to develop a seaport, for which they don’t have money themselves.

The  next day it rained, so I stayed another day.

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