Our first stop on our Mediterranean cruise from Venice, Italy was Split, Croatia. According to our Freestyle Daily (a newspaper on the cruise that is delivered to your room the night before telling you about activities to do on the ship for the next day and information about the next port):
“Split is the largest Dalmation city, the second-largest urban center in Croatia, and the seat of Split-Dalmatia County. The city is located near the shores of the Mediterranean, more specifically on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, spreading over a central peninsula and it’s surroundings. An intraregional transport hub, the city is a link to the numerous surrounding Adriatic islands and the Apennine islands and the Apennine peninsula, as well as a popular tourist destination. Split is also one of the oldest cities in the area, and is traditionally considered just over 1,700 years old, while archaeological research relating to the ancient Greek colony of Aspalothos (6th century B.C.) establishes the city as being several hundred years older.
After World War II, Split became a part of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, itself a constituent sovereign republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During this period the city experienced its largest economical and demographic boom. Dozens of new factories and companies were founded with the city population increasing three time during the period. Croatia declared its independence again in 1991.”
The cruise ship could not dock in the port so the passengers had to take a tender to get to the shore. For those of you who don’t know what a tender boat is (and I didn’t learn this until this cruise): It is a much smaller boat that takes the passengers to the shore, and the cruise ship just anchors itself away from shore. I would imagine these things also being useful if the ship was sinking. Anyway, we took a tender in and it was full…
Then, we jumped on a bus that took us here, to this creepy cool-looking building. Everyone decided to run off to the bathroom including my husband and the rest of the group and left me alone with the two kayaking guides who handed me my wetsuit. I asked where I should change, and they should said that I could just change there.
I looked around, and noticed nowhere exactly to change except right in front of the guides and this big open room. Feeling slightly exposed and a little awkward since I was by myself with two fully wetsuit-dressed men that I didn’t know ( thank goodness had worn my swimsuit under my clothing), I stripped down to my string bikini, then started to put on my wetsuit while the guides stared on and the other female kayakers walked into the room, their eyes wide open in shock. Let me just say that one of the things that I have learned after living in Europe for the last 2 and a half years is that Europeans do not find nudity a big deal which means that me in my swimsuit was not even a blip on the radar if you catch my drift. While the other women (Americans) had their significant others hold towels up while they got into their wetsuits with their swimming suits already on mind you, I helped hold stuff while Steve got into his. I chuckled to myself at this, and noted how much I had changed over the past few years regarding my own modesty.
After everyone was changed, we headed outside for a brief overview of paddle use, and we were off!
The seas were calm, and the sun started to come out. The water wasn’t really that cold. It was a perfect day out.
Steve and I were power kayakers compared to the rest of the group. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t trying to lose the rest of the group. We just got into a rhythm, then looked back and realized they were always really far behind us. Then, we sat and waited. It was a vicious cycle. But fun. 😉
After about an hour of paddling, the tour guide got us all together and gave us a little history lesson of the area. So interesting!
When we had about 30 minutes left, we stopped on a beach to have a snack and rest. We had been paddling for a couple of hours already. It was a nice break!
Then, Steve, the poop that he is, made me get in the back and steer the kayak. For those of you who don’t know, the person who sits in the back is usually the stronger person since they are doing most of the steering. Since I had never steered a kayak before, Steve thought that this would be the best way for me to learn. I only ran into the side of the waterway into some reeds once. haha. But really, I did. Actually, after bitching about the fact that my husband is a pain in the butt for five minutes, I was quite pleased with myself. I’m not too bad at all at this steering thing! Damn Steve for always forcing me to do stuff that I don’t want to do and making me realize that I like doing them!
Unfortunately, after the kayaking was done, we had to get back on the ship. I wish that we would have gotten to see more of Split, but the guides told us there really wasn’t much else to see that was interesting besides what was seen on the 45 minute bus ride back to the ship. Oh well. Maybe next time! We still had fun!
Next up: Trying to act like a European and sunbathe topless in Corfu, Greece!