Our morning cruise from Sibenik to Split was lovely. I was able to get in a yoga session on deck, stopping from time-to-time to take in the views and snap a picture. What a fabulous way to start the day!
Cruising aboard La Perla combines the best of ocean cruising and river cruising. You have the fresh ocean sea air, the beautiful scenery, soothing sound of the water like you would on a cruise ship, but the quaintness of a riverboat. Actually, with only 24 passengers on board, it was even better!
It was wonderful to be able to watch the coastline as we cruised closer in than a ship would. Having a window in our cabin also allowed us to take advantage of the views while getting ready for dinner. The balcony was an extra bonus, making it convenient to pop out for a quick picture or sit out and enjoy the scenery while the other was in the shower.
At 115-feet long, the yacht was big enough for us all to have our own space, but small enough to make a quick pit stop in the cabin or run down to grab my camera for a sunset shot. In a word, FABULOUS!
Our time off La Perla exploring each destination was fantastic, too. We saw so many wonderful sites, including Split, one of the oldest cities in the region. Upon our arrival, a local guide met us at La Perla for a walking tour of Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour took us through the lower level passages of this massive fortress-like complex that was built in preparation for the Roman emperor’s retirement in 305 AD.
If you have ever watched Game of Thrones (I have not), the fourth season was filmed at the palace. What a setting! Looking around the enormous stone passageways, I was in awe. How the heck did they build that amazing complex—and, in only ten years?!
The four-feet-thick ceiling was constructed with compressed rocks, and no mortar was used. Vaulted openings were built for air ventilation, and holes were made in the living quarter floor for sewage to be dumped. The walls of the palace are five-feet thick!
Within the complex, pillars were constructed to support the living quarters above. (Otherwise, they would have been underwater at high tide.) Half of the complex was for Diocletian’s personal use, and the rest housed the military garrison.
Today, there are restaurants, shops, and some homes within the walls of the palace.
Exploring the palace was fascinating, and roaming the streets within the walls was quite enjoyable. At one point, we came across a group of klapa singers and listened to their beautiful voices in the amazing acoustics of the stone walls and high open-air ceiling.
While Bruce took an afternoon siesta, I opted to spend more time walking Split on my own. Croatia is a very safe country, and I felt completely comfortable as a solo woman walking around Split and other places I ventured out to explore. The two Canadian women on our tour often split up to sight see and had the same experience. I highly recommend Croatia as a safe place for a solo woman to travel.