Split – Almost a dolphin – 13 August 2019

Because of our late departure from Venice and because, Cap’n Bob said, of traffic on the sea lane from Venice to Split, we were late arriving in Split. The sea was calm, almost flat calm and … was that a dolphin just breaking surface?

I got a lovely shot of where the dolphin had been, and maybe just the ghost of a grey object below the water, but it wasn’t until we were home that we found Scamp had actually captured one of the mammals with it’s fin just breaking the surface. A lucky shot, but luckys count.

We’d been to Split before and weren’t impressed. If you follow Game of Thrones, there are places you’d love here, be as we hadn’t ever watched a whole episode, it was just another ferry port to us. However as a preparation I’d watched a short YouTube video about the town and found that we’d missed the main part of the town, the new part, not the old town. We were berthed at the very edge of the dockside and had miles to walk in to town. Not that it mattered and we had all day to pass in this place and it was the last port on the trip, so we’d make the most of it and the heat. I found a tea shop, i.e. a shop that sold dry tea leaves. Got some Assam and some fruit teas too. Found some impressive looking wide piazzas and squares also an old elegant looking opera house. Lots of shops and then we were in to the old town with its teacup water fountain. The forum was mobbed. It seemed that everyone had decided to descend on it today. Maybe it’s like that every day. It looked very grand and the two punters dressed up as Roman centurions were doing a roaring trade fleecing the punters for €5 a time to get their photos taken with them. Walked through an old market area, had a beer in a dockside cafe and then back to the ship.

Spent the afternoon lounging on the balcony watching a group of boys daring each other to jump from higher and higher places on the cliffs into the sea. That and watching another group swimming with two dogs that seemed inexhaustible climbing on rocks and swimming. I must admit I was tempted to go for a swim myself. The water looked a beautiful green-blue colour. However, I left it too late and then it was time to leave Split for the long run down the Adriatic into the Mediterranean and on to Malta.

One final dinner in Cafe Jardin, but no dancing tonight. Already our thoughts were turning to the packing we’d have to start tomorrow, but not before we had a G&T on the balcony and watched the stars.

PoD was the Forum filled with people. Is this how it would have looked in Roman times? Probably something similar.

Tomorrow is a final sea day.

Hvar – Pine trees, Cicadas and Staropramen – 11 August 2019

The only port where we had to use the tender.

If there’s one thing P&O are good at, it’s organising. Waited in a queue to collect our ticket for the tender which was really one of the lifeboats. About 15 minutes later we were called to board the Skylark. Just a ten minute jaunt to the harbour.

We walked around the bay and took a detour up through a sort of park with Corsican pines growing everywhere. We could smell the pine resin blowing in the breeze. We also found a Cicada on one of the trees, initially pointed out by an American man. You always hear cicadas in warm climates, but it’s rare to see one.

Walked on and found a posh hotel with a low level infinity pool. Turned back at this point and walked back by a lower path. Stopped at a cafe and had a bottle of Staropramen each, then a coffee. Nice wee place where you can watch the hundreds of wee boats in the harbour alongside enormous yachts. We watched a dog jump off a boat and paddle to the shore, almost beating the couple who were rowing to the shore from the boat. I’m guessing it was too warm to be a guard dog today. We got free WiFi at the cafe too. Not many places seem to have free WiFi these days, or at least I didn’t find any.

Back at the ship we saw the polis in a speed boat huckle some poor punter and his pals. At first we thought he’d been exceeding the speed limit in the bay, but it began to look a bit more serious and they weren’t for letting them go again. Never found the reason, but it certainly spoiled someone’s Sunday.

We decided to try dancing again because Roy & Andrea (the Lovely Jubbly dance teachers) had the night off and one of the entertainment team was playing the tunes. We asked for Desposito and danced a fairly decent Salsa to it. The girl playing the music complemented us on our Armography. I’m guessing it was a complement anyway! Lovely and Jubbly were watching too, but didn’t say much. I think it was a case of “We are not amused.”

PoD was the view from the cafe.

Things I remember about the pretty little town of Hvar:
You must not go topless in the town. That rule applies to both sexes.
The swimming dog
The smell of the pine resin
The Cicada
The old lumpy tree who’s trunk was held up with a wooden post.

It’s a nice quiet looking town and we’d go back there if we got the chance. However, not tomorrow, because that’s Venice!