Trip to Split
Before I took the metro to the Athens airport, I picked up a beef gyro from Bairaktaris for €2.20. Thanos likes their gyros better than the ones from Thanasis because Bairaktaris puts tzaziki on theirs. They even put fries in there! Maybe it’s a California-style gyro.
The Athens airport takes the cake for most ridiculously thorough security check: not only did they ask for liquids in a separate bag, but they had to check each individual bottle to see what was in it, and they opened all of my bags. They were also confused by my SteriPEN. I should have just told them it was a sex toy.
Check out my review about Aegean Airlines to learn more about the entire flight experience.
About an hour after departure, we landed at the Split airport. Passport control was pretty quick even though there were only six counters, perhaps because not that many people come through this relatively small airport. I didn’t see a newsstand from which I could buy bus tickets, and the information desk confirmed the same when I asked: the one option from the airport is to buy one from the driver. The ATM only gave me a 200 kn bill, so I asked a bank at the end of the arrivals hall for change for the bus. They dismissed me and while telling me that the bus drivers should have plenty of change. So I crossed the airport parking lot and the main street to find an unmarked bus stop. I mulled over what the bank said, and decided to hurry back and ask for change after all since I wasn’t sure if they thought I meant the airport shuttle bus or the local bus. They were amused by my persistence and obliged anyway.
As there wasn’t a bus schedule posted at the stop, I looked it up on the Croatian-only website, thanks to Chrome. There was one bus scheduled every 20 minutes on weekdays, and one did arrive just two minutes after the scheduled time of 18:20. The driver spoke English and sold me a 17 kn ticket to Split without any issues.
The bus ride took about an hour, and the walk to the hostel took less than ten minutes. Split seems pretty small! Sanya checked me in and asked for payment. I wanted to pay with card, but they charge a 5% fee (which amounted to €4). I told her that I didn’t have 705 kn in cash, so she offered to hold my passport until I could get to an ATM. I took her up on it since she seemed so concerned about me having to pay the fee. She showed me to my room, which was a ten-bunk female dorm. Ugh, there were only two power strips for the two large sides of the room. There’s a toilet and sink the ten of us share. For each set of bunk beds, two lockers sit directly under the bottom bunks. Well, at least there’s an AC unit.
I followed a map that Sanya had marked with where the ATMs are directly into Diocletian’s Palace. I didn’t realize the little streets used to be hallways of the palace! Crazy. I passed by a huge statue of Gregory of Nin, the priest who was against the Pope and introduced Croatian into religious services, which strengthened Christianity’s foothold in Croatia. I suppose that’s why his big toe has been polished to a golden shine from all the tourists who come by to rub it for good luck. I don’t believe in such things, so I skipped doing that.
After getting cash at the ATM next to the tourist information center, I returned to pay for my bed and retrieve my passport. There was no hot water for the showers, but it was hot enough that I didn’t care too terribly much. From the sound of it, this hostel runs out of hot water by early evening, so some shower strategizing is needed.