To Split and back home
We return to Split for the last evening in Croatia and take a plane back to Amsterdam the following day.
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What can we say about the last few days of our vacation? We returned to Split yesterday, after breakfast and packing our bags. Sanela had told us we could leave our keys on the kitchen table; Anika would visit in the afternoon to clean the apartment and pick them up. We do take a taxi back to the autobusni kolodvor this time (the mistake of dragging the freighter that is our travel bag along at a temperature of 30°C is one you only make once (at least, a year)).
Shortly after, we are sitting in one of the comfortable buses of Autotransport Šibenik that takes us on sort of a farewell tour along the places we have visited this vacation: in reversed sequence Šibenik, Trogir and finally again, Split. As we now know our way in the center of Split, we quickly ride our bag along the riva to our hotel. Before leaving Split the first time, we had already had the good sense to check where it was located. What we had not discovered yet, however, was that the hotel was actually on the fourth floor of a large building. Without an elevator. Fortunately the receptionist is available to help carry the bags, so together we carry the black bag up eight stairs. The hotel is apparently a small one with only a few rooms, but they are very nice and comfortable.
We change clothes and leave for the Marjan park for a last relaxing swim. My aquatic adventures are quickly cut short, as diving into the water, I manage to just graze a sharp rock edge with my hand, cutting into my finger. Fortunately lying on the warm rock is no punishment at all, and I spend some time watching Vonne floating face down in the water; a white-orange tube sticking up next to her head indicating that she has not drowned, but is busy snorkelling.
After watching our last Croatian sunset for now, we head back to center. We had already agreed upon revisiting the restaurant of the extraordinary mixed grill; not that we are looking to have another eating challenge, but the food was very good and I would like to try out the meatballs that Vonne had last time and she wants to try out a different meal there as well. It is clear that quite a few meals come in very generous portions, we notice, as the two Italian girls next to us have the calamari for two and are served a bowl that could probably serve four. This restaurant is Marianne Thieme's worst nightmare.
After another very tasty meal, we walk across the riva one last time and end our vacation as it started: having a carton of miniature oliebollen on the boulevard!
The return journey
We had to check out at 10 this morning, but we could leave our bags in the hotel, giving us the opportunity to walk around Split for a bit and have an icecream and a few last souvenirs to spend the last of our kuna's before heading to the airport. After lunch, we picked up our bags, carried them with the help of the receptionist down the same eight stairs and took the bus to the airport. The Black Menace turned out to have grown to about 28 kilos there, so we had to transfer a few things into our hand luggage. A coat and a few shoes did the trick quickly.
The Lufthansa-aircraft was half an hour late, but the wait was more than compensated for by the Kartoffelsalat with schnitzel (leave that to the Germans!) being served on board. Our transfer was in Munich this time and would give us just enough time for dinner, but here too our return was delayed at the last moment: taxiing to the runway, the pilot noticed that the left engine was not properly responding, so it had to be checked and serviced by several mechanics, followed by a good bit of old-fashioned paperwork. After some concern on our part that the aircraft would not be able to depart, the pilot reported half an hour later that all systems were functioning and we would be taking off.
And so, high in the sky, towards a sunset over Amsterdam, our vacation truly ends. Croatia, thank you for your hospitality and beautiful vacation, hopefully we will see you again!