I didn't quite escape a torrential downpour in Patras, Greece where I caught an overnight (huge) ferry to Bari, Italy. Unfortunately, I didn't realize I was getting into Bari on a Sunday morning until I got off the ferry and found nothing open but a seafood market and tons of gellato cafes. People still came out in droves, though, to walk the streets and window shop at the closed clothing stores.

Mike, this made me think of you.

With fellow travelers I met in Bari that day, I took another overnight ferry to Croatia. We all got off in Dubrovnik, but since time was running out for me, and since I wanted to be somewhere that trains actually went, I took a crowded bus up to Split and passed the time with a lighthearted and cheerful Tisha from West Ireland.

Split is a perfect example of Croatia's wholehearted embrace of tourism as a means to repair its war-torn economy. Although they still have a ways to go, Croatia is doing pretty well by touting its natural beauty and access to history.

Split's claim to fame is Diocletian's Palace; an absolutely massive compound that in time became a city unto itself. Modern day Split is still built in and around the remain of the Palace where much of the Palace structure has been torn down and rebuilt into houses. In two of these pictures, a line of laundy is anchored at one end to someone's house and at the other end to the 1500 year old outer wall of Roman Emperor's Palace.

The last picture is of my humble abode in Split which I rented from one of the horde of black-clad old women hawking sobe/zimmers/room; she looked like, sounded like, and was about as nice as a bag of gravel.

The next day, the top of the bell tower gave good views of the red roofs of the Palace and the rest of Split. The remaining, original Peristyle was for some reason covered up with a trendy cafe and a horrificaly ugly stage for opera performances or some other such Roman ruins travesty.

My last stop in Croatia was a day in the capital of Zagreb. Far from the bombed-out wasteland that I think a lot of people associate with Croatia, Zagreb was a bustling city with beautiful parks, stately buildings, and every type of person you would see in any other city. And blue fire hydrants.

And back to --> Germany

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