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Thu May 19 2016: Harrassing Neda with Bad Jokes

Split is Croatia's second-largest city and is located right in the heart of Dalmatia. We're staying here for a few days so we can take our bikes in for regular maintenance. There have been a a couple of niggling issues ever since unwrapping them from our winter break that we need checked out. My motorcycle has not been starting up very well in the mornings and has been running very rough lately.

We take the bikes into service one by one so we have transportation while in Split. So while my bike is in the shop, we ride Neda's bike into the old city to look around.

This is what Split is known for. Bacvice Beach.

Split is one of Croatia's most popular tourist destinations. Mainly because of it's amazing weather and beautiful turquoise waters.

Sun-seekers enjoy the sandy beaches at Bacvice

Neda used to tell me of all the times she used to walk the beaches in Pula and just pick seafood up out of the waters and eat them raw. I find this hilarious, so I make fun of her all the time when we're just walking around normally and I point at something random on the ground, "Are you going to eat that?"

But as we walk on this beach, Neda picks something up off the sands and shows me nature's buffet: an aquatic snail called a limpet

...and she eats it! I'm equal parts grossed out and fascinated. But I decline nature's buffet...

We park the bike at the center of town. As we walk away this cat walks purposefully towards Neda's motorcycle

"You know what she's on her way to do, right?" I tell Neda.


We watch as the cat walks up to Neda's bike and then turns around to look back at us. It's a staring game, and cats always win staring games. She's not going to pee on Neda's seat while we're watching and we can't just wait there forever. So we shrug our shoulders and continue on. Actually, just me. I had to drag Neda anyway backwards while she continued to stare down the cat.

Originally, Split was an important trading port. Nowadays the port is mainly used by gigantic cruise ships

Train station is right at the harbour

There's also an international airport at Split, so there are half a dozen ways to come directly here, which makes it so easy and popular for tourists.

Statue of Franjo Tuđman, first president of independent Croatia

The old city is splendorous!

Neda has only visited Split once - on a school trip before the war. She left for Canada shortly and she really wanted to re-visit Dalmatia and also to re-discover and share this with me. It reminded me of when we were in Malaysia just a month ago. Although I didn't have a lot of strong memories of it, it still felt good to share a piece of my childhood with her.

Lots of tourists out enjoying the beautiful weather!

Until these Romans decided to spoil the day: "Seize Her!"

Dalmatia was part of the Roman Empire 2000 years ago, this is Diocletian's Palace, built in the 4th century

These two guys in suits walked out onto the platform like they were getting ready to sing or give a speech (lend them your ears!) But they took forever, so I just walked behind them, took a picture and we continued our tour.

Underground complex of Diocletian's Palace

Diocletian's Palace is a UNESCO site, but that's nowhere as cool as the fact that they filmed the fourth season of Game of Thrones here! The underground complex was the set of the dungeon where Daenerys kept her dragons in Meereen. They had to clear out all the shops and stalls for filming, because the dragons would have destroyed everything. You just can't have nice stuff when you have dragons.

Steps leading out of the underground complex. This lady really wanted to be in my picture. She didn't move the entire time.

The Vestibule at Diocletian's Palace, the entrance to Diocletian's living quarters

Cathedral of St Domnius (Katedrala Svetog Duje), built in the 7th century, it's the oldest Catholic cathedral still in use

The streets outside Diocletian's Palace are filled with touristy shops and stores, where you can Rome around and browse

Historic old city of Split

Pausing for a refreshing break at the fountain

Contemplating Laundry Day at the Republic Square

Cafes and restaurants line the Riva Boardwalk, diners have a great view of the Adriatic Sea

They say walking is supposed to be good for you. It's a habit I'm trying to adopt. Any success so far for me? None.

So we've made it this far and I haven't cracked one joke about the name of the town: Split. No pea soup comments. No fraying hair-ends. But I can't stop myself. But Neda is already wise to my ways:

"Hey Neda, do they grow bananas here? Because..."
"Shut up."

"Hey Neda, do people double-stitch their pants here? Because when they bend ov..."
"You suck."

I guess when you've grown up with a specific meaning for a word and then someone tells you it means something else in another language, you're never going to stop thinking of it in your original language. Besides, she corrects me, "It's pronounced SPLEET".

"So do they fine you if you split on the slide-walk?"
"Congratulations on being the worst person in the world."

When the crowds get too big, the tourists hold hands. So that they don't get... separated from each other

My poor bike

Back at the dealership.

We wanted to leave town soon (in other words: we wanted to Split early), so the service technician didn't have time to pinpoint what was wrong with engine, but he thought it was probably dirty injectors and to try running some cleaner the next time we gas up. He took me to my bike, which was still up on the stand and showed me what he was more concerned about: grabbing the rear wheel, he shook it right and left. There was about half a cm of lateral movement.

Final drive failure. Again. This is not going to be cheap.

Maybe I could discuss this with the dealership and we could Split the cost...?

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