Rachel climbed up the Bell Tower one of our first days here and after seeing her pictures, Catherine and I had view-envy. So we met up one morning to grab coffee and climb to the top. I discovered a café that serves an almost-full-size cup of coffee. It’s actually more like a half-cup, but you can enjoy more than two sips of espresso so I take it as a win. After lingering over our coffee and trying to make it last as long as possible, we headed into Old Town . . . and were confronted with 5,358 other tourists.
There was not one, not two, but an unheard of THREE cruise ships docked in the harbor. But nonetheless, we braved the crowds and bought our 20 kuna ticket.
Now let me tell you, the Croatians are very easy going, very relaxed and rather lenient with citizen regulations. But I think they’d benefit from having a little order at the Bell Tower.
For the first half of the climb, you’re squeezed into a narrow stairway with incredibly large, incredibly steep steps. Which is not particularly pleasant by itself. But add in the fact that there are people fighting to go both up and down, my claustrophobic self was very close to freaking out.
After patiently (read: awkwardly) waiting at breaks in the stairs to let others slide by us, we fought our way to the top to enjoy the spectacular view.
The edges of Diocletian’s Palace were very distinct and seeing it from above, it’s amazing to think 3,000 people still live within its walls. The terraces, balconies and verandahs remind you that these are actually people’s apartments and this view is just an everyday occurrence for them.
After sweating through the Bell Tower, Catherine and I were ready for lunch, and to get as far away from all the tourists as possible. We fought our way through the crowd and over to the other side of the Riva, towards Marjan. We found a hidden staircase which we thought was just a small path to the street above.
Several hundred stairs later, we popped out at the café in Marjan Park and figured this was a perfect place for lunch. And it didn’t disappoint. Look at this view!
And thankfully, our salads were equally as amazing. Turned out to be a very luckily accident.