Split Internet, or lack of

There used to be a lovely little Internet café down by the bus station in Split. They had a large array of english books on hand, and whenever you bought a book the nice man who worked there would let you use the Internet for 30 minutes free of charge.

What a great idea. As we headed into the Internet café next door, that nice man popped his head out. “No no, here, here, fast ADSL connection”. I’ve been wanting to dump all the data from the trackstick, and generally see how close I am to filling the memory card, so I asked “well, we have this, can we install some software?” Eager to get another customer or two, he agreed and walked us around. All of the machines are linux. No good for what I needed. When I told him this, he sat us down at the router, and said we could use his one and only Windows machine. “No virus, right?” “No, no virus, just drivers”, I laughed.

You may think you know where this story is going. You may think that you’ve worked out all the twists and turns already. Perhaps you’re already skipping way down to the end, bored with whatever useless commentary I’ve added along the way. You may be right.

Five minutes later, two bottles of beer have been brought to our machine and the trackstick is plugged in. One of the girls two computers along perks up “Excuse me, my Internet isn’t working”. Firefox has an error, the computer restarts, the room full of computers are useless…

Tomorrow, news of how two British travellers managed to interrupt the Croatian power grid, plunging the entireity of Eastern Europe intro darkness.

In our second full day in Split we managed to destroy an Internet café. The guy was very nice about it. He said it was his fault, that he shouldn’t have let us use his router machine (he didn’t even charge us for the time we had used). He may be right – but I’m still very sorry Mr Internet Man.

So, if you find yourself in Split, please stop off at the yellow Internet café near the bus station. He doesn’t have an Internet connection any more, but do buy a book or three – he needs it! 🙂

The rest of the day had a lot more of aimless wandering to it, including a massive hike around the Marjan peninsula that finished Pete off, and made him go and sit down by the sea instead. I continued, determined to find the local zoo, natural history museum and hopefully a Mongoose. I found one of them…

And the zoo had a tiger! And a fox! And a Wolf! And bears! And a guinea pig… Actually, lots of guinea pigs. It doesn’t matter where you go, but zoos will always have guinea pigs or rabbits. I’m not exactly sure why… Who goes to a zoo to see a rabbit? Seriously, do children run around their parents spiralling out of control as they dance a dance of joy and longing for “oh, can we see the rabbits, please please please please!?” No. They want lions, tigers, zebras, rhinos, elephants, giraffes and llamas. Maybe not llamas. This zoo had a llama . It was right there by the entrance. I found a group of people and spiralled around them dancing a dance Michael Flatley would be proud of “We’re gonna see a llama, a llama, a llama!”. At least I would have if anyone else had been there.

All in all, it was a quite a modest zoo. It had a llama which cheered me up no end, as well as a really funny monkey that looked not totally unlike one of those old soft toys that would fold inside out and turn into a ball or a bear. Poggles? Something like that.

A trip around the rest of the peninsula gave me the opportunity to completely tire myself out and remind my legs that if they didn’t shape up soon … I was going to like, die. It was incredibly peaceful, and filled with really nice woodlands overlooking the whole of Split and the various ports that surround it. I thoroughly recommend it as a really nice addition to the lively city just down below.

Tomorrow we’re going to leaving our private (cheap) room behind, and take the overnight train to the capital – Zagreb (about 800 kunas [80 quid] for the ticket and cabin for the both of us). There, we have two nights booked in Hotel Ilica. The 1-star hotel of choice for Pete’s birthday on Sunday. Lonely Planet Guides describe it as the “Best deal in town”. It does look interesting 🙂

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    • Granny
    • October 14, 2006
    • Reply

    What fun you seem to be having! Come home safely Pete . Have a lovely time on your birthday- will be thinking of you x x x

    • Katie
    • October 16, 2006
    • Reply

    Hope you had a good birthday Pete!!!

    I can’t believe you have Lonely Planet guides for your trip….not happy.

    • Peter Danes
    • October 16, 2006
    • Reply

    Great thanks, although I through an eppie when the Indian Restaraunt we went to tried to poison me with Chilli.

    Yep, could probably cope without lonely planet but its always good to have a second opinion. however, I (think) your guidebook may have called the classy hotel we are staying in kitsch? or maybe that was lonely planet. Wait til you see the photos and then you can dea with the person who didnt fully appreciate the charming quality of this understated hotel.

    • Katie
    • October 16, 2006
    • Reply

    You are oh so right

    Hotel Ilica
    Friendly family-run hotel featuring small but tidy en-suite rooms with TV and phone. Interiors are either winningly eccentric or overpoweringly kitsch, depending on one”s taste. It”s still good value for the price range, so reserve well in advance and, if possible, ring to reconfirm the day before your arrival. It”s in the courtyard of a low-rise office block 1500m west of Trg bana Jelacica. Take tram #6 from the bus or train station (destination Cernomerec) until you see the hotel on your right. Rated 4-5 on price scale which is middle range…..

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