Split, 2007

We spent days in and out of Split, putting up in various guesthouses. The first apartment, Vrlic Guest House, was run by a lovely old couple, who invited us to eat grapes with them in the evening.

Bad service but excellent food

The second apartment is not worth talking about. But our landlady at the third - Split Central Apartments - was a wealth of information.

At that point, we were most interested in the food. She recommended the "restaurant opposite" (we didn't get the name); Fife, which had "bad service but excellent food"; and Chinese Shaolin, "the only Chinese restaurant in Split", but better than any she'd ever had in London.

Lunch in Fife was great, although the service was, disappointingly, decent. Try the pašticada, a traditional beef stew, if you go. There was a Japanese girl on her own in the restaurant who had three beers and a huge three-course meal all by herself. Everyone around her looked suitably impressed.

We did try Chinese Shaolin. It wasn't easy to find. The food was not fantastic, but we expected that. We reckoned that she hadn't tried enough Chinese restaurants in London.

Bizarre encounter at Bene Bay

We went to the beach in Bene Bay after a long walk in the Marjan Peninsula. It was a lazy beach with few tourists and some locals chilling out. There was a playground slide stuck in the sand that led into the sea when the tide was in. The sky was red and the sea purple at sunset.

Leaving the beach, we sat at the bus stop waiting. An elderly couple tried to engage us in conversation. Between our English, their Croatian and a bit of German, this is what I think they said: (1) Beatrice and I were siblings; (2) Beatrice and I were husband and wife; (3) Beatrice was pretty; (4) We both had nice smiles; (5) Singapore was where some Croatian footballers used to go; (6) The bus would arrive in "peth" minutes; (7) "Peth" means five.

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