Later in the afternoon I made myself some camomile tea, remembering that this had been supplied by the hotel on my previous year too, and I had much enjoyed it. And the, as the light faded, for the evenings were now drawing in, the rain stopped, so I was able to go on the balcony again though there was no sunset to speak of. I finished the wine there, and then went for dinner to the restaurant where I remembered an excellent meal five years ago. But now I did not feel up to the full menu, so I just had some excellent trout and then indulged in walnut cake, a Bosnian specialty.

I was up early next morning, and had hot chocolate on the balcony, but it then started again to rain so I had to attend to my emails in bed. But when I went to breakfast, and told the waiters how much I had enjoyed my dinner on the terrace on my last visit, they laid a place for me at a table which was under shelter so I could look out on the bridge while I ate.

At the bus station the previous day I had noticed that the first bus to Split was at 11 am, so I retired to my room to read. Luckily, when I went to pay my bill, some Americans who were leaving were having a problem about change, which I was able to resolve when I paid my own bill. And they were so grateful that, when I found they had a car and asked if they could drop me at the bus station, they agreed straight away, and managed to make their way there without too much difficulty.

But there I found that the 11 am bus was not running, so I had to wait till 1 am, and then that bus took ages – though it only left Bosnia and entered Croatia once each – and we got to Split well after dark. It was a short walk though to the old city, and I found a lovely hotel built into the city wall, which gave me a room looking onto the south gate of the city.

This was all very different from my first visit to Split 50 years ago, when I got there very late from Sarajevo, and there, in the height of summer, there were no vacancies in any hotel. A policeman who had befriended me when he heard I was from Sri Lanka – on the grounds I think that President Tito and Mrs Bandaranaike were very close indeed – took me to several hotels, and when none served he told me I could sleep on the floor in his sitting room. I had to share the space with his grandson, head to head, who was also very friendly though with him too there was no common language. For some reason I have long thought he told me he was from Krujevac, but I find there is no such city, and it must have been Kragujevac. And that too added to my sense of the great friendliness of the Yugoslav people, a sense that was strengthened this year though it has now been broken up into many different countries.

The pictures are of the camomile tea when rain was looming, followed by two views from the terrace where I had breakfast next morning. Then there are five pictures of the journey in pouring raid down to Split, though spectacular scenery. Three pictures of the city at night follow, including of the cathedral spire, and then to end with the view over the south gate of the city next morning, from the window of my bedroom.

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