Split: Rain and Bed Bugs

Split, Croatia, is a balmy, picturesque tourist haven in the summer months.

What Split looks like in summer, not that I would know.
Photo via Cunard

Unfortunately, Pete and I travelled there on our honeymoon in late October and got drenched.

We got a lot of use out of our raingear

We arrived at the tail-end of the tourist season.  Many museums and attractions were shutting down a few days later.  So we expected to have cooler temperatures.  The rain put a damper on our time in Split, but we enjoyed the town nonetheless.

Inside Diocletian’s Palace

The main attraction in the city is Diocletian’s Palace.  In the fourth century, Roman Emperor Diocletian built himself a very large and very fancy palace in Split.  Today, the site takes up a large part of downtown Split, with restaurants, shops, and apartments inside the walls of what was once a massive pleasure palace.

Via Wikipedia

Our first night in Split, we stayed in a little stucco hut that was in the old part of town, just outside of Diocletian’s Palace.  To get there, we had to wander around labyrinthine streets and alleys occupied by packs of feral cats.  Our hut had a bedroom, a kitchenette and a bathroom only separated from the living quarters by a shower curtain.  Romance.

I had trouble sleeping that night.  At one point, when I was lying in bed trying to read, I noticed a little black speck running across the mattress.  We had bed bugs.  I didn’t know much about bed bugs at this point but I knew they were evil little bloodsuckers who were nearly impossible to eradicate.  I woke Pete up in a panic and showed him the bed bug I had squished.  There were little specks of blood.  Ew ew ew.

Via Wikipedia

We moved out the next morning and found a nicer (albeit teeny tiny) place to stay.  We did our best to de-infest our luggage before moving and hoped we hadn’t brought the bugs with us.  We did our first (of many) mattress checks in our new hotel.

Via howtodetectbedbugs.org

We spent the rest of our trip periodically worrying about the bed bugs.  When we arrived home, we left all of our luggage and clothes outside before going in.  Yes, all of our clothes.  Our neighbours got quite the show.

After consulting the internet we put nearly everything in the washing machine and dried all of our clothes at the hottest temperatures our poor, old dryer could muster.  We left a suitcase outside in our shed for the entire winter, hoping that the cold temperatures would kill any bugs we couldn’t launder to death.

Even though we avoided an infestation, we’re now completely bed bug phobic.  Check out this highly scientific map of bed bug presence in North America:

Via bedbugregistry.com
AHH! They’re everywhere!

We’re now completely paranoid whenever we go to hotels.  We do systematic bed bug checks.  I would suggest that you do the same, if, deep-down, I didn’t think that these checks are kind of futile.  They’re going to get to us eventually.

Despite this icky turn of events,  we do have some fond memories of Split and we would definitely go back, *in summer*.  The city is beautiful, historic, and charming.

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4 thoughts on “Split: Rain and Bed Bugs

  1. Oh my gosh this made me laugh! I’m sorry, I am sure it was no laughing matter at the time! How terribly awful! I have always wanted to go to Croatia… If I ever make it there, I’ll be sure to stay in a nicer hotel!!!

    • Definitely visit, but do stay in a better place than the one we picked. We didn’t realize how rustic it would be until we got there, and then like the polite Canadians we are, we stayed there because we felt too guilty backing out. Big mistake!

  2. ooops sorry that you had this experience. In Croatia – especially on the coast, you can find many different types of accommodation, some are still “the older type” usually run by Croatians in their old houses (with shower curtains dividing rooms….) but there are also a lot of new properties, up to western standard. We have recently done up our house, the bathroom looked like that picture above or even worse…. we’ve transformed the house in a very comfortable, modern home… and certainly no bed-bugs… 🙂

    • We made the mistake of staying in a really rustic place in Split, but we did learn our lesson and didn’t make the same mistake once we got to Zagreb. We had to learn the hard way, though!
      I just checked out your blog and it looks really interesting. We really fell for Croatia and obviously you did too. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

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