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Monday, 7 March 2016

Photos Of The Day: Opening Day At "Mall Of Split" (+Video)











Firstly, this is my very first post about any mall in Croatia, and it's going to be my last one too. (Malls after all are just buildings with stores that sell things, that just about sums it up. I don't do tourism posts which would usually include mall posts) I only just mentioned this topic at my recent New Zagreb Airport Terminal Photos post and so decided I might as well elaborate further. This is also not the first or only mall in Split or the largest shopping center in Croatia either. However, I decided to throw in these few images from the recent opening of the newly built "Mall of Split" in the city of Split for a few more specific reasons for the benefit of the reader. An opportune time I thought to elaborate a little bit about how there is much more to the city of Split, and also Croatia actually, than just the summer touristy images that are more commonly seen.

To help get rid of any misconceptions that any people may have about the city of Split in general. That being that the city of Split is just mainly all those summer views of the historical seafront old quarter part of the city, or just the scenes in the videos and posters. Otherwise lots of people may end up thinking that's all there is to it. Thinking that the whole 350,000 population of metropolitan Split hangs around just that small old historical part of the city walking up and down the seafront walkways and sitting at the nearby cafes and restaurants 365 days a year, only spending time near the old Roman ruins sections, locations where early medieval Croatian Princes and Kings ruled from and the renaissance/baroque era parts, and on top of that thinking that it's just always summer there and that they swim at the beaches 365 days a year also. (Which is also just plain wrong and another erroneous misconception which I've posted about a few times, as it does snow in Split quite regularly)





This is what I'm talking about, I've been here and it's very nice and all and is actually a pretty cool place to hang out in the summer, but there is also an actual modern thriving city beyond this older historical section of the city of Split. There is much more than just the typical scenes like this. Basically, the whole population of Split definitely doesn't live or spend time in just this small picturesque area like some may think. (This topic can actually extend to many other cities and towns in Croatia come to think of it)





Because there is an actual city outside of the old historical part of Split, as in quite a number of other shopping centers and malls for decades already, other modern buildings, there's actual paved roads, arenas and stadiums, public transit, modern university and buildings, large grocery stores, plenty of other cinemas etc. (There's also another Ikea being planned for Split such as in Zagreb already) It's not just art galleries, opera houses and only outdoor markets beyond the more commonly seen views of Split. I think it's important that people know that. That there are already modern stores and shopping centers, and there are plenty of places to buy food and clothes than just the old quarter outdoor market and souvenir stands in the more historic section. Just like the country is not only a one sport nation, only just soccer.

This also proves another related point that I've mentioned a few times before, that being that Croatians don't always walk around wearing traditional folk costumes all the time either. That's important to know too, because those kinds of clothes are only worn for special occasions and important events, same thing for armour or renaissance era type historical clothing. Those are reserved strictly for reenactments or various types of celebrations and commemorative type functions, the rest of the time we wear and have been wearing for a very long time normal everyday clothing. This post is a good opportunity to show what typical life in Split is like beyond the summer tourist season or special events.

So that's about it, like I said at the beginning this is not really a mall post at all or about the first or only mall/shopping center in the city of Split, it's only just the most recently opened up and now the largest one in the city which mainly proves that the whole city doesn't just always hang around the more commonly seen images of the city. In a nutshell, this new "Mall of Split" has over 200 stores and 62,000 m2 of floor space, includes 9 cinemas, a casino, a children's magical playground and all the other mall basics, places to eat etc. From what I read over 80,000 visitors went through the doors on the first full day alone, and that some stores were having 80% off regular prices. (now that's what I call a sale) There was a more formal first opening night for local politicians, vip's and performance artists and so far 2 more days of grand opening sales, events and activities took place.

I guess I'll just finish off by borrowing from scripture, specifically from 2nd Timothy 4-7 and paraphrasing today's very moving teary-eyed Pastor Manning's emotional and eternal homoerotic pep rally retirement sermon etc that's been all over the news today and topic of the day all over the television sports world and the subject of days of commentary and videos etc....."We fought the good fight and have finished building the mall, well, it was a long and winding road but we stayed the course and have finished the race, now we cut the opening day ribbons and the balloons can be set free to float towards the birdie-filled skies over and beyond the rainbows toward the twinkling stars, after years of planning and then building it, now is the time, because we kept the faith and finished the race. Mission accomplished, Omaha, as we look back we know we gave everything we got for the love of the splendor of the future we toiled for and so that others can also likewise enjoy the fruits of our commitment because we stayed at it, we fought the good fight against the rains, snow, Omaha and sleet, we persevered the hot blistering sun and frigid winds and finished the great mission, now is the time to rejoice and contemplate as the escalators ride the good people and families and future restaurant patrons to their destinies, and as the balloons float to the great yonder over the mountains like magical rubber orbs into eternity...Omaha....and then beyond, and we'll look back with twinkles in our eyes just like your grandmother when she baked her palačinke on weekends before going to the market to buy fresh jams, Omaha, today is the day we have no regrets because we finished the race because we fought the good fight and we finished the race and now is the time because we kept at it. God bless Croatian shoppers, bears, beaches, bunnies and Hajduk Split, but most importantly today we say God bless the Mall of Split....don't forget to recycle and do not litter.....Omaha."  Below are some images of what went on over the last 3 days. More information at www.mallofsplit.hr in case you plan to do some shopping there in the future.


(If any mall sword wielding maniacs, stabbings or shootings take place, or even just a drugged out and drunken fiasco or a scat throwing fight near the food court area, I'll be on it and do a post about it with all the juicy details rest assured)



Images: Zvonimir Barisin / CROPIX

Igor Kralj/PIXSELL

Jakov Prkić, Milan Šabić/EPH

Miranda Cikotic/PIXSELL

www.facebook.com/MallOfSplit




Images of what went on over the first 3 days are in no particular order. (As unbelievable as it may sound at first, you will see absolutely no ancient ruins, stone medieval castles/fortresses, tour guides or souvenir stalls in the images below)

































These 2 examples are just information for the benefit of the reader to show that this mall isn't going to have crappy stores, many of the well known clothing stores and even more rare brands will be available here just like the other malls in Croatia. Below this is the interior of the Cropp clothing store that opened also I found out, it's an edgy alternative type Polish retail chain very popular all over central Europe and other places. (There's already a couple in Zagreb so you won't have to travel far anymore) Future visitors or shoppers won't have to worry about choosing from just Walmart and J.C. Penny for their clothing needs. Most of the well known European fashion lines will also be available naturally so you won't have to look like a hobo or wear mom jeans on bingo nights. (and a big Lego store too btw)






















I came across a few short opening day promo videos from the first 3 days.






Another thing that's good to know, and a benefit to the reader especially if you're Albanian background, is that Croatia believes you exist and you'll be able to freely shop for jeans, shirts, shoes or get snacks while existing at "Mall of Split" without any problems whatsoever, as there's security guards and plenty of things to buy. And as the images here show you might even get a free cupcake or a coupon for a flaky pastry or a hamburger, maybe even a balloon if you're lucky. (The Mall of Split naturally just asks that you throw your litter and recyclables into the appropriate bins when you leave and to not cause any disturbances or ethnic cleansing, that's about it)




Some things and fuckos just never change.



























































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