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A boat show was not on deck when my travel companion and I planned our trip to Split. However, when we blew into town last Friday, the millenia-old city had already set sail for the ninth annual Croatia Boat Show.
When in Rome—or, err, what used to be Roman—do as the former Romans do.
Many Croatians, many more Italians, a handful of Germans, and two Americans—namely, this girl and her friend— got roped into the main entrance on palm tree-lined Riva for HRK60 (€8.10; $11).
At first, it was just pleasant to see men ogle something other than the latest flat-screen teleivisions. That was before we got scared. Our prior boat knowledge didn’t include propellers the size of small cars, motors the size of stadium speakers, or dozens of 007-style yachts with trimmings to match. (Our favorite was the Pershing 90 we christened the “silver bullet.”)
But nothing could prepare us for the Pumpabike. We couldn’t stop giggling as we saw a salesman riding it, bouncing up and down like a clown atop the calm waters of the Adriatic. Slugs make better time and with much less effort. Pumpabikes sell for US$1,000, and the sales people were not amused and future vacation hot spot—in the Bermuda Triangle. Book ahead.