Meet the People of Split: Gytha, Game of Thrones Guide, TV Extra, Archery Master

Daniela Rogulj


Split is a city full of interesting and diverse people, from all walks of life. Total Split will be getting to know some of them through our new feature “Meet the People of Split”. Today we start with Gytha, a vibrant go-getter we met while joining the very popular Game of Thrones tour in Split. Here is her story. 

1.) Hi, Gytha. Why don’t we start with you telling us about your background, where your family is from, and where you grew up?

First of all, thank you for this great opportunity to be a part of the project! My origins are from this area – my dad’s ancestors come from Klis and they were once a noble family (we have a family coat of arms) and my mum’s family comes from Poljicka Republika. I was born and raised in Split and went to school in Split. This year I had my 15th anniversary of finishing high school. 

2.) I met you while you were hosting a Game of Thrones Tour in Split: How did you get involved in being a tour guide, especially a GOT tour guide? 

I finished a course for tour guides in 2014 but I was always into history and telling my friends about the beautiful city and its rich history. I am such a history geek and also a huge GOT fan since day one – more of a TV series fan rather than a bookworm – and I just combined my two loves into one. It is so hard to find a good tour guide who is also a fan of GOT so I decided to change that, hehe. The tour agency Vetus Itinera gave me a chance to show them my skills and since then I mostly work with them and also with whoever books me as a guide.

3.) I also know that you were an extra for GOT – can you elaborate on this? Which season was it, which episode, and overall – how was that experience? 

Yes, I was a GOT extra. I was in Season 4 Episode 8 as one of the free slave girls having a bath with Missandei on the river Zrnovnica. I was the girl standing behind Missandei, and because of that scene I got a call the following year to do a scene in Dubrovnik with Cersei, Merryn Trant and High Sparrow for Season 5 Episode 3. It was one of my favorite days ever, spending time with such an amazing woman as Lena Heady. She is super nice and loved to hang out with us extras, and she even ate the same crappy food as the extras did. She has a wonderful sense of humor as well. Ian Beattie who plays the evil Merryn Trant is also a nice guy and such a silly person.


4.) As I am finding out, you are a woman full of surprises – want to tell us about your hobbies? Reenactments, horseback riding, archery – anything else? 

Haha, yes. I am not your typical ”Splićanka”. I have been part of a reenactment scene for over 5 years now and am a member of the group Guardians of Zagreb – Red Cuvara Grada Zagreba.  The last reenactment I did was Seljacka Buna in Donja Stubica which was a reenactment of the big battle of peasant’s revolt held in 1573. There are a few groups from all over Croatia and Europe who go to these historical events. Most of the tournaments are held during the warmer months and all across the country. There is one battle near Split in Klis fortress every last weekend of July. 


I also do archery in Strelicarski klub Dalmacija here in Split and I compete in the medieval tournaments. I own two bows – a Mongolian bow called Blackie and an English longbow called Ursulla.

Whenever I can I escape from Split I go horseback riding at the Equestrian Club Javor in Kerumi near Ogorje. Since I was a little girl I was in love with horses. I also participate in tour rides around the ranch with guests and explore the beautiful nature of Inland Dalmatia. The best way to explore the scenery is on horseback. I’ve been around horses for over 15 years now.


5.) When you’re not doing all of the above, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time in Split – are you involved in any other projects? Do you have another day job?

At the moment I work for two amazing people – Mirela and Ionut and I am part of the Break Time Nautical team. During my free time, I love to do adult coloring books which are good for relaxing and I also love reading good books. I am also open to new projects. You are never too old to learn a new skill or be a part of an interesting project. Among other things, I am also the co-administrator of the Facebook page “Expats Meet Split” where a lot of people from all around the world who live in Split hang out with local people and we all share good tips and help each other. 


6.) What are your favorite places in Split – whether they be bars, restaurants, or favorite hang out spots – where do you enjoy it most in Split?

I still miss my favorite place – To je To. When it is nice and sunny I love to go for coffee on the Riva at my special place ST Riva and drink my kava on the balcony and observe people. For food, I love to treat myself with sushi at least once a month at Bota Sare. Most of the time I walk my little silly dog Bella who is so sweet. When I’m out in town I usually hang out at Leopold’s, Fabrique or Sanctuary. When it is a beautiful day I also love to walk up to the Vidilica cafe at Marjan and enjoy the most beautiful view over Split and soak up the sun.


7.) Split has obviously changed a lot, especially over the last few years – do you see the city going in the right direction or are there still major changes that need to be made in order for Split to be a true European destination?

I hope that Split won’t be a victim of mass tourism like Dubrovnik is now. For instance, there should be fewer cruise guests and more of the individuals who stay longer and explore Split and the surrounding islands and cities. We need a better variety of restaurants and bars in Split. I really don’t like many of our konobas and the restaurants that serve food such as pizzas or mixed meat plates or pasta. Many of my guests always ask where to explore the real cuisine of locally produced meats and vegetables and try for example blitva, or kupus and other local dishes such as real Poljicki Soparnik – not the crap they are selling around town (which now, by law, you are forbidden to sell Soparnik because of its UNESCO protection…and they still do sell it). We also need more events like sports competitions and concerts, not only Ultra but other music would be good. There is always something to be improved and made better.

8.) If you do think major changes need to happen in Split, what would you suggest?

I would suggest making it easier to live for the people who want to invest into Split – like renovations of some places and easier permits and paperwork for opening a business. And also, to connect with other cities around the world which have similar stories as Split does.

9.) What are some of your favorite getaways outside of Split? Any that are not too far away?

Every once in awhile I travel around Croatia for reenactments or for tourist work. But my favorite spot is the Krka waterfalls, especially when it’s not too crowded. There are also a few gems around Split. The source of the river Cetina and also the well at the center of the Dalmatian Hinterland is here to explore. I explored most of it on horseback and it’s amazing and an almost untouched place. Hrvatsko zagorje is a great place also, around Zagreb. But I also like to travel abroad. The UK is my favorite, and Scotland is in my heart. I visited Aberdeen last October and I really want to go back there again. Almost 9 years ago I lived in the South West part of the UK – Wiltshire, home of the ancient place called Avebury – which is a location some people say is older than Stonehenge.

10.) I know you are a history buff as well – what is something that annoys you most about tour groups or tourists in Split? This could be anything from being geographically challenged to an overall lack of common sense or not knowing the basic history of the country…

I think some tour guides are very bad – they talk badly about the city and they also lack knowledge about Split. I think as a guide you have to represent your town with all the love it deserves and present it in the best light. Many tourists – well especially ones from the USA – always ask where Diocletian’s palace is even when they are already on Peristil – at the heart of it. And you have to try to explain to them that it is not just one building but it is a complex of houses that has developed over time.

Another thing that bothers me are the Romans who say that they represent Diocletian soldiers, and they wear the completely wrong outfits! OMG, I freak out every time I pass by them! Is it so hard to do the research required before buying the outfits?


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