Catch of the day
22.06.2013 - 05.07.2013 30 °C
Meeting Shelly and Pete in Split was a special moment. We laughed and cried all at once then headed off for coffee and a market to buy some local produce. Croatian ham and cheese very good ! We sampled Croatia and loved the people. Warm friendly and true, with the exception of those who worked in the office of tourism which was curious!
We began and ended our travels with our friends with what became known as a 'fish' . No matter how prepared and aware you are as travellers you are always a potential victim of the financial misunderstanding. The one that caught us in Croatia was local fish, freshly caught('here let me show you")priced per 100 g on the menu. Naive and ignorant on our first night in Split! A scorpion fish, apparently Queen of the ocean, cost $100 and it was only for two ! 'The fish' was part of so many transactions, it was always a signal for buyer beware. Once we hit the islands we were in search of Croatia's most beautiful beach. We began on Vis with water that was clear, clean and beautiful only let down by a shabby town beach with very uncomfortable rocks, we could only look up. Hiring a car opened our world and we found special beaches in pine forests with smooth white stones. Stivna beach was a gem that can only be accessed by sea or a steep cliff path. A traumatic trip to the beach with moments of sheer terror was rewarded with a therapeutic swim in an exquisite cove. In addition to our quest, Vis allowed us to experience good examples of Croatian grill, veggies and meat, particularly when we were in the mountains and found a Konoba run by a charming host who greeted us with home made rose and carob Brandy. We journeyed on to Hvar and Dubrovnik, each becoming more touristy than the last.
Hvar was beautiful and, as is always the case, we could find ourselves our own space when we stepped outside the tourist beat. Great swimming in unbelievably aqua water, plenty of pevo (beer) and many laughs to be had. I am pleased we ended in Dubrovnik as if we had arrived there first we would have formed an entirely different opinion of Croatia. This beautifully restored city is an expensive tourist town. But when you scratch beneath the surface you discover the town stands as a symbol of its people. Nearly destroyed in 1991 the artists and towns people have devoted everything with a fierce passion to make it even better than before. So the terracotta roofs, unbelievably brilliant in their colour, display the resilience and bravery of those who fought to save their town.
We couldn't believe how many other Australian tourists we encountered here especially after feeling a bit of a novelty elsewhere. It is interesting how Australians are drawn 1000s of km from their home to find another coast, a familiar medium .
We leave this part of the holiday with so many special memories of our beach crawl in Croatia.