|I've just spent 5 fantastic days on the Croatian island of Hvar enjoying the hospitality of a family friend who has an apartment there. Hvar belongs to the central island group of the Adriatic and lies in an east-west direction to the coast. These islands together are called "The Hvar Group" only 4.5 km away from the Croatian mainland.
Hvar is about 68km long, partly under pine woods and partly under arable land and marked by distinctive beauty of panoramas of lavender fields, peaceful villages and a fresh climate. The flat part of the island produces up to 50,000 hectoliters of wine per year. not bad for a little island with only 300km squared of space!
I caught the ferry over from Split on Saturday then caught a jam packed bus from the ferry port at Stari Grad for a crazy half hour bus ride to the medieval Hvar Town. Once at the bus terminal in Hvar, Ana came to meet me.
Ana was staying in the one bedroom apartment with a friend of hers, Jean, so I was in the lounge of the little place for a couple of nights but then Ana and Jean went back to Split for 5 days and Ana very generously offered for me to stay on in the apartment after she left for as long as I liked.
Hvar town exudes more than a sniff of Venice and in fact it was under Venetian rule that Hvar's citizens developed the fine stone carving skills that resulted in a profusion of beautifully ornamented buildings. Hvar's wide harbour extends its open arms to the sea while a long seaside promenade, dotted with small rocky beaches, stretches from end to end.
I only stayed on another 2 nights but words cannot describe how nice and NORMAL it felt to be staying in a real home, being able to to laundry, cook a meal, sweep the floor and wash the dishes. I loved it and had a fantastic time. And in between all this domestic bliss was the hard task of walking down the hill to the beach, renting deck chairs and umbrellas then laying in situ for the whole day. Rising only to go for a dip when it got too hot or to get another drink.
All this lazing around has had a terribly detrimental effect on my documentation of my travels as I discovered to my great regret as I looked back at my photos this morning and realised I had taken no photos whatsoever of the beaches or of the harbour in Spilt either...I will really have to pull my socks up!!
It worked out very well having free accommodation on Hvar as it was a very pricey little destination, being the latest island paradise of international trend-setters and their mega-yachts. Its become known as the 'Croatian Madeira', being the sunniest and greenest of the Croatian islands, receiving 2724 hours of sunshine each year.