September 25, 2014

Croatia, a Slavic country









(Picture from the Slavorum newsletter).

Spending some (certainly not all) time behind my computer,
I subscribed to the newsletter of www.slavorum.org .

The reason is simple, I love to learn more about Croatia/Dalmatia,
and the surrounding countries.
Much of their information is highly interesting, even when much of it is about Slavic countries far from ours (and many times much colder).

But Croatia being a Slavic country too, much of the information is interesting to me, telling about culture, history ánd............nature.

Recently the newsletter was telling about a magnificent artist, painter and photographer, called Vyacheslav Mishchenko.
His pictures made me feel very humble,
with my simple Canon Powershot and not blessed with his gifted way
of looking at nature's magic.

However, I am not totally blind, ánd living in a charming valley, surrounded by stunning nature.
I love to walk around, always discovering some nice flower, a snake or a lizard, and numerous signs of extremely hard working people.
Old stone walls, forgotten houses, even complete villages, an old fruit tree as the prove of better days, when people still lived in such now abandoned places, simple but honest and proud.
Not the most easy life, as everything had to be done by hand, stone after stone, creating tiny patches of workable land to grow whatever was needed to survive harsh conditions.

As however we are "blessed" with electricity, tap water, roads and a lot more today, all around us the country tells of those brave people who made it possible to us to be living here today.
Ok, we also did our bit of work to change the piece of "jungle" our land once was, but it were those ancestors who fought nature in the first place, and created what can be experienced today.
And you'll be amazed how very special our valley is today.

As today we are most happy people living in a most beautiful valley, with a couple of good neighbours around us, ánd...........
lots of pristine nature, silence, a pleasant climate and very fertile soil.
Thát's why I write these pages, so you know Dalmatia has so much more to offer than only a magnificent Adriatic Coast.

And, because our nature is similar to nature in parts of Ukraine, the country where Vyacheslav lives and works,
I highly recommend you to visit his website.

PS.
With Ukraine in the daily news in a different way, it's good to know it's not only a country in a dramatic state.

September 22, 2014

shit weather is also weather :-)

(Do click to enlarge those tiny symbols, written in Dutch).
(The orange line shows day temperatures, the blue one temperature during night, and yes there will be some rain, but on average things still look pretty nice, so why not plan a trip, as even in autumn Dalmatia is a pleasant alternative).

But let's face reality:
do not trust those copywriters making you believe Dalmatia álways has terrific weather, as they are paid to lie.
The picture above tells the truth, and I'll add a bit of truth to it.

Today for instance, it was raining here in Svinisce.
Ok, not all the time, but when it falls it's a lot.

In fact, the whole summer was slightly "different", and as a result the potatoes did great, but grapes, olives and figs, all of them sunlovers,
did bad this year, véry bad !

Is it all a result of the feared climate change, who knows, so better wait for next year than.
Fact is, there were more moments of heavy rain like last night and this morning, with thunderstorms and hail.
Not being dependent of the result of my home grown vegetables and herbs, to me this summer was good anyway, resulting in many great delicious dishes and a stuffed freezer.

To neighbours and friends around us however, good crops of necessary basics like olives and grapes for instance, are a múst.

Let me explain this.
Wages in Croatia are low, véry low, while expenses are similar to any other country in Europe.
So what do people do here, they grow there own.
Not as a hobby like me, but because it takes the pressure of the daily budget for food, leaving some money for bills.
(Water, electricity, fuel for the necessary vehicle, it's all as expensive as in any other European country). 

For that reason, everything grown around us is a necessity to people living here,  yes, including grapes for wine and rakija,
including olives for delicious olive oil.
Socializing here means having a chat and a drink together, and since beer or coffee have to be bought, people grow and make their own drinks, juices and liquors.
Which makes sense, ánd....which tastes very well too !

Ok, back to the weather, and the current statistics,
as statistics hardly ever lie (do they ?).
In the picture above you can see the prediction for upcoming ten days.
Temperature still at a pleasant average of 20-23 degrees Celsius, and however not what we like most, some rain today and tomorrow.

And as a result of locally heavy (!!) rains, towns like Zadar, Makarska and Imotski suffered big problems, as the water came pouring down, flooding streets and creating unexpected waterfalls.
But like I said, "shit weather is also weather", and these couple of days of shit weather I use to organise my load of seeds,
ready for next growing season.

Let's hope for people around us, next year will be less uncertain, resulting in nice healthy crops of grapes and olives.



September 18, 2014

if visiting Split, than álso Solin !

(Picture and video found on TotalSplit)

Visiting Split, that's a must for most visitors of Dalmatia.
And right they are !

In fact, our part of Croatia is blessed with three historic places.
Of course the old Venetian town of Dubrovnik is numero uno, 
but Split (ánd Trogir) get their portion of visitors too.
And again, right they are.

I will not get into all the details and highlights, with ever increasing numbers of visitors it's pretty clear these towns are "must visit"
évery loooong Dalmatian summer.

But many people visiting Split forget to visit Salona (today's Solin)
and in my opinion that's a mistake.
Click on the link and you'll understand why.

Salona was highly important in Roman days, as the centre of the East Roman Empire, múch more important than Split.
It had all a big city needed for it's 50.000 + inhabitants.
The remains can be seen on each and every spot, so to understand it's importance ánd the very reason why Diocletian's Split was built, you simple cán't do Split without Solin.

In a recent page on TotalSplit was an item about a new video of Solin.
And apart from two aspects is worth seeing.
It's in Croatian, don't know why if they want to attract tourists from all over the globe, and nr.2 is the music in it.
But that, says the U2-fan, is my personal opinion.

Apart from those two flaws, the video is absolutely great !
So click on the blue link above, and prepare for next holidays.

PS.
And of course, copy the link of TotalSplit to your computer.
It is no doubt a great promotion of Split, initiated and maintainted by an Englishman living on the island of Hvar.
But that's typical british, they only feel happy on an island :-) 

We prefer our hidden valley behind Omis, quietly in the middle of nature, and close to either Adriatic Sea, Split ánd Salona, and all of it without having to wait for a ferry:

Svinisce-Cetina River: 5 minutes
Svinisce-Omis: 10 minutes
Svinisce-Adriatic Coast: 12 minutes
Svinisce-Split: 30 minutes
Svinisce-Solin: 33 minutes
Svinisce-Trogir: 45 minutes
Svinisce-Dubrovnik: 180 minutes.

Just kidding Paul (the Englishman on Hvar), 
but we do not have to wait for a ferry, nor fly, nor swim, but yeah, we're Dutch :-)



September 15, 2014

view on cloudy morning Mosor Mountains


(Do please click to enlarge)

A short post, to busy doing other things, but.....
how about such a view from our terrace in the morning.

Hope you can imagine how very nice it is to slowly wake up
with a cup of strong coffee, sitting on our terrace.
This is the true treasure of our hidden valley in Svinisce,
with only the sound of birds and crickets.

Yes, the Dalmatian hinterland (Dalmatinska Zagora) ís beautiful.
And we are extremely lucky to be living in it.

So next time you're planning your holidays in Dalmatia, 
and prefer a less crowded stay in the middle of nature,
we've got it, and móre than enough of it.


Beach and sea less than ten minutes by car from here, 
historic Split or Trogir within half an hour's drive, 
the Cetina Canyon, Biokovo and Mosor.

And.....PEACE, without any stress !!!!

PS.
Sorry to say, but we're not in the renting business.
If looking for some nice house or place, see the many agencies.
Try www.malimlin.com for instance.

September 10, 2014

Zrmanje River Canyon and Knin's Krčić waterfall


(Do click to enlarge).

Recently drove to the Zrmanje River Canyon 
with a couple of best friends.
Normally I don't drive that far (three hours) from home, with plenty of stunning nature around us.
But this area was on my bucket list for a while, so.....
So we had a fantastic day in a totally different area.
And if you think you've seen it all, forget it !
I am even thinking to go back,
however than it would be wise to stay for a couple of days.


On our way home from the Zrmanje we went through Knin, 
and again I was amazed by the diversity of our part of Croatia.
I would have never found this spot, if my friends had not guided us.
Was it worth it, well uh......HELL YES.
Krcic is about 20 meters high and in winter a great place for those who want to practice some ice climbing.

I tried to film it as good as possible, 
but it's impossible to put on video what we saw, felt, and heard. 
The power of the water falling down was simply immense !
Just in front of it is a wooden bridge, where a storm of wind and spray felt like standing behind a jet getting ready to fly of.
Nature, impressive Croatian nature !!!

Click on the video I uploaded to Youtube:

Zrmanje River Canyon is worth to be on your list, 
and so is this waterfall in Knin.
My advise to you for the waterfall: 
better hurry to experience it, because HEP, 
the Croatian Electricity Company seems to have some bád plans with it !

And my advise to them: 
DÓN'T even THINK of it !!!!

August 27, 2014

Split, oh Split, you're beautiful (from a distance)


( Do click to enlarge )

Split, beautiful Split, visited by so many tourists every summer.
They fill the centre, the Riva, Diocletian's Palace, and all those tiny streets, but do they see Split's true beauty ?

Licking ice creams, eating pizza, drinking wine, taking pictures,
but do they really feel what Split is about.

I think just óne person, óne photographer saw Split at it's very best.
From Marijan, from a distance, and right on time !
As there and than Split showed its amazing beauty.
As Split in summer is nice, but it's much nicer, as you can see,
after a moment of rain.
And off season, there is more rain, so there are more perfect moments to see Split like on this picture.
And even much nicer Split is from a distance, from Split's green zone, 
that pine tree covered hill next to the town called Marijan. 

Lidija Lolic, one of the very best photographers in Split,
she knows her stuff, her moment, her art,
went to the very best location to take this picture.

Couple of days ago, a rain front was passing, with loads of rain, 
a burst of violent wind, and thunderstorms hitting the mountains around Split with impressive flashes.

And Lidija, clever Lidija, must have thought "Marijan !!!!!".
As that was, as you can see, the ultimate location to take
the ultimate picture of Split.
Bravo Lidija.

Living in our tiny village, well hidden from the crowds,
I love to go to Split, but óff season (if there is an óff season),
as than all Split is all mine (and yours).

PS.
As Lidija is a pro, all her work is protected, and not to be copied, shared or used without her permission.
Therefore I asked her if I could use it on my blog, so you could see Split the way she sees it, being the way I love to see it 
(....from a distance).
Need a true photographer, for whatever project, 
no doubt she delivers the very best result.
While you, I and most others, well uh....just take pictures, 
here's the link to her various work: www.lidija-photo.com



August 24, 2014

if a true cook and if interested, just write me




Another picture (see the previous blog post), this time however as a presentation,
worth to be served in a high end restaurant.
(Not for pizza bakers, not for grill chefs).

And however I am nót (repeat NÓT !!!) looking for a job or obligations,
I might try to teach a friend here to produce such delicious vegetables, a king's table worthy.

I simply wanted to prove there is so much more possible under the Dalmatian sun,
and like I said before, all of it without any artificial "help".
Pure eco, pure domaci (home grown), pure delicious ingredients for a fantastic salade, or as extra to a perfect dish.
Ánd.....a true joy for any professional chef.

If interested *), my email address is in the header of my blog.
So write me an email,
and we'll think of some growing plan for next season.

Enjoy Dalmatian summer, rich of delicious vegetables.

*) If, of course cooking in the Split region !