April 24, 2014

young pigs die young

Some vegetarians may want to read another story (I wrote a couple about vegetables too), the others may continue.

Any moment, any place, you'll see one of these basic grills, simple and very effective.
Perfect example is the Tuesday market in Zadvardje (not far from Omis), where there are two places that grill and serve grilled young pig meat.
The wood, not charcoal but WOOD, is what makes it even more tasty.
Smoky, no additives, just that meat and some sea salt.  

And what a delight that is, crispy, salty, tasty, melting in your mouth.
My favourite place is near the gas station (no problem, still far enough), where they grill behind the place, and chop and serve in front.
There you can buy whatever peace you like, as long as it's about one kilogram.

Takeaway or savoured at the (crowded) terrace, where automatically you get dishes, cutlery and some bread.
Want to drink, still early in the morning, fine, if not it's also ok.

But the taste, oh boy, that taste !
Simple, so simple, but oh dear, so extremely tasty !

I afraid of fatty hands, take a napkin with you :-)

Lidl Omis, hot air or at last !

(Picture "stolen" from a friendly photographer on the web).

The problem with rumours is that one does not know if it's fact or fiction.
Let's hope this rumour is a fact to happen:
Lidl is landing in Omis.

And that is great news !
As however there is plenty to choose from in Omis, 
my personal favourite for daily shopping is Lidl.
(Not for their meat however).

Regularly visiting the big Studenac supermarket,
I keep missing Lidl in Omis.
There are a couple in and around Split, one in Makarska, 
also in Sinj and Imotski, but Omis....

Main objection is the ridiculous Studenac "system"
for returning empty bottles or cans.
Recently the front of the store was redecorated, looks better than before, 
however, with a couple of empty bottles one still has to go to some shabby corner, in rain, wind or snow (and some sun of course). 
There a grumpy person counts every bottle one by one, before writing a ticket that gives one the right of a refund, back in the store.
Sounds pretty "old school communistic", and it is !!!!

As unless, unless ! the bottle is still with a cap, unless it's not clean enough, unless the print is only slightly damaged.
As than the CCCP-party secretary sends you to Siberia.

Come on Studenac, investing money in an update of the exterior is fine, 
but an up-to-date machine for returned bottles seems impossible ?

Give me Lidl, Kaufland or any other competitor, 
all of them with fully automated
 and client friendly in-store service.

I don't need your Clio sweepstake
(as I already have a nice car), 
all I want is an up-to-date store, where I enjoy bringing my money, 
and get the service any modern store today offers.

So let's hope Lidl does open that store in Omis, the sooner the better. 
As perhaps than Studenac finally understands that the fight for customers is only won by pro active competition, value for money and excellent service.

Welcome Lidl in Omis, hopefully not a bubble of hot air, but a fact !
Still for my meat however, I go to the butcher,
and for excellent bread I go to the new bakery in Omis. 

And by the way: 
some of the Studenac shopping carts have seen better days.
So be careful not to put in to much.

April 14, 2014

dalmatian hinterland, (dalmatinska zagora), so you still think "ah well"

Work still in progress, but some results already worth sharing,
so you understand why we live here in Svinisce.

The two pictures show one of our terraces and the view we are blessed to have.
And not only the view, as all we hear are birds.
No noise, no traffic (apart from one every hour or so), clean air, and the most stunning view possible.

To bad for you, we are not renting apartments, no way, but there are others who do, on likewise locations here.

So if you like what you see, still less than ten minutes by car from Adriatic, Cetina and Omis, and prefer a truly quiet, peaceful holiday close to everything (and more) but a bit hidden from the crowds, well, think it over.

Our good friend Robert of www.malimlin.com knows where to find you one of these delicious hidden treasures.

April 06, 2014

kravice waterfalls, a MUST visit !

Lucky you, as you (might) intend to spend your holidays in Dalmatia !
Sun, clear blue sea, beaches and coves, all of it fit for a perfect holiday.

And if you decide to stay in or near Omis or Makarska, or somewhere between them, lucky you are again.

Of course you're planning to do some excursions, trips, or just scrolling around in one of the many charming, historic places.

Baking in the sun, interrupted by a dive in that gorgeous sea, followed by a dinner under a star sprinkled sky, what more can one ask for.

Well, ask me, and I'll share a secret with you :-)
Cross the border !

Huh, why cross the border ?
First of all, because you can tell the jealous folks at home you've spent your holidays in both beautiful Dalmatia and Bosnia.
Yes Bosnia, BiH, or Bosnia and Herzegovina.
As Bosnia is completely different and beautiful !

As there, on the road from Imotski to either Medugorje or Mostar, lies a hidden gem you simply MUST see !

The name of the town you'll pass is Ljubuski, 
and near that town is an absolute MUST SEE !!!

Do not forget to take your swim stuff, as you're going to Kravice Waterfalls.

Why ?
Because I told you so !

The trip takes you through a mostly beautiful landscape, however it's sometimes less interesting.
The whole trip takes you let's say 1.5 hours, if combining it with a visit to Medugorje (if you're a true Catholic) or Mostar (for Muslims, Catholics and Atheists) a whole day, depending on how you like to spend your day.

But don't tell me, you forgot that visit to those magnificent Kravice Waterfalls, 
as than I'll never share a secret with you again.

Not only it's a breathtaking beautiful place, where you can splash into refreshing water, it's also a nice place to have a romantic dinner.
But remember, you still have to drive back safely, so be careful when drinking, as you want to enjoy those other days on that lazy beach and not in some police station, either to pay a penalty or worse.
(Both countries are ZERO TOLERANCE on alcohol).

March 23, 2014

ONLY clean Croatian oil: OLIVE OIL

There seem to be plans to drill for oil
in the Adriatic Sea.

Read the article on Total Split

and you will agree:


The only clean Croatian oil is Olive Oil

to busy today, so back in time than

Busy, very busy, I might even say EXTREMELY busy.
So if you desperately want to read/look, click on the blue line, as I started writing this blog around 2006.
First in Dutch, but rapidly exchanged for English, as that's more universal :-)
So if you like, click here, back to 2007, or choose any year from the archive on the right side of the main page.
Also, if you prefer to write me, in stead of reading, my email address is in the top side of this very page (in which X of course is @).

now winter (with hardly any cold or snow) has gone, it's time to prepare, plant, seed.
Not like our neighbours, who buy their plants ready to put in the ground.
Not me, not this Dutchman living in Svinisce.

They buy potatoes to plant, funny enough mostly from Holland, as that country is the absolute champion when it comes to creating new potatoes.
Hundreds, even thousands of varieties, many already forgotten, still a lot new types that either give bigger crops, less illnesses, better taste.

But I let them plant potatoes this year, as last couple of years I learned potatoes need a lot of work, attention, water, killing Colorado beetles, all of it to much work for the two of us, not depending on huge amounts of potatoes.
Other stuff however, from vegetables to fruits,
I seed, plant, pamper, grow, and prepare for dinner, all of it from "tons" of seeds I bought (mostly from Holland, some also from here).
Wanna see/eat chocolate brown paprika's or "weird" tomatoes, special herbs or unusual vegetables, come to Svinisce, and be my guest.

Being the cook in the house (all my life), one day we eat some good Italian pasta dish with osso bucco or a home made pizza, the next day it's a nice salad with good bread and a nice glass, or it's some Chinese or Indonesian food.
And still there are the Turkish, French, Indian and Swedish kitchen.
Cooking, as you may understand, is my favourite activity, and the amount of inspiration and ideas unlimited.

But even the cooking these days is (slightly) more basic, as I am BLOODY BUSY.

Ah, you thought Dalmatia is just laying in the sun, sipping nice wine or swimming in the Adriatic or the Cetina River, well, uhhh, it's not :-)
Anyway, not for me/us, as we're not tourists anymore.

And as we are the proud owners of more than two thousand square meters land, which has to be turned into a true paradise, full of flowers, plants and pleasant places to relax.

So, get back to history for a while,
as I am preparing our future, pleasant, easy and most enjoyable.
AND......with a bit less work and MORE time for this blog.
So click here: back to 2007

March 14, 2014

Ikarus Kurir, the plane and the man

Thanks to the website called 
I was reading about a man and his plane.
The ever active Paul Bradbury put a short video on it, which showed a short scenic flight on YouTube, flown in the Imotski area.

What...... , a plane flying around from Imotski, 
that's NEWS !
Is that all, NO.. , as Ivan Zlatan-Rebic is flying it,
 from his private airstrip !!!

The flight already was very interesting, 
showing that rough and amazing area from above, 
the story behind it even more !

As, after a bit of research I discovered (yes, that's inland Dalmatia, always something new to discover), 
I found more and more details.

Details about the plane, details about the man, details about the location, and I love details, as they slowly uncover a tremendous story.

Let's start with the plane, called Ikarus Kurir, 
built in the mid fifties in Zemun , 
a town in what used to be Jugoslavia (SFRJ).
Only one (this one !!!) is still flyable in Croatia, the other only one is in Slovenia, flying or resting, 
I do not know yet.
Built for reconnaissance and transport of wounded soldiers, it lost it's value when helicopters were introduced in the army.
And, it would have been scrapped and lost for ever, if not saved by a retired pilot, called Ivan Zlatan-Rebic and his nephew, who's his assistent. 

With a long professional career in flying various airplanes, from crop dusters to fire fighters and passenger planes all around the world, he managed to save, restore and fly the machine.

Yesterday, I had my day off, which I use to go into the country together with my good friend Robert.
On our list were a photo visit to the beautiful lake in Ricice (near Imotski) after which we went to search for the man and his plane.

Did we find him, yes, YES, YES !!!!!
Was it a true discovery ?

As not only is he maintaining this lovely flying oldtimer, he is also building a second one, 3/4 size of the original, to be equipped with an equal engine, however with a turbo booster, specially built for aerobatics .
And is that all, HELL NO, as he's also building another flying device, 
which ain't a plane, nor a helicopter.
But that's another story.

So if you think Dalmatia is just a beautiful coast, 
how terribly wrong can you be !!!
Get out to look behind the coastal mountain ridge, and you'll find out yourself.
The website about Inland Dalmatia is a perfect help.

And Ivan, thanks very !!! much 
for showing us all you are inventing and doing.
You are truly amazing !

And if you think Nikola Tesla was special,
well, than you don't know Ivan Zlatan-Rebic yet.

March 06, 2014

Split goes Indonesian

Split, the biggest city in Dalmatia, I visit once in a while, but only when I need special things.
For tourists it's a "must see", for me however, 
not being a tourist, it's that big city I only visit for Bauhaus, Lidl, Konzum or Kaufland.
Of course there are many shops in Omis, our nearest town, but once every week or so I drive to Split.
The reason I don't go more often is simple, 
I don't like crowded big cities.

Next Saturday however I must (!!) go, 
as then there is the yearly food fair.
Normally I even avoid that fair (I've seen enough fairs in my professional life), but this time I MUST GO.

The reason is simple, I love good food, 
and even more, I love cooking (and know how to). 
Italian, Indian, Indonesian, Turkish, and any other kitchen that inspires me to prepare dishes I love 
(and our friends too :-).

Indonesian food however, is one of my favourites.
Because the Netherlands once "owned" Indonesia, there is a strong link to the Indonesian kitchen, as many people coming back home when Indonesia became independent, found it's way to the Dutch 
and their dishes.
Even in our navy there is a tradition to weekly prepare an Indonesian meal.

So, as there is this food fair, with next saturday a representation of Indonesian food and culture 
(dances and such), I must (!!!) go.
The focus will be on a dish called saté (satai), which is prepared of marinated meat (chicken, pork, goat), grilled on wooden sticks over a small wood fire.

The variety is immense, 
even the sauces it can be served with.
One basic ingredient however is used to marinate almost always, and that is ketjap (soy sauce), dark brown and made of fermented soy beans.
Thin like water in Japan, thick as syrup in Indonesia, and even then there are loads of differences, 
going from sweet to salty.
Properly grilled, saté is delicious, served many times with a sauce made of ketjap, peanuts, garlic and a couple of spices, including ginger.

Saté, remember that word, as I wouldn't be surprised if after the hamburger, saté is coming to Dalmatia.
It's simple, it's grilled, it's very tasty, 
and the variety goes far beyond that of hamburgers, cheeseburgers and the like.
Served with boiled rice, French fries or a slice of bread to dip in the sauce, some fresh cucumber and a king's meal is ready to take a firm bite.

With all superior ingredients we've got here, 
no doubt Dalmatia will go Indonesian.
Saté will do the trick.
Dobar tek, slamat makan, enjoy your meal.

I simply must !!! go to Split next Saturday, 
if you know what I mean.

So what did I say:

!!! SATÉ !!!


Was there, saw all stands, and again was a bit disappointed 
about the level of this fair.
About 50% is of the bazaar type, direct sales, one can see every week on the market in Zadvarje (tuesday's)
selling sausages and bacon, oil and cheese.

If looking for interesting presentations, 
better go to Metro in Dugopolje near Split.
At least they were on the fair with a stand full of goodies, nót for direkt sale, but to show the possibilities of creating something else for true cooks (so not for pizza heaters).

And about the saté that was served, well, to be honest, 
I prepare better !
So Sajam Gast (the name of the fair), you won't see me again.

February 24, 2014

"A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!"

And I, simple nature lover, who thought Sinj was only and all about the famous Alka tournament.
How ignorant could I be !

Thanks to the website 
I discovered the ever active people of Sinj's tourist organisation were inviting people to join in a guided tour through town.
For free, mind you, for free, and being a Dutchman living in Dalmatia, for free means "go man go".

So off went, I, together with my travel companion Robert (of www.MaliMlin.com), as both of us are originally from Holland.

And no, we didn't see any Alka horses, nor their heroic horsemen, as for the world famous Alka tournament you'll have to come in summer.

Than what makes Sinj so special, all year round ?
Well, first of all Jelena, the charming and very pro active lady of the tourist board.
We were warmly welcomed on the main square, introduced to our splendid guide for the tour, and at 11.00 sharp of we went.

Now before I start to reveal the whole tour, I might say "sorry, but it's your turn".
So get of your lazy sun burned beach (not yet), and go to discover Sinj yourself.
Of course you come to Dalmatia for sun and sea in the first place, however,
before you do so, as we're still in winter, allow yourself the pleasure of discovering Sinj through the internet.
To make things easy, see:

There's plenty of high quality info available, and if interested in history, archaeology, culture, nature, a bit of action and/or adventure, and TRUE Dalmatian life, prepare yourself for a visit to this town, right in the heart of Dalmatia.
As it's a great starting point, absolutely worth a visit or a stay.

Should you need help, info, details, anything, do contact the tourist board of Sinj, as they know it all, and share it all with great hospitality and charm.

And I, humble walking nature lover, I will definitely go back to Sinj.
As to get to understand Dalmatian nature even better, sometimes it even makes sense to enter a town.

And I might just consider to get into nature again, this time on horseback, as that's one of the many offers, an entire week on a horse, instead of walking.
(Sorry horsie, sometimes I like to be lazy).

But no, I won't join the Alka Tournament, as that's for true noblemen.
And besides, I never sat on a horse, yet !

Thank you Sinj, for inviting me.