July 21, 2014

Split without Salona: IMPOSSIBLE !

I like to be direct, sometimes even blunt :-).

However, if not being clear, you would miss this tip:
visiting Split without visiting Salona (today's Solin)
would be a terrible mistake.
As without Salona there wouldn't have been Split.

The old Romans knew how to pick their locations, 
and Salona is one of those unique spots.

Sun, soil, water, a perfect place to live near the Adriatic, 
well protected from invasive tribes, however that changed later on when the Slavs moved in.
For centuries however, the location was perfect,
a firm stronghold and a great place to relax from all the expeditions the Roman empire organised.
And relax they did, all those 50.000 ancient inhabitants.

Recently I received a newsletter from go Hvar at wordpress
with highly interesting information and a load of great pictures.

So once again, why bother if someone else does a better job,
I continue to pamper my crops, while you read the entire story at:

And I do hope you will visit Salona, as to understand why Split is Split,
you múst experience Salona.
The above mentioned link gives you a perfect idea.
And after reading it, you better see for yourself.

Promise ?
Great !

July 15, 2014

chase the donkey, thát's what you need to do !

Why bother writing my "no good for nothing" pages,
when there is a fár better option ?
Well, to be honest, I like to keep my English in shape, not easy for a Dutchman living in Dalmatia.
With a couple of languages in my head
(Dutch, English, German and a tiny bit of French),
and trying to increase my knowledge of Croatian
(svaki dan malo vise),
sometimes I get a headache flipping from one to another.

Than why not choose for Dutch or Croatian, you might ask,
the answer is plain simple,
my Croatian is very limited, and with only a few Dutch on the globe,
it makes sense to use English in stead.
That's why I use English, and with still a lot to share,
I'll continue to (try to) do so.

However, it's a painstaking process,
partially digging for what's still in my head,
sometimes with a bit of help from Google Translate.

However, if you prefer to read proper English,
and need detailed information about Dalmatia,
dó have look at: www.chasingthedonkey.com

It's written by a nice lady called Sarah Jane, originally from Australia,
but chasing her donkey, she settled in Dalmatia.
Again today I received her so called Weekly Update,
which made me think "why bother, she's better".

Will this mean the end of my blogging, héll nó,
but I want !! you !! to get the most out of your search for splendid information about Dalmatia,
and how to discover and enjoy it in the véry best way.

So go to www.chasingthedonkey.com as those pages are great,
but do come back here once in a while, 
as however not a frequent blogger,
I will continue to add stuff whenever I feel like it.
And as you may know, I never write about the regular touristic offer, 
and certainly not about fish-pick-nicks and such.
As when I feel like writing,
it's because I think something is worth sharing with you.
And as a result, you get to know Dalmacija better.
As thát's what drives me and my internet fellows.

Great job Sarah Jane, I envy you !

July 10, 2014

dive, dive, dive !

(Picture "stolen" from the internet).

Many if not most people visit Dalmatia because a swim in the Adriatic is great, after a bit of sun tanning.
And many if not all of them do not know what's below the surface.
Well than, let me share a recent story in the Dalmatian newspaper called Slobodna Dalmacija.

As this newspaper published about some stunning results from underwater archaeology, done in the neighbourhood of Zadar.

Here a team of professional archaeologists did an underwater survey, which evidence based showed the remains of ancient people,
dating back 3000 years, if not more.
And the results are breathtaking 
(which might be a problem for scuba divers :-).

  Not being an archaeologist myself, nor a diver, I truly was thrilled, also because an internet friend of me, called Alan Mandic, offered private funding and whatever extra help was needed.
Bravo Alan, you're the best !!!

Why am I so exited about it all, my answer is pretty simple:
ja volim Dalmacija (I love Dalmatia), with all it already has to offer, and all that is still unknown to so many visitors.
Much of it still hidden under soil or water, much however clearly visible, touchable to those who go a bit further than an obligate
fish pick nick or a (pleasant) boat trip up and down the Cetina river.

Oh boy, there is só much more to experience trúe Dalmatia. 
I (retired Dutchman living here now) simply need two lives (if not more) to get a proper view of all those amazing things around us.
As through history each and every occupant (or long stay visitor) left less or more traces, as this territory always was highly attractive, because of its climate, soil, and all it still offers today.
Fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, olives and grapes, a most attractive coastline, and áll that lies behind it.

Already wrote many little stories on my blog (check those pages), trying to convince you why I call this a God given paradise.

Anyway, if interested in all Dalmatia has to offer, beyónd the average offer, contact Alan Mandic and his team at Secret Dalmatia.com ,
as it's his pride and joy to reveal our secrets.
(No, don't ask me, I am retired, with zéro obligations).

And bare in mind, part of the money he charges you, he voluntarily donates to reveal some of all our hidden treasures.
As that's a job for other professionals, with or without compressed air.

If interested in underwater archaeology, check: http://icua.hr/en to dive into the Adriatic a bit deeper.
And if a landlubber like me, contact people like Alan, as he can guide you to many hidden secrets, in or out of the water.

Read the complete fantastic story Alan wrote at: secretdalmatia.wordpress .
It's worth leaving this page :-)

July 07, 2014

being dutch in dalmatia

Perhaps you haven´t noticed yet, but in Brasil there is a world championship going on.
So whát you may say.
!! Football !!

And however the Dalmatian people are known for being absolute Hajduk Split fans, specially in this region,
there is a category of fans that goes totally nuts these days.
The Dutch !

Maybe you still think ``shall I visit Holland or Dalmatia this year``, well, than better follow my advise !
Dón´t go to Holland, unless you love orange streets.

As where the Brazilians are yellow/green,  the Belgians like cooked lobsters, and the Argentinians white/blue,
it´s all nothing compared to entire Holland.
As Holland these days is suffering from an Orange Disease.

So if you want to see Holland in it´s normal colour (greyish pale blue with plenty of rain), better wait till our team either wins the world championship or gets kicked out.

Until than it´s better to decide for Dalmatia.
Green, blue and sunny as usual.


Thank heaven, Holland lost in a terrible match against the Argentinians.
And without being an expert on football items, I think Germany will be world champion.
May the best team win, as that's what they are !!!

June 30, 2014

central dalmatia, a love story

Being a very enthusiastic reader of Total Split 's pages,
today I was pleasantly surprised with a very charming video
about Central Dalmatia .

The video won a price on a festival in Azerbaijan, and however the music under it is a bit to sweet for me,
I couldn't agree more with it's contents, including all the denials.

As yes, once you've tasted Central Dalmatia, you fall in love with it.
No escape possible, it grabs you by the b*lls and doesn't let go.

How do I know this, the answer is simple:
it happened to us, reason why we now live here, till Kingdom come !

And for those who sometimes stumble over my minimalistic English,
we are Dutch as Dutch can be, 
but following our hearts we left Holland.

Some, if not many people think or say Holland is beautiful, 
including Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Amsterdam's red lights,
the Keukenhof and a couple more highlights.

Well folks, it may be, but nothing beats

So, with or without it's music, check this truly fine video, 
and plan your first visit.
(Which will be the first of a never ending love story.)

Couple of days ago, some Dutch people visited us.
They travel all over Croatia and various other countries professionally, and what they said to us is as true as true can be:
"This beats all". 
We know, we know, and now you know it too.

June 28, 2014

Cetina footpath

(click to enlarge)

How about:
a walk from Omis to let's say Restoran Kastil Slanica.
(About 30/45 minutes for lazy walkers like me).

A most impressive walk it is, following the Cetina into the Canyon.
Frogs shouting "kiss me, I am a prince",
ducks hiding in the marsh, boats passing.
And, fantastic panoramas, worth a thousand pictures.

This last section of the Cetina, before it enters the Adriatic Sea, 
is very relaxing and so does the river.
No more rapids, no more waterfalls, no rafts, slowly, slowly now.

Only óne thing is missing !
There ain't such a footpath at all.

Living nearby, every time I drive down from our hidden valley,
I see many visitors who risk their pants, taking a walk until they think enough is enough !
And they are right, as a walk along the Cetina's borders is tricky.

With hardly any space to walk or to do some physical exercise, 
and cars and buses passing all the time, 
it is almost surprising no serious accidents happened yet.

And thát while a pleasant footpath wouldn't cost a bloody fortune, 
with still plenty of rough material from drilling the new tunnel.
Rocks and gravel, that's all it takes to create this perfect addition to Omis's attractions.
Well, ok, with a couple of places to sit down, have a pick-nick or take some photos.

No doubt there a zillion laws and regulations, as this is Croatia, 
but give me óne good reason why such a footpath would damage the pristine nature of the Canyon of the Cetina River.

The river and it's canyon deserve to be seen, and you, my dear reader, visiting beautiful Omis, 
deserve a proper footpath, safely divided from passing traffic.

Until than, this walk still is most beautiful, but be careful please.
As medical care in Croatia is perfect, but better not need it :-).

Enjoy your holidays in Omis, worth a stay.

June 25, 2014

camping in dalmatia

Bad luck....
.... if you don't want to spend all your quality time at the Adriatic, 
on small or huge camp sites,
as camping in the Total of Inland Dalmatia is a mission impossible.

Still the officials, locally ánd nationwide don't understand "some" people like to put their shelter, camper or caravan at a small natural site where the crowds don't go.

Freedom seekers, nature lovers, all those people who like to scroll the beautiful inland, may still be a bit surprised, if not disappointed to discover it's impossible to find such camping locations.

Sad, bad, ignorant and I might even add stupid,
as the inland of Dalmatia has loads of opportunities
to create a small, green possibility.

To begin with, the entire length of the Cetina river is pure delight, where each and every farm, village or small town should be happy
to embrace the possibility.
Vrlika, Cetina, Sinj, Trilj, Grab, Blato na Cetina, Podgrade, Zadvardje, even Kucice, to mention a few, are perfectly fitting into the idea of promoting the Dalmatinska Zagora.
These are only some of the many charming places along all of the Cetina's 105 beautiful kilometers.

And there are mány more places, like Vrgorac, Imotski, Ricice and more, that would benefit from people finding their peace in this most quiet, natural Dalmatian region, just behínd the coast.
The name: Dalmatinska Zagora, or to say it in English:
Total Inland Dalmatia.
(click on this line to find out more).

Who would nót want to spend one or more nights (ánd days) in pristine nature, enjoying local products from local producers, butchers, bakeries, fishermen or farmers.

Let's hope, the decision makers finally understand that all those ridiculous laws and regulations may be sensible at the coast, but contra productive for the inland.
As in most modern European countries there are basic initiatives, offering a stay in nature or near a charming spot or village.

Not the complete package with swimming pool, restaurant, entertainment, bar and beach club, where you see and hear more of your neighbours than what's ten meters away, but basic, natural, simple spots.
With of course a minimal offer of fresh water, a basic toilet/washing place, and a véry basic offer of electricity.
Not less, but ábsolutely not more (as less still is more :-).

If you only see where we live, in our well hidden valley with friendly people and a stunningly beautiful panorama,
you get the picture behind this plea.

As here we live in a totally peaceful environment, silent, pristine, natural and peaceful paradise.
And before you run to our village, better choose for one of the possibilities that already exist within one hour's reach in entire Total Inland Dalmatia.
"Unfortunately" you'll have to camp at the coast (still fantastic).
And also from there, each and every trip into the inland is like discovering paradise.

But let's hope it will soon be:
as it's truly worth a visit, for a day, but better for some more.
As thán you'll discover yourself ánd Dalmatia's hidden secrets.

omis, brzet, zvizdan, a fine place to: eat/drink/swim/relax/enjoy !

Want to know where we (as locals) go for a swim
and some friendly priced food ?
Ok, here's the tip:

Drive out of Omis, direction Makarska, and in a few of minutes (!), turn right at the sign Brzet.
Driving to this location is always a pain in the *ss, but accepting this minor problem brings you in a couple of minutes (!) to a most enjoyable secluded beach, terrace and restaurant.
The name of the place: Zvizdan (meaning star).

Not to crowded, which is a blessing in crowded Omis, the place is véry pleasant and easy going,
with a delicious terrace under pine trees and a móst fantastic panorama.
The sea there, as everywhere, is very clean,
and the bonus is in the fact that it takes ten (!) steps from the terrace into the waiting water.

It's our favorite spot, especially in the later afternoon, when the sun slowly sets behind Omis.
As than we like to refresh ourselves at Zvizdan with a cool drink (beer Paul B., béér), followed by a freshly prepared dinner, many times followed by another swim, this time under the stars.

Do not be surprised to see a couple of dolphins passing,
looking for some fresh fish too :-)
And you don't have to be a dolphin to have some fresh fish, as all dishes are super fresh, well prepared and very decently priced.

When returning, please be carefull when entering the coastal road towards Omis again.
The road you're leaving is in a slightly difficult angle, 
and not all drivers on the Magistrale are on holidays. 
(Especially some racing motor bikers with a clear death wish). 

If you don't have a car, ask at the tourist agency malimlin 
(opposite the big Studenac shopping centre, near camp Galeb), 
as they might just have a nice alternative available.