December 31, 2008

Look, don't think, just click the pic and look !!!

If ever I showed you why I love this country called Croatia and still you do not get the picture, well here's the picture why !!!

Start your HAPPY NEWYEAR with this picture in your mind, like I start up my computer looking at this amazing location, every day again.
And believe me, every time I see this scenery, I feel fine, as I may not be there now, but I will be soon, as even in winter airplanes fly (even cheaper !!).
To keep this blog clean and honest, this picture was taken after summer last year, so in winter it may differ from the actual view today or tomorrow.

OK, so let's think its winter there now, and however real winter is up and behind those mountains called Biokovo, its so so for the weather, but never to long.
Let me tell you than, that the view might be even better, as the light over the Adriatic never changes, but those mountains are covered with snow, making it look like a creamtopped cake.

As soon as possible we will go there, so pictures will follow from the same spot, along that tiny baye in Promajne, close to Makarska.
Looking like Little Peyton Place, this tiny village is the best location I know there, as it has everything in human scale.

Just a few streets, a couple of restaurants, not even big hotels but loads of private appartments, a large beach shaded with pinetrees, and right in the centre of the town a perfectly maintained small parc, a church with a white tower, a postoffice and above that the first grade school.

Need more ?
I would'nt know !

And as this blog is about Svinisce, the hidden treasure, just know that this marvelous spot is only twenty minutes away.


(and don't say I did'nt tell you).

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December 26, 2008

Dutch wishes !

Hello dear visitor of my weblog.
Most of the time I write about Croatia, and don't be afraid, that will continue to be my first goal.

However, in these dark decemberdays of spiritual reflections, waiting for the new year to start it allover again, a bit of fun might help.
So to you anglo-americans I say sorry for the inconvenience of having to read and understand a Dutch joke, but to my fellow countrymen I say "geintje, moet kunnen".

Soon I will add some of my regular exiting pictures and stories about the good life in Croatia, for now its "we're closed till january".

Have your best and most reflective Christmas ever, and start the Newyear not only with best wishes, but GOALS to realise.
It's not enough to say "yes we can", it's time to say "yes, we will" !!!
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August 28, 2008

crossing borders brings new views

Once in Croatia, to be precise in Dalmatia, everybody runs for the coast, the beaches and the old cities like Split, Trogir and Dubrovnic.

Not even such a bad idea, as the Adriatic is fantastic, the climate superb and very much to do or not to do staying along the coastal area.

But it would be no less than a missed chance, as just behind the coastal mountains lies a completely different world, much more authentic than any regular excursion can show you.
Nevertheless its highly recommended to take a trip, even its to those wellknown places where all excursions go.
Be sure you'll have a great day visiting Solin, Sinj or Knin, but it might be crowded with groups like yours.

Now lets have a look over the border, as that brings you a totally new view, for instance in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Kravice waterfalls direction Mostar are just an exmaple.

My last trip from Dalmatia into Bosnia Herzegovina took me to Travnik, highly interesting as it is, however you will see memories of the liberationwar.

What realy hit me however was the totally different landscape, almost (or exactly) like Switserland or Austria.
Green valleys, snowtopped mountains, smaller and bigger rivers where man were fishing trout, and sheep alover the country, filling up for rostil (grill).

I was passing through near Blidinje, a stunning landscape with a completely different climate,with a giant lake surrouded by high mountainpeaks, to my delight snowheaded in may (and ski area in winter), and I decided to go back there as its less than a hundred kilometers away from Omis at the coast.

What's more, I started to check the internet in advance, and discovered a real mountain tourguide, perfectly equiped with knowledge and experience, and that will be my man to learn from, cause BIH (bosnia & herzegovina) might not be the type of mountains to go in to without any experience or local knowledge.

So Friket, don't be surprised if I ask you to be my guide in that marvelous country, and I truly hope you show many people like me what a Godgiven beautyfull country your living in as our neighbour.

And in case your like me, do enjoy the Croatian coast, but don't forget to visit the neighbours, as than you'll have two countries in one holiday, and believe me for once: YOU WON'T REGRET IT.

Have a look for yourselve, just click on the title of this item (see above, you dummy)

August 27, 2008

one step out of paradise

The People's Treaty

However I love to share my love for the pure and unspoiled nature in Croatia in this weblog, this time a serious message must be shared about how people destroy paradises all over the world.

A great benefit of the twentyfirst century is what you're looking at now, the internet.

It connects people in their dreams, knowledge, fun and life.
Also it makes it possible to think over issues that hopefully are far away from each of our paradises, if we are the lucky ones.
Sad enough, we are not living in paradise, never were and never will.

From ancient history into today (and tomorrow) there were and will be conflicts, trouble and wars, and whatever responsible politicians and military say, there is no such as a clean war or clean weapons.

My own country Nederland only last century was part on worldwar one and two, in which WW2 did not only bring us the freedom I experience today writing this item, but also a load of danger hidden in the ground, silently waiting to kill or wound the innocent.

And sad enough, this goes for so many countries in and after conflicts and wars, also for Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, around and very close to my "hidden treasure".
Luckily the problem of mines and uxo's in Croatia is less enormous and rapidly taken care off, which does not go for Bosnia Herzegovina, less wealthy and far more poluted with "memories" of the freedomwar.

It will take giant amounts of money however for both countries and many years of dangerous labour, and many innocent casualties till the last peace of danger has been taken away.

Being intelligent people living in the twentyfirst century, creators of internet and many lifesaving and scientific inventions, it's about time to say NO to these other creations of human creativity.

Mines, clusterbombs and uxo's are INHUMANE, as they make victims AFTER the war.
Hidden in the ground, between plants and trees, in agricultural land and in God given paradise they wait for the innocent, unvisible, unfindable, unforgiving.

So if you want to live in paradise, or at least spend your happy holidays in it, contact your politicians and TELL them to stop this poluting of your dreams.


Cause wherever you travel, this DIRT is everywhere in our world, making your happy steps into paradise turn out to be a oneway ticket to hell !!!

August 10, 2008

Beautifull traditional songs (click here and listen/look)

Don't ask me what the lyrics are about yet, as my Croatian is just enough to shop or order a beer.
But I hope some moment I'll find out how this "impossible" language works.

Till then you'll have to just enjoy the sound of these rough voices, and at the same time enjoy the pictures shown of a land that's full of pure nature.
When you click on the title above "Beautifull traditional songs" you hear and see this song on Youtube.

For those interested in it, here are the lyrics of the song:

Oj medvjede gorska zivotinjo
Koj te ceslja koj li te umiva.
Mene ceslja gora bukovica
A umiva medena rosica oooooj
Oj, oj, oj, k njoj

Vuk ne vije sto je mesa gladan
Vec on vije da drustvo salije
Hojte vamo da ga zarozgamo
Odavno ga zarozgali nismo ooooooj
Oj, oj, oj, k njoj

Oj vuci viju, gavranovi grcu
Srne drce, sve planine jece
Hodi kume da ga zarozgamao
Odavno ga zarozgali nismo oooooj
Oj, oj, oj, k njoj

Oj zalajala kuja vise Slunja
U Primorju opazila vuka
Od stra`a kuja u Dunav skocila
Sve Primorje repom poskropila oooooj
Oj, oj, oj, k njoj

And YES, there are still bears, wolves and lynx here, in the National- and Natureparks and in many other part of the rough inland mountains and forests.
And not only those predators, as Croatian nature is amazing in its diversity.
For those loving true nature like me, its an amazing and inspiring country, where government takes pride and efford in protecting all natural beauty.
Coastal mountains, hot, windy and rocky, large forests, snow covered inland mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, caves and wells, prairies, slopes and valleys, you name it, they've got it.

A rich range of birds, more plants, herbs and flowers than you'll probably know, butterflies, crickets, and a range of reptiles (dangerous ones also, mind you), and even turtles can be found and enjoyed in their natural habitat.

Still, if you prefer to enjoy a beach holiday, want to explore ancient cities like Split and Dubrovnic or like to spend your time doing nothing at all in a guaranteed sunny climate under palmtrees or sail the coastal waters between hundreds of islands, just remember, Croatia has it all !!!

For me however, this marvelous country is the very best because of its natural richness.

why, where and how (take a tour to know)

The reason I create this weblog is in the first place to enjoy this part of Croatia.
For you as a visitor as well as for me, as selecting pictures and adding text is great fun for me to.

Also I like to show a bit of all the beauty of this pure country at the Adriatic, not in the first place for showing all the hundreds of points of interest every tourist is coming for from all over the world.

Sure, Split, Dubrovnic, Trogir and many more cities are absolutely worth the trip, and you will spend many hours if not days visiting them.

And YES, the Adriatic Sea, its coastal beauty, the hundreds of islands, the warm clear blue water, and not to forget the superfresh fish to be enjoyed in so many little restaurants are a delight waiting for you.

But please do take time to discover the land behind the coastal mountains, for instance our little valley just ten minutes behind the coast.

To give you an idea of why, where and how we fell in love with this part of Croatia, take a look at "our private parts" in our webalbum about how we discovered our small place Svinisce to be an absolute paradise to spend our time.

From the very first moment on, it was clear to me that I wanted to get settled there, at least semi permanent, if not permanent, as the quality and ritm of life there are the very best.

Do click on the next line, and enjoy the pictures (subtext in Dutch).

Hope to see you there once.

July 18, 2008

blues to start the day with

Why not start your day with the blues.
Most people dream of a white Christmas.
Not me, as however I like those snowy days in winter, I prefer the blues of summer.
And as I live in the Netherlands, not having the most blue coastal waters nor skies,
overlooking this blue Croatian coastal picture starting up my pc keeps me happy.

To help you a bit putting it into your mindmap, this view shows after only a fifteen minutes drive from our little hideaway close behind the city of Omis in Croatia.

From our little quiet valley, we drive to the right, and after a bit of zigzagging up the mountainridge, this magnificant view shows.

Driving down to the coast, one can choose to go to the left along the coast, heading for Makarska and its Riviera in about fifteen minutes, or to the right, taking you along that same coastal road with one great swimmingspot after another, to the city of Omis in also about fifteen minutes.
Which, entering along the Cetina Canyon at your right, brings you in a ten minutes drive back to where you started, being our little treasure.
So if you like the summerblues, just come and get it.
Or else, get the picture onto your computerscreen like I did.

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April 07, 2008

rock the waves

No need to be scared, as most times the Adriatic is flat and gentle.
But when the "lady" is angry, she's most unpleasant and violent.
So allways keep a close watch at the weather when you decide to go offshore.

There are several options to know the weatherforcast, and if you're out and afloat, once in a while look at the coastal mountains.

Cause if a white cloudy cap is building up and tumbling down towards the sea, you better look for a safe spot or enough space away from the shore.

That is one moments the lady starts kicking ass, and she does give you a rough ride for a couple of hours ar least.

But most of the time, the sea is flat as a mirror with some gentle breeze for sailing ships like the one waiting here with Omis mountains in the background.
(other side of town has a very large sandy beach).
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going to the kitchen

Not my type of food folks, but it seems to be very tasty.

To me an octopussy is an amazing seacreature, and one of the rare ones I will get if I can, as I have some friends who like them very much.

Other species like large living shells and other stuff I like to watch without touching, but sorry for these eight-legged crawlers, they are salade stuff.

Don't ask me how to get them into the salade, thats a secret I don't want to know, but if you insist I can contact someone who knows.

Being a steakeater, a chickenkiller and a porklover, I only sometimes eat something fishy, and if so, it better be fresh and grilled, or at least crab or lobster if it has to be cooked.

So to be very clear, I like my fish swimming while I swim around and watch.
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Readers of my weblogstories might think I am well payed by the Croatian Government to promote the country in every aspect.

Well, I am glad to say that is NOT THE CASE !!!!!
I like my freedom very much, including my freedom of speach.

So this page is about the RISKY things in Croatia.

Traffic is danger nr. 1, as many roads have highly dangerous CROSSINGS, and at ANY moment there is a risk of collisions.
So wherever you go, do it with great care when driving these roads!!!!!

Traffic is even MORE dangerous when rain falls in a dry hot summer !!!!
Oil, fat, rubber, its an ABSOLUTE reason to STOP your car immediately,
as you will encounter accidents if not be a part of it.
So don't say I did not warn you !!!

Government is "very shy" about it, but yes there were a couple of wars here, and the recent liberationwar was one of them.
Our neighbour Mate in our valley is the living prove of the danger of "old warstuff".
One eye blind, one arm missing, lots of scars, and all that from one single small German bomb found after W.W.II.
And as the liberationwar was not as "organized" as W.W.II, there are still lots of mines in "suspected" area's.

So yes, there are zones that are a dangerous, and YES, you can come and go safely, as the risk zones are wellknown and well marked.
Continuous mine-sweeping action will take care of the final solution, and each risky location is mapped very clearly.
Villages in those parts that are "risky" have all details available at the tourist-office.

And if you really want to live life on the edge, please be prepared, cause there are scorpio's, snakes, bears, wolves, cliffs, caves and enough home made alcohol make you sleep forever.

Life still is a risky thing, but knowing the risks is dealing with them.
The only real safe place is at home in your bed, and even there you may die when a comet hits the spot.

So get going, as you're gonna die anyway someday.

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the scale of a landscape

Its rather a weird idea, to lick the landscape, but ok, you can now if you like.
A poststamp of Crveno Jezero, one of the two immense lakes near Imotski makes it possible, but I rather have a look than a lick, having Imotski less than an hours drive from Svinisce.
Crveno Jezero, or Red Lake is far mor impressive than a little stamp can show.
For instance, the depth is 220 meters from rim to bottom, and that's only one of the two lakes here.

The other lake, called Modro Jezero or Blue Lake, is extensively described on a marvelous website called

This website is very interesting to any visitor, and even more in memory of a crew of twelve men with a B24 Liberator, shot down and finding a resting place in the depth of the lake.

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April 06, 2008

make the impossible possible

Pick a walk, and go !

Its not impossible to just go into the fields and mountains, and just start to walk.
Its even the best way to discover new things.

However, it aint the easiest way, I highly like myselve to just "go for it", even when "it" is not clear at all.

Still, even I do a couple of things in advance (I may look stupid but I aint).
One is have some idea of where to go, looking at maps, talking to people, and check my digital maps I use with my gps.

At home, I scroll the internet, checking for pictures, stories, Google Earth and many more.
Combined with my digital map of Croatia I select my goals, being natural, historic or cultural.

Another thing is the option of selecting a climate for the day.
A WHAT ???
Yes folks, its possible to select a climate for the day, as within some limits this is TRUE.

While the coast is gently warmed by the sun, ten minutes behind the coast it is lightly freezing, and an hour away inland snow is packed and frost biting.

Hurray !!!
I like it this way, starting in the wintercold, finishing on a seaside terrace in the sun with a cold beer in reach.
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in the beginning there was.....


We started with 1200 meters of jungle, real thick jungle.
Cutting, burning, sawing, lots of cold beers, slowly opening up this scenery.

Mosor Mountains, not Himalaya with its 4500 feet to the top, but having it to overlook at any moment of the day, THAT is great, believe me !

Even more true now that we grew from our tiny caravan to a strong little house with plenty of windows overlooking this landscape, and enough comfort in lesser days.

To hot, we start the airco, to cold we lite a fire, and to wet, we stay inside or sit down at our terrace pleased by the sound of raindrops on the roof, reading a book or just looking around.

Statistically however weather is 60 to 70% good or fine or even perfect, and however its not Everest, its still a great thing to have in our backyard, with no need to rent sherpas or yaks, as a small road is leading all the way up (and down).
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two Cetina moments

A view on (our) Cetina river in its slower section.
Some rougher parts are about fifteen minutes up to the right, where the rafters start.
And sure, rafting this river is a nice adventure, not the most dangerous one, but it gives you a nice couple of hours to get wet and stay close to nature as possible.
This however is the landscape we encounter after five minutes of downhill driving, and even there I can drop my canoo into the water for a few minor rapids and excellent peaces of wetland between the canyonwalls.

The end of the Cetina river is here, where it cuts through some 1000 feet rocks.

To get this and other amazing views, its an easy thing to drive out of the other side of Omis, and go for the village of Gata.

And also this little trip wont last longer than fifteen minutes, so there's still plenty of time to look and walk around and enjoy this breathtaking view.

Cause many hundreds of feet below rocks arise from deep down at the river, and even on a windless day a breath of rising air is giving lift to little black alpine crows.

To me, and I truly hope to you as well, these tiny birds with their subtle communicating sounds floating without fear in this giant open space are a garantee for some deep respect.

A giant crack through the rocks bringing sweet Cetina water to the Adriatic Sea, overlooked by you and those birds.

April 05, 2008

when the material is gone

Still lots of material in front and inside, but another step taken.
As while we are still in Holland, the men are working hard.

isolation floors and walls-DONE


tiles bathroom and livingroom- DONE

floor sleepingroom-DONE

water and electricity-DONE

painting inside-DONE

And however much has been done, still a lot waiting to be DONE .

It all started with the plan to stabilise a steep roadwall from falling down, after which we decided to combine it with a parkingplace, and in the end we had an appartement, with parking on top.

That was the first plan, extension of the terrace to a nice format was the second, and a "black hole", being a septictank in several partitions, was nr. three.
(So we do not have to get any "shit" out after a while, as the whole principle is based on biological degrading of the brown stinking stuff, after which the "clean" water thats left is gently given back to the plants).

And if all goes as hoped and wished for (no praying from my side), we will have a far better place than the little caravan we started with.

Come rain, snow, storm or heat, we've got a strong little house with a sleepingroom, a bathroom, a livingroom with cookingcorner, an
outdoor kitchen with grill and a storingplace for the beer.
And it all connects to what its all about, a fantastic scenery overlooking Mosor Mountains and total silence to enjoy birdlife and the seasons.

Modris in Svinisce is just the place to be !
Time to get there !!!
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March 20, 2008

lazy bastards

Get up, you lazy bastards, get up and get going.
Only a ten minutes drive from those sunbaked beaches of Omis lies a most beautifull canyon.
This is the land where some of the films of Winnetou where filmed, so NOT in the USA as we now know.
Here the river is carving this rocky canyon, and because of those high canyonwalls the scenery is not only breathtaking, but offering shade from the summerheat.

Cetina river comes from the inlands, first gently touching a timeless landscape, than turning back, cutting deep through the rock.
And apart from a couple of dams taking care of all our electricity, its free as it floats to the sea.

A joy for naturelovers (all year), a delight for swimmers (in summer).
Most of the year its to cold, but after spring turns into summer this cristalclear river is not only the stream that plays with rafters, it's a great place to be at its numerous little sandy beaches,
partially in the shade, sunny in most places.

Like to go fishing for trouts, take care of a permit first, and if you don't like fishing but do like trout, take a seat at Mlinice or Slanica restaurant, the terraces at the waterside are most enjoyable places to have a drink and a traditional meal with trout from the grill.

Slanica used to be a tradepost for salt, Mlinice being an old milling place, both less than a ten minutes drive from Omis (and another ten to our little place), with lots of space under huge trees, keeping you shaded under the summersun.

And don't be surprised if you see a turtle, as they do live here too (they say but I still did not see).

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February 06, 2008

small steps, but many !

Starting with a little peace of green jungle, our little land was cleaned of plants, trees and dirt, opening it up to see and make plans.
With the road four meters higher than the land the caravan came flying in, hanging from a truck's crane, and only after we had a place to sit down, sleep, eat and rest we decided for new steps.
So next was a concrete slope to make logistics easier, not having to "fly" all goods in.
And "next" was following, building a wall between the higher road and the lower land, creating a parkingplace at the same time, which turned out to become a little house, growing by coincidence, as walls and parkingroof formed a nice usable space to make it into an appartment.

And after a while:
there will be a little house with sleepingroom, bathroom, a nice living with kitchencorner, a lovely terrace and what's more, THAT view over Mosor Mountains.

As the picture shows is starts to look like a house now, and after "some" work to do it will be a great place to stay.
And with one step after another, something beautifull is growing, in our hidden valley behind the coast.

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