April 09, 2009

plitvice ? krka ? no, it's Svinisce !

To tell the truth, its not in the centre of Svinisce, its about a ten minutes walk away.

If thats to much trouble for you, there's a road real close to it, so if you prefer to be driven, that's ok with me, as we've got a car on croatian plates waiting to be used.
Come on !
If you'r coming to Svinisce, at least be prepared to go walking.
And with walking I mean WALKING, as there are numerous walks, well marked and right through the middle of nature and on Omiska Dinara (the mountainridge between us and the Adriatic).

Wanna stay close ?
Our surroundings are pure nature, even with some ancient Roman footpath, and if you prefer a mix of nature and history, some stone structures from the pirate history of Omis (called Almissa in earlier days) are still to be seen.

What's more, above Omis there are two remains of castles, so enough to choose crossing nature over and towards historic remains.
And well, since I mention Omis again, its at the Adriatic, with a large sandy beach, and one small stoney bay after another if you do not like sand between your bums.

The picture shows the waterfalls of what they call a "potok", which means a small seasonal flood.
During the wet season they take the water from fields, hills and mountains into the Cetina river, once the summerseason starts they dry out to a miserable less than nothing.

However, wet or dry, the structure of it is most interesting, and the scenery where it goes down to the canyon is most beautifull, which made filmmakers use it for some famous Winnetou films.

In earlier days (before carworthy roads) a footpath brought the men from the village down to the town of Omis, where they worked for a bit of money in a couple of factories (carbid, cement and such, of which most have disapeared).
And after a hard day of industrial labour they walked up the footpath again, sometimes even with heavy loads on their back, to home for a meal and a bit of rest.

Was that the day than, hell no, as each had his own peace of land.

The work in the field was waiting for another bit of hard work. And as I write below (see item about domaci products) the only way to have the best of the necessary food and wine is by taking care of it themselves, so they did, and still do.

Compare us "overstressed" modern technocratic people to those folks than (and still) and you'll understand that it was'nt or is'nt an easy life under the sun.
Still I am certain that although life's not easy, it was and is of a much higher quality !

And THAT is still a fact nowadays in this and many other valley around, being the reason for me to like life here so much more !

Pick your moment in the seasons, as whatever moment you take, it will conquer your heart, just like it did mine.

As this is life as its meant to be !!!

(not easy, but fullfilling).

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April 08, 2009


One of the commonly used words in Croatia is "domaci", meaning its home made, traditional, organic, non industrialised, e.g. pure taste.
As an example of how domaci braid should be baked traditionally, one must start with the best flour, and this is how that is made.

Walking sevenhundred meters upstream of this watermill on three spots the clearest natural springs erupt from under a steep rocky mountainwall.
And when I say the clearest, I truly mean THE CLEAREST, ready to fill bottles with.
Hard to get in a picture, I could look through the surface of that water into the deep and clear blue, coming straight from inside the Dinaric Mountains.
In no time these three wells feed a small river leading to this traditional watermill, in the family for hunderds of years (the friendly man told me).
For those who want to know, the place is called Grab, and lies close to the upstream section of the Cetina river.

Here between waterpowered millingstones the flour is milled in such an authentic and slow way that as a result the best thinkable flour is produced.
Why ?
Because the whole grain is milled, really slowly, and as it goes slowly there is no heat involved that "kills" the quality of the grain.
That's why !

And that's why from this flour the best bread can be baked in a traditional oven on a stone floor, heated with a woodfire. And doing so, its with every right to be called DOMACI (meaning traditionally homemade).
Sad enough, the word "domaci" nowadays is also in use for industrial machined foodproducts that have NOTHING to do with its original meaning.
Believe me for once (if not always), once you tasted that bread, you'll never pick one of those sponges packed in a plastic condom from a superstore again.

And that goes for a lot of TRUE domaci products, being meat, vegetables, fish or drinks in Croatia, simply because Croatian people like to do a lot themselves, keeping chickens for eggs, having their own vegetables and even once in a while their own pigs. (not to mention producing their own olive-oil, wine, and after the wine destillating their own pure rakia, basis for many strong drinks).
Just ask for it, as everbody knows and is gladly sharing with you where to get the real stuff (like I just told you).

So if you're looking for something else than Mc. This or That or "more of the same" wrapped in a fancy paper and empty phrases, just follow me to DOMACI CROATIA.
Cause if you like real life this is the place to be.

Sure there are highways, airports, internet and airco's too.
But not only that, thank God.

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April 07, 2009

FIRE !!!!!

Cold nights, so starting the day means: FIRE........

Februari and march are not part of what they call summerseason, so starting up a winterday means starting a fire first.
(If you prefer sun at The most beautifull Adriatic Sea, stay away till may).

Cleaning that nice glass window of our charming little woodstove is easily done by using one of those "nylon" kitchenpads used to clean dirty dishes, slightly moistured in advance and dipped in a bit of last nights ashes.
A couple of minutes later the window is a window again, the cold ashes taken out to create space for a new day of warmth, especially when strong stormy winds and rain are keeping us inside.

Some firestarter, a peace of Slobodna Dalmatia (the local newspaper), some thin dead cherrybranches (even better: grapecuttings), and a block or two of oak, and there we go again.

With ventilation- and smokechannels of the woodstove wide open, within fifteen minutes our small and well isolated house is in "sauna condition".
Than the airinput goes back to its lowest point and by adding a block of wood each hour or so, we create an atmosphere where camels and coconuts can easily survive and so do we.

So close to the Adriatic winter aint realy harsh, so surviving winter aint a big thing here.
Snow does sometimes drop but never stays long, and getting your balls frozen of is not the best reason to visit this part of the planet (but it's worth a try).
If you're coming over to see snow however, that's easily arranged, since only half an hour away lies Biokovo Mountains (National Park), where thick snow covers its top and icy winds blows not only your balls of in less than a moment.
Lucky part is that you can melt down again between the palms of Makarska after returning (see Google Earth for details).
And about an hour away, over the Bosnian border, there's much snow and even good downhill skiing is a realistic goal for a day of fun.
So liking it hot or cold, the choice is yours.

For those interested, good readily cut and chopped (oak and similar) firewood, delivered free of charge, costs about 60 euro's per "meter" (not exactly a cubic meter, but who cares since four of those meters take us through winter in a mild way.
And NO, I aint gonna bargain about that price, as its a fair price for a lot of work, certainly on a cold and stormy winterday !
So I gladly pay that price.

(Some Croatian language: shout VATRA in case of a FIRE).
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April 06, 2009

even on a cloudy day

However not the sunny view most people know the Adriatic of, this cloudy scenery is also great, at least in my opinion.
If you do not agree, let me know in the section called "leave me a note" on the right side below the weatherforecast.

April just started, so spring slowly arrives, as did the birds, and in a couple of weeks it will be the Mediterranian at its very best, with loads of flowers.

March gave lots of strong winds (bura as well as jugo), loads of rain, even some snow on "our" Mosor Mountains.
Sure we had a couple of superdays too, with gentle weather, strong sunshine and no wind at all.
Using those better days I "discovered" some great spots in nature, even swam in a mountainriver (by accident), found some amazing places you will see when you visit, and did a short tour by car in half a day bringing me from palmtrees to snow and back.

Plans are going as expected, so at the end of this year this will be the superview from our new house to be built.
Can't wait to see clouds like these from that place, even on a cold day after the winterseason.
Be our guest if you like views like this, but give us some time to accomodate.
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