August 26, 2012

another delicate Cetina secret

Away from the main stream (ánd the crowd) at , in or on the Cetina river, lies a private property, in pure and silent nature.
Here a secondary part of the river passes the land where Winnetou is still "alive and kicking", like when part of those famous films was shot here.
We made friends with the owners, and enjoyed their hospitality on a wonderfull afternoon.

The place is basic, but very well organised, and clean as nature is.
Under the large roof they built, and the shady canopy of the trees above us we sat down, walked around, swam in the refreshing river, had dinner, played ballotte and relaxed till our boat took us back to Omis.

We took our private cook with us, including all the food and drinks we needed (or thought we needed), as there was much more than we could eat or drink, and besides, just being there in fact is already more than you can wish to make it a wonderfull day and a fantastic experience.

Exploring the surroundings, taking long swims in pristine water, with trouts swimming under you, or relaxing is these hammocks at the border of the river, what a fantastic country this is.
This part of Dalmatia truly is the véry best, with sea, river, mountains, old towns and modern cities.
A mix of everything is within reach, and when I say everything,
I dó mean EVERYTHING !!!
Adventurous, curious, active or lazy, sweet or salty water, today or history, sea level or high up the mountain, it's all there, all of it within an hour's drive, a walk or a boat trip !

After a great meal, as usual here we played a little match of ballotte (jeux de boules in french), which is thé social sport in Croatia.
If you think it's a game, how wrong can you be, as overhere ballotte is a serious matter, mainly played by men.
Whatever your state of mind (to me it's still a game), it's serious fun, and winning of course the goal.

Should you be interested in an afternoon or day like this (even sleeping in nature is possible), you must contact the people of, as they organize the complete visit, taking you to this property and back by boat, taking care of everything a fantastic peaceful afternoon or day in Dalmatia needs.

And don't you dáre :-) drop your cigaret but on the ground, as this place is pure, clean and unspoiled, something the owners of this private property appreciate and take care of.

Thanks Nicola, Rocco and family, you're the best !

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August 24, 2012

the móst beautiful place...............

Each and every time I am amazed by Dalmacija's beauty, this time however, I am sure: THIS IS IT.
Will I stop scrolling around, the answer is nó, of course not.

To tell you a little story how this beauty came on my path:
A few days ago, me and my friend Robert (the guy from took a day of and loaded our canoes on the roof of the car and went to do another section of the Cetina.

Drove from Svinisce to Kucice, following the Cetina till the bridge to Kostanje, crossed to the other side of the river and at the very first steep corner we left the asphalt to enter a dirt road following the Cetina upstream.

There we took a tiny road to the right leading us to the Cetina's banks, where we dropped the canoes into the water.
Slowly slowly slowly (polako in Croatian) we peddled upstream through a beautiful shady tunnel of trees, crossing some minor rapids dragging our canoes, and on we went, to the next rapid ( they are just about thirty centimeters high, so no big deal, step out, drag the canoe through and on you go again).

Than, the canopy opened, and we where on this extreme spot, where this waterfall came down in a silent secluded lake where even the fish are not afraid.
On the left (in the shade) the main canyon of the Cetina ends, so we slowly entered till a natural wall showed up, behind which a roar of the big waterfalls of the Cetina sounded.

Being "doctor Livingstone" that day, I ignored my slowly healing six broken ribs and climbed up the blockade about seven meters high, and looked into a deep pit where the water was falling down in a continuous gust of rumbling water, loaded with energy.
Somehow all that water flows deep under that barrier during the summer season, but for sure the level rises many meters when the rainy season fills the Cetina again to a less friendly level.
In summer however, specially this very dry summer, the place was like a mirror, with impressive walls rising high above us.

We stopped at a tiny sandy beach, took our swimming goggles and swam around in fresh clear water, totally silent, enjoying each and every second we spent there.

Question: is the Zagora (the hinterland) of Dalmacija worth a visit, an "expedition" if you want, the answer is:
!!!! HELL YES !!!!

And if you still think Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir (!!!) should grab you (by the balls) during your visit, with Plitvice, Biokovo, Kornati or Krka as cherries on your sunsoaked Adriatic holiday cake, right you are,
but wrong you are if you think you've seen it all !!!!

On top of it all, we finished the day with another discovery, a true Dalmatian diner at Konoba Kunjak in Kucice (
A "simple" meal of roasted lamb (the very best !!!), some home made fries, a couple of beers and as a gesture from the owner, a dish of chilled watermelon and melon to top it all of.
The drive home was a bit "ehhhhhh", but not very long as the whole expedition took us from start to finish less than twentyfive kilometers (with a couple of kilometers in the canoe of course).
For sure we will go back there, as Hvala Bogu (thank God), they don't serve pizza's at this konoba, and no doubt this very special hidden lake is on my list now too.

And to those of you staying in Omis, Kucice is just 15 minutes into the Zagora, ánd worth the trip if you prefer to have a true taste of Dalmacija's basic but delicious kitchen.

Dalmacija, ja volim te (I love you).

-Those of you who like to go DWS (deep water soloing) come here, as you can even choose to do it naked as nobody sees you going nuts !!!!!!
-Should you want to experience the impressive canyon without a canoe, a couple of adventure organisations guide you through safely, canyoning like you never did before.
-And if you need coordinates or some details, mail me at the address in the header of this blog.
(For those of you familiar with google maps, I attached a location marker to this post).
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August 19, 2012

elder flower, but wait for next year's springtime !!!

A bit on the late side but I enjoyed a glass of elder syrup with cold water, and oooof how nice that is.
So I decided to share this with you, as this is a nice example of the good life in our hidden valley.
To say it more clear, this truly is DOMACI, a home made delight.

Elder seems to be very common, it just grows and grows and can be a pest in an organised garden, but here, with enough space and nature all around, its a different story !!!

However this syrup is prepared in spring and I am writing this little nothing in summer, do remember it next year when winter has gone, and you'll be amazed when you taste it a couple of months later.
(Yes you can store it for months and months, if well prepared).

All you need is 150 grams of fresh elder blossom, two liters of water, one kilo sugar and a lemon.
And sorry for you, but there are hundreds of websites telling you how to do it, with a variety of recipes and a lot more than "just" syrup for a delicious lemonade, so I wont start a cooking blog here.
(Or to say it bluntly: get of your lazy xxx and search the internet :-).

For those of you who get enthusiast about this simple flower, there are a lot more possibilities to enjoy it.
Stir fried for instance, or, when the syrup is ready, add it to a glass of white wine or champagne.

Nature, and we have a lót of it over here in fantastic Dalmacija, is rich to those who are not blind.
(Figs, wild asparagus, wine yard snails, a lot of excellent local wines and dozens of herbs for example).

All you have to do is to come to Dalmacija, as from early spring till late autumn it is like paradise, with still the Adriatic Sea and a lot of sun if you are lazy and desperately need a sun tan.

And !!!!!!............remember, behind the coastal mountain rig, in the ZAGORA (the hinterland) you'll find the real Dalmatian feel, and that is a lót more than pizza, pizza, pizza..............and a pint of cold beer.

(Maybe next time I'll tell you about one of Dalmacija's super cheeses, the Paski Sir, a fantastic sheep cheese coming from the island Pag, that will knock you out of your lazy diner chair).

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August 14, 2012

mind the gap(s) !

One of my plans was to find this bridge, called Kresevski Most.
It connects one side to the other (like all bridges), crossing the Cetina on a wonderful location.
Deep below you the river flows through a steep canyon, hardly reachable if reachable at all.

And however my croatian conversation is limited (svaki dan malo vise), after three previous trials (and errors) I managed to find it at last.

Today it's in a devastated state, with hardly any wood left, but the steel of it looks pretty strong still, even however nobody seems to care about some conservation with a bit of paint.

This is, sorry to say, one of those examples of how Croatia treats it's properties.
It's there, it lacks wood, it lacks paint, and in the (near) future it even doesn't need the sign next to the road, telling you (ánd me) where it is.

Cause nature always wins, and untreated steel does not last forever, so a mix of rain and oxygen will take care (by oxidation) to ruin what people have built earlier, with a lot of sweat and for sure a large bag of money.

Is this little story about a forgotten bridge identical to Croatian politics, going from nowhere to nowhere ?
Still I love Croatia very much, and for sure I love places like this even more, but with all due respect, it's a bloody shame nobody cares and initiatives die in a bureaucratic paper jungle even before they get a chance to prove they work !!!

So shame on you Croatia, but thanks for this old forgotten bridge.

For those interested, drive from Omis direction Makarska, turn left up the mountain road, towards Zadvarje, Sestanovac, than turn left direction Nova Sela at the traffic lights, continue for about five kilometers and look for the sign Kresevksi Most on the right side of the road.
On the left a small road leads you to a gravel path, and trust me, you won't regret you took your camera with you.

Request to anybody having details, a story or any other information about this bridge's history (why was it built there anyway, do please write me at the mail address in the header of this blog.
Thanks !!!

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August 13, 2012

lost & found

Sundays here in Dalmacija are traditionaly for relaxing, a visit to the church (not me however) and joining with friends or family for some drinks, some tasty grilled food and a lot of talking.
(And of course during this season, eating large juicy slices of water melon, truly the very best).

And as it's not a working day, I drive around a bit to find interesting spots, where I put my car aside and go for a walk.
Most of the common locations where tourists go I ignore during the summer season, but there are a lot of less known spots and locations that are worth a visit.

Yesterday I decided to have a look at Zeleno Jezero and the Badnjevice Canyon, about five kilometers from Imotski, where the summer crowd visits those two lakes each and every excursion is going to.
Not me however, I'll wait till both the crowd has gone and some heavy rain has fallen, in let's say march/april.

Anybody interested in those two highly interesting impressive holes in the ground, have a look at, where both in croatian and english an immense load of well documented information is available.

And those who like details, also look at or .
You can also look at

THE very best you can do is get up, get out, get going and find yourself crazy details like this tiny car covered in the muddy banks of that green lake (Zeleno Jezero means Green Lake).
Also you might do the Badnjevice Canyon, a four hours walk through Dalmatia's stunning karst phenomena.
Let me know how it was, as I didn't have enough time to hike those four hours, while I "wasted" many hours looking around.

I had a wonderful afternoon discovering yet another hidden treasure of marvelous Dalmatia, which offers so much more than only that fantastic coast, a splendid climate and fine people.

And in case you were the owner of that car, you shouldn't have parked it there anyway :-)
Cause that's nature and in the end nature always wins !!!

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August 06, 2012

Cetina, the true queen of Dalmatia

(click to enlarge)
Pure delight, no less, no more.
Crystal clear water, loaded with energy.
Still in doubt "should I keep this to myself or share it".

OK you twisted my arm, so I'll tell you a bit more about this location.
First of all, it's the Cetina river, at less than twenty (driving) minutes from Omis.
(Of course you'll see the Cetina in it's final stage at Omis, but she offers much more)

Drive from Omis into the canyon, follow the signs to Kucice, drive on till you see a bridge on your left, crossing the Cetina.
Wait, wait wait, park your vehicle and take some time to look down from the bridge, and don't forget to look at the excellent job they recently did restoring this bridge.

Alright, on you go, towards Podgrade, than Kostanje, and shortly after Kostanje drive down to what's called Studenci.
(If difficult to find the road to the river, ask anybody, they all know).
Driving down to the river, you'll pass a spring on your right that flows all year around.
In case you have some bottles in the car, do fill them, as this water is as pure as can be, with no pollution or chemicals in it, coming straight from the deep inside of the mountains.
(A friend of mine tested the quality, simply by putting a bottle of it in direct sunlight for almost a year and the water stayed as clear as the day it was put into the bottle).

Drive down a bit more, part of this narrow road is paved, part is gravel, and don't be surprised on many places water rumbles under the road, flowing into the Cetina river.
During the rainy season it also floats óver the road, but only some locals or I will see that.

Keep watching to your left, as one moment you'll see nicely built wooden stairs going down to the very spot I am telling you about now.

Once down at the river, at the rapids on the picture, do some climbing over the boulders to your left, and you'll find a cave, hidden behind an overhang of plants, moss and ferns, from which a curtain of water flushes down.
Look, JUST LOOK, as those structures of stone hanging down (stalactites) are fragile.

Don't be afraid to enter the cave, just mind your every step, as it's slippery !
Once inside, you can get in deeper, but you'll have to accept the water there is COLD !!!!!
Those of you who are not afraid, can walk/wade through the water, as what goes in, must come, and so will you, as cold as the water flowing there.
And please always be careful, as this is nature.

I was swimming/playing in the water under the rapids, and had a most wonderful time, feeling the power of the water, swimming into the energy of the water, turning left or right into more quiet spots behind rocks, and if wearing swimming goggles, look down to see big fat trouts resting for a moment.

Ok, this is it for the moment, and should you prefer to rest your fat ass on the crowded beaches of Omis, dreaming of another cold beer and a peace of pizza, right you are, as the Adriatic overhere is worth the stay.

But me and those who follow my steps into this fantastic region are the lucky ones !!!!
(And should you prefer some guidance, just ask the people of, as they are the friendly professionals knowing many local guides, cheap apartments or magnificent houses, and a lot more to make your stay a special one).

I am just a lucky guy, gladly sharing this information with you, and yes, I do it for free.

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