July 31, 2013


Today, a photographer for Jutarni List (the main newspaper in Croatia) came to our hidden paradise to make a photoshoot of our most happy life here.
He was followed by an interview by one of the leading lady journalists in Croatia for the same independent paper.

Presses were stopped to be able to incorporate both interview and pictures in the upcoming edition of Jutarni List.
Now,  if that ain't NEWS, what is !

To tell you the truth, there were indeed this photoshoot ánd interview today, as I was contacted by Jutarni List because they were (just as you are) interested in what makes a Dutchman living in Croatia write such positive blogs about the true values of life here.

Mainly because it seems I am the only positive person in whole Croatia, since everybody nags about the heat, the fiscalisation, europe and the temperature of the beer.

Some even think of leaving Croatia for a better life in an other part of Europe, while me and my wife went the other way, saying "bok bok" to Holland to live in our hidden paradise in Dalmacija.

Great (even in winter);
As horrible as everywhere, except in Monaco;
Open markets bring new possibilities ánd cost reduction, trust me;
Wonder why Heineken brews such expensive minimal beer anyway.

What the outcome of the interview in Jutarni List will be, is still a secret to me as well.
But one thing I know for sure, I did what I always do, try to share the fun and spread the news.
As in case you don't know yet, I better say it again:

THIS ÍS F#CKING PARADISE *), compared to most other countries.

So check at your Jutarni List reseller the next couple of days, as good news is still the best news.
*) To us at least, to all them thousands of tourists for sure, and to anyone who understands this simple line:
 "Less is More".
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July 28, 2013

Omis, a UNIQUE place, but.............

I'm a positive person, and I love to live here !
So if you might think this item is negative, you're wrong, it's NOT !
Omis is a fantastic place to spend your holidays, with more interesting options than you'll ever get to experience.
A charming little town, a very large kids friendly sandy Adriatic beach, rough mountains, and.........the Cetina river and it's Canyon.

Not only the town is worth a visit or a stay, it's surroundings are pure, impressive, natural and blessed with a variety of wildlife, flowers, herbs, birds and small animals.

To say it in one word, Omis is UNIQUE !

Not only the town is a truly fine place, with much history, old buildings and a couple of antique highlights, in less than an hours drive (by car, motor or bus) you can visit famous places like Split, Trogir and Solin (Salona in Roman days), and without having to drive all day you can easily visit Dubrovnik, Biokovo, Kornati or Plitvice and Krka.

Being a lazy sun lover or a energetic adventure freak, you'll find it all in Omis without having to search for it .
Swim, lay, climb, raft, canoe, bike, hike, walk or sit, don't worry, it's all here, in, and even more, around town.

And with more restaurants, terraces and bars than you'll ever need if hungry or thirsty, you don't have to search much, as every ten steps offer you a next option to either drink or dine.

However....................Omis still has to many dirty spots, and by creating this page I want to draw attention of the responsible people in Omis, so they take care of it.

Piled dirt, forgotten dustbins, holes in roads, illegal dumps, "dead" cars, they just don't belong on a GOLDEN location like Omis is, and certainly you don't come to Omis to "enjoy" these dirty locations.

So do enjoy your stay in Omis, and to those responsible for whatever negative aspect: don't kill the chicken with the GOLDEN eggs, but take care of it and be proud of what you have !!!!

As Omis already is UNIQUE, but it could/should be so much more.

And as usual: my address is in the top right side of this blog, so if you want to react, please be my guest.

July 26, 2013

high, higher, highest

View from the top (click to enlarge).

There you are than, looking at this magnificent panorama from the very top of Biokovo at Sv. Jure.
To see it like this, you got up (very) early, drove all the way up through the park, and even managed to drive the impossible single lane section with aggressive rocks on your left and nasty steep slopes on your right.

Your car still looks like a car, you didn't die of a heart attack and you won the battle with drivers hurrying down that same "road" you had to take to get all the way up.
Guess you now understand why there also is a little chapel on the top :-).

True, the view is amazing with all those layers of misty blue (and the scar of the new highway to Dubrovnik).
Don't tell anybody how early you left or how you managed to survive the trip, and certainly don't tell others it was a piece of cake.
Don't !

Do !

Tell your friends you stopped at about 1000 meters high and walked the rest of them 800 meters to the top.
Also tell them there was what looked like a "Tour de France" of athletes on sports bicycles who decided to conquer this mountain in steaming hot conditions, in stead of having a relaxed day at an Adriatic beach.

Forget Biokovo, forget this view, forget it all, 
but never ever forget this is Dalmacija.

If going to Biokovo in mid summer, take at least one liter of water per person with you.
Don't be the next who dies of dehydration or a sun stroke !
! Please DO !

July 25, 2013

what to do on Biokovo Mountain

Have a bath !

Of course there are plenty other options to enjoy the rough, pure, wild nature of Biokovo Nature Park.

Driving up into the park is a peace of cake (after paying the decent entrance fee of 40 kuna p.p.).
Yes there is a road, a good one too, going all the way up to the very summit at almost 1800 meters.
(But, the higher you drive, the less space there is, so think before you try, as it is not a highway :-).

The first section goes through shady pine tree woods, with already many places that are fit for a picknick.
Further up the road, still easy when having to pass an other car, you leave the wood, and in a couple of kilometers, you'll have a magnificent view at the world deep down.
All islands, all towns, all beaches, and all them boats drawing white lines in the blue of the Adriatic.

Up you go again, till you reach the first restaurant, so if thirsty, stop here for a drink.
(If thinking water is all around on Biokovo, forget it, there ain't).

After this place you enter what I prefer most on Biokovo, the harsh, rocky middle section.
Everywhere you can discover old forgotten stone houses, or what's left of them after people went to live an easier life at the coast.

Forget that car for a while, get out, and get hiking, as than you'll discover what makes Biokovo so special.
All around you'll find plants, flowers, herbs, some of them even extremely rare, so look but don't pick.
Depending on the season you might find some berries or cherries, not many, but picking some just to taste what nature tastes like won't hurt nor give any problem.
Picking or gathering to take home however is strictly forbidden and punished with a heavy penalty.

Ok, higher you want so higher you go.
Here the road becomes a bit "oh dear", with hardly any space to pass other cars.
"If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen" is the best tip I can give you before you regret you even tried to drive that section.

Already at about 1400 meters high, there are so many options to go for a truly wonderful hike.
Before you do, get yourself the detailed hiking map of the park, available in various bookstores.
Without a map you can still go for a hike, as the main paths are well marked, so just follow the signs.
Again, there ain't any water so take some with you, and wear proper shoes as the terrain is rough.

An interesting track on the right when driving up (you'll see the sign), is the geological path.
After a couple of steps you'll see a variety of stone structures, tilted or horizontal, that give you a good idea of how the mountain was formed millions of years ago.

Still wanting to go all the way up to Sveti Jure, the very summit, you'll have to be a good driver, as the road now becomes very narrow, with breathtaking slopes.
Still I think you don't have to go all the way up, like them many bicycle fanatics do (great performance guys, but I think you're nuts, sweating, pushing, fighting, "dying" for the sake of what ?).
Guess I am getting old, but I prefer my car and even more my feet.

All right, you are stubborn, so you drive on till you reach the top.
True, the view again is stunning, temperature as expected much lower than deep down at the coast, but where the f#ck will you park your car on such a small top.

Take five, take ten if you want, take some pictures, enjoy the view far into Bosnia, and than drive down again, to let's say between 1000 and 1400 meters.
If thirsty you can have a drink at the second cafe (on your right when driving down).

Did I forget something ?

As not only a very good map is available, but also there is a splendid book on everything that makes Biokovo Biokovo.
Unfortunately it's in Croatian, but a good English field guide on flora and fauna of the Mediterranean will do the job almost as well.
Also the website of "pp biokovo" ( park prirode/ nature park) gives a lot of information.
(To lazy to add a link, so do some googling, you can't miss).

Whenever you can, lucky you if not only in summer, this is a truly magnificent peace of Dalmacija.
My favorite season still is winter, second best is spring, but yes, I am more than lucky, as I live here.

Now can someone give a towel, please.......
as I want to get out of that bathtub. 

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crowded croatia, even in our hidden valley

Thank heaven, all our summer visitors, friends and relatives have left again, hopefully impressed by Dalmatia's beauty.
We had many great moments with everybody, some staying for a short while, others just passing by for a hello, a drink (or more), a chat, a joined meal or a trip to all marvelous spots around us.

Before you think this will be a negative story, it won't !
But for the first time this summer me and my wife are together, without people visiting.
And slowly our lists of things to do and building plans (as our house is still pretty small) come back on the table.

Filling stocks of beer, wine, mineral water and lemonades again, and checking what came in.
Most shopping we do in Croatian stores like Lidl and Kaufland :-). still however we remain typical Dutch with our typical food and drinking habits.

Our coffee for instance we make with coffee pads that fit in what's called a Senseo machine.
Unfortunately that coffee is not on the market in Croatia (yet ??), so whenever friends let us know they want to visit us, we ask them to bring some stock with them.

And than there are some typical Dutch treats like "drop" (licorice), a salty black little sweet that hardly anybody in the world seems to like, but us Dutch eat about five kilo's per person per year.
(With me as a typical big spender !).
That, and a couple of other things from Holland, come with every Dutch sun seeker that plans to visit us in our hidden valley.

Stocks in shape again, it's getting time to harvest our potatoes, cook home made tomato sauce for winter pizza's, and to start to think about buying wood for our fire places to heat both house and garden house on cold winter days (yes it can be cold here).

And, as many trips have been made with friends to show them all those many magnificent unknown places, we now can return to our nearby places to swim the summer heat away.

Our salty favorite still is the beach at restaurant Zvizdan (from Omis towards Makarska, after a couple of minutes turn right at the sign Brzet and drive on till you see the restaurant and beach on your right).

Not to crowded, perfectly clearblue seawater, enough shade and a terrace about five meters from our (or your) feet.
Nothing really special on the menu, as goes for most restaurants here, however.....Neno the cook always makes something special from what's common here (grilled fish, meat, pizza's and pasta), and the service is very friendly and relaxed.
Good food for fair prices, and a most enjoyable place it is !

Should we just want to cool down a bit before we have our "siesta", we quickly drive down our mountain road in about five minutes and jump into the Cetina river.
Again, perfectly clear water, not salty this time, and a variety of spots along the canyon road to dive in for an hour or so in water that truly refreshes with it's 19 degrees Celsius.

After this or that we drive up our mountain again, to enjoy our silent paradise, hidden away from the summer crowds in and around Omis.

To all who visited us I want to say thanks for visiting, hope you enjoyed our magnificent surroundings, it was great to see you all again, and we had a great time together.

Our life here continues, being extremely lucky to live here, as this IS paradise, but also in paradise some work has to be done
August still to start, .. and September, .. and October, so winter is still far away, but it will be less hot, and there may fall some snow.

So first our "to do list" needs some attention again,
now the "crowds" have gone.
As between this and next summer there is always autumn, winter and spring, so it's back to basics again.

Enjoy your summer, life's great.

To write me:
see my email address, top right in the header of this blog.

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July 21, 2013

it's a small country in a small world

Click and enjoy their story.

Don't know how things go, they just happen it seems.
Recently I was invited to write our little story on the blog of a London couple who restored an old house on Ciovo, the peninsula next to Trogir.
Read our Croatian adventure in a nutshell here.

A couple of people commented to our story, much to my surprise also Peter, the guy right on this picture.
They did what we did, crossed a couple of borders between Holland and Croatia, and started another life.
Or better: a stunning, natural, amazing, most happy life.

We did so after spending our whole working life in Holland, ready to soon receive our pension in a much more enjoyable and fantastic life in the MOST BEAUTIFUL part of Dalmacija.

They however, are more the TRUE sort of pioneers, still in their strongest age, raising two wonderful young kids, while struggling with totally new conditions compared to those in Holland.
Bureaucracy, weather conditions, tons of work, the language, and a vision on life that sometimes may surprise traditional neighbors, doing things a bit different from what they did for centuries.

Right they are however (!), as traditions are great, but they must not block your creative ideas.
Go forward !!!, using what proved useful, adding new ideas to make the mix even better !

They do, with all skills and power they brought along, and when reading their blog, you'll understand they succeed in a splendid, respectful, natural way, step by step.

Thinking about how your own life is going, take an example of theirs !
And if looking for a "time out" from the (Northern European) rat race, contact them, as they will welcome you with open arms, using your (unknown) qualities, adding theirs, making you a happy person.

You might just want to make a change in life after you discovered how rich life can (and should) be.
They know, we know, and more people are discovering, this is a great country !
To spend a holiday, hiding from the rain for a while, or to live till the match is over.

I'll soon be receiving my pension, but I hope to live another hundred years or so.
HERE !!!
Which goes for Peter, Barbara, their kids, and an increasing lot of people who somehow discover what we already know.
As this is f#cking paradise, even when the sun ain't shining sometimes.

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July 11, 2013

dive, DIVE, D I V E !!!!

This won't be a submarine story (not even a "Yellow Submarine"), it's a simple way to share with you that the Adriatic is now at it's very best, reason for me to be lazy.

However there are more athletic bodies than mine, lacking a better model my wife said "well ok, you're better than nothing".

At the moment the sea temperature is about 22 degrees Celsius, clear blue refreshing delight under a clear sunny sky where each and every day temperature reaches about 30 degrees.

We had a couple of very good friends over from Holland, normally and regularly visiting France.
(Ha ha, they thought they discovered paradise there).

Well, their story is very simple, they where overwhelmed by all beauty Dalmatia has to offer within an hour's circle from our place (called Svinisce you dummy :-).

Will they go back to France again next year after seeing Dalmatia in all it's glory ?
I doubt it, and that's one of my "dirty" tricks.
!! So you're warned !!

Call me a pusher, a dealer, or more friendly, a voluntary promoter, as that's what I do.
Addicted myself to this God given part of Croatia, I simply love to create new "victims".

Why keep the love for Dalmatia to myself, when it gives such great pleasure to share it with others.
Share the luck, spread the news.
As this is f*cking paradise !

So if you were missing new posts recently, this is the answer.
This is paradise, no obligations, and a load of addictive goodies.
Only angels are missing, or are my eyes getting to old for that sh*t.

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