September 30, 2013

Vruja source area: another special spot

Last saturday (28-9-2013) my good friend Robert and I took our canoes out for a trip from Pisak to Vruja.

Pisak is a tiny fisherman's village not far from Omis, however small, very much liked by many tourists who rent an apartment there.
It still has the atmosphere of a original coastal village, so if looking for a fine place to spend your summer holidays, I can recommend it.
(And Robert, running Malimlin, knows a couple of great apartments, so in case you are inspired, contact him).

Vruja is the name of a natural phenomenon you can observe deep down, when driving the coastal road from Omis to Makarska.
Short after Pisak, before the road to Zadvarje turns left,
 from the parking, you can observe this "strange" natural effect.

Deep down you see some bubbling effect on the surface of the sea, caused by sweet water rising from deep down.
It's a system of natural sources, pushing water from deep under Biokovo into the Adriatic.
The water, like on many places here, flows under the karst surface of all them mountains here, creating underground rivers from the Livno area (in Bosnia) and the Imotski area.

On many beaches here, this effect is creating a sweet water layer under the top layer of salt water, sometimes even blurring the sight when snorkeling around.
No big deal, the surface layer is very warm,
only when diving a bit deeper you'll notice difference in temperature as this sweet water is also a bit colder :-).

During the summer season these springs are gently, yet clearly visible pushing sweet water up to the surface, in early spring it's gushing violently, not the best moment to go there with a tiny canoe :-).

For those interested, there are a couple of canoes for rent in Pisak, also from there a boat can take you to these unspoiled places, including Vruja springs.

Not only for those springs it's worth to take that trip, all along the coast there are secluded small beaches of pristine quality.
Almost impossible to reach by foot, very well hidden from curious people, even when you forgot to take your swimsuit with you :-).

Do not forget your swimming goggles, as the water there is truly worth some snorkeling around.

At about one third from the left on the picture you may discover some "old" stone houses (if you look very well).
To get a better view, check Vruja Beach Resort, as that's what it is, 
a magnificent resort for those of you who look for a fantastic, quiet, idyllic place to spend summer.
We dragged the canoes on to the beach, and walked around for some time, impressed by the beautiful way this place is built/restored 
with a lot of respect for surrounding nature.
It must have been a hell of a job to create such a splendid resort on such an "impossible" location.
(No road, so all material had to be brought in by boat or so).
Truly a most original and fantastic place.

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September 29, 2013

what's the price of priceless ?

Some things are priceless, and so is Dalmatia !

Do I aim for some sort of price with my small talk, or try to make my blog look splendid, the answer is no.
Blogging to me is just a simple way to share some of the luck we have living here, in Svinisce.
Some people may say it's in the middle of nowhere,
but I/we know better !
So what you see is what you get, a straight up- and down blog, with simple pages.
(Any more time spent on decorating it, is a wast of quality time).

Better share with you how priceless life here is, right ?
Yesterday for instance started with helping picking the grapes of our best friends here.
As soon as the morning dew has evaporated again, the lot of us went to the fields, carrying buckets, scissors and plastic bags.

All around me people were chatting in Croatian (of which I understand so little), so I focused on my job, cutting grapes and filling buckets.
The sun still is pretty hot this time of the year
(where are them tourists, now that it's the nicest weather ! ),
and lucky me, I do not have to carry those heavy bags full of grapes back up the mountain slope again.
That's something I gladly leave to others, younger and stronger.

In less than two hours them grapes were at the farm, pressed and put in huge containers to start their journey from juice to wine.

After work was done, we sat outside together,
under a pergola of grapes, having a drink.
And as is so common overhere, everybody joins for lunch, a beautifull way to say thanks and enjoy eachother's company still a bit longer.
Those joined meals make life here so very special.

Anyway, I had to say "no thanks" as I had an appointment with my friend Robert of Malimlin, running the best tourist agency in Omis.
As the summer crowds have gone (you should know, that THIS is the best season) he has some more time to get out and discover new places, which knowledge he shares with interested tourists who don't only come for sun, sea, pizza's and beer.
Once again, and I will keep telling you, this area has SO MUCH more to offer than a fantastic coast.

So off we went, with two canoos on the roof, to Pisak, a tiny coastal village about fifteen minutes from Omis.
As planned, we sat "sail" for Vruja, a natural phenomenen of sweet water springs in the salt of the Adriatic.
This time of year them springs are quiet, yet visible, after winter however I wouldn't risk my canoo or life to go there, as than the water bursts into the sea with pretty much force.
(This water comes from Bosnia and the Imotski area, 
flowing deep under Biokovo Mountain).

We had a fantastic trip, stopped a couple of times to cool down from hard work under the sun :-), swimming around bare naked in still very pleasant seawater (21 Celsius).
Gonna put some pictures I took on some following page,
so you get an idea.

To me and Robert, this trip was priceless, as usual, and we still have a trillion other trips on our list.
Don't give a sh*t about rewards, my reward is priceless.

It's living here !

If interested, here's a video on YT about Vruja, and a tremendous resort there:
Vruja Resort and surroundings

September 24, 2013

it's green and it grows

A small inside view on my little green world.
Not a recent one, however, also now I still grow,
nurse and try a couple of things.

Still not very familiar with the whole thing of growing vegetables, and also the different climate and amount of rain/water.
Rain, by the way, we hardly see during the looooong summer season, so during those months I'm a fairly good customer
of the water company (Vodovod).
Other people here use water from a spring in the village, but each of them uses a motor pump to spray loads of water once or twice a week to keep the potatoes and vegetables alive.

Not having my own water pump (nor do I get one) I installed a dripping system by Gardena that drips direct at the roots of each individual plant.
Great stuff, very easy to install, and overlooking the results,
a great tip to anyone.

One of the experimental things I grow is ginger in my "greenhouse" and with fantastic result.
Next year gonna expand that crop,
as I know now the experiment was a huge success.

Do they eat it here, no :-)
Will I somehow teach them how to prepare, use, preserve,
cook with it, the answer is yes.
But polako (easy does it).

Now it's still time to try some types of salads,
as salad season goes on still, even outside.
As goes for ruccola, cucumbers and a couple more.
Tomatoes slowly come to a halt, and so does this page.

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jobs, laws, religion and politics in Croatia

Glad you found my blog, but I'll have to disappoint you first.

I do not write about politics.
Nor religion, jobs, laws and such.

When I write my little "no goods for nothings",
I have only two objectives:
fun and focus.
The fun is in being inspired by something, anything, and writing about it.
If you somehow get inspired from it, well great,
as than I scored my first point.

Having my fun, I hope (and try) to make you focus on this part of Croatia, perhaps when thinking of where to enjoy your next summer holidays, or even, like we did, settle down to enjoy your retired life.

If you think I am blind or ignorant for things related to jobs (and the lack of it here), laws (every day a new one), religion (any religion is a good one) or politics (and everything connected to it),
I must disappoint you again .

I'm not !
However, those are things I can't change, so I don't bother.
If you do, still enjoy reading my blog,
as there is more than those things.

Was invited today to become "Expat blog of the month" and willingly (even honored) agreed to the invitation.
The more people discover our hidden treasure, the better.
As long as you don't all come together :-), spoiling the magic.

And if you can make the difference for the benefit of Croatia, being an investor or (just) an idealist with good intentions, I warmly welcome you to this fantastic country.

I'll continue (together with my wife and a number of cats),
to enjoy life here.
Most of the time great weather, just beautiful nature, sometimes frowning my eyebrows, but always happy.

and I/we have a trillion reasons for that !

Gonna take care of our tomatoes again now.
If you like, you can always mail me, 
the address is in the top right side of the front page.

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September 22, 2013

NO obligations !

Loads of things to do, must, MUST, M U S T !


I spent all my life with so many obligations (the regular stuff everybody knows so well), that I decided to untie myself.
No agenda, no watch, no tie, and most of the time no cellphone.
Today even the days of the week hardly influence my life.

yesterday, as promised,  I drove Mario around in our area.

Mario, the son of our neighbors, is a brilliant priest who's now continuing his studying search for the ultimate truth, the one and only answer to the one and only real question of life.

He, like many others around us, hardly knows how very special our area is, how beautiful nature and how inspiring and inviting 

to say STOP to all them obligations for just a moment or a day.

We had a fantastic day together, in which I had the pleasure to share those exquisite spots with him, making him my next victim 

of this God given region.

I use the words "victim" and "God given area" with good reasons, as once you get to really know this area, you're addicted.
For him, hopping between Split, Rome and Germany for reasons of study and a load of obligations, I freed myself for a day to make him see, smell, feel, experience that we had (and have) a very good reason to feel blessed to be living our retired life here.

Many people run from one place to another (and so did I :-), 

racing from one obligation to the next,
sometimes even forgetting they are on earth with a reason.

Sunday is a good day to reflect for a moment, preferably on one of those spots we've got so many of.
Any other day (not being a church going person myself) is fine as well, as long as it gives you the opportunity to untie yourself 

of them DAMNED obligations.

Free yourself once in a while, 

forgetting all those obligations for a moment.
 Life   is   great ! 

(Hvala Bogu)

And tomorrow it's back to "things to do" again, 
as I am still tied to life like all of us, 
but heaven can wait sometimes.
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September 20, 2013

HR or NL


I was in the Netherlands recently (see next page about seeds),
and them ten days there were eleven days to much.

Had to, otherwise I wouldn't have left our hidden valley,
not for a trillion Kuna's.
I let you be the judge, simply look at both pictures
and than decide for yourself.

Am I right ?
Right !
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September 16, 2013

blue beans, white cucumbers and brown paprika's

Must tell that I always liked to work in our Dutch garden, but just to enjoy it like it was, a garden.
Never thought of growing my own vegetables, however we had a walnut, an apple and a collapsing :-) pear tree .

Things change, as since we live in Dalmatia, we not only own 2000 sq. meters of land but are also blessed with amazing conditions (sun, natural water and great soil).

Not (yet) having goats, sheep or chickens, part of our land is in use by friends, an other part "just" grass and herbs, and still we've got plenty space to grow and experiment growing our own food.
Potatoes, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, peppers, various herbs, carrots, corn, salads, and a couple more, including planted young fruit trees, a walnut, and a couple of lemons in containers.
(Could try to keep them lemons outside during winter, but our valley is just a tiny bit colder than other valleys around,
so "better be safe than stupid").

Already I am delighted with the results of some experiments, reproducing seeds from peppers bought at Lidl, planting a piece of ginger bought in Kaufland, and harvesting seeds from our salads, I got myself a load of special seeds in Holland.

Had to be in Holland to straighten out a couple of things, and after doing so, couldn't resist to enjoy myself visiting a amazing store to cheer myself up a bit.
The name: , an old family business with I believe the third generation in the middle of what I might call veggies paradise (however I like my steak medium rare).

Spent three hours there, slowly moving through a collection of unbelievable size and quality.
Gonna have to explain my wife how I could reduce our reserves that fast, but trust me, she'll find out when the results start to grow.
I rest my case, so to say,
as I never argue with my wife unless it's absolutely urgent.
(Nice dress dear, nice shawl, nice new haircut too :-).

Guess my British readers know their stuff already, having Kew Gardens and a typical British gardening tradition normal to old colonials, to me this Dutch store was like heaven on earth.

Next year will be an unforgettable one, once all them new plants start to produce, and even more, I can't wait to start reproducing seeds from them all, expanding my experiments, trials and errors, so friends in our valley can make an extra Kuna selling the delicious results to let's say the better restaurants around Omis
(yes there are one or two, when you look better).

My advise to each and everyone: GROW YOUR OWN !
You don't have to start big, a simple tomato already works, adding a cucumber next year adds to the fun, and perhaps one day you decide to expand your trials like I did, as it is exiting, tasty, healthy and makes you a happy person !

Lucky me, I like and know how to prepare a nice/good/tasty dinner, so I'll certainly try every new result myself first.
Chocolate paprika's, white carrots, purple strawberries, 
Svinisce, here they come !
And thanks Ton Vreeken and team, in the old town of Dordrecht, for making those three hours of my day, in wow, what a store !!!!
(However in Dutch, worth a view: )

September 03, 2013

Sweden comes to Split !

Today, September 3, the Dalmatian newspaper
Slobodna Dalmacija, published Ikea is coming to Split.
I call that GREAT NEWS !!!

Split, with it's fairly good/good/splendid infrastructure (harbor, train, plain, highway) could/should/MUST be a splendid location
to companies like Ikea.

Bauhaus, Baumax, Kaufland, Lidl already discovered the potential of central Dalmacija, including a couple more in City Center One.

Why I am so delighted about the possibility of Ikea coming to Split, has a couple of reasons.
First of all, you might think, is the clever value for money they offer, but it's not !

More important is the amount of decent jobs that are a result of the opening of an Ikea store.
(Using "decent jobs" is well thought of, as wages here are still far to low, compared to European standards).

But even more important is the Ikea effect !
Many entrepreneurs in Holland (where we come from), were scared to death when Ikea came.
Knowing what happened in Holland and everywhere,
be sure the same effect will occur in Croatia.

It's plain simple, Ikea is the ultimate wake up call for lazy,
old fashioned shopkeepers !
Dinosaurs disappeared with only one reason: change of climate !

Still I can't understand why a town like Omis does not have a Lidl.
Come on Studenac, Konzum, Tommy, as if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
Competition may seem your worst nightmare, on the other hand it makes you do (at last !) what your customers want from you:

Each and every colleague in Europe can tell you that quality, service and originality increases your profit, result and sales.

Only sleepy, lazy entrepreneurs die out,
the others benefit from shops like Ikea opening a store.
Yes, I know that is TRUE !!!
As once Ikea opens, close around them a lot of others enjoy the Ikea effect by opening their shops near it.
Even Lesnina might increase it's turnover, provided they wake up in time, as a "me to" does not survive in an open market.

All in all, I am delighted Ikea comes to Split.
Not because I need furniture, but because I know it benefits much, MUCH more than just another store among many others.

Also I hope, Ikea discovers the production potential of Dalmatia, with far to many unemployed youngsters, in and around Split.

Perhaps you think I am a dreamer, but I am NOT !
This country has plenty of possibilities for furniture production plants, creating another bunch of jobs.
And once Ikea opens, next step could be such, with enough wood and willing folks to produce a couple of chairs, tables, cupboards with impossible names here in stead of in China !

So welcome Ikea to Croatia, the sooner the better.

And once Ikea proves competition is a great thing, it might just happen that Lidl at last opens a store in Omis.
Makarska...yes, Split...yes, Trogir...yes, 
but Omis, for some odd reason...NO.
Fear of wet feet or simply because it's just big enough 
for a couple of "pirates", I don't know :-)
Wake up folks, this is Europe, u Hrvatska !

Anyone wanting to comment, 
my email address is in the right top sight of this blog.

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September 02, 2013

Trogir, less than an hour from Omis

Two Dutch guys were visiting our region AND fell in love with it.
So....., what's so special about that, you might ask.

What's so special is that I got hold of their enthusiastic story,
 ánd their 290 ( !!!) pictures.
Perhaps even many more, but thank heaven,
they shared only...... twohundredninety.

Unfortunately to most, speaking English, German and Croatian, the comments are in Dutch, so lucky are the Dutch for once, as they can read the words between the pictures.

And to all others I say "every picture tells a story" so click on the link below anyway, to see a load of great pictures of our region.
(Robert of took them to many of these places).

Click here and enjoy:

And to those who like great old music, open this link while looking at the pictures: ( Rod in his glory days. )
If my frequent blogging does not make you want to come to Dalmacija, perhaps these pictures will do the trick.

Of two things I am sure, they came the very first time,
but for sure they will return.
As when Dalmacija grabs you by the balls, you're lost (and found :-).

Their original plan was to go to Santiago de Compstella.
As you will see, some change of plan is always good,
especially if that change brings you to Dalmatia.
Thanks guys, for visiting our magnificent country.
And of course:
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