February 17, 2013

Switserland ?, Austria ?, no ,this also is Dalmatia !!!!!

So up we went, up the road into Biokovo, heading for the summit at Sv. Jure, but happy with every meter less as long as we found snow.

And snow we found, already at 3000 ft. (1000 meters), driving carefully on a clean road, surrounded by sometimes a meter or more of snow walls left and right.

We are the lucky ones, we live here all year round, but to those who think Dalmatia is only worth a summer visit, wrong you are indeed.

Sad enough there are no prepared pistes (why not, on the N/E side ?), but for people who like the unbelievable combination of winter sun at the Adriatic combined with a winter wonderland like this, a stay in or around Makarska is certainly a good advice.

As it's still winter, not all days are as good, but who cares, as you can always plan a trip to Split, visiting one of the many museums, a concert or one of the enormous modern shopping malls (City Center One for instance), or just sit back at one of the many terraces, covered from wind or rain, with a good book and a good glass.

But íf it's one of those (also) many sunny days, any trip into the Dalmatinska Zagora (the hinterland) or Biokovo Mountain shows you how beautiful Dalmatia is before the beaches are covered with sun seeking lazy relaxing tourists.

And do see my previous page about Makarska's best pastries, a great way to finish an afternoon's walk in the "Alps".
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Kavana Romana Makarska, a MUST DO !

As expected, the beautiful waterfront of Makarska has many terraces, no doubt all serving an excellent coffee or drink at this fantastic location.
The shiny blue bay of Makarska in front, a row of palm trees ánd...behind you Biokovo Mountains (if lucky, snow covered),
but that ain't all.

If you decide to sit down for whatever drink, DO, please dó go for the place called Kavana Romana, close to where Jadrolinija ships come from and leave for the islands.

Reason to share this little secret are their pastries, each of them mouth watering, like we experienced again yesterday.

We took a seat in the sun, overlooking the waterfront in a mild winter sun, and as I knew why, I told my friends to follow me inside, as thére is where the fun starts !!!!

Soft, fluffy, tasty, creamy, colorful, rich pastries, all of them of a non Croatian (sorry Croatia) quality !
All of us five decided for a different peace (lucky me, as now I could try a bit of all five), and all of us were in heaven.

Five excellent coffees, great service, five delicacies, all together kn. 122 (let's say 15 euro's), combined with thát view, it's unprecedented !!!

We live a good half hour's drive from Makarska, and no doubt it's worth the trip.
So for sure I will find some excuses to return, again and again, as there are still some sorts I simply múst try !
(If only interested in their pastries, they also have a shop in another part of town, I discovered but not yet visited).

Check the internet at http://www.romana-makarska.com, a true delight, worth a visit.

Visited the top of Biokovo again yesterday (July 23), leaving early in the morning as than it's less hot and much less crowded on the very top.
Magnificent as always, specially when returning, at about 1400 meters, going for a hike.
Even discovered an abandoned stone house where an old cherry tree still carried cherries.
Gonna go back there to get some branches to reproduce that cherry as however small fruits, they tasted like heaven (sweet, highly aromatic, unique !).

Returning home through Makarska, couldn't resist to buy me some pieces of Kavana Romana's cake.

OOOOOFFFFF, splendid again, especially their lemon-cheese and the pure chocolate cake.
Thanks again folks, for making such HIGH quality delights !
And to all people visiting Dalmacija, go to Makarska, and get some of that cake !!!!
(Driving from Lidl back to the coastal road to Omis, you'll find their shop on the left side).

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February 07, 2013

black days

One day all will be perfect.

Most of the time I get inspired by new discoveries, caught in a picture, or many of the little golden moments our life here gives to us.
Happy moments, stunning places, a taste of the young wine, always better than the year before.

Recently however we experienced a range of sad events, losing four good people, all relatives of each other.
Yesterday we brought a close friend and very fine person to his last resting place, much to soon, much to young, leaving everybody in shock.
Why he, why now, why ?

Tomorrow again we go to accompany a good man to his resting place, the fourth in a row of close relatives.
No words can express our sympathy to family, relatives and friends.

Still, even on black days like these, the traditional values of our community show their quality.

Here a funeral takes place the next day, so coming from northern europa where a funeral takes place at least three days after a person passes away, to us this seems like a roller coaster ride of emotions, especially to family and close relatives.
And as usual, many things have to be arranged in extremely short time, under emotional conditions.
Here again, our community steps in, and takes most of that organizing load away from the relatives' shoulders.

Yesterday hundreds of people showed up to support the relatives in their saddest moment, paying respect to the deceased, a fántástic person, husband, father and a great friend for so many.

Traditionally all gather at the foot of the hill on which the church is standing, together waiting for the deceased, to subsequently walk up the hill while our local group of singers sing traditional hymns and the priest is saying prayers.
Can't tell how serene this walk is, so many thoughts, sad, thankful and proud to be part of this community, where joy and sadness are shared.

Neighbors and friends carry all the flowers, that are brought to the grave after the final service in our church has started.
And when the burial takes place again our singers sing a goodbye, our priest says prayers, all of it in a most beautiful silent landscape.

As a visiting tourist you won't be part of moments like this, still I wanted to share it with you.
To make you understand there are many reasons to love Svinišće.

As even black days make life in the Dalmatinska Zagora so very rich.

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