October 28, 2013

I hate(d) cats

For some reason I hated cats all my life.
Perhaps because our dog was hating cats too, but even in my younger days (lóng ago), cats were not my favorites.

Things change, and the cats that live around our place here, made me fall in love with them.
Still some of their habits, going to the "bathroom" for instance on my freshly planted vegetables does not make me happy.

Any other moment however, even when enjoying the silence of the night outside, those purring creatures are charming company.

From time to time kittens show up, as they all live and give bearth in nature here, and we put a lot of efford in taking care, feeding them with both plenty dry or leftover exquisite food, and a lot of t.l.c.
And after some time each and every young cat finds a new home, as they are all socialised by my wife and not "wild" anymore.
One basic rule remains: no cats inside house or gardenhouse !

As you can see, nature provides us with mainly white ones, sometimes mixed with a bit of red, but mainly white.
And we know who the fathers are :-)
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dirt or GOLD

From Alan Mandic, one of the true experts on Dalmatia's secrets I received a newsletter that will put Dalmacija
in a totally new historic perspective !!!

On his weblog, Secret Dalmatia Alan is informing about Dalmatia's special delights, offering the very best thinkable service, a truly interested visitor may wish for.

Dalmatia is known for it's historic places, like Split, Trogir, Dubrovnik and many, many other, but there is so much more.
Much of it still hidden, unexplored, and many times "only" visible to scientific experts.

Knowing a tiny little bit about the history of Dalmatia in old times,
I have a slight idea of the significance of it all.

I once in a while try to do some (google) research to get a picture of all that remains from early history, and sometimes go to places that are known to the public, but not yet to me.

Our area for instance, offers so much, it's hard to make a choice.
For many thousands of years ancient people discovered this is, like it is today, a splendid area to live.
Where I add some "future archaeology" building concrete walls, respectfully decorated with stones from all around us, ancient people left there traces all over this country.

Not being an expert, I recommend to make your own pick, or contact Alan, as I am just a simple guy living here, and enjoying whatever
I discover (and that's a lot).

I highly recommend you a look at Alan's weblog,
as he was lucky to enter the world of the Neanderthals recently.

Dr. Vincent Gaffney et al for instance did stunning research in the Cetina Valley in 2004.
The location Alan is writing about, might just be the reason for this highly respected expert to return to Dalmatia.

With a bag of money please, as proper archaeological research needs coins, not of the type ancient people left in the ground to be discovered after thousands of years, but Euro's !!!

Very well spent money, worth every kuna.
As respecting history is respecting the future.

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a trip worth sharing

Click on picture to enlarge.

I happened to see two Hungarian motor drivers,
when I returned from some shopping in Omis.
They stopped for a moment "now where to go", so I decided to stop too and gave them some advice to get the most out of their trip here.
I do that more often, when I see some people who do not know what to choose from the scenic menu .
Learned it from an ever polite English gentleman, who without asking crossed the street with " can I help you".
Good old British habits, unique in this stressed, ignorant world.

So I told them what would give them the very best "value for money", touring through this magnificent area.
Later on, no doubt they enjoyed it, so I thought I could as well share this trip tip with you.
Perhaps it's a good reason to finally plan a visit to this beautiful area,
called the Dalmatinska Zagora.

The roadmap I created takes you on a trip of let's say 50 kilometers, from Omis to Omis, driving through various, unforgettable landscapes, magnificent panorama's,
sleepy villages and truly stunning views.

Believe me, this is, no doubt,
one of the most beautiful parts of Croatia.
If not THE most beautiful !

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October 21, 2013

small change, big difference

Untill recent our car was the same, however, there was a slight difference, driving with typical yellow registration plates.
As we are originally from Holland,
also our car was registered in Holland, so it had yellow plates.
Makes sense huh.

As we moved to Croatia, we also at some moment had to register it.
 Before entrance to the EU however, there were many difficulties, as even the officials from customs one day said this, the next day that, so things remained like they were.

From the moment on, Croatia entered the EU, things áre changing, ánd for the better !
Still people around nag about the EU, but over time they'll discover things did and do get better.
Not áll, as this still is and remains Croatia, with it's own values,
which are typical Mediterranian here.
(Easy going, organic food, nice weather and an clear blue sea).

But simple things, that used to be very complicated and lasting for ages, are now changing, of which our car is a good example.
It still took a month to organise things, but compared to earlier trials, this is a huge step forward.

So from now on our car is a true Croatian car, and we can make phone calls in the car while driving, overtake left or right, drink a couple (not being coffee) before driving
and ignore if some light bulb dies out :-).
Just kidding of course, but the closer you drive to Split,
the more "different" drivers behave.
That, I guess will always stay the same, despite the EU and it's changes for the better.
As this ís a Southern European country.

If you, as a reader of this blog, you need advice on the issue of changing the registration of a car, be my guest and send me an email, and I'll gladly give you a short summary of things to do.

Life is great, especially in Dalmatia !
(So no time for cleaning the car).
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October 18, 2013

svinisce, our village, our surroundings

Took a walk/hike with my good friend Robert, at which we reached the opposite side of the Cetina Canyon.
Must admit we first drove up the slope as far as we possibly could, still the rest of the hike however sucked a lot of energy from my not so very athletic body.

Clear skies, a bright sun, 24 degrees Celsius, and a pretty steep gravel slope, what else can a superman like me wish for :-)
Not only me however, with my nearly 65 years of age, also Robert had a (bit of a) problem to inhale the smoke of his cigarette.

Now about this picture.
It's taken from the N/W side of the canyon, and when you click on it to enlarge, you'll see a village glued to the right side, above the mountain road that eventually reaches our tiny village.
(Our village, look véry good, is on the left far side of the picture).

The "glued" tiny village is called Podaspilje, and is not really hanging, but still an amazing place, as the view from there, into the canyon,
is more than just fantastic.
Couple of houses there are for rent, so in case you prefer to have
the REAL FEEL of this area, and still want to go to the beach in five minutes,
that's your place to go.
Also, and pretty important if you know what hot summers are, in the later afternoon, evening, night and morning temperature there is fár more enjoyable than directly at the coast.
AND......you're not in that crazy crowded circus as Omis in summer.

Just one of them many stunningly beautiful sceneries
we've got plenty of here.
And believe me, this is what makes Dalmacija/Dalmatia
so very special, specially the surroundings of Omis.
Sea, sun, nature, river, culture and much, múch more !

Check my previous pages about Go Quixotic.
It's a brave and inspiring initiative, 

so pump some of your fortune to their's, 
it won't cost you a holiday.
Only a couple of beers less, half a pizza and a grilled fish.
(That's about $ 24,99 here, so what are we talking about).

If you PROMISE and PROVE to donate them $99,99, I take you out a day for thé ultimate Dalmatian experience, including a home prepared pick nick served at THÉ most amazing spot.
Yes, I am a fine cook, and yes that spot is beyond imagination !
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October 16, 2013

what would Sir Richard Branson do ? (# 5)

Question on one of the many pages about Quixotic:

Or to say it in understandable normal words:
"What Would Branson Do".

In which of course Branson is Sir Richard Branson, 
known, nó, not knówn, 
but world famous for his unlimited spirit 
and unprecedented ideas.

In hís world the sky is nót the limit, hís sky has nó limits at áll.

What made me write this and previous pages is the unprecedented energy an American couple is putting into raising the capital
to fullfill their dream:
Starting up a completely new life in Croatia.
Or to be more precise, in Dalmatia.
Not only starting a new life here, but an epicurian place in Split.

Sure, there are more people in Croatia that have such dreams.
The new thing however is the way these folks dó what they do.

 !!!   C R O W D F U N D I N G   !!!

In crowdfunding you, me and everybody becomes partner of 
an initiative worth every single bit of support .
Not the IMF, nor Lehman Brothers or Brussels, but ÚS, the people.

Wanna know all about it, be part of it all and learn from it,
than visit their website, facebook page or any other page they use to draw attention,
as they will show and prove their sky has no limits too.

And when visiting their pages, do become part of this project,
as every single kuna, euro, yen or dollar is more than welcome
and will be well spent.

Click below to start:


And don't return to this blog till you did what I explained you to do.
Support this initiative !
As once théy succeed,
why not áll them young well educated Croatian people with dreams.

go organic, go quixotic (# 4)

(Please click to enlarge).

One of the main qualities of Dalmatia is that food here,
ány food, tastes só much better.
Meat, fish, vegetables and fruits, they all taste better,
and no doubt are more nutritious too !
The reason is very simple:
much of it is unspoiled organic locally grown stuff.
(One of the reasons is that large farms don't exist here, due to the fact that most properties and fields are simply to small).

Reading many reactions, experiences, comments on many internet sites, one thing always shows:
visitors, tourists, they all discover not only Croatia's coast is amazingly pure, it goes for the food as well.

Even a simple pizza here tastes better, due to better ingredients (unless people visit the wrong locations).

Here in Dalmatia, many people in the smaller villages still bake their own bread, partly because it's tradition, partly because they know growing and preparing your own is great.

Yesterday for instance, our best friends here in Svinisce brought home two thick, fat, healthy pigs.
Many people around do just the same, and with a good reason.
Once them pigs arrived they go on a diet, a diet of pure, organic, healthy, tasty food.
Every day from the moment they arrived, they loose some weight,
but gain taste and quality.

Somewhere at the end of the year, when the weather turns colder, them pigs reach the end of the line,
and the process of preparing and preserving starts.
Much of it is used for home made sausages, pancetta ánd that famous domaci prsut (salted, dried, smoked and ripened ham).
All of it, believe me, tastes divine, and is without comparison.
Shame on any factory producing "domaci prsut" the industrial way, as they all start at the wrong side of the pig :-)
(For those of you who don´t know, ``domaci``means homemade !

Good food starts with good ingredients, and no industry can ever produce the true DOMACI QUALITY.
Some of them try to do their very best, but still,
it's the wrong side of the pig.

This principle, going for fish, fruits and vegetables alike, motivated two brave American people to start up an initiative.

Great idea folks, a great and daring plan,
and a perfect combination of true American business mentality,
(let's kick some *ss) and the unspoiled richness of Dalmatian pure, healthy ánd tasty ingredients.
Once those two things are combined,
you get a cocktail of the best of both worlds.

! Go Quixotic !

The picture on this page shows the most minimalistic garden around.
In it are nevertheless various sorts, from olive to cabbage. 

And a lot more.
Not much in volume, but excellent food !
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October 15, 2013

what if Q = GO ? (#3)

Quote from the almighty internet:

"Epicurus says: life is good,
make sure to enjoy it".

If he really said that, and in thóse words, he truly was brilliant.
Brilliant, as he said it in Anglo-American :-).

Had he known Croatian, he would have used thát language,
at least when visiting the brilliant, organic, juicy Epicurian initiative that's coming to the old town of Spalatum.

Therefor, in a philosophical way, if "Q = Go", (and it ís !),
 we can as well accept and support the ideas behind "Go Quixotic".

So stay connected, as there is more to come, soon.

It took me/us pretty long to accept Epicurus famous words.
Had I known thán, what I know nów,
I would have used "crowd funding" thán !
Don't feel sorry for me/us, NO WAY, 
as we áre living our dream today.
In Dalmatia / u Dalmacija.

Windmills are everywhere, also in Croatia,
so íf you have to fight them, better do it hére, in Dalmatia !
Crowd funding is a creative refreshing way to do so.

go Q go ( # 2)

During the "Eighty Years War" (1568-1648) the Dutch were fighting against Spanish opression, 
and wón, 
and Cervantes wrote his most famous book.

Somehow, you'll find out soon, 
there is a connection between that antique war, 
Croatia, windmills and the mystery I am creating about Q.

For now its:

 "go Q go" !

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October 13, 2013

go Q go !!! (#1)

Q is coming to Split !

? Who ?

Q !

Great news it is, for you, for Split, ánd for Dalmatia. 
For now that's all I'm gonna tell, so keep following this blog as ....
.... details will follow soon.

So remember:

{ Q }

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October 12, 2013

even on a cloudy day

Even on a rainy/cloudy day our panorama is amazing.
(Do please click to enlarge).

This morning we were sitting outside (smoking inside is a no NO),
and enjoyed looking at the movement of the clouds.
People think Dutch clouds are fantastic,
painted by many famous masters,
but we know better.


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Biokovo, what a mountain it is !

One of the many views you may experience on Biokovo Mountain.
Do please click to enlarge the picture.

Not the highest mountain in the world, you might even call it a dwarf,
with it's 1800 meters all the way to the summit.
But bigger does not always mean better :-)

Or does it girls ?

Biokovo Mountain is less than an hour's drive from village Svinisce.
Not the highest , but a very special one, with twó climate zones.
I often visit it during different seasons.

October 01, 2013

hello World, welcome to our Universe !

Couple of years ago I entered the world of expats on Expatblog.
As usual dreams are followed by plans and after plans reality knocks.
Croatia, here we come, or better "came", as we moved there.
"Came", as we now live here for more than two years,
and have no regrets of taking that step.
! Not for a single moment !

But, as usual, a lot of things had to be checked, learned, organised.
Changing our Dutch life for Croatian life came with a lot of work.
And where better to check than on Expatblog,
as all people who think of, or work on moving to another country,
are member of it.
Again: "shared knowledge is the best knowledge".

To read the full story, see Blog of the Month October 2013,
as there I willingly and proudly tell it all.

If you dream or plan to make the same move,
do feel free to send me an email,
my address (as always) is in the right topside of my blog.
(In which X = @ of course).

Some rules in advance:
-if you mail me, keep it short;
-if looking for a job, sorry, I can't help you;
-if looking for trustworthy advise or help finding a place,
I will connect you to some good people.

Simple rules, as I am retired, I do not look for a job,
and our free life here is to precious to us.
Nevertheless I gladly support your plans,
as life is great in Dalmatia (Croatia).

And should you want to have a look first in this European country,
before you decide to take that giant step,
spring, summer and autumn the weather is the best, and you can always combine a visit with some days at one of them hundreds of superb, clean and sunny beaches of the Adriatic coast.
In that case however, check my friend Robert, as he's a friendly, trustworthy pro running a tourist service, but also helps people to find a place to settle in this area (avoiding the typical problems).

One way or the other, enjoy reading the interview on Expatblog,
and if you get inspired to move to Croatia:

!!   RIGHT   YOU   ARE   !!
(and so were we)

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