December 28, 2014

it's not as white as usual in December


We did not get a White Christmas, and even today, with heavy snow inland, only Mosor Mountains are white.

Which is a good thing, as looking at it is much better than being in it.
And we know what it feels like to be isolated in a winter wonderland.

These days everybody is talking about climate change.
Warmer or even colder is a matter of how scientists look at it.
I am convinced there ís a change happening,
only I am not sure whát change.

Last summer was pretty wet, after a mild winter.
Result: grapes and olives had a lot of problems from bugs.
Result: very poor crops.
Result: high prices.

Prognosis were warning for dangerous weather conditions,
with heavy snow.
Thank heaven we only had lots of rain last night,
but Mosor Mountains are all white, and no doubt Biokovo will be the same, only with a lót more snow higher up.

Sorry but no actual pictures yet, as my camera is having a problem.
The clever one however can find them on the internet :-)

Now let's hope the climate ís changing,
cause winter is nice, but spring in Dalmatia is gréat.

December 24, 2014

It's Christmas again, the 2014th and counting.


(Please click to enlarge).

Yes folks, it's the 2014th Christmas.

And however not a church going person myself, 
for so many people round the world it's a magic moment.

A good moment to reflect, and to count your blessings.
Also a fine moment to join around the table,
as that's where family members and friends meet.

A nice smelling Christmas tree, some presents perhaps,
a couple of carols, and a special dinner.
It might even snow, but please not to much this time :-)

A new year already knocking on the door,
the longest night already passed,
and before you know it,  it's springtime again.

All of it seems to come and go, just like that.
Don't take it all for granted, these áre precious moments.

Wish you a white, warm, peaceful Christmas.






December 19, 2014

so my wife asked for a húge tree


Ok honey, now where to put it ?

Just a couple of days, but better now than to late;

Merry Christmas everybody.

December 15, 2014

ok, I lost................(and I am an idiot now too).


 A lot of work, tired as hell, prepare and have dinner (yes I cook too),
and than lay back watching tv.
Forget it !

As we smoke, but don't smoke in the living room, I get myself a cup of coffee and a smoke, and sit where I can sit,
drink, write ánd smoke at the same time.

What's that with writing people, who either smoke or drink.
Góód question, but sorry, no answer this time.
(Don't worry, I am a modest drinker.)

Anyway, here I am, and if searching well,
you might find me on Facebook now.
It took me a lot of time before I shared that "basic need", but I did.
So ok, I lost, and now I am one of the billions of idiots on FB.
See below for some statistics.


The good thing of FB is that we offer nearly 7.000 people a job.
(And bring in a lot of money).

Do I become friends with everybody, the blunt answer is NO !
But as I don't allow comments on my blog, and only some of you discovered my email address (in the header of my blog, you silly goats), you can now (try to) connect to me through FB.

During winter the chance of communicating with me is (slightly) bigger,
as soon as spring starts, I have other obligations, hobbies, jobs, so by than I ignore anything that spoils the fun of living here.
(Including sharing with you some details about the hidden secrets of Dalmatia.)

By than I might even erase my entire FB-appearance.
In the meantime, I'll (try to) avoid watching TV.
And than FB is a reasonable alternative.
But ónly thán.


December 11, 2014

so you think you've seen it all............


So you think you've seen it all,
than think again, till you've seen Modris.

If looking for noise, sorry, we haven't.
And if looking for skyscrapers or jammed highways, sorry again.
Even when looking for gold, oil, diamonds, big money, sorry, so sorry.

But......
....if looking for clean air, silence, good people, pure nature, quality food, and a most beautiful, or better, a fántástic view, 
well.......thán come to Modris !

But..., but how far is it than ?
Góód question, it isn't far at áll.

Leave Zagreb, head for Split, continue to Omis, turn left over the bridge, follow the Cetina towards Kucice, but....turn right the very first road, up the mountain and continue till......
.....till you see a blue sign with Modris on it.

Turn right and again you continue, it's not that far anymore.
It's not a highway, so slow down a bit to let other cars pass.

And there you are, so stop, get out, turn around and look.
I said lóók, because than you see what makes Modris unique.

An open view, from left to right.
From Omiska Dinara on the left to Mosor Mountains far right.

Now you understand.
Now you knów why people living here néver ever leave.
And why those who left during the industrial revolution are returning.

Don't worry, we've got water, electricity, internet, and móst of all, we've got life, real life, traditional but modern life.
People here produce their own olive oil, wine, meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables and potatoes, and if anything else is needed, well.....
...it's five (!!!!) minutes down again, to the impressive Cetina Canyon, 
another five to the Adriatic Sea and shops in Omis, 
and half an hour to Split.

So come and experience Modris, so at last you can say:
"I've seen it all".

PS.
Listen to: Hotel California

Last thing I remember
I was running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax", said the night man
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave".

So, coming from Holland, having been to many countries, 
including the USA, I can and dó say I've seen it all, 
but Modris beats them all, by fár.
And I will néver leave :-)

December 10, 2014

the day after


After bád news always comes góód news.

I was reading about an initiative to combine growing vegetables with producing energy.
And since I desperately needed some positive news,
I continued reading, and hope you do likewise.
Hope you do too, as we all need some good news sometimes.


(Use Google Translate to get the idea)


The principle is simple,
you build a glasshouse to grow vegetables, 
and at the same time use the roof space to produce electricity.
To say it in simple words, that's a win/win/win situation.
(Vegetables, electricity, less pollution.)

My compliments to those people in Slatine.


Yes Omis, there is always góód news in Croatia too.

And remember December 9, 2014

December 09, 2014

nó politics on my blog


I promised myself nót to blog about politics.
So I WÓN'T !

But, dear people of Omis, dó remember this day, December 9, 2014.

A famous president of the United States of America once said:

"For I can assure you that we love our country,
not for what it was, 
though it has always been great,
not for what it is, 
though of this we are deeply proud,
but for what it someday can, 
and through the efforts of all,
someday will be".

John F. Kennedy, February 13, 1961.



Omiš, Tuesday, December 9, 2014


December 08, 2014

it's gonne be a white, white............tomorrow


The good thing of living here (ten minutes from Omis, thirty from Split and fortyfive from Biokovo ),
is that one does not have to dream of a white Christmas.

The reason is simple, as even though temperatures at the coast may be mild to those palm trees and coffee sipping locals and visitors (and they are the clever ones !), 
at the very same moment snow is changing Biokovo's summit
into winter wonder land.

As shown in the picture, at the top, called Sveti Jure, there is already enough snow to create a winter dream.

To bad I still haven't time to go myself, maybe this weekend, but as soon as I can I'll definitely give it a try.
As this is one of the reasons I love it here, combining clear blue Adriatic ánd  freezing cold white winter weather on Biokovo.

And before you think I'll drive all the way up, nope, I don't, as my car is a two wheel Opel, and I don't want to wait till spring to get it back.
As now it's a bit of snow, but that may change from hour to hour, and thán you wish you'd not even thought of driving to the very top.

So if I inspired you, and you are in the position to go up the mountain, don't play roulette as weather may change véry rapidly there !!!!
biokovo blizzard

Ask someone with a four wheel jeep with proper tires, snow chains and some good old rakija in case nothing helped you going down again.

And besides, Biokovo is stunning everywhere, so come and go,
up, up and away.
Ahhh, before I forget, I usually finish such a trip having an espresso and some delicious !!! cake at Kavana Romana in Makarska.

Some guys have all the luck :-)


December 07, 2014

Dear Santa, can I get this book, please......


To comfort you straight away, this book is also available in English.
It's than called:
Excursions from Split-the Split Riviera and Hinterland.
( isbn 978-953-7527-26-6 )
I bought it in a friendly bookstore on Vocni Trg in Split,
which is a couple of steps from the Riva.
Price 70 kuna.

That's for the "technical" information, now let's tell you why I simply hád to have it, even before Santa was coming to town.

It does exáctly what it should, it takes you away from Split, into the surroundings and into the Dalmatian Hinterland (Dalmatinska Zagora).

And before you think "oh dear", all of these trips take you less than an hour, and no, you don't have to take your Bentley out of the garage,
as they are all doable by bus.

What makes it so damned interesting, is that it takes you to many places tourists hardly know, but shóuld know !

Let's pick one page (104) where Radosic is shown.
Just 30 kilometres from Split, behind Mount Kozjak,
 you're in the middle of typical inland Dalmatia.
The book describes a variety of nice hikes, the remains of an Illyrian hill fortress, and a couple more things like caves and pits, cisterns and of course plenty of  unspoiled nature.
The area is designated as high value landscape and historic entity.
But most of all, it's famous for it's yearly BIKIJADE.

On the last Sunday of May the Countryside Olympics and Bull Duels are held, and believe me, if you want to experience Inland Dalmatia, thát's the day ! 
Look here: Bikijade Radosic

Should you not be here on this specific day, don't worry, as during summer in many villages are held Countryside Olympics.
Even better, any other day is a perfect day, as than you'll experience the ultimate feeling of Inland Dalmatia.
Quiet, pure, natural, with mány abandoned villages,
showing life never was easy here, but always unique.
And I, or you, guided by this fantastic little book, can get a perfect impression of  what Dalmacija really is about.

Still plenty of time to relax at the Adriatic, and enjoy a great holiday.
Cheers, Zivio, Zivila, Zivali, to life !

PS.
Other than those horrible bull fights in Spain, no bull gets hurts, perhaps an ego here or there.




November 26, 2014

Potravlje pottery, the way it was made for ages.




(click to enlarge)

Potravlje, the blue dot on the map, 
hides one of the many hardly known secrets of Inland Dalmatia.

As here, near the town of Sinj, Cetina River and Lake Perusko, 
an ancient pottery technique has survived for ages.

Still a couple of craftsmen produce lids and pots the traditional way.
Not machine powered, but pure craftsmanship, hand shaped and decorated, which makes each example unique.

One might even have it's own text on it.
But be aware the spelling is correctly understood :-) 


(click to enlarge)

Click for short videos on Youtube (bóth highly interesting):





As seen on the picture there is a variety of shapes, one shape however needs special attention, as it's used to make the most appreciated dish called peka.

With meat, poultry or octopus plus potatoes, onions and peppers, it's a great traditional dish, grilled under such a lid, prepared on a traditional wood fire.

I tried to make it myself a couple of times, but believe me, to get and keep the right temperature ain't that easy. 
Better order it (in time) in one of the many traditional konoba's (traditional restaurants) where they know how to prepare it.
(Also the same lid is used to bake a traditional bread).

And once you've tasted this dish, 
you might want to buy your own peka lid.
If so, Potravlje is the place to go.

And since you are there (about half an hour from Split), drive to Perusko Lake, Sinj, Cetina River or Dinara Mountains.
If you have a bit more time, drive to Trilj, and than towards Grab, where a unique watermill is absolutely worth a visit.
Won't tell you more, but the place is AMAZING !

And íf you bought yourself a lid, 
get some of the flour this mill has been milling for centuries. 
You'll be tasting a bread like you've never ever tasted before in your life.

Yes, first you'll have to learn how to bake it.
But aren't we all willing to learn.




November 25, 2014

Dalmatia, gó and discóver Inland Dalmatia !






Today I "stumbled" over an éxcellent new promotion video showing Inland Dalmatia.
In about three minutes you get an impression why I/we love it here.

I took this picture from Google Maps to give you an idea of the possibilities, all of it very reachable by car, motor, bus or bike.
(Walking might take a bit longer than one hour)

With Split in the South Centre of it all and at the Adriatic coast,
it takes you LESS than an HOUR to discover the inland.

But why use many words this time, as there is now a great video:
Clicke here:

Inland Dalmatia

And remember, it's just a couple of examples,
a couple of the mány hidden gems of Dalmatia's inland.
Perfectly combinable with a beach holiday at the Adriatic,
and the ultimate way to get the real feeling of Dalmatia.

One warning !
Once you discover what we've already discovered,
you might end like we did, living in it, ten minutes from the Adriatic,
with áll the very best of both worlds.

Not a bad idea, if not the bést idea ever.

November 23, 2014

Indonesian food in Svinisce, huh.........yes indeed


(Picture from: https://www.facebook.com/makanindonesia).

Yes indeed, sometimes we enjoy Indonesian food here in Svinisce.
This may be weird to you, but let me explain.

First of all, I am a Dutchman (oh, but thát explains a lot :-).
No serious, that explains a LOT.

Always, when in history there are connections between some countries, there is exchange of customs, ánd food.
Croatian cuisine for instance has it's cevapcici and soparnik from Ottoman times (yes folks, they are originally Turkish dishes), the Dutch inherited Indonesian food from being colonisers of Indonesia.
(That explains also why Americans have hamburgers, imported by their German ancestors, and the Dalmatians pizza's).

Lucky Dutch, having been connected to Indonesia (and not Germany), as once you've tasted an Indonesian dinner like the one on the picture, you'll understand (and want more).

My mother (100% Amsterdam) was a fine home cook, and from her we all learned and love good food.
Her cooking skills even motivated me to become a professional cook.
And by coincidence there were some other connections to Indonesian dinners, but than this page gets to long.

I was (and still am) cooking every day, and love to create food.
And there we go, as Croatia is extremely rich of excellent ingredients.
Fish, meat, fruits, poultry, vegetables and even a lot of spices are excellent, and crying to be become a great dish.

So they become great dishes, every day something different, always tasty, and always at least an hour or more preparing it, 
as cooking takes time, unless you love micro waves :-(
(Lucky me, hating micro waves, being retired, with plenty of time).

Indonesian food however, especially like in the picture, takes a lót of time, even up to two days, so I only do that for good friends, 
and mind you, not tó often.
IF....however I do, it's always D-licious !

The only (minor) problem is that a lot of ingredients and spices are not available in Croatian supermarkets, so once in a while I make a list of missing stuff, and organise some sort of "transport" from Holland.
(Things are slowly changing however, as Konzum's big supermarket in Split today sells coconut milk, soy sauce, fresh ginger and more of those goodies, and I grow my own lemon grass).

Still, a lot of these dishes can be prepared from available ingredients, and believe me, once you dig in you wish for more and more often.
And that's my only problem, as when I start eating Indonesian food, 
I simply can't stop.

Okay, those two days in the kitchen are another problem, 
but that's all for the good cause.
And hospitality happens to be a shared Dalmatian/Dutch virtue.

Selamat makan, or in other words, dobar tek.

PS.
Anywhere on the web you can find recipes, 
for instance of "sate" or "satay", a grilled delicacy.
Having a "rostil" (a charcoal grill every Dalmatian has), good meat (pig, goat or chicken), garlic, ginger, red chilly peppers and soy sauce in any good supermarket, makes a perfect introduction to a great kitchen.
-
Slice the meat in cubes, marinate it in a mix of it all, 
put it in the fridge for hours or a night.
Than put a couple of cubes on every skewer, 
and grill them for a couple of minutes.
!!! Careful, any sweet (and dark soy sauce is) burns easily !!!
Dip it in a sauce made of peanut butter*), dark soy, lemon juice, garlic and water, and serve with some cucumber, 
bread, rice or french fries.
AND......a nice cold beer of course !

*) Nót the sweet, flavoured, creamy American peanut butter however, 
but genuine Dutch "pindakaas" from Calvé.














November 19, 2014

oil from the Adriatic ,don't say you didn't know !


Come one friends, come on and say NO before it's to late.

YOU, I, WE all love the Adriatic, but for how long ?
Those oil drilling plans are UTTERLY STUPID
as they may destroy the móst beautiful coastline in Europe.

Sign that petition NOW:

I can keep on blogging about all natural beauty of Dalmatia,
but what if there ain't no beauty anymore ?

I won't say please, I simply say do it, and do it NOW !

As if we don't say NO, politicians will run for the short term money,
with a high risk of ruining it all it the long term.

Yes yes, they say (bla bla bla), they say they take every possible precaution  to protect the environment, but didn't they say so about those many disasters too.

Do I have to to summarize them ?
No I won't, as Google shows them all to you in a split second.
To make things easy for you (and you politicians),
look here:

Now do go back to the first link, and sign that damned petition.
Do it NOW.

November 18, 2014

if there is no news, any news will do


(A new Olympic sport, man throwing)

Specially for those who have seen it all,
been everywhere, experienced everything (or at least think so).
Until............. you discover Svinisce,
as thán you realise you've seen nothing yet.

*
What to do when there is nothing to share about our life in Svinisce ?
Become a member of Facebook.

So I did, after long lasting hesitation, objection, dislike.
And must admit, it's fun, until it becomes a time consuming thing.

So DÓN'T try to become friends with me, at least not on Facebook,
as I still have some other hobbies and jobs to like.

Nevertheless, it's fun and finding this picture made me laugh a lot.
To respect the "owner", his rights and/or his temper, here it was:

So, sorry for those who think there is always something interesting happening in our hidden valley.
No, some days are just "another day", where everybody is either
working or resting, dreaming or facing reality.

So I became member of Facebook.
For those who really know me, thát is news !

Till next item than.
:-)

November 12, 2014

Budweiser vs. BUD, a good reason to visit Croatia

How does a blog page get born ?
Well, here's how.

Once in a while I have email contact with a Belgian guy called Eddy, who is like us a big fan of Dalmacija.

Recently he wrote me he took a box of Karlovacko beer all the way back home to Belgium.
Nothing wrong with that, as he can sit back, open a bottle, close his eyes and dream back to another great holiday in Dalmatia.

Than I realised I had a beer story in mind, so better put it on "paper".
First of all, there are a couple of big national breweries in Croatia, and they sell a lot of it.
In the middle of building some extra space to our modest house, we see a lot of workers, and most of them have beer when I still have my first, second or third coffee.
Must be their sunny climate, and my Dutch habits :-)

But let's put a couple of the biggest breweries in a row:
Karlovacko (owned by Heineken)
Ozusjko (owned by Inbev)
Kaltenberg ( owned by HRH Prinz Luitpold von Bayern ?)

And than there are a couple others, fighting for a market share:
Jupiler, Heineken, Bavaria and many others.

But (no, I don't mean BUD)......
my absolute favourite is Budweiser !
Ho there........., before you think I drink American beer, hell no.
As American beer is like American coffee, so forget about that.

No, this Budweiser is the original from the Czech Republic, and that's a perfect reason to visit Croatia :-).
Simply said, because that makes a HUGE difference.
For details, see: www.budejovickybudvar.cz

As despite many legal fights between those big Americans and "tiny" original Budweiser here in Croatia it's Budweiser and nót Bud.

And thank heaven we've got Budweiser, the original Budweiser, 
the one and only true Budweiser.
And not only the blond version, but also a dark one.
One for summer, one for winter so to say.

Tasty, refreshing, a mild little bitter, and a pleasure to drink.


Cheers, or to say it in Croatian:
Zjivio (if saying cheers to one man)
Zjivila (to a single lady)
Zjivali (to a group of man, women, mixed).

And Eddy, thanks for the inspiration.
However...one question remains:
How dare you take Karlovacko to Belgium, to beer drinkers paradise :-)

PS.
There is only óne good reason to order a Heineken:
When you have to clean your glass before you fill it with béér).
And I am allowed to say so, coming from Holland.



.

November 11, 2014

Zadvardje, Tuesday bazaar

Zadvardje's Tuesday Bazaar.
It's worth to put on your bucket list !

Every Tuesday, all year round, but certainly in summer, 
there is a market in Zadvadje.

If staying let's say between Split and Makarska, it's easy to get there.
Between those two cities there is a road going up towards Zadvardje, Sestanovac and the highway, you simply can't miss it.

Get up early, as the earlier the more you'll see.
Here they sell whatever you (may not) need, from donkeys, cows, fruits, vegetables, cheese, and a lot more.
Some even try to sell their mother in law :-)

The bést however, is the grilled lamb or pig, 
as those two are mouth watering !
You tell what part or how much you want, than step back, as they portion the meat with a kitchen axe, so juices are splashing around.
Our personal favourite is the young pig, straight from the grill, and it's crispy skin is worth killing for (which they already did for you).

Like I said, you order and pay, than take your portion to the terrace next to it, find yourself a free table and sit down.
The waitress will give you a dish, bread and spring onions, and cutlery, but those you don't need, as it's perfectly normal to use your hands.
Of course you get a serviette too, don't worry. 

Having such an absolutely delicious early lunch or late breakfast is a thing you won't easily forget !
Accompanied by a glass of local wine (or mineral water) 
your Dalmatian day get's thé perfect start.



Waiting for a new owner.


Don't stand to close.

Tools in every shape and size.

Once a month there is also a big market (bazaar) near Benkovac, but to be honest, our's in Zadvarje is much more pleasant.
And besides, it's not as far as Benkovac.

After visiting the market, you can go for a look into the deepest part of the Cetina Canyon, or return to the coast (with a stunning panorama), and go for a lazy swim.
If so, turn right direction Omis, and after about fifteen minutes you'll see a sign called Brzet on your left.
Turn left here, drive on till you see the restaurant Zvizdan down right.

As you already had an early lunch, ignore the restaurant and head straight for the beach.
It's a perfect place to be lazy, and once you get hungry again, you can sit at the terrace and order whatever you like.

Don't leave to soon, as later in the afternoon/early evening it's a fantastic place, seeing the sun go down over Omis.
And......but no guaranty, you might see some dolphins too.

So again, you know now why we live here :-) 

November 10, 2014

about pigs and REAL dalmatian prsut (smoke/dried/ripened ham).


The pigs still alive and growing,
but in about a month happiness comes to an end.
For the pigs that is, as than the fun starts for us humans.

Ho ho, stop for a moment.
As before the fun starts, and I mean the REAL fun of tasting a slice
(or two) of that unique delicacy I better explain a bit about the
Dalmatinski Domaci Prsut .

The whát ????

Guess I don't have to explain the word Dalmatinski (Dalmatian),
so on to the next two words than:
"Domaci", as that means Home Made, and nothing else.
And this type of Prsut (pronounced as "purshoot"),
is the unique result of a time consuming traditional process. 

This summer I discovered much so called "home made" hams, 
neatly sliced and packed, ready to enjoy the "real" Dalmatian taste.
Well, sorry to say, some of it are just good products, many however are not even copies.
From Italy, Spain, Istria, Slovenia, even Germany or Holland.
Mind you, nót from Dalmacija, and íf they are, not the real thing.
So when wanting to taste real Domaci Prsut, don't rely on fancy names.

As what makes a traditional:
Dalmatinski Domaci Prsut

First of all the pig !
As this pig has been eating dried figs, herbs, clover,
potatoes and a lot more, 
to change in quality and taste, not even growing thát much.

And when the pig stops being pig, it's time for tradition.
As everyone has his own traditional recipe for salt and spices.
Salt to extract water and conserve, spices to add to the flavour.
The hams during that process are pressed to get rid of
as much watery content as possible.
(As in the end, it must become a smoked, dried, ripened ham, right ?).
RIGHT !!

As after this step, the hams are hanged in what 's called the black kitchen.
Black indeed, from many years of smoke from wood fires.
And even the wood to create the daily amount of smoke drying,
adds a personal touch.

Lucky hams, because they are not alone, as at the same time a variety of bacon, sausages and other delicacies are hanging out,
in mild warm smoke and chilling cold dry air.
Not just a single week or so, no, for weeks and weeks and weeks. 
How long is a matter of experience, enough is never to much.

Than, as I am telling about DOMACI !, the hams keep hanging
for at least half a year.
Only touched by the winter winds, dry and cold.
And even better, the very best are like good wine, the longer they ripen, the more intense colour and flavour become.
Some even are one or two years, and those are the véry best.

In the end, as like in a good film there is a happy end,
the moment comes to slice some of it.
Colour ruby red, tending to reddish brown, and structure and taste a delicate mix of sweetness, saltiness, not even a smoky taste.
In one simple word: D.....LICIOUS !

As soon as processing starts, I'll add a series of pictures to this blog.
No pictures for vegetarians, but the animal dies after a good life,
ánd for the good cause.

Dalmatinski Domaci Prsut

And sorry to say,
but that has a quality you'll néver find in a shop or supermarket.
Better become friends with someone who is willing to share some.

Sorry again, I haven't, but I dó have some good friends :-) 













November 09, 2014

Advent Riva Split



November slipping away, some rain, some sun,
but still very pleasant temperatures.
The summer crowds have gone home now,
so good old Split belongs again to it's own citizens, 
including those tourists who discovered it's a nice town, all year round.

And Split, like any other big city, is getting in the mood for December,
decorated with stars, snow flakes and candles.

And at the Riva, Split's famous boulevard under palmtrees at the Adriatic, little white houses are being built, where typical Dalmatian winter specialities are presented and/or sold.

I found a special video, in time laps on Youtube, I simply had to share.
Have a look, here it is:

The pictures reminded me of a famous time laps film in 1982, 
called Koyaanisqatsi, with music by Philip Glass.

Hope you like it, and don't worry, 
people in Split are normally not moving as fast as seen in the video, 
especially not during this time of year :-).

So if you like a more relaxed atmosphere, why not hop over,
from wherever you read this.





November 07, 2014

getting wet for fun


Thanks to the brave photographer of Slobodna Dalmacija today, 
I can share this picture with you.

Here's the link to their newspaper:

At the very moment it's stormy, rainy weather here, but that's nothing compared to the current conditions at the coast,
or in Italy for that matter.

Roads closed, ferries stopped, and I guess even the seaplanes from www.ec-air.eu stay inside.
Only military helicopters still fly under these conditions, taking a pregnant woman from Hvar to Split's hospital.

A stormy weather system called Benjamin is passing over Southern Europe, so anybody with just a tiny bit of brains stays inside.
Except......except the man on the picture, and looking at the way he behaves, even he seems to have a moment of doubt.

Yes, clearly the long lasting Indian Summer is over now.
But the good news (there is always some good news)
is that Benjamin is leaving our region.
Thank heaven it was Benjamin, and not his big brother :-)

Sunday, monday, tuesday the forcast promises*) fairly pleasant weather, so one of those days even I might go out,
without getting wet.

Used to grey Dutch weather conditions, where the rain never seems to stop, our Dalmatian weather is a blessing.
Ok, except today than :-)
Still, thanks to Slobodna Dalmacija, pictures like these are great.

*) Never trust a weatherman, they are even worse than politicians. 


November 06, 2014

Dalmatia, and sharing our love for it.

Don't worry, this blog will continue to be my first choice. 
But the world being bigger than this blog, 
I decided to share some of my local experience on Trip Advisor too.

If you like to see what I wrote there, click on the link below:

As there I commented and/or wrote some items 
that make your choice from the unlimited amount of  places in our area a bit easier, some of them not known at all, 
until I wrote about them.
You won't find tourist traps or clichés in my pages, that's for sure !

So on Trip Advisor, being the ideal platform to share my local knowledge, I'll add a couple more special places and/or areas, which to my best knowledge are worth to be on your bucket list when visiting the surroundings of Omis. 

Once again, I only do these things because we love it here, 
with no strings attached.
So should I write or comment about some place, location or restaurant, I only give you my personal unbiased impression, being the local I am.

As sharing the fun still is the greatest fun, 
and all I want is to let people like you know:
Dalmatia is múch more than only a beautiful coast.



October 28, 2014

Zvizdan, Omis, our favourite place to relax, lunch, swim, dine

Relax while having a drink.

Let them prepare your dinner.

Sit down and enjoy the view.


I case of cold feet, sit here.

Not bad huh.......



start dreaming (of your next vacation)

(click to enlarge)

As you (may or should) know, I like to share my favourite hidden secrets.
So here's another one.

If you are staying between let's say Makarska and Omis, somewhere in the middle is the road to Zadvardje/Sestanovac.
This road is easy to find, so no need to explain in details.

When driving up, take the véry first road to the left towards Slime.
Now, slowly please, as you have to "discover" the very first narrow road to the left.
Found it, great !

Now slowly drive up this road, and up, and up you go.
Already you'll see some places to stop your car on the left, so stop and enjoy the panorama on your left.
But you can continue this road, so up again, and up, up, up.
Slowly, as some corners are narrow,
filled with plants overhanging the sides.
If you drive in the middle, nothing will harm your vehicle, if driving a motor no worries at all, and if you're afraid of the paint of your car, well, than continue walking.
Not a bad idea at all, as every step is a great one.

At some point you'll reach the spot where I go many times (by car, ha ha ha), at a corner where there is enough space to park.
Stop here, even when the road still goes up, as higher up the view does not get better.

This is my ultimate spot, this is where you can enjoy the móst stunning view, and this is, especially later in the afternoon, where you can sit down and experience how Biokovo (the big one on the left)
slowly changes colour.

Oh, and before I forget it, take some nice food and a bottle of good wine with you, as you'll feel on top of the world,
with no urge to go back down.

Smell the herbs around you, get impressed by the immense mountain, enjoy the weird rock formations around you.
You might even fantasize an Indian is observing you from behind one of the stones above you.

Crazy idea ?
Not really, as it were these sceneries where the films about Winnetou and Old Shatterhand were filmed.

Amazing Dalmatia, always amazing.
Especially where you don't expect it to be.

Enjoy the scene, and keep it clean please, for me and others to follow.

PS.
Zadvardje has a nice farmers market on Tuesdays.
So if you want to buy a cow or a pig to take home.................
But that's worth another story.

October 26, 2014

fiddlers on the roof


That's how they do it, fiddlers on the roof.

Five guys, a pump and a truckload of concrete.
It's just a tiny part of the story, but believe me,
this story has a very happy ending.

Round Christmas the entire story will be revealed,
and not one single day earlier.

Until than, enjoy the song:
If I were a rich man


October 17, 2014

croatia 365 (days)

(click to enlarge)

Most tourists come to Croatia in mid summer,
which is pretty understandable.
Great sunny weather, a delicious seawater temperature, and more interesting places, islands, breathtaking nature and an almost impossible amount of excursions.

Impossible to make a choice during those two or three weeks ?
Well, how about all those other days of the year than.

As you may have understood reading my blog,
Croatia is an all year round country, 365 days !!
Ok, we do have winter here, even harsh winters,
depending where you go.
The Adriatic coast however, may have cold days, but not many.

In Split for instance, people are delighted when some day some snow falls, but the palmtrees at the Riva (boulevard)
never stay white longer than a single day.
And also in Makarska, you can enjoy wintersun between the palm trees at the Adriatic boulevard. but a simple turn of your head shows lots of snow on Biokovo Mountain.
And not just a thin layer, but even meters thick snow heaps.
Driving up to Sveti Jure, the summit, like in summer, forget it !

No, Croatia, and certainly Dalmatia, is a 365 days a year destination.
www.croatia365.eu

Specially for nature lovers lovers (like me),
Dalmatia amazes ánd attracts évery day.
As goes for all in- or outdoor sports fanatics (not like me :-).
However, if you like skiing (yes, like me !!!) Croatia (ánd neighbouring) countries offer unique opportunities.
For climbing fanatics (like I used to be before I became fat and lazy), Dalmatia, and certainly Omis with its stunning Cetina Canyon,
is a 365 days a year destination.
Without freezing your hands or balls :-)

Many pages ago I already wrote about combining in óne single day a strong espresso, sipped in the sun at the Adriatic, followed by a not even that far trip into Bosnia, to spend a couple of hours skiing down well prepared pistes in various gradations.
Wow................... I rest my case.

However....I must add such a day gets a perfect finish, back in Dalmatia, sitting in a traditional konoba (cellar), enjoying a delicious peka (a dish baked on wood fire under a lid).
With a glass of new wine, to keep your throat from drying out :-).

Yes, Dalmatia (and entire Croatia for that matter) is absolutely
a 365 days a year destination.
Especially for people (like me) who like to avoid summer crowds.
So what are you waiting for, with so many carriers connecting Split (or Zagreb) with whatever part of the world you live in.
Also all year round !


PS.
However the mentioned website is absolutely worth visiting, 
I discovered one imperfection.
They forgot to mention one great all year round possibility:
www.Total Inland Dalmatia.com

And being voluntary ambassador :-) of Inland Dalmatia, it's my pride and joy to add it to the already lóóóóng list of  possibilities to get out of foggy London,  smoky Beijing or rainy Amsterdam.








October 15, 2014

wild Livno horses ánd the Adriatic, a unique combination !!!


(click to enlarge)

Most people visiting our part of Dalmatia,
come to relax and enjoy the climate, the sea and some pizza's.
Well, right they are, and I think I don't have to dig into details here.

Ok, quickly than :-).
The Adriatic, the Cetina, Biokovo, Split and Trogir, or even Dubrovnik, and yes, also Krka and/or Plitvice.

Of course a couple of excursions are a must.
All of them worth doing, even if it's one of those "fishpicknicks".
(Sorry folks, I am not a fish eater, I prefer a good peka with good meat.)

But, there is a NEW experience:

Already in 2009 I wrote about a stunning bunch of wild horses,
already more than two hundred !!!,
that live in the Livno area, hardly one hour away from Split.

Mind you, totally wild, noble animals, scrolling the pastures of Livno Polje (flatlands), or way up on the slopes of Dinara or Cincar mountains.
And mind you again, year round, in hot summers and freezing winters.
More than two hundred (and increasing), what a sight, what a beautiful encounter with nature at it's best.

For long I wondered why nobody organised some sort of trip, excursion, expedition or safari, but things have changed for the better,
ánd for you, as now there is such a possibility.

As for such an excursion you need someone with knowledge of the terrain, as it's not always simple to find the animals in their natural habitat, never at the same spot.
An experienced guide, a  strong 4x4,  and while it's Nature (with a large N), a pair of good hiking shoes are a necessity.
And you of course, with just a small group, interested in more than the average offer of excursions, as you want to get the véry bést from your stay in this amazing region.

Being the nature lover I am (one of the main reasons why we now live here) I highly recommend you to see:
wild horses safari

Either they or my good hiking companion Robert from malimlin can arrange your day trip to those fantastic animals, visiting a beautiful neighbour country at the same time.

Check the various details on internet (google: wild livno horses) and you'll understand the reason I wrote this third page about it.
Oh.... and by the way, Livno has some interesting historic things to see, ánd a special river coming out of nowhere.
But that's another story, and another blog page :-)

!! GO SEE THEM HORSES !!

Look here !

And also hére !!

And ábsólutely hére !!!

October 04, 2014

Hvar through Mara's eyes


(My usual advise, but certainly this time: dó click to enlarge ).
Than look, and look again,
and you'll be surprised, charmed and amazed at the same time.
As thát is how an true artist sees Hvar.

With véry little time, I móst highly recommend you to visit:
GoHvar , to discover the island Hvar.
You might even decide to not come back to thís blog,
but I dare to take that risk.

Why oh why ?
Extending our rather small living room, adding a more spacious sleeping room, a cellar (called podrum here) ánd a new terrace,
it soakes all our energy and time at the moment.

So for now and next couple of days/weeks I/we have hardly any time to do anything else than run from one thing to another,
for us there is only one shade of grey, namely CEMENT.

But.............................
all of it for the sake of enjoying Christmas in our by than finished house.

Untill than, do enjoy GoHvar, where Mara introduces you to her island with her unbelievably beautiful pictures.

I'll be back blogging when everything is finished and clean.