May 27, 2014

dalmatian windmill

Laughing windmill

Never ask your wife's opinion about your blog pages :-)
How about that for an intro.

Well, after a nice dinner (which I prepared, as usual) we had a small conversation about my blog pages.
She confronted me with the fact that I once in a while mention my best friend Robert of MALIMLIN.
So, what about him ?

He and I, whenever he has the time, 
get out to discover new places in our area.
Most of the time we're rather lazy, driving around, 
having a chat about how terrible life is in this horrible part of Croatia.
(Just kidding, but that's our common joke).

Whenever we see something, we stop the car and get going, 
yes even on foot.
I rather travel (super-) light, so I leave my camera in the car, 
and Robert is the donkey :-)
Besides, mine is a simple Powershot G3, his is a sophisticated picture machine with more buttons than my shirt.

So he drags the tools, I just walk and talk, as knowledge of stone formations, plants and herbs are my part of the "work" (see this, smell that, try these), his job is to take pictures of it all.

And after another trip into paradise, as that's what it is, he sends me a couple of pictures, to which I write a page on this blog.

Not being connected to anything or anybody (except my wife) I once in a while mention Robert is the guy to contact if you, visiting Dalmatia,are looking for details or some professional guidance.

The reasons are quite simple, I am not for rent, sale, use, and contacting me to be of help is wasted time.
I am not available, I am free after enough years of obligations, appointments and deadlines.
(Reason why I don't have a watch, cellphone or agenda).

But you, my dearest readers, you might want to follow our footsteps and are desperately looking for some professional service.
Well, lucky you, as Robert is the owner of MALIMLIN , a tourist agency like so many in Omis, bút.... it's his pride and joy to offer the very best value for money.
Don't they all do that, you may ask ?
No, they don't, at least not all of them, the bastards :-)

Knowing Robert however, he loves Dalmatia as much as I do, and does an excellent job, being apartments, car rental or the commonly asked excursions to all those special places.
But, and thát really makes his service special, he can offer you tailor made trips, in which whenever he has the time, takes you to wherever you like or he suggests you after a friendly chat.

And that's why I sometimes (according to my wife many times) mention MALIMLIN, which by the way means small windmill.
As however we live in Dalmatia, we're Dutch as Dutch can be.
Which means we eat tulip bulbs, walk on wooden shoes, 
and put a finger in every dyke :-)

So to end this "no good for nothing" page, do like Robert and I, get out into Dalmatia behind the coastal mountains, experience how f@cking special it is, but don't ask me for service, as thán you'd better contact Robert, the guy of MALIMLIN .
As I prefer to be what I am, FREE at last !

Click on the picture and have a closer look, 
as this typical Dutch windmill is either laughing or hungry.

May 26, 2014

CNN (not the Croatian National Network :-)

(click to enlarge)

Having my last coffee of the day, I almost always sit behind my pc.
One of the things I do is check a couple of websites to find information about how to keep my vegetables alive and kicking under our hot sun, in dry heavy soil (clay, stones).

Before you (try to) ask me, they are fine :-)
I seeded a wide variety of tomatoes, peppers, salads, herbs and other vegetables, and óne (yes 1) potato.

This potato needs a bit of extra info.
I stole it from Biokovo :-(
Reason is that those Biokovo potatoes seem to be véry special.
Well to tell you the truth, they are not, as I did my research and discovered there are two varieties growing on tiny patches of workable soil on that harsh mountain.
Perhaps these harsh conditions create special potatoes, but I am gonna find out, as I stole one, and planted it in my secret vegetable garden.
In fact, all I seed, grow, plant and harvest is just a hobby, partly to eat the very best I can "produce", but also because I want to see the results, and if possible, reproduce and share with our friends.
So perhaps some day our neighbours will be producing "biokovo potatoes" here, depending on my experimental results.

But enough about my green experiments, as I want to share an item I discovered on the internet.
I stumbled over a page where CNN wrote about twenty (20) places you must see in Croatia.
All of them magnificent indeed, but most of them known to the world already.
I checked all twenty of them, but did not see anything on Svinisce or Omis or the Cetina River.

Come on CNN, what a horrible error, as this tip should be no less than # 21 on your list.
Ok, can't blame CNN, as their information came from the Croatian National Tourist Board.
Well than, CNTB, next time do a better job, as # 21 is no doubt as great as all other splendid twenty tips, if not even greater.

So you, dear reader of this blog, better add # 21 to your list, as Svinisce is special, as are Omis and the entire Cetina River.
As once you start to explore this gem, including an "expedition" into the Dalmatinska Zagora (the hinterland), you'll understand why I shared this item with you.
See those other twenty on

Recently the EU granted a giant sum of money (240.000.000 euros !!!) to start up a cross border project, in order to revitalize and  open up this magnificent region.
So don't wait, as you can already explore and experience this area, worth every penny invested in it, but already open and vital to people like me and you.
And believe me (as usual), you won't regret it, and it's for FREE !!!

May 24, 2014

visit Omis

There's a new kid on the block in Omis.
His name is

People who follow my "no good for nothing" pages, 
know I always try to add some interesting details, so you decide to make Omis (and surroundings !!) your choice to spend your holidays.

Much to my surprise a new website showed up, using the gap the official tourist website still didn't fill.
I wont go into details about that old fashioned,
just want to say:
"WAKE UP TZ " as season 2014 has started !

Ok, back to "visit Omis" as I love fresh initiatives that present and promote the many opportunities Omis has to offer.
And that's a lot more than "just" the old centre or the large sandy, kids friendly beach.

I truly and strongly believe Omis has the bést possibilities to become thé place to go.
Ok, there are no discotheques, and still I am looking for a restaurant that does nót serve pizza's.
Ah, and being negative for once, a walk along the Cetina is close to a death wish, as your every step is shared with passing cars.
(Do contact me for a simple, inexpensive solution, creating a basic, 
yet pleasant footpath from Omis to let's say Kastil Slanica). 

But apart from these small flaws, Omis has it áll.
And with áll I do mean ALL.

Give me óne place where there is such a beach, such a canyon, such charming town centre, so much magnificent nature and so many active sports (even for lazy people like me).
Give me óne place close to Split, Trogir, Makarska, Salona, even Dubrovnik, with highway and airport near  enough,
but not disturbing your well deserved peace.
Give me, to continue, óne place with Mosor, Omiska Dinara, Biokovo, even Krka and so much more within reach.

And to finish this list, as a bonus you get the Dalmatinska Zagora, with móre hidden gems than many people will ever discover.
Dó make that trip, keeping the Cetina on your léft. following the entire river from end to beginning, stopping in Blato, Trilj, Grab, Sinj, with a swim in Perusko Lake, perhaps even a hike on Dinara, the border mountains (with the highest peak of all Croatia), to end at the very beginning of the river in the village called Cetina
(what's in a name).
As than you'll understand our love for this specific area of Dalmatia.

In short, we left Holland to live here in Svinisce,
and we love every minute here.
Driving down takes only five minutes to reach the Cetina (delicious swimming on a hot summer's day), five more to go to Brzet's beaches and coves and our favourite restaurant Zvizdan (serving pizza's, but also some other nicely prepared food). 

And for shopping there are plenty possibilities, and if you don't like the service of Studenac (with a ridiculous empty bottle system), it takes less than half an hour to shop in either Lidl, Kaufland, the mega Konzum or even City Center One.
As soon as Studenac (great store, great offer, nice workers) decides to upgrade it's service with a decent machine to put in empty bottles I'll be the first to tell !!

Enough ! Gotovo !
I just wanted to tell there is a new website,
So better have a look yourself, and once there, look at the page called as it is one of the perfect offers for people who like to have it all.
(Peace, nature, a stunning panorama,
and still less than ten minutes from all Omis has to offer).

I am in nó way connected to any of the offers written on this page.
I am just the piano player, so to say :-)

May 22, 2014

weather in Croatia

Sure, weather in Croatian summer is (almost) always splendid.
With seawater at around 25 C.
 and air temperature hardly ever below 30 C. 
you can call Dalmatia a sun- and summer-lover's paradise.

Than why show this picture ?
Because it's made by Aleksandar Gospic !
A nature lover, a mountain lover, 
but most of all, a gifted photographer.
If interested in how he sees Croatia, have a look at his website, 
stuffed with the most beautiful shots one can dream of.

Go and have a look:

As I am just taking simple snapshots,
you better have a look through his camera,
focussing on Dalmacija.

you might fall in love, 
as that's what happens to so many people
once they have decided to visit this part of Croatia.

So don't say I didn't warn you :-)

May 20, 2014

dalmatia outdoors, so why not like this

(Picture by Vjeco Begovic on Dalmatia Outdoors.)

There are many ways to experience Dalmatia,
or should I say tó many :-)

Most people come to Dalmatia because of it's pristine seawater,
the great weather, the relaxing atmosphere, the organic food or the many islands, ancient cities, friendly people,
fairly decent prices and so much more.

An increasing lot of people however, the more active ones, have discovered Dalmatia is a paradise for active sports,
whatever you choose.
And not only at the Adriatic, but also in the Zagora (the hinterland).
Or even better, combining the two.

With so much fantastic nature, mountains, caves, rivers, lakes and meandering roads, it's impossible to say "uh well, I went there but didn't find a spot for my favourite sporting activity".

Unless you're a Formula One fan, as than we'll have to disappoint you. 
As than you'd better go to Belgium, Monaco, Germany or Dubai :-)

But even the motorised community, especially those on motor bikes, find in Dalmatia the perfect setting for trips into the country.
And believe me (why not for once), if you have only one week, you'll have to phone home you'll be staying for another couple of weeks as you never stop finding new scenic roads, marvellous panoramas, unique spots, sleepy little villages (like ours), with friendly people who are always interested in you, offering you a drink or even a meal.

Only problem still, is the (total) lack of official small camp sites, as being a nature lover, you prefer to sleep under a star sprinkled sky.
But things are changing, as while you discover Dalmatia, also Dalmatia is discovering why you choose to roll out your sleeping bag or put up your shelter for the night near that small town with that charming little restaurant, and that terrace where locals gather around their pride and joy, local wine from local wine producers.

As once you have discovered how extremely open minded, social and friendly people are in the Zagora, you're gonna come back,
so much I know, as we now live here !

And to all active people, climbers, divers, cavers, hikers,
 I'd like to add:
you ain't seen nothing yet
Do click on this line, as most girls here do have brown eyes :-)

And if in the mood for some action,
have a look on dalmatiaoutdoors for some great ideas.

May 13, 2014

Bee-Eater: Prološko Blato or Amazon Jungle ?

The Amazon Jungle may be great,
Prološko Blato however only takes a thirty minute drive :-)
Last Sunday my good friend Robert (of malimlin) and I went on one of our regular discovery trips in the area.
This time we headed for Imotski, famous for it's two stunning lakes (red- and blue lake).
But that was not our goal, as there are móre lakes there !

Each of those lakes, easy to see or well hidden, has a typical character, all of them a result of the structure of our type of rocks, called karst.
Most rain and snow disappear rapidly under the rocky surface, however disappearing may not be the proper word, as it always pops up again somewhere :-).

 Prolosko Lake (Prološko Blato) this time was our goal, as there this phenomenon of suddenly appearing water is seen at it's best. 
In fact Prolosko Lake isn't a real lake, but an accumulation of water, changing in size throughout the seasons.

We found what we were looking for, the lake was still a lake, supplying the immense surrounding agricultural land with water.
So after we took a look at the lake, we descended to scroll through the entire area, and discovered what every birdwatcher calls:
 pure delight.

  Bee eaters 
(Merops apiaster)
The European Bee eater to be precise.

First we saw one, than a couple and after some minutes
a whóle group of at least fifty,
including their nests, built in a sandy cliff.
Wow, whát a bird !

If you think of going to the Amazon Jungle, forgét it,
come to Imotski.
Their sound, their flight, those colours, those habits, ámázíng !!!

We saw and heard a couple of other birds,
all of them already a bonus for a fantastic day, 
but these bee eaters, they are truly thé most amazing discovery.

So if you're thinking of having a beach vacation in Dalmatia, and if you're a nature lover, do contact Robert, as apart from any other tourist service he offers (apartments, day trips, adventure), these specific discoveries are the cherries on his (ánd your cake).
He'll most gladly organise what you love to experience, being your private guide to one of the many hidden secrets of Dalmatia.
(Don't ask me, as I am retired, and véry busy).

But Robert will,  still leaving you plenty of time to get a sun burn, a hang over and some souvenirs, 
but also a Dalmatian experience you'll never forget.

As soon as possible I'll put some of our own pictures on this page.

May 10, 2014

Omis + Almissa + Telepil = Odyssey

(Picture found on

Always looking for interesting details about the area we now live in,
I stumbled over an amazing theory.
The town called Omis today, where the Cetina River enters the Adriatic Sea, was called Almissa in ancient times.
Before that however, in Greek times,  it was called T(h)elepil.

And there a most remarkable theory begins.
As Zlatko Mandzuka (and other writers),
researched the myth of Odyssey's travels.
To keep things easy, I'll use the current town's name Omis.

Omis always was (and still is :-) a pirates nest.
Through history the Omis people used to benefit from the fact ships were following this coast, navigating to and from Venice.
I call it benefiting but in fact is was simple looting.
As ships passing carried valuable cargo, so why not take what you can get, still leaving enough for wealthy Venice.

Town and it's fortresses still clearly show the remains of those days, and the proud people of Omis organise a sort of historic battle every summer to commemorate those "glorious" days.

But.... deeper into history, is still the myth about Odyssey,
which cleverer people than me try to demystify.
Based on research and good thinking the myth slowly becomes
plausible theory.
As a hobby sailor I can imagine the logics of the theory:
it simple makes sense !

Sailors did not sail into the blue when they could follow the coast, and the Adriatic coast offers and offered a safe passage, with plenty of secluded harbours, and a fair amount of usable winds.
Therefore it makes sense they did not sail the Mediterranean,
but the Adriatic !
And with evidence based prove of Greeks having been on Hvar, Brac and other islands, all of them near Omis, it also makes sense Omis was a hideout when storms made navigating impossible.

Which brought some sailors into the mouth of the Cetina River, where, like I said, them Omis' pirates ruled. 
And as the theory goes, that is where Odyssey got in trouble.

Well, not being a historian, if interested you'd better buy the book and read the story.
Or even better, buy the book, and book a boat trip from the offer of
as they sail you to Omis and many other historic locations.
And moreover, they won't stuff you with a pizza
or some grilled minimalistic food,
as their organic standards are truly very high.
As yes, Dalmatia is thé place to be if you prefer a healthy lifestyle.

About Omis/Almissa/Telepil,
you can see it today, much preserved in original shape, especially the landscape,
so come and see it for yourself.
As landscapes hardly ever change, it's possible to imagine what our hero saw in those ancient times.

And those pirates, oh well, today everybody is most welcome, and them pirates only make a lot of noise once a year,
in a bit of theatrical show.
So don't be afraid you will be eaten or looted like in those days,
unless you buy some souvenir,
as than you'll discover they are still after your money :-).

Much to my surprise the official Tourist Service in Omis 
seems to be unaware of this fantastic opportunity to make use of this amazing history. 
Their website still needs some "veliki bura",
as they seem to be like those old pirates:
just wait and see what treasures are passing, 
in stead of being pro active.

Wake up Telepil !
You are in a UNIQUE position, still not making proper use of it !

(And as always, if you want to comment, my email address in the header of this blog).