August 27, 2014

Split, oh Split, you're beautiful (from a distance)

( Do click to enlarge )

Split, beautiful Split, visited by so many tourists every summer.
They fill the centre, the Riva, Diocletian's Palace, and all those tiny streets, but do they see Split's true beauty ?

Licking ice creams, eating pizza, drinking wine, taking pictures,
but do they really feel what Split is about.

I think just óne person, óne photographer saw Split at it's very best.
From Marijan, from a distance, and right on time !
As there and than Split showed its amazing beauty.
As Split in summer is nice, but it's much nicer, as you can see,
after a moment of rain.
And off season, there is more rain, so there are more perfect moments to see Split like on this picture.
And even much nicer Split is from a distance, from Split's green zone, 
that pine tree covered hill next to the town called Marijan. 

Lidija Lolic, one of the very best photographers in Split,
she knows her stuff, her moment, her art,
went to the very best location to take this picture.

Couple of days ago, a rain front was passing, with loads of rain, 
a burst of violent wind, and thunderstorms hitting the mountains around Split with impressive flashes.

And Lidija, clever Lidija, must have thought "Marijan !!!!!".
As that was, as you can see, the ultimate location to take
the ultimate picture of Split.
Bravo Lidija.

Living in our tiny village, well hidden from the crowds,
I love to go to Split, but óff season (if there is an óff season),
as than all Split is all mine (and yours).

As Lidija is a pro, all her work is protected, and not to be copied, shared or used without her permission.
Therefore I asked her if I could use it on my blog, so you could see Split the way she sees it, being the way I love to see it 
(....from a distance).
Need a true photographer, for whatever project, 
no doubt she delivers the very best result.
While you, I and most others, well uh....just take pictures, 
here's the link to her various work:

August 24, 2014

if a true cook and if interested, just write me

Another picture (see the previous blog post), this time however as a presentation,
worth to be served in a high end restaurant.
(Not for pizza bakers, not for grill chefs).

And however I am nót (repeat NÓT !!!) looking for a job or obligations,
I might try to teach a friend here to produce such delicious vegetables, a king's table worthy.

I simply wanted to prove there is so much more possible under the Dalmatian sun,
and like I said before, all of it without any artificial "help".
Pure eco, pure domaci (home grown), pure delicious ingredients for a fantastic salade, or as extra to a perfect dish.
Ánd.....a true joy for any professional chef.

If interested *), my email address is in the header of my blog.
So write me an email,
and we'll think of some growing plan for next season.

Enjoy Dalmatian summer, rich of delicious vegetables.

*) If, of course cooking in the Split region !

August 23, 2014

happiness is not for sale

Happiness is not for sale, at least not in most supermarkets.
Happiness grows in small gardens like mine.

Does that mean I am a true gardener, to be honest: not really :-)
But if you're not afraid of some (not even much) work,
putting seeds in the ground is véry rewarding.

Last year I was in Holland for a short while,
as we still have some things to take care of over there.
I keep those visits as shórt as possible,
as Holland is history, Svinisce our today and tomorrow.
To say it in other words, here I am happy, véry happy,
and there.............

Anyway, here in our hidden valley, the soil is very fertile and the climate extremely nice for some home grown vegetable experiments.
So, as I had to fill the gap between flying in and back, I visited a shop with thousands (!) of vegetable-, flower-and herb-seeds, so I spent a couple of hours in pure delight, emptying my wallet.

The result of all those different seeds can be seen on this picture,
and since you can just look at it,
I better explain to you the taste of it.
Yellow olive shaped tomatoes: sweet and mild,
red cherry tomatoes: sweet and juicy,
chocolate coloured smaller peppers (paprikas): extremely tasteful, firm structure, and mildly spicy.
And those two varieties of basil of six different sorts I grow:
an explosion of taste one can only experience when picked straight from the plant.

To make my point: GROW YOUR OWN !!!!!!
Even if you only have a balcony, or just a tiny garden, dó it !!!!
The result is simply great, and very rewarding.

And on top of that, since you (or I) are no professionals,
so if something fails, who cares.
We don't have contracts, do we, which force us to produce a lot and just in time, all of it perfectly shaped, and perfectly "healthy".
And...... "perfectly" withóut the taste you'll experience
once you start to harvest your very own results.
 As that is pure happiness, pure delight.

I don't like to use pesticides, fertilizers, or any other artificial stuff.
Some plants need some manure or humus, that's all.
And of course some water if necessary and not even much. 
I can take the risk of some failures, and in the end I knów I can safely put it my mouth, straight from the plant.
Picked at the bést moment (and nót before), 
lovingly selected to become a nice dish.
Tasty, colourful, healthy and proudly shared with good friends.
With of course a glass of good local wine*).
*) Wine making is not my thing, that's for the true pro's here.
And we've got a lot of them, thank heaven.

August 20, 2014

the very best tip ever !!!

You know my blog pages,
most, if not all, related to beautiful Dalmatia.

As here we settled a couple of years ago, leaving Holland (the Netherlands), for a móst happy retired life in the móst beautiful part of Croatia.
And no doubt I will continue to share the real feeling of this part of paradise, especially about the not so well known delights.
This time however, I better share another secret with you.

I had a working life :-).
During those many years, I saw and used many software programs.
Many of them connected to the company I worked for, 
many because they seemed useful (but were not).

One however I purchased in 1996, on recommendation of a friend.
It's name: TIME and CHAOS.
Not the easiest decision (but that's life), as it was in English,
and being a Dutchman my native speech is.....

Never scared of a bit of struggle, I slowly managed to make it my very best tool ever.
As all of us know, time and chaos are like ying and yang,
always together, like me and my wife.
I created my part of CHAOS, so it was TIME for a change.
And never ever, not for one split second, I regretted my step.

And however not stuffed with client details (in every thinkable way) anymore, it's still a fantastic tool for whatever hobby I have.
(And that's a lot).

Today, for instance, I store every result of my gardening experiments, from a single potato I planted and recently harvested, to all those tomatoes, peppers, herbs and beans I try to produce and reproduce.
And eat of course, all of them strictly without pesticides or poisons.
(Why the hell do people still accept those things).

Anyway, áll my hobbies are well organised in what's today called Intellect, one of the great software programs Chaossoftware is providing ánd supporting.

So this time not a single word about Dalmatia, 
but three cheers for those guys.
In one word:

So leave this page (and come back the next time),
and click to have a look here:
You wont regret it,
as it's cheaper than a delicious Dalmatian dinner for six !

August 15, 2014

is it a seagull, no it's an airplane !

Some things take a while in Croatia.
Some things even longer than necessary.
And some things even last decades.

But here they are, after móre than tén years of fighting bureaucracy in Croatia. 
The first plane of European Coastal Airlines has arrived in Split.
Congratulations, to both Dalmatia ánd the ECA-team.

I sometimes wonder why so little investors choose to start up a business in Dalmatia, 
with it's high unemployment rates, low wages and great potential.
Well, it seems old (socialist/communist) habits still rule.

Come on Croatia, member of the European Union, on a blessed logistic position, 
capable to serve as the main entrance to the entire Balkan (ánd Southern Europe).

Let's compare Split to Rotterdam for a moment.
Ok, you may say, there are some "minor" differences.
Well than, let me answer than: THINK BIG !!!
Rotterdam once started small, but clever politicians and inventive entrepreneurs máde it BIG.

Croatia, nowadays with excellent highways, many deep water ports like Split and Rijeka,
could and should take those paper walls down, obstructing so many initiatives.
Many great initiatives die out, sighing "problem, problem, problem".

My immediate answer (being a Dutchman) is: "than solve those problems".
In other words, I LOVE PROBLEMS !!!
Problems make me find solutions, always a learning process, result guaranteed.

Anyway, if it wasn't for those persistent people of ECA, you would still be waiting in cue at Jadrolinija,
to hop over to one of the hundreds of lovely islands.
Not anymore, hell nó.

As ECA is going to fly you over in no time, and even than their one way ticket is less than hundred kunas, which is 15 EURO's !!!! (depending of course on the destination).
Cheaper still is swimming from Split to let's say Hvar or Dubrovnik,
but times change, flying goes faster, and no cues involved.
And being the lazy bugger I turned out to be,
it's more comfortable, and your feet stay dry :-)

Éven when they land on water.
And that's a thing even a seagull cant say (if it could talk).

Click below for details:

August 13, 2014

freshest steaks éver (also at Zvizdan in Brzet Omis)

Going to butcher or supermarket to buy a truly fresh steak ?
This Russian driver thought otherwise.

Steaks from the freezer, nó way !
Wrapped in transparent polystyrene, forget it ! 
The guy wanted his steak as fresh as fresh can be, so............ it put an entire cow in his Lada.
One thing is absolutely sure, the best superfresh steaks are his.
Good thing he didn't put the cow in the driver's seat :-)
To see the video, click:

And should you not have a green Lada,
or hate cleaning your car afterwards, ánd if staying in or near Omis,
go to Restaurant Zvizdan *) in Brzet.
As their steaks are fresh and tender as usual,
and the location, diréct to the seaside is worth the short trip.

*) Leave Omis, direction Makarska, and after about one mile, turn right at the sign Brzet, 
and drive on till you see Zvizdan on your right.
Lovely place in the shade of pine trees, direct at the beach 
and with the most fantastic panorama of áll Omis.

See the post I wrote about our favourite place at:
zvizdan-brzet-omis a great place to eat, swim, enjoy.

Enjoy your steak, ánd the location !

August 10, 2014

dalmatian dangers

Are dangers typical for Dalmatia, the answer is nó !
Dangers are everywhere and always around.

Traffic accidents seem to be most common, but not the only ones.
Youtube is full of them, so if you like to see them, look there :-)

But it would be ignorant to not warn for some dangers.
And some of them are typical for Dalmatia.

Like I said, traffic is a true danger, even in sunny Dalmatia. 
Narrow roads, lots of summer traffic, a long trip under the sun, 
and many people walking to or from the many beaches,
especially in the evening that's something to be aware of.
So please drive carefully, as you don't want to be involved in accidents, especially not while on holidays.

Also when driving here, be aware of the amount of crossroads, tiny entrances, parking lots and tourists searching for one :-)
At ány moment a car may stop, leave or enter, so be aware, 
keep your distance and stay alert. 

Than suddenly, not usual in summer but it may occur, there is rain.
Yes rain, as during rain, roads get véry slippery !
Hot asphalt, oily residues combined with rain, makes "mayonnaise". 
And than you discover it's either a rock or a steep slope.

Some other, perhaps unexpected dangers and risks to be warned for:
1. sunburn, but anyone should know that.
Protect yourself and kids, as our sun can be pretty powerful.
Especially on the water, you get more than average of it.

2. lack of water during a hike in our rough nature.
For already five days, rescue teams are searching for a missing person on Biokovo.
She went for a hike, broke something, had a snakebite or worse, perhaps even fell into one of the many pits there,
but whatever the cause, she's still missing.
Lets hope those volunteers find her in time.
A. If going for a hike in rough terrain,
have twó litres of water per person.
B. Tell people what your detailed plan is,
and don't just go into unknown terrain.
C. Have a loaded cellphone, a whistle, a small mirror with you.
D. Start very early and stop before it's mid day.
E. Be well prepared, as this is true nature, rough, wild and beautiful.

3. uncommon insects
Even I still make mistakes when working on our land.
A tiny little fly (hard to see) bites and makes bíg infections.
Use repellent (DEET), and take some OTC anti-histamine crème with you, just in case you get an insect bite.

Also, less common, but something to be aware of,
are some tiny spiders, known as black widows.
Tiny, black with some red on their back, and pretty tricky.
If you see one be careful, or worse, in case of a bite, séé a doctor !  
(Most towns have a first aid, called "hitno pomoc").

To keep this list limited (snakes, falling rocks, to much alcohol),
just be aware, as dangers are all around us,
even or especially when on holidays.
As not only those white cliffs of Dover (GB) kill.

Be warned, be  aware, stay safe 
and enjoy our gorgeous part of  beautiful Croatia.

August 05, 2014

cellphone, mobitel and a "love story"

Could not resist to share this item with you.
Ok, it's hardly typical for Dalmatia (or is it), in a country where every driver only has one hand.
(And a second hand busy holding his/ her mobitel while driving.)

Recently, to continue, I saw a young couple in a restaurant, 
young and deeply in love with each other.
The well prepared delicious food was already on the table, 
the moonlight over the Adriatic as romantic as can be.
And each of them was busy, véry busy, with their cellphones !!!

Holy SHIT, is that what LG, Samsung and Nokia had in mind ?
Turn that thing OF for once in a while !!!!
Be social, polite, interested or deeply in love again some times.


The story below, click on each picture please, tells it all.
A hard working restaurant owner wondered why reviews turned bad over the years.
So he decided to see why, as he did nothing different, only better.
These three pictures tell it all.

(At least once in a while.)

This story came from a restaurant in New York,
but it seems totally normal nowadays, anywhere and always.
Even in Dalmatia, éven when people are on holidays.
Even when surrounded by natural beauty, pristine nature and the summer sound of crickets.
Even when, enjoying some well deserved peace on a lovely beach.
No stress, no deadlines, no noise, no agenda: "dolce vita".
Life is fantastic, those two, three weeks, so:


August 03, 2014

Omis people apologize for trafficjam

Of course Omis loves every visiting tourist,
and of course the people of Omis like them to stay as long as possible
in this marvellous place between Adriatic Sea and Cetina River.
And tourists from many countries come and stay for a great holiday.

However, many people will remember Omis as the wórst trafficjam in Croatia.
As already for many years now, the centre of Omis is ONE BIG TRAFFICJAM.
And all of that because the responsible politicians seem to be born without ears, eyes (and brains ?).

Promises, promises, promises, a typical disease politicians seem to be suffering from.
With half a tunnel ready, as you can see when you look up, the next part is promised (again) to be ready somewhere in 2020.
(Or will it be another apartment with stunning view, overlooking the Cetina from above).

Anyway, yesterday the people of Omis went to the Magistrale (that coastal road from Split to Dubrovnik),
to apologise to all passing tourists waiting in the longest trafficjam in Dalmatia.

As Omis is a fantastic place to spend holidays, with a large Adriatic beach, the Cetina Canyon, impressive mountains,all of it blessed with a lot of sunshine (unless it's raining sometimes).

But sorry to say, the responsible people in Croatia, put a lót of money in promotion, folders, flyers, worldwide reclame and loads of attention, but................
they seem to forget all those visiting tourists get stuck in the worst ever yearly trafficjam.

For that reason the people of Omis went to the road, to apologise for the "inconvenience".
As people of Omis love to see you come and stay, but not in a trafficjam.

Let's hope the voters (yes dear politicians, they vote for responsible politicians),
finally get what they have been begging for, for so many years.
And keep in mind, between now and the promises for 2020, there are elections again.

So better beware of those Omis Pirates !

do like us, see those guys !!!!

It took us twó years to leave our hidden paradise for a visit to Split.
To be totally honest, I sometimes go, but only if I must buy something we don't have in Svinisce.
And as quick as possible I race back, neglecting all speed limits.

Yesterday however, the two of us left our hidden valley,
and boy did we enjoy it !
We check Total Split's information regularly,
but not being tourists nor city dwellers,
we only say "ah, look how much Split has to offer to visitors".
But we're no tourists, we live here, well hidden from the crowds,
the heat, noise and stress.
So why leave Svinisce, where life is simple and great.
Well, we were and are WRONG !

As yesterday evening we went to see, listen and enjoy
a unique group of musicians on a stunning location.

As in the garden of the Mestrovic Museum,
overlooking the Adriatic by night, there was a show/concert by the Sudar Percussion ensemble with Matej Mestrovic.
And to say it simple: it was a f#cking fantastic evening.

Started with a introducing documentary on wide screen
about the process of creation and recording,
the group entered the stage, grabbing us by the balls and not letting go till three extra's had been given.
And the music never stops, as we bought their CD,
originally packed in a tin can :-)

Will we go back to Split to get some more,
even if sweat is dripping down our back and lower,
héll we will !!

Not only next year, to see if Sudar is performing again, 
but more often, as in the museum garden all summer long
there is life music (twice a week).

If interested (and you should be !!).
have a look on the group's website or Youtube,
and see/listen/download/buy their music.

(Click here for all details.)

Goran Gorse - vibraphone
Filp Mercep - marimba
Nicolas Sinkovic - xylophone, glockenspiel
Josip Blaskovic - bass
Luka Pesutic - drums
Matej Mestrovic - piano

Returning to our hidden valley, again we felt blessed, 
especially because our evening temperature is five degrees C. lower 
than the temperature at the coast.
(25 or 20 degrees Celsius does make a BIG difference).
And a cold beer tastes even better than, under a star sprinkled sky.
Zivali Sudar, zivali !