April 30, 2014

FIRE !!!!!!!!!!!!

(Pictured by Barbara/Baky)

Still not the typical Dalmatian spring weather, sunny and warm.
But those clouds we see daily create unique moments.

This sky was pictured two days ago at sundown.
Barbara (alias Baky),
the always active daughter of our best friends/ neighbours snapped it at it's most stunning moment.

So who cares when temperatures are (slightly) below average, 
and the Dalmatian sun (once in a while) hides behind some clouds.
I don't, as long as it gives us moments like this.

Picture taken from Svinisce, looking direction Mosor Mountains.

If interested, see this weather page (in Dutch),
showing the statistics for the next 14 days.

And keep in mind, today's weather is certain,
tomorrow is another day. 
Meteorologists are like fortune tellers,
they make you believe they tell the truth, but only heaven knóws.

Today weather is nice, fairly sunny and no rain coming.
Oh shit, just saw a giant cloud float in.

April 29, 2014

a charming diaspora story

(Sanja and Elena)

Recently I got an email from Australia.
Nothing special you may say, well read on than.

High unemployment rates (today and in history), a suppressing political climate and poor chances to make a change for the better,
made many people leave Croatia.

However these are different times,
still the unemployment is terribly high, 
specially under well educated young people.

For us, retired after making good money (working our balls of) in Holland this is paradise on earth, for all the people in the Yugoslavian/CroatianDalmatian diaspora
there was only one shocking option. 
Leave paradise.

So of they went, to all parts of the globe,
to Canada, Australia, Chile, Germany, America and many more.
Looking for better conditions, with pain in their hearts.
As you must know that each and every Croat loves (LOVES !!!) his homeland, specially those who live near the Adriatic coast.

So this email came in (thanks Peter), writing me how nice it is to follow my "no good for nothing posts".
As Peter is married to the daughter of two fine examples of people from the Croatian diaspora.
Her father and mother separately left Zagreb,
and started a new life in Australia.
By coincidence they met "hey, do I not know you from Zagreb" was the start of a romance, which was followed by having their daughter Linda, who later married Peter, the guy who sent me his email story.

And as Peter and Linda not only wasted time watching TV :-), 
they were blessed with two charming daughters,
called Sanja and Elena.
(Typical Croatian names by the way).

Just a simple feel good story, you may say.
Wish it was, as even second and third generation Croats would love to return to their homeland.
As this is heaven on earth.

If only the possibilities were better, for them and all who live and (look for) work here.
But still the average wage is low, finding a decent job a burden,
fighting bureaucracy with all it's unnecessary blockades a horror for people with initiatives.
However....things are changing, as Croatia now is part of Europe.
Still, a bit more ACTION would be fantastic.

As this is like I wrote before:
(Well ok: álmost paradise).

powerful internet (at last !!! )

One of the "problems" of living in the wild is that some things are different from what we where used to.
No, don't worry, we've got a toilet, a shower,
and even air-conditioning.

In general, all modern comfort is here too, only the internet sometimes is the well known pain in the #ss.
Our telephone connection rises to our high hidden valley through an old copper wire.
Use to having truly fast (hurry up !!!) systems in Holland,
this was a bit of a disappointment.
As internet here is a bit  like this: "i n t e r  n   e    t", including the hick ups, flaws and rumble.

So most people here use their cellphone,
and the same signal is used for internet.
Think they call it ethernet (but I am not a computer nerd).

Till recent our computer ran on older software,
not being the most up to date system so to say.
Than came the bad news, Microsoft stopped feeding the old cow.
Oh shit, that means a new system, including a new computer, as our old "washing machine" was not capable to run that modern stuff.

Well, to keep this story within your limits, we got one and another, and while I took care of our twelve different tomato varieties (still in the nursery), my lovely wife installed all this stuff I love to use.
(She does the hardware, I take care of the soft ware,
i.e. the vegetable garden and such).

So now things changed, as even that ethernet signal creeps through our new system like a hot knife through the butter.
 !!!!!!! INTERPOWERRRRR !!!!!!! 
(And all of it without steroids).

It's a small step for mankind, but was a giant step for me.
But now it's truly fun to add a couple of pages to this ongoing blog.
Which I just did, and will keep on doing.

who needs (to visit) the USA...............

................... everybody !
So yes, everybody must visit the USA (once).
And to be perfectly clear, I was there twice, and had a great time.
(Once in and around Montana, once in and around Utah).

What always impresses me, is the stunning nature there, however.....it takes a zillion of miles to get from one breath taking place to another amazing peace of creation.
And THAT is the biggest difference with Dalmatia.

Here it only takes me five minutes to reach the Cetina Canyon, thirty minutes to climb Biokovo, and about an hour to stand in freezing cold on the highest peak of Dinara.

An espresso under palm trees in Makarska, overlooking the Adriatic, followed by skiing in Bosnia after less than a two hours drive.

Again I dare to ask "who needs (to visit) the USA".

Not me, not any more, as I was there (and in England, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Norway and a couple more).

Not me, no way, as I still haven't seen it all in this part of Dalmatia, 
all of it in a circle of let's say one (yes ONE) hour's drive.

So my advise to all of you is to visit all of those countries, including the USA, followed by a visit to Dalmatia.

Thán you'll know the answer too.


cats.....just cats

For those who frequently read this blog this is no news.
We've got a couple of cats.
Shit happens, as I never was a cat person, but living in Dalmatia things changed.
To be honest, a lot has changed, and for the better.

These cats are a perfect example of all changes in our life.
They just happened to like us.

Living here in (almost) pure wilderness,
one day two young cats came walking in.
Guess somebody kicked them out of the car, or forgot to feed them.
Anyway, they came, and having one or two rapidly changes into more.

We take care of them, buying loads of catfood, feeding them and giving them some love and tender care.
Some of them stay, some other leave again, searching for a partner or even finding a better place to live (if there is one, as mind you, ours still is the best).

Couple of young cats came stumbling in, with a typical cats disease, so we ran to the vet and got some medicine.
First couple of days we had to gain trust, but slowly they got to understand we meant well, so medication was effectively applied and the disease conquered.

And look now, see that bundle of furry happiness.
We take care of them, and get a lot of pleasure and love in return.
The only problem now is to get them out of that seat again.   

Mind you, MY SEAT, where I sit when I have a smoke outside.

April 24, 2014

young pigs die young

Some vegetarians may want to read another story (I wrote a couple about vegetables too), the others may continue.

Any moment, any place, you'll see one of these basic grills, simple and very effective.
Perfect example is the Tuesday market in Zadvardje (not far from Omis), where there are two places that grill and serve grilled young pig meat.
The wood, not charcoal but WOOD, is what makes it even more tasty.
Smoky, no additives, just that meat and some sea salt.  

And what a delight that is, crispy, salty, tasty, melting in your mouth.
My favourite place is near the gas station (no problem, still far enough), where they grill behind the place, and chop and serve in front.
There you can buy whatever peace you like, as long as it's about one kilogram.

Takeaway or savoured at the (crowded) terrace, where automatically you get dishes, cutlery and some bread.
Want to drink, still early in the morning, fine, if not it's also ok.

But the taste, oh boy, that taste !
Simple, so simple, but oh dear, so extremely tasty !

I afraid of fatty hands, take a napkin with you :-)

Lidl Omis, hot air or at last !

(Picture "stolen" from a friendly photographer on the web).

The problem with rumours is that one does not know if it's fact or fiction.
Let's hope this rumour is a fact to happen:
Lidl is landing in Omis.

And that is great news !
As however there is plenty to choose from in Omis, 
my personal favourite for daily shopping is Lidl.
(Not for their meat however).

Regularly visiting the big Studenac supermarket,
I keep missing Lidl in Omis.
There are a couple in and around Split, one in Makarska, 
also in Sinj and Imotski, but Omis....

Main objection is the ridiculous Studenac "system"
for returning empty bottles or cans.
Recently the front of the store was redecorated, looks better than before, 
however, with a couple of empty bottles one still has to go to some shabby corner, in rain, wind or snow (and some sun of course). 
There a grumpy person counts every bottle one by one, before writing a ticket that gives one the right of a refund, back in the store.
Sounds pretty "old school communistic", and it is !!!!

As unless, unless ! the bottle is still with a cap, unless it's not clean enough, unless the print is only slightly damaged.
As than the CCCP-party secretary sends you to Siberia.

Come on Studenac, investing money in an update of the exterior is fine, 
but an up-to-date machine for returned bottles seems impossible ?

Give me Lidl, Kaufland or any other competitor, 
all of them with fully automated
 and client friendly in-store service.

I don't need your Clio sweepstake
(as I already have a nice car), 
all I want is an up-to-date store, where I enjoy bringing my money, 
and get the service any modern store today offers.

So let's hope Lidl does open that store in Omis, the sooner the better. 
As perhaps than Studenac finally understands that the fight for customers is only won by pro active competition, value for money and excellent service.

Welcome Lidl in Omis, hopefully not a bubble of hot air, but a fact !
Still for my meat however, I go to the butcher,
and for excellent bread I go to the new bakery in Omis. 

And by the way: 
some of the Studenac shopping carts have seen better days.
So be careful not to put in to much.

April 14, 2014

dalmatian hinterland, (dalmatinska zagora), so you still think "ah well"

Work still in progress, but some results already worth sharing,
so you understand why we live here in Svinisce.

The two pictures show one of our terraces and the view we are blessed to have.
And not only the view, as all we hear are birds.
No noise, no traffic (apart from one every hour or so), clean air, and the most stunning view possible.

To bad for you, we are not renting apartments, no way, but there are others who do, on likewise locations here.

So if you like what you see, still less than ten minutes by car from Adriatic, Cetina and Omis, and prefer a truly quiet, peaceful holiday close to everything (and more) but a bit hidden from the crowds, well, think it over.

Our good friend Robert of www.malimlin.com knows where to find you one of these delicious hidden treasures.

April 06, 2014

kravice waterfalls, a MUST visit !

Lucky you, as you (might) intend to spend your holidays in Dalmatia !
Sun, clear blue sea, beaches and coves, all of it fit for a perfect holiday.

And if you decide to stay in or near Omis or Makarska, or somewhere between them, lucky you are again.

Of course you're planning to do some excursions, trips, or just scrolling around in one of the many charming, historic places.

Baking in the sun, interrupted by a dive in that gorgeous sea, followed by a dinner under a star sprinkled sky, what more can one ask for.

Well, ask me, and I'll share a secret with you :-)
Cross the border !

Huh, why cross the border ?
First of all, because you can tell the jealous folks at home you've spent your holidays in both beautiful Dalmatia and Bosnia.
Yes Bosnia, BiH, or Bosnia and Herzegovina.
As Bosnia is completely different and beautiful !

As there, on the road from Imotski to either Medugorje or Mostar, lies a hidden gem you simply MUST see !

The name of the town you'll pass is Ljubuski, 
and near that town is an absolute MUST SEE !!!

Do not forget to take your swim stuff, as you're going to Kravice Waterfalls.

Why ?
Because I told you so !

The trip takes you through a mostly beautiful landscape, however it's sometimes less interesting.
The whole trip takes you let's say 1.5 hours, if combining it with a visit to Medugorje (if you're a true Catholic) or Mostar (for Muslims, Catholics and Atheists) a whole day, depending on how you like to spend your day.

But don't tell me, you forgot that visit to those magnificent Kravice Waterfalls, 
as than I'll never share a secret with you again.

Not only it's a breathtaking beautiful place, where you can splash into refreshing water, it's also a nice place to have a romantic dinner.
But remember, you still have to drive back safely, so be careful when drinking, as you want to enjoy those other days on that lazy beach and not in some police station, either to pay a penalty or worse.
(Both countries are ZERO TOLERANCE on alcohol).