June 30, 2014

central dalmatia, a love story

Being a very enthusiastic reader of Total Split 's pages,
today I was pleasantly surprised with a very charming video
about Central Dalmatia .

The video won a price on a festival in Azerbaijan, and however the music under it is a bit to sweet for me,
I couldn't agree more with it's contents, including all the denials.

As yes, once you've tasted Central Dalmatia, you fall in love with it.
No escape possible, it grabs you by the b*lls and doesn't let go.

How do I know this, the answer is simple:
it happened to us, reason why we now live here, till Kingdom come !

And for those who sometimes stumble over my minimalistic English,
we are Dutch as Dutch can be, 
but following our hearts we left Holland.

Some, if not many people think or say Holland is beautiful, 
including Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Amsterdam's red lights,
the Keukenhof and a couple more highlights.

Well folks, it may be, but nothing beats

So, with or without it's music, check this truly fine video, 
and plan your first visit.
(Which will be the first of a never ending love story.)

Couple of days ago, some Dutch people visited us.
They travel all over Croatia and various other countries professionally, and what they said to us is as true as true can be:
"This beats all". 
We know, we know, and now you know it too.

June 28, 2014

Cetina footpath

(click to enlarge)

How about:
a walk from Omis to let's say Restoran Kastil Slanica.
(About 30/45 minutes for lazy walkers like me).

A most impressive walk it is, following the Cetina into the Canyon.
Frogs shouting "kiss me, I am a prince",
ducks hiding in the marsh, boats passing.
And, fantastic panoramas, worth a thousand pictures.

This last section of the Cetina, before it enters the Adriatic Sea, 
is very relaxing and so does the river.
No more rapids, no more waterfalls, no rafts, slowly, slowly now.

Only óne thing is missing !
There ain't such a footpath at all.

Living nearby, every time I drive down from our hidden valley,
I see many visitors who risk their pants, taking a walk until they think enough is enough !
And they are right, as a walk along the Cetina's borders is tricky.

With hardly any space to walk or to do some physical exercise, 
and cars and buses passing all the time, 
it is almost surprising no serious accidents happened yet.

And thát while a pleasant footpath wouldn't cost a bloody fortune, 
with still plenty of rough material from drilling the new tunnel.
Rocks and gravel, that's all it takes to create this perfect addition to Omis's attractions.
Well, ok, with a couple of places to sit down, have a pick-nick or take some photos.

No doubt there a zillion laws and regulations, as this is Croatia, 
but give me óne good reason why such a footpath would damage the pristine nature of the Canyon of the Cetina River.

The river and it's canyon deserve to be seen, and you, my dear reader, visiting beautiful Omis, 
deserve a proper footpath, safely divided from passing traffic.

Until than, this walk still is most beautiful, but be careful please.
As medical care in Croatia is perfect, but better not need it :-).

Enjoy your holidays in Omis, worth a stay.

June 25, 2014

camping in dalmatia

Bad luck....
.... if you don't want to spend all your quality time at the Adriatic, 
on small or huge camp sites,
as camping in the Total of Inland Dalmatia is a mission impossible.

Still the officials, locally ánd nationwide don't understand "some" people like to put their shelter, camper or caravan at a small natural site where the crowds don't go.

Freedom seekers, nature lovers, all those people who like to scroll the beautiful inland, may still be a bit surprised, if not disappointed to discover it's impossible to find such camping locations.

Sad, bad, ignorant and I might even add stupid,
as the inland of Dalmatia has loads of opportunities
to create a small, green possibility.

To begin with, the entire length of the Cetina river is pure delight, where each and every farm, village or small town should be happy
to embrace the possibility.
Vrlika, Cetina, Sinj, Trilj, Grab, Blato na Cetina, Podgrade, Zadvardje, even Kucice, to mention a few, are perfectly fitting into the idea of promoting the Dalmatinska Zagora.
These are only some of the many charming places along all of the Cetina's 105 beautiful kilometers.

And there are mány more places, like Vrgorac, Imotski, Ricice and more, that would benefit from people finding their peace in this most quiet, natural Dalmatian region, just behínd the coast.
The name: Dalmatinska Zagora, or to say it in English:
Total Inland Dalmatia.
(click on this line to find out more).

Who would nót want to spend one or more nights (ánd days) in pristine nature, enjoying local products from local producers, butchers, bakeries, fishermen or farmers.

Let's hope, the decision makers finally understand that all those ridiculous laws and regulations may be sensible at the coast, but contra productive for the inland.
As in most modern European countries there are basic initiatives, offering a stay in nature or near a charming spot or village.

Not the complete package with swimming pool, restaurant, entertainment, bar and beach club, where you see and hear more of your neighbours than what's ten meters away, but basic, natural, simple spots.
With of course a minimal offer of fresh water, a basic toilet/washing place, and a véry basic offer of electricity.
Not less, but ábsolutely not more (as less still is more :-).

If you only see where we live, in our well hidden valley with friendly people and a stunningly beautiful panorama,
you get the picture behind this plea.

As here we live in a totally peaceful environment, silent, pristine, natural and peaceful paradise.
And before you run to our village, better choose for one of the possibilities that already exist within one hour's reach in entire Total Inland Dalmatia.
"Unfortunately" you'll have to camp at the coast (still fantastic).
And also from there, each and every trip into the inland is like discovering paradise.

But let's hope it will soon be:
as it's truly worth a visit, for a day, but better for some more.
As thán you'll discover yourself ánd Dalmatia's hidden secrets.

omis, brzet, zvizdan, a fine place to: eat/drink/swim/relax/enjoy !

Want to know where we (as locals) go for a swim
and some friendly priced food ?
Ok, here's the tip:

Drive out of Omis, direction Makarska, and in a few of minutes (!), turn right at the sign Brzet.
Driving to this location is always a pain in the *ss, but accepting this minor problem brings you in a couple of minutes (!) to a most enjoyable secluded beach, terrace and restaurant.
The name of the place: Zvizdan (meaning star).

Not to crowded, which is a blessing in crowded Omis, the place is véry pleasant and easy going,
with a delicious terrace under pine trees and a móst fantastic panorama.
The sea there, as everywhere, is very clean,
and the bonus is in the fact that it takes ten (!) steps from the terrace into the waiting water.

It's our favorite spot, especially in the later afternoon, when the sun slowly sets behind Omis.
As than we like to refresh ourselves at Zvizdan with a cool drink (beer Paul B., béér), followed by a freshly prepared dinner, many times followed by another swim, this time under the stars.

Do not be surprised to see a couple of dolphins passing,
looking for some fresh fish too :-)
And you don't have to be a dolphin to have some fresh fish, as all dishes are super fresh, well prepared and very decently priced.

When returning, please be carefull when entering the coastal road towards Omis again.
The road you're leaving is in a slightly difficult angle, 
and not all drivers on the Magistrale are on holidays. 
(Especially some racing motor bikers with a clear death wish). 

If you don't have a car, ask at the tourist agency malimlin 
(opposite the big Studenac shopping centre, near camp Galeb), 
as they might just have a nice alternative available.

June 19, 2014

sunny dalmatia (also knows rain)

Dalmatia is known for it's perfect sunny weather.
Warm, in mid summer even hot, but hardly ever to hot.

Most of spring, summer and even autumn are blessed with sunny weather, but to keep nature green :-) we know rainy days as well, even in summer.

And for those "less sunny" moments I want to warn you, especially when driving your car or motor.
As during the dry days, the asphalt absorbs all those fumes and residues mechanic machines spit out.

And as they say it "what goes in, must come out"
and it does on rainy moments !
As thán especially the Magistrale, the coastal road from high up in the north  into the very south gets dangerously slippery.
And with dangerously I do mean DANGEROUSLY !!!

In general the entire coastal road is fantastic, with thousands of beautiful views and hundreds of villages and towns to stop for a coffee or a walk.

When however driving Croatia's most scenic road (eat your heart out Route 66), you must know:
1. you're not alone.
2. adjust your speed when entering a village.
3. álways keep distance.
4. pay attention to entering/leaving traffic from "hidden" roads.
5. watch out for speeding motorbikes and scooters.
6. and last but not least:
íf rain threatens to fall after a couple of sunny days, be aware, 
or better wait till it's dry again, 
as thán this fantastic road becomes slippery as hell !

If you ever experienced driving on ice (or mayonnaise :-)
you know what that means.
The oily residue makes the asphalt truly dangerous, and it's not unusual pebbles and even rocks come down from higher parts.
To cars it's already a real threat, to motorbikes a disaster to happen.

So enjoy this magnificent road, but take care,
as you don't want to end in hospital (or worse).

Even though Croatian hospitals offer perfect healthcare :-).

June 18, 2014

imotski, two breath taking lakes, but also.........

but also ..........RICICE !

I know, I know, there is more to see in Imotski, and yes, those two famous lakes áre special.
But my choice is a small village called Ricice !
(Look on the map, it's there since ages).

Coming from Svinisce (our home) it's a wonderfull trip, heading for Zadvarje, Sestanovac, Cista Provo, and on,
till you see a small road direction Studenci.
Take that road, narrow but pleasant, following the signs to Ricice.
Perhaps sometimes you'll mistake, no problem, as it's all an interesting ride, through rapidly changing landscapes.

One moment you'll see this panorama, and there it is, Ricice.
Hardly known, worth however to be more known,
as it's absolutely and stunningly beautiful.
Especially on a sunny day (most summer days :-),
as than the lake shows it's amazing colour.

But not only the colour is beautiful, as you will see.
The lake is truly a gem, from whatever side you look at it, and there are many spots to either look at or walk to.

When we, as recently, have family or friends over, Ricice is always on my list, and they all agree, it's a gorgeous lake !

Again I am surprised so little people know it, and even for golf fanatics (not me) this might be the very best place to create a golf course, through an already lovely shaped landscape, from one green to the next, hitting hard (or putting tenderly).
Building a country hotel, overlooking the scenic landscape,
sipping from a glass of splendid Imotski wine
(yes they make excellent local wines there),
enjoying the unique relaxing atmosphere of Total Inland Dalmatia.

Coming from Imotski it's less than ten minutes by car, 
from Split its let's say a one hour's trip.