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Entries about hvar

Birthday Boating in the Pakleni Islands

sunny 30 °C
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"Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest" – By Larry Lorenzoni

Foodie moment

For my birthday voyage we put together a delicious picnic, complete with meat burrek (spiced mince), homemade cheeses (Goat and Sheep's milk - one hard, one soft), fresh strawberries, tomatoes and peaches and a bottle of red wine! It was so delicious, especially looking over the turquoise waters.

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My birthday dinner was at a tripadvisor recommended restaurant, which was up one of the winding stairways that lead away from the main square. Konoba Menego prided itself on true authentic Croatian cooking, and NO PIZZA! The food was fantastic and the Croatian red wine from the Pakleni islands was delicious. We ate Dalmation Njok (Home made gnocchi with prawns in a creamy sauce) and Fillet Dalmatia (Beef fillets stuffed with cheese then wrapped in prosciutto, served with prawns and herb butter with a side of grilled vegetables). Finally some great Croatian cooking, and with a lovely waitress we were very happy! We've promised we'll be back tomorrow for lunch before we leave!!

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Cultural moment

Today we got to see how the other half live. Hvar is full of expensive speed boats, yachts and sail boats, which are either being rented for a holiday or owned by the people on them. As we cruised around the bay in our (small) boat, dropped our anchor with the other (big) boats in a picturesque bay and sun-baked on the deck listening to (other peoples) music, we got a taste for how nice it must be to have the money for a boat... oh well, we'll just have to live with faking it for a day for the time being.

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Wow moment

As a special birthday treat we decided to hire a 10 horsepower 'speed' boat, so we could head out to the Pakleni islands at our own pace. It was so much fun zooming through the water, pulling in to bays and beaches we came along on the way. We stopped in the popular Palmizana island to have lunch. Touted as the sand beach of Croatia, we were disappointed to find only a tiny strip of sand taken up almost entirely by sun lounges. Either way it was a beautiful spot and after lunch, rather than lie or sit on concrete or rocks as others were doing we headed back to our boat... drove it out into the bay and dropped our anchor to float and sunbake out on the water. Apart from one close call with a champagne cork from another boat, it was incredibly relaxing! We then headed around to another island, with a beach called Zdrilca. This was our favourite beach by far! Although it was a rock beach it had huge bean bags on the beach to lay on (free of charge!!!), a carpet leading into the water so you don't hurt your feet when entering and the beers were affordable. The restaurant Tri Grede looked great too but we weren't hungry. I wish we had found this little gem earlier rather than blowing our money at Carpe Diem!!

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What we learnt today

Boats are fun!!! We highly recommend it! Oh, and we also learnt that the pull out anchors on little boats like ours are fairly useless at catching on the bottom, so floating on the spot is pretty much impossible!!

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Posted by travellinglise 04:23 Archived in Croatia Tagged hvar pakleni_islands Comments (1)

Islands in the sun

sunny 30 °C
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Carpe Diem - Seize the day! - Quintus Horatius Flaccus

Foodie moment

With a limited amount of money to spend (see below for reason), and feeling very hungry we chose pasta and beef thai salad at Carpe Diem Club for lunch. Food was good.... but waaaaay overpriced!!

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Cultural moment

Before coming to Croatia we had thought it would be be a bit of a backpackers meca... still Eastern Europe enough to be cheap, but touristy enough to have those small luxuries of menus in English and easy to understand sight seeing. This may have previously been the case but now, due to the prices i'm guessing, it attracts a much more wealthy crowd. The tourists are people who are on a cruise, or have rented (or own) a sail boat or younger people who are generally on a short vacation (and therefore have a lot of money to spend in a short time). This was especially the case in Hvar, which likes to tout itself as the new French riviera! If you look for cheap options such as fast food and supermarkets, you can find them... but if you are counting the pennies like us, we found out you have to be very careful in Hvar - people around you may be knocking back jugs of cocktails and bottles of wine at beachside bars but on our budget, that equals a full meal for the both of us!

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Wow moment

Today we jumped on one of the water taxis and headed over to the popular Carpe Diem beach club. Once again the beach was rocks and concrete so we decided to splash out on two recliner sun beds (they were incredibly comfortable but $30 for the rental! Eeek!) Then we continued our extravagance by having a cocktail (hey, its my birthday week after all). The location was beautiful, the water cold but refreshing and the sun lovely to lie in. There was a DJ playing music and it was a really nice day. Until we hit our money problems (see 'foodie moment' and 'what we learnt' for more)

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What we learnt today

There is no access to ATMs or paying by credit card on the islands around Hvar! This is crazy to us... particularly becasue of the prices of food and drink on the island, people must have been carrying around stacks of cash to pay off their tabs at the end of the day!! We, unfortunately, got caught out by this... having to count all our pennies to buy lunch and not even be able to afford a bottle of water (there also isn't fresh water on Carpe Diem Beach - Mark topped our water bottle up in the bathroom and managed to fill it with salt water - Oops). We are sure we are not the only ones stuck without money on the islands, its not made obvious anywhere... at least we asked before running up a big bill... I wonder what happens to those that can't pay at the end of the day!

Posted by travellinglise 08:56 Archived in Croatia Tagged hvar carpe_diem_club Comments (0)

Birthday week begins in Hvar

sunny 30 °C
View Euro trip 2013 on travellinglise's travel map.

"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you" - Walt Whitman

Foodie moment

Not a foodie but a beer moment today, and im not even sure if it is a good one! As with most countries, Croatia has many types of beer, but there are many distinctive flavoured ones that caught our eye. You can get orange, lemon or even grapefruit flavoured beers - we tried the orange one and consensus was that it smelt horrible but was pretty drinkable especially on a hot summers day!

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Cultural moment

Our bemusement in regards to what is called a beach in Croatia continued in Hvar as we walked to some along the coast of the island on our first day. The beaches are actually just big rocks on the side of the water. The crazy thing is people lie on the rocks to sunbathe as if it is perfectly natural, which looks terribly uncomfortable! If you want more comfort you can hire a chair to lie next to the water but in Hvar this can be very expensive!

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Wow moment

Hvar Town is stunning, and the best view of it was from our hotel balcony! We had some amazing accommodation whilst in Hvar, we had to climb up some steps to get there (and with our sore muscles from canyoning that was easier said than done!!) but the view was actually breathtaking! We were even lucky enough to have a large old fashioned sail boat framed within the harbour in our first glimpse of the view, which added to the wow factor even more! The town itself is really pretty to walk around, with sail-boats and mega yachts bobbing in the harbour, big open cobble-stoned squares, the sapphire blue sea shimmering in the distance and tiny stalls selling home-made products made from lavender and honey, as well as tables full of fresh fruit, smoked meats and cheeses.

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What we learnt today

Hvar claims to be the sunniest place in Europe with a uniquely sunny microclimate and an annual average of 2724 hours of sun. We certainly cannot disagree with that as the sunshine and blue skies in Hvar seemed to be never ending! It was interesting when we asked our host if they had got any rain from the crazy storm that had battered us in Split the day before (only a one hour boat ride away) and she replied that they had been told they might get some rain but it just never happened! Hanging onto that sunniest place title once again!

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Posted by travellinglise 07:15 Archived in Croatia Tagged hvar Comments (0)

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