Summer 2010: Croatia, The Islands

The gravatar depicts a calla lilly … what the hell has that got to do with Croatia, and in particular, Croatian islands? It is NOT a calla, it is an arum lilly which is indigenous to South Africa and this pic was taken at Luka’s Lodge where I was preparing the beer butt chicken, thus I could not resist the moment of being “watched” by a beautiful flower while preparing a great dish!

Ever since I can remember I wanted to visit Greece and do “island hopping.” Well, that was until I discovered Croatia … in my mind the most beautiful country in the world, yes including the USA! Croatia has more than 1,200 islands. From Trogir I took the bus to Split (remember the place I “luvvvvv!” from where I caught a ferry to Hvar island. While I was in Trogir I met Klaus who had just been to Hvar who suggested that I stay at Luka’s Lodge. Marin called and it was arranged for 14 euros/night.

When I arrived in Hvar city, I called Luka as was arranged. He said he would be about 20 minutes before he could come and fetch me. I ordered a beer. I recognized Luka from his description (and he me, the guy with the very bright yellow T-shirt). Much to my surprise, “fetching me,” entailed showing me the way to Luka’s Lodge on foot! Yeah, with that terrain! In any case we got there and Luka’s Lodge offered a breathtaking ocean view from the front porch.

The most fascinating feature for me was the outdoor cooking area. At this stage I was sick and tired of fast food, restaurant food, picnicking … all I wanted was a home cooked meal. Luka took me to the grocery store and I bought everything I needed for a beer butt chicken. There was a young couple from Canada (Adam and his girlfriend whose name escapes me) and I invited them to join me, to which she responded: “Yes please, beer butt chicken is what my Dad does all the time.” Luka and his help were dumbfounded by the chicken perched over the beer can … not very attractive, yet so delicious! Served potatoes and onions with that and we had a feast.

I stayed for three days on Hvar island, in Hvar city, and walked a lot. It is really a fascinating place. I went to the castle to enjoy breathtaking views. When I asked the attendant for the road to the village, he was offended: “We call it a town!” Luka took me to his cottage in Losna OMG, I immediately booked it for next year and, hopefully, I will go there with South African friends. It is going to be bliss. Afrikaans and South African food! (You check it out at Lukasbayhouse and you’ll see what I mean).

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After three of the most fun-filled, life-is-wonderful days I moved onto Korcula. The ferry runs late afternoon. Once again, my accommodation was arrange. Luka has this friend, Maria and it was agreed that I could stay there for 10 euros/night. Maria was waiting for me when the ferry docked and led the way to her abode. Korcula (or so it would appear from the ferry) is much larger (area wise) than Hvar but not as exciting as Hvar. I only stayed for two days and it was great, but not super great like Hvar … it simply does not offer the same. The place where I stayed, however, offered better views than Luka’s Lodge.

Also staying at Maria’s place (Marija who can be contacted at marija.sansovic@post.t-com.hr) was Helmut and Dorothy (below, left), a couple from Germany. We had loads of fun while solving the world’s problems!

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I have been back now for about three weeks and made a startling discovery. Hvar is a HUGE island with several towns/villages! When I go to stay at the cottage in Losna next year, I will make sure that we rent a car and drive around on the island … for what it is worth, we will rent a car in Split and take it to Hvar on the ferry … if one had to rent a car on the island, one will pay through the kazoo!

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