Although not made up of billlions and billions of stars, it is made up of millions and millions of photo cells that absorb sunlight and becomes a huge visual kaleidoscope at night. The light patterns and colors change every few seconds, making it one of the best light shows on the planet. And to top it all off, it is accompanied by the Sea Organ - an organ driven by sea water that has a deep bass sound as if whales are speaking to each other right at the sea wall. These two installations are not to be missed when in lovely Zadar. Many restaurant choices in old town make the stop even more worthwhile.
"oh, that's not the virgin mary, that's an umbrella."
that there sentence pretty much sums up my wife's level of intellectual capacity during our stay on brac. bear in mind, my lovely wife is an accomplished attorney back home in the san francisco bay area. "no slouch," thinks her ever-adoring husband.
however, we came to brac island, croatia off the dalmatian coast directly across from split for "a few days." we stayed two weeks. and only then left reluctantly.
think you've seen catholicism? you have not, until you start hiking around croatian islands and track the sheer number of virgin mary statues strewn across the scrubby landscape and unbelievably beautiful pebble beaches with the clearest blue water this side of isla mujeres, mexico. well, add to all of your hiking a ton of lazing about the beaches like melons, hours in the sun drinking warm beer (well, that's what we do) and you...
This is a traditional cooking vessel in Vis, a small island in the middle of the Adriatic, about two hours' ferry ride from Split, Croatia. The method is called "pod pekom," which means that it's slow-cooked with embers on top and underneath.
Inside this vessel in particular was a lunch of monkfish, potatoes, rice, and some vegetables. We waited a good, lazy hour for the monkfish to be ready as we drank local wine and snacked on cheese and charcuterie.
Over four days we sampled many of the restaurants on the island, which are mostly homes that operate as agritourismos during the summer months. We were there in June, early enough in the summer that we had the place largely to ourselves. Finding a place for lunch after one beach and before the next beach meant driving through the vineyards and looking for hand-painted signs signifying homecooked food.
This farmers’ market near the cathedral in Gornji Grad (Upper Town) is especially busy on Saturday mornings. It is loaded with vendor stalls, selling a variety of fresh cheeses and produce from the neighboring agricultural region Zagorje.
Dolac market near Pod zidom, Zagreb. Read Scott Hocker's account of his spontaneous journey to Croatia.
The collection of Croatian jams, liqueurs, olive oils, and spirits at this sliver of a store in Zagreb is vast. Every item can be sampled, so be sure to ask for a taste of maraska (sour cherry) liqueur or the country’s famous Maraschino liqueur, made with the fruit and crushed pits of sour cherries.
My mom kept urging me to go to Croatia because she had seen images of the beautiful Dalmatian coast. I resisted because Croatia was not on my travel agenda at the time. I finally caved in and I’m so glad I did because it’s a gem of a country! Most tourists flock to either Dubrovnik or Split but I wanted something a bit quieter so I chose the quaint town of Trogir as my base.
Trogir is a UNESCO World Heritage site; chock full of Renaissance and Baroque buildings from the Venetian period. The old part of the town is filled with narrow cobblestone streets lined with private and commercial establishments. It’s a great place for a stroll.
From Split Airport, you can take City Bus #37 for the half hour ride to Trogir. If you book a front side room at the Villa Sikaa, this is the view you get! The view is even more stunning at night when all the buildings are lit up.
For our few days in Vis, a two-hour ferry ride from Split, we would drive our Vespa until we got to a beach—they are not hard to come by on this small island.
This beach, right about in the middle of the south coast of the island, is mostly only accessible to boats. But we, boatless, scrambled down a steep cliff because it looked so perfect, and spent a few dreamy hours.
We arrived on the ferry at Vis Town, walked into the tourist office and booked an apartment for a few days. Those days were spent going from beach to languid, four-hour meal, to beach again.
Walking the walls of Old Town, Dubrovnik are a must for any traveler, but in the hot summer months, all that hot stone and seaside scenery can really make you thirsty. Head to the other side of the wall for a local beer, wine or cocktails at Buza Bar. Tucked into the cliffs between the sea and civilization, this improbable place is not only stunning, it's fun. Locals and visitors alike fill precariously placed tables ready to party, and if the drinks aren't enough to cool you down, it couldn't be easier to jump, dive or cannonball into the inviting Adriatic below.
There’s no denying that Dubrovnik is a gem of a city – lots of things to do and see but, if you go any time starting in May, it can also be sweltering hot. The cool blue waters of the Adriatic Sea will look ever so inviting but there are the old city walls separating you from it.
So, here’s a tidbit if you want to go for a dip in the Adriatic while you’re in Dubrovnik. Be sure to bring a towel to lay on and lots of sunscreen.
From the Stradun, find your way to Café Bar Buža (www.cafebuza.com). It’s tucked away on a quiet side street and not easy to spot so ask for directions. This tiny, assuming eatery has a stone terrace that fronts the sea. There are steps that lead down to the water or if you prefer, you can just jump off the lower rocks. There are a few areas that you can lay down your towel and catch some rays. Plenty of shady areas to sit under if you prefer.
The café serves...