Hanging in Hvar, Croatia

Hvar waterfront

Hhhhhhhhh-vvvaaarrrrrrrr.  A little bit of old town but more beach, which is something I was looking forward to the whole trip.  In planning our journey along the Croatian coast I knew we’d only have 2-3 days beach time.  I love the idea of plopping on the beach and relaxing for a week.  Bf not so much.  He likes a little more culture in the mix.  I’m amenable to anything, but in seeking out the beach I chose the Amfora Grand Beach Resort  in Hvar.  Hvar is one of the 1,200 islands in Croatia and is said to be more resort-like and somewhat of a scene, but I wanted to check it out.  The pictures of the pool at the Amfora made me imagine lounging by the pool with frozen drinks at hand, more importantly though it advertised the Bonj Beach Club.  Lounging and drinks?  Yes!  With chairs perched on the edge of the water so you could jump right in.  The pictures you see of celebs jumping from rocks into the water in the South of France or Spain, that would be me!

So much for my visions of acting like the jet set.  After we checked in we walked over to the Bonj Beach Club to reserve a day bed for the next day.  I was so thrilled to hear that they would be closed for the next 2 days for a wedding.  Ugh.  Had I not been able to see how much it matched my fantasies (umbrellas and day beds right on the water!  Champagne wishes and caviar dreams!) I wouldn’t have been as upset.  I got over it though just as I had many things on the trip.  We were still days away from going home but I had realized that traveling to a place you know nothing about, relying on travel books, internet resources and word of mouth, can never prepare you for little things that throw off your plans.  I never think things will go perfectly.  In traveling to places I’ve never been I keep myself open to the range of possible outcomes–great to bad.  

It was around 5 and the sun was still out for 3 or so hours so we walked into the town.  Hvar has a promenade that wraps around the beautiful waterfront.  From the hotel to roughly the end of town it took us 30 minutes to walk.  We saw the usual elements of a town: town square, church, fortress, shops, restaurants and bars with palm trees here and there.  There were a lot of little boats and big yachts docked so we had fun estimating how much they cost and what was inside. We meandered back to the hotel to wash up for dinner.  As we walked back into town we stopped at Nautica Bar for a drink al fresco.  They had high tables and chairs outside the bar and a lengthy cocktail list.  It became our go to bar since it was a perfect place to watch people walk by and enjoy the summer air.

For dinner we went to Zlatna Skolja (Golden Shell) which prides itself on slow food.  There are no street signs but it was easy enough to find in the little streets away from the main square.  I had tomato gazpacho to start and bf had dentex carpaccio showered in pepper.  For our main course I had the shrimp and zucchini risotto and bf had the lamb skewers.  Everything was good but the portions were generous (my risotto could have fed 3 people) so we didn’t finish it all.  The waiter thought we didn’t like the food but really we were stuffed.  I think he understood that as we tried to explain, or at least I hope he did.

The next day we slept in and eventually ventured to the pool.  It was a hot, sunny day so we had sandwiches and drinks poolside and lingered until 5.  There was a kiddie section to the pool with a small water slide and waterfall.  Despite that there were plenty of adults.  We thought about going on the water slide but I had visions of my bathing suit crawling up my butt on the way down making for a not so elegant landing so we just watched other people do it.

That night I had a fun challenge at dinner as I tackled the Lunatic pasta at Luna.  The main dining area is on the roof of the building which is enclosed on the sides but open to the sky, hence the name of the place I suspect.  To assist in my cracking open a whole lobster cooked in a tomato, brandy and garlic sauce with linguine, they gave me a large metal cracker and smaller fork.  To protect myself from any splatter they tied a blue cloth bib embroidered with “For Lunatics Only” around my neck.  My hands were a mess but it was worth it.

The next day we had to kill time until we boarded the ferry to Korcula so we took a water taxi to a nearby island and went to Palmizana, a small beach with chairs and umbrellas to rent.  There was a mix of couples and families so it was relatively quiet.  Around lunchtime we went to Toto’s just above the beach.  They had just received a fresh tuna so they gave us tuna pate on toast followed by a tuna carpaccio and pieces of seared tuna dressed in soy sauce and olive oil.  It was so fresh.  We could have made a lunch out of it but instead we had a grilled St. Peter fish with potatoes and salad.  The view from the table of the beach and water was magnificent.  Had we known about it sooner we would have stayed there rather than Hvar although it’s a little isolated.  We also figured that our next trip to the Croatian islands would involve a boat so we could seek out the more difficult to reach beaches that we kept hearing about.

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