Hvar and Away …

(Note: The following post describes details from a previous trip, NOT a current trip.)

Wednesday, September 5th.

It’s about 5:30 a.m., still dark and wet from the overnight rain shower.

We’re waiting down near the water for the early morning ferry to the island of Hvar – known to some as “the party island”.

The boat arrives at around 5:45, and we depart around 6 a.m. It’s a huge vessel, and actually kind of comfortable. We even get to see the sun rise as the ferry makes an interim stop to drop off and pick up more passengers.

We’re in town and on dry land with our bags by about 8 a.m., where we were greeted with our room assignments.

And more stairs. Which we should be used to by now.

But it seems the stairs here are steeper than in Dubrovik and Korčula combined. It’s certainly enough to make Josie – who’s lugging an enormous suitcase – cuss in exasperation.

The rooms at the apartment complex we’re staying at seem even smaller than in Korčula, but they have that cute, family-run feel to them.

Europe, Croatia 125The day is young, so we assemble after dropping off our baggage to grab breakfast near the square, then we break off into group to take a look around.

I go with the larger group, who take a stroll through the small market behind the church, and then from shop to shop lining the tiny side streets. I buy some turquoise-coloured stud earrings that catch my eye.

As the day progresses, our group gets smaller and smaller; Sanj and I partner up, taking a peek into a local gallery (which was average, but not overly impressive for our artistic tastes), walk along a path that takes us along the town’s outskirts, and then back into town for lunch.

It starts raining sometime past noon, while we’re seated under a patio umbrella at one of the restaurants in the square. We wait to see if it subsides, but it just gets heavier. We spot Livia trying to stay dry, and motion her over to our table, before the rain turns torrential.

As we make the best of the situation by chatting, my lids grow heavy and I feel my head begin to bob. This is rain’s hypnotic effect on me, no matter what part of the world I’m in. It’s definitely nap time.

Following my solid two-and-a-half-hour siesta back at the apartment complex, I rouse with a slightly dry, scratchy throat – the price I must pay for dunking my head in the Adriatic.

Europe, Croatia 143I go to meet ten of my tour-mates – we’re paying a visit to the fortress overlooking the town. We make a brief grocery run for wine and snacks, then walk/hike the winding path to the top.

The view of Hvar is spectactular, especially as the sun starts to set and the lights below come on and start twinkling in the twilight. The wine, snacks and company of my tour group members are a perfect combination.

We descend into town for dinner. Natalie has made reservations for three different places, but in the end we decide to try a slow-food restaurant we hear is highly recommended.

It’s probably the best meal we’ve had on the trip so far, if not in a deadlocked tie, with the meal we had in  Pupnat.

Our waiter – a young guy who says we can call him “Fluffy” (absolutely adorable!) – is a great, accommodating server. He patiently answers all our questions and explains how things worked. He’s also very engaging and extremely helpful – at the end of the meal, he’s even kind enough to find me some coarse salt for my throat, which has become even scratchier as the hours pass.

Europe, Croatia 146A group of us break away and search side corridors in search of a place to grab cocktails.

We head down the main strip, ogling a couple of flashy, multi-million-dollar yachts docked in the marina along the way.

We pass a lot of the obvious “boom-boom” bars, eventually finding a more lounge-y establishment. A little pricey, but the cocktails are decent. (I kind of recall ordering a science-experiment of a cocktail called a Zombie – anything to fool myself into thinking I’ll kill the germs!)

It’s just the beginning, though. Tomorrow, we’ll cruise the nearby vicinity by boat!

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