This is our first full day on the boat. B is no longer a cruise virgin!
We left the port of Split to go along the coast and in between the islands. Such a beautiful country. The boat is big enough to not get “cranky” as most Newfoundland fishermen would say, but not big enough that you lose track of people or feel no sway at all. I do love the motion of the ocean!
We are making our way to the island of Brač today. First stop was Bol and the Golden Horn Beach. It looks gorgeous on the pamphlets. I just wish I brought my water shoes. The stones are great for a hot stone massage when lying on them but less so for walking on them.
We tendered to the beach in groups of 6-8 which was a fun new experience for us.
Our two sailors were named Ivan. I feel I need to see their passports. I think they may have lied and tried to make it easy for us. Here is a little video of us riding in.
The beach was golden and the water crystal clear. The sun doesn’t seem quite as hot and overwhelming on the island. The last day in Split got to 43•C by mid afternoon!
I think this would be a lovely spot to stay for a bit longer. They had a gorgeous beach club, parasailing and an inflatable water park for the kids. Maybe another journey in our future as a family coming up.
We got back on the boat and headed for Hvar. We had a delicious lunch of feta salad, tomato soup and seabream. Dessert was very original with squid ink crepes filled with ice cream and decorated with edible flowers.
Hvar is such a lovely port stop. The traditional terra-cotta roofs were everywhere. We passed many smaller islands and the lighthouse on our way in.
We had a quick turnaround to go for our afternoon excursion. I thought cruise life was supposed to be laissez faire but apparently not. Our 3pm arrival was met with knocks on our cabin door and a round of applause on land from our fellow cruise mates. We are now the late Canucks on the boat! We walked around St Stephens square a little first. Observing the oldest theatre in Europe and the cathedral.
We bused to a winery about twenty minutes from the port. Tomac Winery is the second largest on Hvar and sell 60% of their wine on site and the rest in restaurants or liquor stores on the island. You can’t get it outside Croatia. Which is too bad considering it is very nice wine for cheap.
We had a wine tasting that was paired with local cheese and meats. Luckily all 30 of us were seated together in the cellar which was styled after a Roman dining room. A lovely 15•C after the heat was very welcome.
Photo courtesy of Tena
After the wine we all had a nice nap on the way back to the marina. We stopped at the best viewing point on the island along the way to Fortica. A place of safety from all the crusaders and conquerors of Hvar. We got an amazing group photo. Maybe Tena has done this a time or two!
The view was incredible as was the winding, easy walk back to town through the trees and herbal gardens.
We walked around town again and explored the small streets and alleyways. Finding a few fun shopping items on the way. I finally found water shoes! And I got a new pair of Havanianas since I left mine at home. I don’t want to brag but they do have avocados on them!
Hvar Public Theatre
We walked to the other side of the port and saw the sun setting. So gorgeous!
I love the way they set the boats up for the day. Which means on the way home we have to “ship jump” and find out way through the maze of planks. Mind the gap for sure!
We had dinner on the self described “most exclusive restaurant on the island”, Garinful. It was worth the hype. It was on the waterfront with an amazing view of the water, the ships, the sunset and the people.
They have all their daily catch on display so you can choose your individual meals instead of using a menu. Although I highly recommend going with a group to get the most out of a whole fish. We picked a local red snapper as it was the smallest for just the two of us.
To start we had tuna tartare and black risotto. It was so creamy and texture forward with a bit of aged Parmigiano on top. Paired with a Balenca wine from the winery earlier was an excellent addition to our meal.
After the appetizers, we watched the chef prepare our fish in the outdoor wood oven grill. He has a huge bowl filled with olive oil that was liberally used with a wide paintbrush on both the grill and the fish. Everything is so fresh and simple here and it lets the protein and vegetables shine through.
Our fish was presented whole and our waiter cleaned it in front of us. Really a sight to see. So much fish for two people. We were defeated but not until we got through at least three quarters.
Our waiter told us the Croatian way of life with eating fish is the following advice:
“A fish must swim three times.
First in the sea, second in olive oil and thirdly in wine in your belly”
I like this saying a lot.
We thought we were done with dinner, our bellies were full, but a small downpour started outside unexpectedly. We waited a bit for it to clear up and surprisingly then had room for dessert. We polished off a crème brûlée and a pistachio cheesecake. I’m not sure which I liked better.
G and O decided to go to a cute Mexican restaurant called Fig that was hiding in a little alley.
Our adventure continued after dinner with walking past the clubs that Hvar is known for “Carpe Diem” with its $50 Long Island iced teas and “Nautica” with its pumping music.
The night scenery is just as beautiful. I stole O’s pictures from Instagram because they can’t be beat. I may have to get a Pixel phone next…
Once back to our row of ships, we had the fun of boat hopping. Thankfully we did not have too much to drink to not make the jump between boats. Though it may not have looked too graceful to onlookers. Ours was the 6th boat out which is great for drowning out the partier’s noise and for the view. It also helped to not have every other ships passengers traipsing through our ship’s hallways.
Good night everyone!
Up next: Vis