Heavenly Gift of History, Culture, Sun and Sex
A Five-Star Island
Sensations of Central Dalma For this We Have no Word
Day & Night, You are the One
THE ISLAND OF TAME WILDERNESS, HIDDEN BEAUTIES, GLORIOUS HISTORY AND CULTURE, AND AS FAMOUS AS ITS WINES
THE GREATNESS OF HV OF PLAVAC Torac
This tame beast called Hvar lies resting with its spine raising full-length and then loosening, its fingers widely spread at the west side forming a royal location for the city of Hvar, on Hvar. Somewhere near Zastražišće, halfway on the eastwest route, at 311 metres above sea level the docile brute rests as you take the serpentine roads to slide do wn its thigh ll of a sudden the beast embraces you, just as it embraces its favourite places Jelsa, Vrboska, Stari Grad and Hvar
SAILING IN IS A MUST
var isn’t about landing on an airport, or speeding down a highway, or reaching this world-known sunny Hvar by a speedboat. It’s about searching and pursuing and expecting and waiting and discovering layers of it, sights and scenes from all over the island only to get to IT, Hvar. There’s no point in simply popping in. It’s the sensation of the island as a whole, all of its surprises from cove to cove, the adventure that starts in Sućuraj at the easternmost tip of the island to the towns on the west. Like a tame beast, the island of Hvar is reposing as if lying in the shallows, at the eastern tip of it the fishermen village of Sućuraj like the beast’s head submerged in the sea. This is where the island is nearest to the coast so you simply hop on the ferry in Drvenik and less than half an hour later you victoriously land on the island only to climb up its back, all the way to the top following its long ridge, roaming the winding and somewhat dangerous roads, your eyes examining the northern and the southern flank.
VINEYARDS AND TOWNSCAPES To the left the peaks of Pelješac and Korčula in the background, to the right the heights of Brač, and Biokovo towering over the Makarska Riviera on the mainland. This
tame beast called Hvar lies resting with its spine raising full-length and then loosening, its fingers widely spread at the west side forming a royal location for the city of Hvar, on Hvar. Somewhere near Zastražišće, halfway on the east-west route, at 311 metres above sea level the docile brute rests as you take the serpentine roads to slide down its thighs – all of a sudden the beast embraces you, just as it embraces its favourite places Jelsa, Vrboska, Stari Grad and Hvar. Right above Pitve, an old village overlooking Jelsa, there rises Sv. Nikola (St Nicholas), the highest point of Hvar (628 metres). The roles have changed over time – Pitve used to be a small town with Jelsa functioning as its port. On the southern slopes of the island, placed almost vertically down the cliffs, you can see a host of red roofs and tightly packed houses of Sveta Nedjelja. The vineyards descend in the similar vertical fashion, with the endless horizon at their threshold. Famous Zlatan Plenković also grows his vines here. For many years he has been widely acclaimed as the best winemaker, and in 2009 he was made the Croatian wine knight. His wines are present at the exhibitions in Zürich, Bordeaux, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Split (GAST fair) where he celebrates the autochtonous wine sort plavac mali created
Tex and photo by Elizabeta & Mario Garber in the “workshop” of his family agricultural estate founded back in 1986.
THE TUNNEL THAT LEADS TO HIDDEN TREASURE In order to taste the bouquet and discover the beauty hidden by the virtual inaccessibility of the southern side of the island you must pierce your way through a tunnel quite unique in Europe which will lead you across the island’s backbone. First of all, there’s only one lane in the tunnel. And the word tunnel itself is an overstatement – it’s 1400 metres long, and it’s more like a mine shaft or a cave-like passage made by some very primitive tools. Although it sounds romantically adventurous – don’t worry, you’re safe. The signalling devices on both ends of the tunnel tell you when it’s open for those who wish to go to the south side, and when for those who are going back from the south side towards the north side of Hvar. Maybe for a moment going through the tunnel will seem like a bad dream, but rest assured – it’s pretty much like any amusement park’s House of Horrors for kids. All in all, in order for you to unveil the hidden beauty and passion, the overall experience is based on the charming and seductive fear.
VAR IN A GLASS C MALI That’s why you can’t just fly in on a plane to this sunlit dithyramb called Hvar – all of its erogenous zones require patience and subtlety. When you exit the tunnel having undergone this traffic trauma nobody has ever declined to experience, the real astonishment is yet on the way. The unique feeling of “dropping” towards the sea through the vineyards and cliffs is impossible to describe in words so you’ll have to experience it for yourself. There’s always a choice, of course. You can take the new modern tunnel from Stari Grad to Hvar and then the macadam road to Sveta Nedjelja. The 6 kilometre long macadam can make a nice walk, all you have to do is decide on which one of you takes the macadam, and which one the Tunnel of Horrors. In our case, She dropped Him off at the beginning of the macadam and drove back to get to Sveta Nedjelja through the old narrow tunnel. After reaching Sveta Nedjelja, She proceeded down the macadam to meet Him. He saw Her from His place up on the high cliffs, zooming in on Her with His camera.
THE MARINA IN SVETA NEDJELJA Mr Plenković, the famous winemaker, did everything within his power for you to earn your Sunday’s rest (Sveta Nedjelja in Croatian means Holy Sunday). He built a small marina, a small harbour with a restaurant where
you can moor your boat, have lunch, go for a swim. Albeit a shrewd business move, it was also an act of selflessness on his part because it’s not that simple to invest in port facilities on the steep south-facing slopes of the island. The open sea between Hvar and Korčula and huge waves that the winter storms thrust at the coast can easily destroy the firmest concrete. Just like jugo (a powerful southern wind) has been tearing at these slopes for centuries. That’s why recently Mr Plenković had to put up an extra breakwater around his marina, but even in the summer as you’re swimming you have the feeling there’s an earthquake when it’s being hit by the waves that some bigger boat caused. We could say that Sveta Nedjelja is a harbour, if only for a couple of boats in the summertime. But then again, the south side of Hvar, all the way from Hvar to Sućuraj, is an exceptional nautical challenge because there’s virtually not a single point where one can moor and be as safe as in a harbour. On your way up the hill you’re bound to think of yet another adventure. Along the southern cliffs of the island, you’ll see the island of Šćedro, a small island called Lukovac, and a couple of rocks. Untouched wilderness. Some find excitement in having their lunch at the tavern on Šćedro amidst the wilderness, while – and this is no joke, people! – the domestic rats are waiting for their mor-
sels from a safe distance. Unlike the somewhat hostile steep southern slopes, the northern side offers almost completely sheltered bays that dig deep into the island. When you’re travelling westward from Sućuraj, you can find these safe havens near Bogomolje and Gdinj, then Zastražišće and Poljica. It’s at 193 metres above sea level and from here there’s a road (only 3 kilometres long) down to Mala Stiniva, one of the loveliest bays on Hvar.
FROM COVE TO COVE From the nearby Zastražišće you can go down to Vela Stiniva (again the road is only 3 kilometres long), Pokrvenik and Kruševa. Of course, there are many more beautiful coves on the northern side of the island, many of them a modern Robinson’s paradise, and the road signs in Bogomolje and Gdinj will lead you to them. The roads and paths go north and south, from one cove to another. Bogomolje at 245 metres above sea level spreads its tentacles to the coves Smokvina plaža, Uvala stara, Vele gaćice, Bristova... From Gdinj, where the tame beast called Hvar is raising its neck high up – as high up as 361 metres above sea level – there descend, again to the north and to the south side of the island of Hvar, paths and roads to coves Zaraće, Jedra, Torac, Tvrdni dolac... To be perfectly honest, we have no idea when you’ll find the time to visit them all.
BRAZIIIIL! “We love this place!” That’s the unanimous verdict of the jury of four when we asked them how they like it here so far. At the sweaty 38° C, we’re cramming in a tiny boat which is about to take us from Hvar to the Pakleni islands, to Jerolim and Stipanska. – We’re here for the first time – says Lucas Pereira, the informal PR for his brother Mateos and their friends Rodrigo Piris and Jabson Da Silva – and now we want to stay here forever! We’re definitely coming back next year, and again the year after that, and the year after that, and again and again... With their eyes still bleary from the previous night’s binge all over the Hvar narrow streets and riva, they scatter around to find a shady corner with the best view of the nearby sunloungers.
Photo-window When the Hvar sun goes to your head
A FIVE-STAR ISL STARI GRAD PICTUREBOOK Stari Grad has the privilege of being able to neatly arrange and stage some little and yet so big events. That’s how it’s possible to come across this scene in the centre of Paiz, a book fair and the two youngest readers in Croatia... Every year from July 10 til July 20 Stari Grad organizes a book festival, and this year’s picture-book, the creative kids’ workshop, is its result. Croatian actor Kristijan Ugrina conducts the drama workshop, there’s also an art workshop...
THUNDERBOLTS! GREAT LAMB! If you want to have a great vista of Hvar on both sides – of the Stari Grad bay and Brač, and of the Pakleni islands and Vis – you’ll climb up to the vidikovac (lookout). And if you don’t mind some fine lamb meat grill, you’ll go to “Vidikovac”. If you’re going up there by road from Hvar, take a turn to Velo Grablje (people from Hvar pronounce it “groblje”, which means cemetery in Croatian, so don’t be mistaken) and there you are! “Vidikovac” is a good place to be during bad weather as well, although there’s no view. They say thunder never strikes twice and the owner, Mr Josip Jurić, is your best protection against thunderbolts. He was struck by a lightning once when he had hidden from the rain under a pine. He had already been declared dead, but there’s nothing left of the lightning apart from the memory of punctured eardrums and a scar from the golden necklace. He is stronger than thunder.
50,000 EUROS WORTH PER WEEK At the Stari Grad mooring we find “Navilux”, a brand new five-star motor-sailing yacht. There’s not a single passenger to be seen: they’re either lounging in their luxurious cabins, or hiding in the jacuzzi, or perhaps they took off for a walk. Only the crew is aboard. When are they sailing out? Where to? Nobody knows. The guests will decide. For the weekly lease of 50,000 EUR the seven crew members take care of twelve passengers. Very high-grade high living. The yacht itself is 36 metres long, with only six high-class guest cabins. Built in Split only recently, in 2012, with innovative technology which brought it prizes at the Rijeka innovation fair, the yacht is owned by Eugen Ercegović from Krilo Jesenice.
CRUISIN’ DISCO-STYLE If you should happen to find yourself somewhere at open sea and come across a ship with almost insanely loud music, don’t worry – that’s “Elizabet”. As many as 83 DJs are playing music loud enough for the whole of the Adriatic to hear. They were in Hvar mid-July, but that’s no surprise because it’s common knowledge that Hvar is the town that never sleeps. Just as there are no house rules in Hvar, there are no timetable rules for “Elizabet”. You don’t have to see it – it announces itself. There’s a message for all the passing sailor-wannabees: OHM festival! An hour or two later there’s the Our Home Festival waiting for you at the riva, in front of “Carpe Diem” or “Veneranda”... – We’ve got 83 top world-known DJs, it’s perfectly normal for the Adriatic to reverberate with their music – says a young DJ from Hvar, Visko Visković, also known as Vice Vicious. A seven-day non-stop disco, loud music, live broadcasts, the club scene, international support – the whole shebang! Manager Nick from Canada concludes: – This summer we have arrived in mid-season, but next year expect us in June, we’re bringing the music business to Hvar! We’re bringing you music with the capital M! “Elizabet” never sleeps, not even when it’s moored: if decibels could be measured in this photo, everything would be bright red
DJs on the deck – our very own Visko Visković is second to the left
The World is Head over Heels in Love with Hvar
Hvar, a Heavenly Gif of History, Culture, Sun an Clint Eastwood, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Brad Pitt, Stephen Spielberg, Jodie Foster, Eva Longoria, Jack Nicholson, George Clooney, Sean Connery, Andre Agassi, David Beckham, Bernie Ecclestone… they all prefer Hvar to Saint-Tropez
ho wouldn’t want to visit Hvar? To name just a few who did visit it: Clint Eastwood, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Brad Pitt, Stephen Spielberg, Jodie Foster, Eva Longoria, Jack Nicholson, George Clooney, Sean Connery, Andre Agassi, David Beckham, and we won’t even speak of Bernie Ecclestone, he spends more time in Hvar than he does at his own homehome... It’s no surprise that Hvar has been declared the new Saint-Tropez – but that goes only for the uninformed because Hvar is much better than Saint-Tropez. No offense to the French.
UNESCO AND THE GREEKS There’s a million reasons to visit Hvar and not a single one to leave. So many stayed. Like Paul Bradbury from Great Britain who decided back in 2003 not to leave, and in 2012 he wrote “An Insider’s Guide”, a guidebook for travellers containing all the significant info on all the attractive sights, events and peculiarities on the island. The hardest part was to compress it to only 200 pages. For starters, in order for you to quickly get to know the island, hop to the Hvar air-
port near Stari Grad and enjoy the high-life panoramic view at 200 euros for half an hour, and if this exceptional view in your opinion deserves a champagne toast to the joy of life (because, you know, Hvar is all about carpe diem so seize the day and live like a king just for one day, if you can), the half-hour champagne view will cost you 250 euros. Everything has a price, even the joie de vivre. If you perhaps have a fear of flying, have no fear. You can simply go on a hop on – hop off bus tour that leaves every two hours and connects the town of Hvar with Jelsa, Vrboska, Stari Grad and the port. For 75 kunas you can spend the whole day hopping on and off, with an extra treat: the bus also takes you to the Stari Grad Plain, or Ager, an agricultural landscape that was set up by the ancient Greek colonists in the 4th century BC, and remains in use today with the ancient layout having been preserved and generally still in its original form. It falls within the UNESCO Protected World Heritage Site. This much history and culture might make you feel a bit dizzy in the summer heat, so the tour organizers offer a good cause for actual dizziness – you can taste the famous Hvar wines. And there’s a good reason why they’re so famous – Mother Nature has been more than generous to Hvar. We all know that Hvar has 2726 sunny hours per year which makes it the sunniest island in the Adriatic. Moreover, it’s nice and green because here it rains when it’s supposed to rain – in the winter. That’s why this island is famous for its plants and herbs, lavender being the most important. The first three twigs that had been planted in Velo Grablje, the place of the annual Lavender Festival, spread all over the island and became worldly known. The same is with rosemary and its pure distillate which is known as kraljevska vodica (royal water) and was used as a cure against scurvy back in the 19th century.
ROSEMARY, HONEY AND LAVENDER According to the archaeological findings, Stari Grad on Hvar is the oldest Croatian town and one of the oldest in Europe. Four years from now it will be celebrating its 2400th birthday. And it’s only getting younger and younger. And sweeter. At the end of July the Honey Festival was held, and rightly so because the bee keeper Boris Buratović and his rosemary honey won the fourth place at the world contest in Argentina. Stari Grad welcomes the Mediterranean Film Festival August 3 – August 5 (the Old Movies Festival ended only a few days ago). All films have Croatian and English subtitles. The elite travel magazine Conde Naste Group’s Traveller places Hvar among the ten most beautiful islands, and according to the Forbes Magazine Hvar is one of the sexiest islands in the world. The crown belongs to the town of Hvar with its fortress Španjola which saved the townspeople from the Turkish fleet in 1571, only to be nearly destroyed in 1579 when lightning struck the gunpowder magazine. Ah, Hvar... a town that rightly and seriously deserves to be called a pearl or a gem. Again the superlatives – the biggest square in all of our small towns, then the oldest public theatre, and this in the whole of Europe (built in 1612). Hvar also prides itself in having the oldest tradition of organized tourism in Europe. The year 1868 saw the beginning of an early version of spa tourism: a special society was founded that was to bring to Hvar the guests who might have health benefits from the mild climate, the sun and the sea, relaxation in the mistral... To go even further back in history, the first tourists in Hvar were the 15th century pilgrims who used to stop here to rest on their pilgrimage from Venice to Jaffa. Apart from its crown, the fortress Španjola overseeing the town, Hvar also has Gališnik,
PUHIJADA IN DOL
ft nd Sex Stari Grad
51st ANNUAL HVAR SUMMER
an islet at the very entrance to the bay, once a lazzaretto (a medieval hospital of the sort, a place where all the visitors and incoming merchants, along with their goods, had to be quarantined in order to prevent a disease, namely the plague, from spreading within the city borders) and a prison, today an immensely romantic restaurant. Back to the superlatives – there’s also the excess of beauty, the Pakleni islands as a nautical paradise, a complete and utter carpe diem on the beaches, regular and nudist, the throng of life day in, day out.
This half-a-century long annual festival offers many cultural events, and Vrboska, Jelsa and Stari Grad follow this tradition with their own Summer of Culture events. Hvar is going to host top artists, musicians and actors from twenty countries. To mention only some August events: on August 2 the Croatian Chamber Quartet from Zagreb will give a concert in the Franciscan priory, on August 5 Vesna Pisarović and a jazz quartet from Berlin will entertain you at the Jazz night, on August 10 Kemal Gekić, who left Split to build a worldly career in America and Japan, will have his Piano-marathon, and on August 12 the legendary Pero Kvrgić and Lela Margitić will spread good vibrations with their performance of Raymond Queneau’s Excercices de style. The famous Aaron Goldberg from the States will play the piano on Jazz night August 14, and Eva Reinold (soprano), Gunther Strahlegger (baritone) and Petra Giacolone (piano) perform on August 16.
FULL MOON PARTY This reaches its climax during the full moon, which will be on August 2. On the islet of Stipanska you can visit the Full Moon Party, with the stars (famous and less known) and a lot of music and singing and laughing. If, on the other hand, this is not your thing because you’re in search of silence, wisdom, or knowledge, we recommend a visit to Grapčeva špilja (Grapčeva cave) above Humac. Along with the stalactites and stalagmites you will see one of the oldest archaeological findings that represent evidence of neolithic culture on the island (around 7000 years old). And while you’re there, visit the tavern “Humac”, it would be a shame not to. Even the cavemen from the neolithic age recognized Hvar as a good place to settle down. In the age of the ancient Greek colonization, their settlement Pharos – the word that stands for lighthouse – helped the sailors on their way to a safe haven. Its beacon has been lighting the way for so many centuries, and that’s why the nights in Hvar on Hvar are never dark.
From August 7 til August 11 in the the hamlet of Dol you can visit the 5th annual Puhijada (after the Croatian word puh – dormouse). There will be hunting for dormice, eating, drinking, and a whole lot more. The tradition of dormice hunting goes back to the Roman period because dormouse was a culinary specialty back in the Roman Empire – the ancient Romans used to feed dormice on walnuts and chestnuts (a bit nutty, isn’t it?) and then bake them in honey. This dormouse tradition is strongest in Dol on Hvar and Dol on Brač. Dol Open will also be held, a tournament in Dalmatian-type bowling, all sorts of shows and concerts, klapa singing, Puh free climbing, and Milo Hrnić concert.
FROM STARI GRAD TO JELSA
Written by Elizabeta Sonjara Garber
After the exquisite wine-tasting on August 14 at the Stari Grad square called Škor, a beautiful old square that once used to be a shipyard, you absolutely must visit Jelsa on August 15, in Christian tradition the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin – the veneration of the patroness of Jelsa and a major celebration and festivities all over Jelsa. The next day, August 16, you have to head back to Stari Grad for their patron’s St. Rocco celebration, where again there will be all sorts of entertainment. After a few day’s rest, you should be ready for August 25. On this day a swimming marathon – the famous Faros – will be held in the Stari Grad bay, with the Olympic swimmer Thomas Lurz as one of the contestants. On the same day Jelsa organizes its traditional Wine Festival where you can, apart from the wine tasting (and drinking!), enjoy the fun and exciting donkey races.
MASTERS OF THE PLANČIĆ
WINE CELLARS T
here are three brothers Plančić. Svirče has been famous for its wines for a long time. However, Anton Plančić is by far one of the most famous wine pioneers in Croatia. Back in the former Yugoslavia, in the days when nobody hoped there could be any profit in making wines, Plančić made his way to the wine market solely on his own. So it can be said that he is one of the first initiators of today’s market being flooded by wine makers. Among the famous Plančić wines we can name a few: bogdanuša, plavac, prč, drnekuša and many others, white and red wines, blue wines, black wines... Anton finds
it amusing to play with all of our contradictions and puts on display his family tradition with no restraints. Namely, some of the barrels in his vault contain an imprint of the crest and seal of NDH (Independent State of Croatia): – I look at it with neither politics nor anything else on my mind, I am only trying to point to the fact that in this house my family has been making wine for a long time now. These barrels were made in the village of Selca on Brač. It’s a special kind of oak, for a barrel the oak must come from a poor soil so the wood is as rough, hard and dry as possible, unlike the soft wood in Slavonija, for ex-
ample, which is perfect for keeping brandy in it. Plančić claims the inhabitants of Hvar are impossible to beat when it comes to wine making and that the wine makers from the island of Vis are nowhere near as good at it. He says in his playful, jovial tone that Vis is world famous by its grapes and wines but the people from Hvar simply have a factor X, something that the people from Vis don’t have: – At the moment there are thirteen of us wine makers on the island, and this only includes the significant ones, the ones who are registered and widely known.
THE PORT NEWS IN FINLAND A
student from Finland Oona Lydia Kristiina Polvi (22) is on her interrailing adventure across the EU countries. After having visited London, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Vienna, Venice and Barcelona, she came to visit Split and the Split-Dalmatia County like a cherry on top of her summer holidays cake. In Roman Garbers photo she is reading the latest Port News issue which she is going to take to Finland with her, promising she will come back to Croatia already in September.
Publisher: Port Authority of Split-Dalmatia County For the publisher: Port Authority director Domagoj Maroević
Editorial staff: Domagoj Maroević, Ante Sanader, Mario Garber, Elizabeta Sonjara Garber, Goran Albini Kamanjo, Ana Gaspar, Leo Kuret, Branko Kirigin, Andrija Križančić, Jakša Fiamengo, Vinko Tranfić, Filip Zlatan Zoričić, Tomislav Akrap, Segor Garber (logo design)
Editor in chief: Domagoj Maroević Editor: Mario Garber
Photos: Garber media d.o.o.
Editorial concept and design: Garber media d.o.o.
Lector: Elizabeta Sonjara Garber
Translation into English: Sandra Vujnović
Prepress: Nenad Nazlić Printed in: Split, Slobodna Dalmacija Print d.o.o. COVER PHOTOS: Lučki vjesnik & Port News: Hvar in the summer ISSN 1848-4689
Story Mlin The Traditional Paprenjok
Damir Čavić and Matko Lovrinčević Zagalo
THE BEANS-AND-PASTA CULTURE All kinds of people like to gather at Damir Čavić’s place, people from the world of culture, drinkers, artists, subscribers, the locals of worldly potential, the eternal voluntary returnees to Paiz from Hektorović to Maroević
By Andrija Križančić
amir Čavić owns a great place for travellers who visit Stari Grad. It has always been the centre of all happenings and a favourite meeting place. Damir’s brother Aldo’s long career in the world of culture probably contributes to the fact that anyone who’s got anything to do with culture goes to Damir’s for a drink or a serving. There are, of course, those whose only point of contact with culture is their love for the culture of eating and drinking. Let’s not call them names – they’re not simply drunks, they deserve a more dignified description, they’re actually quite demanding and selective about the contents of their glasses. There were, I’ll admit it, some Damir’s guestdrinkers who became as indispensible as the furniture but that’s only because Damir’s place feels like home and that’s that.
THE UNFORGETTABLE MAJUNGA Damir started his career as a waiter in the famous restaurant “Eremitaž”. Later he ran the café “Majunga” which is now history but remains an unforgettable memory. For some 20 years Čavić was more than successful at running “Jurin podrum”, an exceptional restaurant right in the centre of Paiz. Since he didn’t own the property, he had to move out and that’s when he started running “Stori mlin” on the other side of the bay. Unlike the tavern “Jurin podrum” which mirrored the essence of Paiz and even hosted regular guests who, being the legendary figures of this small town, could eat and drink for free, “Stori mlin” became the gathering
place for the people of culture, its highlight being the small theatre/cabaret guided by Zoran Franičević in the last years of his life. – It was something quite special and unreapatable – Čavić says. – Zoran hosted all kinds of guests and conducted the whole thing in an original and unique way. Franičević added a “Y” to the name of the place so it became “Story mlin”, just like in a story. Damir’s place radiates that special appealing atmosphere so it has become a favourite place to visit for Alem Ćurin, the cartoon/illustration master, dramatist Tahir Mujčić, a huge fan of Stari Grad, Jakša Fiamengo and many other writers, and so on.
THE PENGUIN AT JAKŠA’S With the Čavić’s culinary wonders it’s somehow easier to remember all the great people of Stari Grad, from Hektorović to Maroević. The latest insider piece of information is that Čavić is about to start managing the oldest inn at Paiz, which, back in the old times, was the place where people gathered to play cards and grab a bite. This much frequented inn at the deepest end of the bay, where the town actually starts, was run by some guy from Czech Republic, and it was a nice and pleasant place to eat knedličke (noodles) in the middle of the Adriatic and then say afterwards that you ate at the “Pingvin” (penguin), which was the inn’s name at the time. The inn is a part of the house owned by Jakša Vlahović, known as Dulfo, a typical lo-
cal erudite man, a man with the encyclopedic knowledge concerning the town and its history, a man who knows the true worth of tradition, roots, briškula (a card game typical of Dalmatia), tripice (boiled tripe), pašta-fažol (beans with pasta), and codfish (traditionally eaten for some religious feasts). Jakša says Čavić should better stick to the roots of Paiz.
PAPRENJOK Jakša is a peppery guy, just like paprenjok (a traditional Croatian biscuit containing a unique mix of honey and pepper, originally a specialty of Stari Grad culinary tradition) which you can order as a dessert at Damir Čavić’s place. Damir Čavić also tried his luck in politics – he ran for the mayor’s office but lost against SDP and HDZ (the two main Croatian political parties). Being a good loser, he likes to joke with the whole situation, without having any bad intentions: – I have to admit I did expect to see some changes, and that’s why I cheered for SDP in the first place because, even though I did have a good pool of voters on my side, when it became obvious I was going to lose, my voters probably helped SDP in their winning the elections. And I have another confession to make: I am not happy at all, there are some changes but it seems that things have changed for the worse. If I were the Mayor, my first action would be to solve the problem of the sewerage system. So that we can finally get rid of all the sh...
Tonći Bakica, one of the few remaining old-style shipbuilders, a poet of wood shipbuilding cra
GUARDIANS OF ANCIENT CRAFTS Written by:Mario Garber
lthough many ancient crafts have been slowly disappearing, the craft of shipbuilding, the art of breathing soul into pieces of wood, will never perish thanks to the old shipbuilders like Tonći Bakica from Trogir. Just as he brings back to life old boats, he keeps wood shipbuilding craft alive. His two sons, Jadran and Marinko, have grown among wooden boats and became shipbuilders like their dad, the three musketeers who keep the tradition alive.
FALKUŠA Through one of its five major programs, culture, UNESCO promotes various projects which serve to protect ancient arts and crafts. An example of this is falkuša, the oldest Croatian type of gajeta, a fishing boat. Its replica would have been hard to make had it not been for the old shipbuilders, kalafati, who are the guardians of the original technique in which the first falkuša had been built. One of these “last Mohicans” is Tonći Bakica, a shipbuilder from Trogir, known all over the Adriatic coast as a poet who can envisage a boat in a piece of wood. With the professional guidance of Josip Božanić and Velimir Salamon, the authors of the old boat falkuša project, Bakica used his tools, knowledge, eyes and hands, and his feel for the shipbuilding art to convert wood into a vessel, an idea into reality. At the Lisbon Expo back in 1998 the world bowed to Croatia. Bakica’s calling is to breathe life into boats and not let them perish. And he himself is eighty already.
KORČULA He has made so many small boats and bigger ships that he is well known all over Dalmatia, people recognize him just as he recognizes the curves and the soul of an old boat. The traditional ceremony in honour
UNESCO promotes various projects which protect ancient arts and c the oldest Croatian type of gajeta, a ﬁshing boat. Its replica would have b the old shipbuilders, kalafati, who are the guardians of the original tech been built. One of these “last Mohicans” is Tonći Bakica, a shipbuilder fro coast as a poet who can see a boat in a piece
of St. Nicholas in some places in Dalmatia includes the act of setting to flames an old wooden boat which cannot be sailed anymore. Bakica would often save such wornout boats. That’s how the boat owned by Branko Kirigin, a famous archaeologist from Split, was saved. And there she is, his old gajeta “Lesna”, brought back to life by Bakica, sailing in third at the Murter regatta with a new mast and an old lateen (or latin-rig). Another gajeta from the old times has been restored to life, this one from Korčula and owned by Ante Jurjević Baja, a famous Split politician in the years of socialist Yugoslavia. Growing up alongside that old gajeta, Baja’s grandson Duje grew fond of shipbuilding and became a shipbuilding engineer, spending some of his working years in Chinese shipyards. In search of a shipbuilding master who would rescue his grandad’s gajeta, who should he come across but Bakica! And when the old shipbuilder saw the boat, he couldn’t believe his eyes – he had already worked on that boat for Duje’s grandad all those decades ago.
THE SHIPYARD The whole world acknowledges the importance of the guardians of traditional crafts like Bakica, but he has spent his whole
working life in the hills above Trogir, at Krban, in his house where he had built a big workshop. Back in the socialist Yugoslavia so many people were given cafés for their merits, and Bakica can’t have a small shipyard somewhere nearer the sea. – I honestly don’t know how I failed to convince the municipality officials in Split or Trogir. Cafés are obviously more important. And that’s a shame because the foreign visitors could use a small shipyard. And it would offer a few job positions as well. Long time ago an Englishman sailed into Split harbour with a broken mast and he couldn’t believe his eyes when Zlatan Zoričić and Veljko Bakašun, two legendary figures of the Split sailing yacht club Labud, sent him to the hills where Bakica lives and works. Once he was told to put his offer at a public competition. – What else was there to do but to burst out laughing? I’d have been the only one competing... – retorts one of the last guardians of wood shipbuilding. At least that’s what he was back then, because things have changed, wood has come into vogue again, and it’s the people like Bakica we have to thank for that change, the people who stubbornly fought against plastics. Bakica’s workshop in the hills produced so many boats of blinding beauty.
shipbuilding. However, the high humidity affected his heart so Dr Poljanić treated him... – Yes, but I made a 7,5 metre long boat for him, a real beauty of a boat, today it would cost 100,000 EUR the least, but back then saving my heart was a priority. Another famous boat from Bakica’s workshop is “Marjan”, a magnificent 15 metre long cruiser, well known to world-famous shipowners like Livanos from Greece or Volton from America who sailed on it. They were all in the Onassis league and came here to do business with the Split shipyard. – Volton even invited me to come to the States, but I was only 29... There’s nothing Bakica wouldn’t give for wood and boats. Once he quit a job and left just because one of his workers got fired: “To them he was just another blue-collar worker and they couldn’t realize that he was a poet of his craft“. Bakica got so angry with Baja then, but years and years later he would renovate his grandson’s gajeta.
TOMA’S LEUT Bakica had a longstanding row with Toma Bebić over Toma’s neglect for his leut (a small sailboat with one mast and a latin-rig), but back then Toma couldn’t afford the renovation. Senko Karuza bought it from Toma only to leave it lying as a sort of a monument in front of the poet’s house. However, today Toma’s son Goran Bebić Patak is working with Bakica on restoring that very boat to life. Bakica also built “The Saracen”, a 14 metre long cruiser used in the making of the movie “The Saracen” starring Orson Welles. Back in 1985 Bakica had been invited to Lago di Garda, Italy, to work on a yacht called “Portofino”. After he had finished with it, covering it in his own special way in teak, everyone was left speechless, so they decided to hide his luggage in order to force him to stay at least a little longer. But Bakica wouldn’t hear of it: he got his money and went back home. Home, where up to this day he cannot have a small shipyard of his own. Home, in Split, the city with as much as 20000 officially registered boats.
H EYES AND A SOUL
crafts. An example of this is falkuša, been hard to make had it not been for hnique in which the ﬁrst falkuša had om Trogir, known all over the Adriatic of wood.
OPERA In this workshop around half a century ago Bakica was making sailboats of “fin-jola” type one after the other, mostly thanks to the fact that the sailing champion Ninčević saw that Bakica had a lot to offer. With this type of sailboat Pivčević won numerous state championships, and when Bakica started making class L5, this was the winner in all races for the next ten years. Apart from old boats, Bakica is head over heels in love with the good old opera singing and that’s how he “got stuck” with his wife Ivanka whom he met at the Split theatre. – I’ve always enjoyed stopping by at the theatre to hear some Verdi or Puccini. Ivanka used to work as a theatre hostess, she looked so lovely standing there with flowers in her hands. Those were the good old days, and customs: the most beautiful girls, the soul of the theatre, holding flowers and welcoming you at the entrance.
AFRICA Those girls were far more beautiful than the opera, we might add to those romantic memories. The call of adventure in Mr Tonći’s heart took him all the way to Africa, the Sudan military navy had expressed the need for his knowledge and expertise. Even there everyone was impressed by the subtlety with which he approached the secrets of
PORT NEWS SUPPLEMENT Branko Kirigin, a noted archaeologist from Split, author of the book „Palagruža – the Island of Diomedes“, for Port News supplement
ON THE OCCASION OF PUBLISHING A UNIQUE BOOK ON PALAGRUŽA, BY AUTHOR BRANKO KIRIGIN, PhD (1)
DEPTH, HEIGHT, SUN, C For centuries the ﬁshermen had been swarming the sea around Palagruža (sometimes up to 500 of them), but the ﬁrst oﬃcial inhabitants arrived to Palagruža after the lighthouse was built. It took 16 months to build it, and the Palagruža beacon was ﬁnally lit for the ﬁrst time on September 20, 1875.
f the Adriatic Sea has a heart, it’s probably Palagruža, the furthermost archipelago connecting the two coasts. Here one can find the most fish (prior to World War 1 the fishermen would catch over a million kilos of srdela, or European pilchard, and as much as 4000 lobsters), the clearest sea (visibility to 50 metres deep), the tallest and the biggest lighthouse (109,7 metres above sea level), the largest number of sunny hours and the smallest amount of rain, the autochtonous vine sort palagružonka grows here, the lighthouse keeper’s wife Marija Žuvela can pick as much as 300 kilos of capers per season (back in 1957 Luka Perušina, the oldest living Palagruža lighthouse keeper, organized caper picking for selling them to fish canneries), and the list goes on and on.
MINES FOR THE ISLAND’S TOP Palagruža is of vital importance for Branko Kirigin, PhD, an archaeologist who fell in love with this island while exploring it professionally from all scientific angles, including the literary one. This resulted in the book “Palagruža – the island of Diomedes”, recently published by Književni krug Split (Split Literary Circle). In his own words, had it not been for his friend Ranko Dorotka, a famous journalist from Split and a great admirer of both the written word and the sea, neither the supplement in Slobodna Dalmacija nor this book would have ever seen the light of day. Dorotka managed to find reasons strong
PIRATES USED TO KIDNAP THE FISHERMEN
CAPERS, VINES enough to persuade this strict archaeology professional to produce a book extremely attractive to a wider audience and showing a high degree of professional expertise at the same time. Those who are interested not only in archaeological artifacts but also in the artifacts of life bubbling on a huge rock in the middle of sea will also be interested in the following lines. For centuries the fishermen had been swarming the sea around Palagruža (sometimes up to 500 of them), but the first official inhabitants arrived to Palagruža after the lighthouse was built. It took 16 months to build it, and the Palagruža beacon was finally lit for the first time on September 20, 1875. The construction was supervised by Vicko Marinković from Komiža. The highest peak of the island was too pointy so the workers had to mine it to be able to put up a building with a huge lantern on top. The construction material fell directly into the sea below and created a pebble beach. The lower storeys were made from the stone found on Palagruža but this type of stone turned out to be too hard, in fact hard enough to break the tools, so the upper part of the building was made of stone from Brač which, on the other hand, made the construction more difficult and costly. The lighting device with the octangular prism of crystals is still in use .
EARTHQUAKE FOR THE GRAND OPENING OF THE LIGHTHOUSE During the ceremony of the formal opening of the lighthouse there was an earthquake that lasted for quite a while. Master Vicko described it in these words: “The plates and glasses danced around.” When the quake stopped the guests went to check the building and, since there was no damage, commended the work. The 800
metre long path that led from the beach to the house was given the name Stradun (from Italian strada = street, also the name of the main square in the old part of the city of Dubrovnik). The first commander was Sibe Mardešić Centin from Komiža. In the beginning there were five lighthouse keepers, and seven from 1879 onwards so, together with their families, there used to live as much as 20 people on the island. They kept hens, goats, sheep, and a donkey. The most famous of all donkeys was Mercedes from the end of the last century. He had already been so sick and tired from carrying the goods up Stradun that he would hide as soon as the boat would moor to Žalo, and when he was forced to do his job up the steep path, he’d do it so slowly that the people would go up and down three times while he’d still be reluctantly finishing his first climb. In the end Mercedes threw himself from a cliff. His pack saddle is still kept at the lighthouse. After the Mercedes’s suicide Slobodan Štambuk, the bishop of Hvar, donated a new donkey to lighthouse keepers. However, this new donkey, Ćoro, was quite lucky: soon after he arrived to the island the company Plovput built a cable railway. In the old times the lighthouse keepers, apart from fish, also ate meat: at night the migratory birds would hit the lantern’s dome and fall down. They were then dried like fish. There was also a vineyard with the palagružonka vines. Although neglected today, in the old times it could give as much as 300 litres of wine. In the year 1907 a heliograph was put up and it served for sending messages to Hum, the highest peak on the island of Vis, with light signals in Morse code about things like schools of fish, or similar, that had been spotted.
On May 20, 1593, Frane Borčić and Jakov Bogdan, both from Komiža, were appointed by the Hvar’s duke as chiefs of the fishing expedition to Palagruža. Nobody was allowed to go there on their own, and the punishment for disobediance was 18 months of rowing chained on a galley. Children under 18 years of age were strictly forbidden to go to Palagruža because the pirates loved to operate there. They would kidnap the fishermen and sell them in Ulcinj (a port in Montenegro). In case of attack, smoke signals were sent from top of the island through Biševo and Komiža to Hvar and then a war galley from Hvar would come to their rescue. However, the help would often come too late, which can be concluded from the following excerpt: “During the past few years the pirates have kidnapped 176 fishermen and sold them into slavery”. Of course, the officials from Hvar (who took care of the island of Palagruža on behalf of the Republic of Venice) would rush to the aid of the fishermen mostly because the yearly income from fishing was as high as 70,000 ducats, and, for the sake of comparison, one Venetian patrician family of six to seven members would spend only a hundred ducats over the course of one year!
A WEAPON FACTORY FROM THE STONE AGE The history of Palagruža goes back to prehistoric times. Not only that the oldest crime victim and the murder weapon – a skeleton with a tip of a flint stone arrowhead – had been found here, but over a hundred arrowheads have been excavated on the island, which means that the arrows weren’t produced for the local use. Instead, this suggests that some sort of a Stone Age weapon factory existed on the island! What sustained these men on the island of Palagruža (eight thousand years ago) when there are no water springs on Palagruža, and it is, in addition, the place with the lowest precipitation in the Adriatic!?
IN THE NEXT ISSUE: “Whatever Palagruža gave, it took back”
ne calm afternoon the unsuspecting owner of the sailboat “Trta 2” got quite upset when he heard the weather forecast: a wind of 30 knots was expected, and not just any wind but the Dalmatian jugo, a powerful southern wind. At that moment there were three eightyyear-old yachtsmen aboard who had sailed out to test the boat. It’s impossible to keep calm in a situation like that, and the sailboat owner, Ruben Vujnović, fearing the oncoming storm, had to force himself not to panic but to consider all the options. However, it turned out he did not have to sail out after the oldish threesome from New Zealand – they had everything under control.
HIRE A SKIPPER Maybe kiwis can’t fly but they definitely can heroically deal with powerful winds. After a seven-day stay on the sailboat the aged sea dogs were absolutely thrilled. They had the time of their lives, and not a single one of the fearful 30 knots couldn’t scare them away from their intention of having fun, proving that years and old age do not diminish one’s competence and aptitude. The threesome from New Zealand keeps coming back to “Trta 2” ever since. Ruben always skims the weather forecast, just in case, although he knows there’s no reason to worry if New Zealanders are in question. Especially if they are 80 years old. „Charter management Astarea“ is the firm that takes care of the boarding. The sailboat “Trta 2” – Bavaria 35match is eqipped both for tourist sailing cruises and for regatta sailing. It has been a tourist cruiser for the past eight years and it’s chartered approximately
eighteen weeks a year. The guests who charter it are usually good at sailing, but there are also those who are here to have fun, get a good rest and see the wonders of the Adriatic coast. People from all over the world charter this yacht and many of them keep returning year after year. In order to fully experience the impressive beauty of our coast, the guests are recommended to hire a skipper who will guide them along the coast showing them the beauty of untouched bays and coves. It takes a thorough and detailed knowledge of the sailing routes, of the mysteries and quirks of this paradise on earth, the whimsical nature of this sea and its winds. And if the guests should long for civilization, the skipper will easily take them to the nearest ACI marina, where great restaurants and summer-nights clubhopping, or, better yet, pleasant evening walks on the riva await for them. Ruben Vujnović, the owner of the sailboat and an active skipper working on other yachts, displays a remarkably wide knowledge of our coast and the Dalmatian cuisine. He shared with us a couple of stori ting their frustrations on the sailboat. Poor “Trta”, Ruben couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the condition it was in. At that moment, in mid-season, there was no time for a thorough repair of the sailboat. But bad memories tend to fade away with time...
KATJA AND TOBIAS The yacht is chartered during the tourist season, only to be transformed into a regatta sailboat come autumn. Thanks to its regatta sailing crew, “Trta 2” has won
quite a few medals and is always among the best and the fastest. The crew members are recruited from the sailing yacht club Labud. Along with hosting the old sea dogs and impulsive Italians, “Trta 2” also has the role of a kind of a little school for young aspiring yachtsmen. They acquire their knowledge and first-hand experience aboard “Trta 2”. For the purpose of this story Ruben Vujnović and I agreed that I would welcome a group of these charter-tourists as they return from the big adventure of sailing. You can only imagine the excitement and the great stories to tell after having spent a whole week at sea, in the extraordinary conditions having little or nothing in common with their everyday lives. I found Mr. Vujnović sipping coffee and relaxing. Obviously he was pleased with the weather forecast, or with the fact that there were no elderly guests aboard the sailboat, or there were no guests from Italy in search of their friends. However, it’s usually quite lively on the day of the guestshift, those who are leaving are usually hurrying to their homes and homelands, going back to their daily rut. And this hurry is the reason why I missed out on them in the crowd and had to wait til afternoon to meet the next guests before they sail out on an unforgettable adventure. Katja Panh and Tobias Oswald, a couple from Germany, or “a crew of two”, are here for the first time and are very excited about this sailing cruise. They plan to visit and explore as many coves as possible. Their first destination is Brač, and, eager to move away from the civilization as soon as possible, they say they can’t wait to sail off.
A SUCCESSFUL HIGH SEASON FOR CHARTERING SAILBOATS WITH OR WITHOUT THE SKIPPER
Sail away from the
Sailboats are mainly chartered by the peo who just want to get some rest, have fun a of the Dalmatian coast. The latter ones, o owner of “Trta”, Ruben Vujnović, an expe true connoisseur of the world of sailing, a family with a longstanding
Ruben Vujnović is preparing his sailboat for departure
A CHARTER STORY
Katja and Tobias on their way to adventure
ople who can sail, but also by those and experience first-hand the allure of course, need a skipper – says the rienced skipper (on other boats), a and a member of a well-known Split g tradition in sailing
Text and photo by Ema Garber
OFF THE AIRPLANE, ABOARD THE BOAT Some of them are hurrying to catch their flight, some to sail away, they are all running away from their daily rut, if only for just one week of unmooring from their crazy modern-life chase. Before sailing out, Katja and Tobias say: – This is the only true rest, to remove yourself completely from everything in order to relax thoroughly and utterly... After a tiresome flight they drove to the ACI marina, checked the boat, had just about enough time for us to take a photo of them for our Port News, and then they were off, under full sail towards Brač.
EATING IS A NECESSITY By Goran Albini Kamanjo
DRVENIK, ŠOLTA & HVAR
hat a great job I have, to taste and praize good food! I spent a couple of days at my friends’ place in Nečujam on the island of Šolta... and for the next issue you will be hearing from me from Drvenik. Both islands, Šolta and Drvenik, are after my own taste, for a good rest and a good swim. And there they are, tourists, rushing of to Hvar, Vis, Brač, Korčula... Now, being on Hvar, which is one of our most popular islands, I would like to draw your attention to a couple of traditional taverns that are not as glamurous as the widely known “Gariful”, in other words, I will try and find a bit of Šolta and Drvenik on Hvar.
THE BARREN NANNY-GOAT Go straight to the hills, I am telling you, to the very summit of Hvar! Most people avoid this place because the Stari Grad – Hvar tunnel is so appealing. But this journey is worth it, you have to take the old road across the hill, there are no tunnels, and it’s a bit narrow, with dangerous curves. So, you have to go up to Velo Grablje and along the road you’ll come across the tavern Vidikovac – Levanda. Sit down in the thick shade on the terrace with your eyes on the fire in the traditional fireplace used as a stove, because that’s where my friend Jozo Šuša will prepare his legendary barren goat. The choice of food is rich, of course, but there’s no goat like Jozo’s. In Stari Grad this is how this term will be explained to you: it’s a goat that didn’t breed so she isn’t tired and battered thanks to the fact she is barren. It’s an exquisite specialty, simply because it’s prepared in a unique way by Josip Jurić, so popular for his good humour that we like to call him Šuša.
LAMB SAUSAGES However, if you don’t feel like going to the hills, stay on the boat. But please do moor in the cove Vlaka on Pakleni islands, more specifically on the island of Sveti Klement. There you will find a lovely tavern called “Dionis”. The best location, with the view of the fields and the vineyards. Which is quite important since you’re going to taste it all. The owner Pjerin Šimunović uses only his own ingredients – he finds them in his sea-garden and his land-garden. So, you eat what’s been picked in the field and in the sea, and drink from the vineyard! Pjerino runs the place with his sons, and Pjerino’s father Doni, which is why Pjerino is called Doni’s Pjerino, is in fact from the island
r e p p i k s o r t s The Ga s w e N t r o P r o f of Brač. His wife cooks and grows and makes everything they offer to their guests – vegetables, olive oil, wine. For example the eggplant cake – quite fatal, I’m telling you, you might lose your head... Then there’s the skewered meat. He takes a twig of one of the local herbs and puts on it the following: pieces of chicken, sausage, pancetta, beef, pork, and in between he squeezes zucchini and green onions, and then dips it all in olive oil and garlic in the end. With some potatoes on the side. There’s yet something else I could never say no to – his lamb sausages. Just ask him and taste it. The mobile phone numbers are 098167106 and 0917656044, but have no fear, “Dionis” is open from noon til midnight. If, on the other hand, you prefer the town of Hvar vibrant with summertime liveliness, go and look for the place that is hiding itself, just like Šolta or Drvenik .
THROW THE PLATES INTO THE SEA!
You have to find Car (the emperor)! The place is called “Luculus”. The wine comes from Vrbanj, a beautiful place in the interior part of the island, near Jelsa. The cheese also comes from there, and it’s great. The man of the hour is Antun Stjepko Matković. He weighs a ton so don’t go running when he approaches you, in a long robe like the bishop Grgur Ninski. All right, fine, he does not weigh a ton, but he is in the 100plus club, which makes him a serious threat to my supremacy. Car is well known back from the days when he ran a place on one of the Pakleni islands – he was too lazy to do the dishes so he would simply throw the plates into the sea... There’s a story about him and a guest who asked him if he could recommend a freshly prepared dish to which Car started to pat a stray cat. Of course everything is fresh at his place! It couldn’t be any other way. So the guest went back to the town to hide in its narrow streets and the pleasant shade. In my opinion, there’s not a single person
in the world who can cook lamb like Car. He is truly the emperor. I have no idea what his secret is, but he’s got it. Along with the boiled lamb meat he serves his remarkable tomato sauce – šalša. He also bakes the best baker’s oven goat. Which is also served with the famous tomato sauce. The revelation of the saucy secret: the thing that makes this sauce so great is that it’s made with shallot.
EMPEROR’S TOMATO SAUCE First you cook the shallot in olive oil for a good half hour and then you add those long tomatoes that are less sour, add some basil and origano, and some capers. Finally, a tablespoon of sugar is added, and some homemade vinegar. A pinch of salt, some pepper, and – voilà! Maybe you should first try and reach him on the phone (021 742498 and 091 5726357) because you never know, he is an emperor after all and they all have their quirks... As a matter of fact, he is actually a true restorateur, an educated master of cooking, a culinary expert. He is really something special, so even if you have already eaten, stop by and have a loook. The sight of him will do miracles for your appetite. And after having eaten here, do not step on the scales!
THE KOMIŽA PORTAL
The age of nostalgia Written by Jakša Fiamengo Poet and member of HAZU
envy the snail: it carries all of its possessions on its back. It lives by the principle Omnia mea mecum porto. And it is happy. Of course I know that people cannot literally put their home on their back and go on a journey, but they can say: My whole life filled one suitcase. And that can be a lot. You carry with yourself the most important things, the things that symbolize everything, and not just some wretched remnants. Reliquiae reliquiarum. In fact, they are not morsels of memories, the remnants, but a careful choice of that which stands for everything that matters. A string of details that represent a whole. It is as if we are saying: even when I am gone, I am still there. Materialized in spirit. It is not me carrying the weight, it is the weight not letting me sail away, not letting me off the anchor. I have the cove on my mind, the cove which represents the good, the holy, the innate. The first and, I suppose, the last. Naturally, we cannot literally carry with us a whole cove in our luggage, but we can carry that which this cove means for us, all the events that touched us and brought us together within the same time-space continuum, marked us on the map we tread on, the map which follows us wherever we should go in this great life. The cove as a starting point of life and spirit, a mooring for eternity, wherever we are. Like an enchanted little sea, sheltered
Omiš at the mouth of the river Cetina
The cove as a starting point of life and spirit, a mooring for eternity, a cove with significant and less significant inventory, a cove with a pier and parapets and lanterns... You can never be quite sure if the cove belongs to the coast or to the sea being born beneath it. Is the cove a sign of leaving, or a sign of going back or coming home? Or is it a storehouse for adventures and memories that you leaf through as if it was a scrapbook in the moments of solitude, wiping the dust off and keeping for yourself only the nice, most special ones and yet offering a great view on the open sea. The cove that has significant and less significant inventory, the cove with its pier and parapets, lanterns and port buildings, bollards and buoys and moorings for boats. Boats for which we are never quite certain whether they are the beginning or the end of the coast, of the sea, of the journey... Do they belong to the mainland on our journey for the islands, or are they a part of the sea being born right below the riva... And are they a sign of leaving or arriving, coming near... Whatever the answer, the cove is an unavoidable storehouse for adventures and memories that you leaf through as if it was a scrapbook in the moments of solitude, wiping the dust off and keeping for yourself only the nice, most special ones. All of those walks by the sea and games, the impatient glances filled with the unspoken questions toward the open sea, the welcoming of ships brimming with uncertain promises, going to and coming from the fishing, the prams and the bicycles, the postmen and the firemen and the nuns... The washing drying in the wind and the curious birds flying over the cove, the tourists with their cameras, everything that can be stored in our heart. The first love, the first disappointment, the first ice-cream on the riva and the first summer swim on the nearby beaches, the greenery in bloom and the winds of March. The rains that used to fall and are still falling around us and inside of us. Everything that is so unique and special and yet so simple. And all of us that happen to originate from
these parts, we are nothing but sailors, goodnatured Popeyes with spinach and heartbreaking charmers. Here we find all those songs full of joy and melancholy that we sang on our own or together in narrow streets, below the ancient vault roofs, by the balustrades and on piazzas. We find the secretive smiles from the girl next door, the parades and shows, carnivals and colourful balloons, siestas and processions and funerals, everything that, wherever we might be and whatever we might be thinking, triggers off in this little big life of ours the apparatus of nostalgia, everything that, whether we like it or not, covers in deep shade all the things that unstoppably grow in us, all those things we used to have and own, all the things we still have and will never lose, all the things we will never ever leave no matter where we might go. A life paved with celebrations, festivities measured by the life itself, life that is not as terrible as it might sometimes seem. All those things that stop the Time from slipping through our fingers, not letting it escape from a small memory box where all the pearls of our childhood days and youthfulness are being kept like sweet tempting candies. Yes, I envy the snail from the beginning of this text. Carrying his home on his back, he is a sailor who never loses sight of the cove where he was born. He carries this cove, his spiritual anchor, as if it was a registered letter, regardless of the final destination or the direction that the wind set out for him, regardless of the kind of happiness-meter he is using. In this age of nostalgia, heaven forbid we should ever come across a windmill or a banana peel we might slip on. Let our wings be saved from trimming and let our days last.
August 3, Saint Stephen A FEAST ON ŠOLTA
n the Šolta Municipality Day there will be feasts in Grohote and across the whole island of Šolta: it is the celebration in honour of the patron saint of Šolta St. Stephen the Protomartyr. Traditionally, Stephen is invested with a crown of martyrdom; he is often depicted in art with three stones and the martyrs’ palm. In the pictures he is also often accompanied by St. Lawrence. According to the legend, they were even buried together; in the church San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, in Rome, St. Stephen’s remains are interred with those of the eponymous saint under the altar. On August 3 the discovery of St. Stephen’s relics is celebrated.
August 5, Our Lady of the Snow BOLSKA FJERA (A FESTIVAL IN BOL) Bolska fjera is a festival in the town of Bol which celebrates its patron Our Lady of the Snow. A feast celebrated on August 5 commemorates the dedication of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. It actually did snow on that day, only not in Bol nor in any other Croatian town with a church dedicated to Our Lady of the Snow, but in Rome. During the pontificate of Liberius, the Roman patrician John and his wife, who were without heirs, made a vow to donate their possessions to Our Lady. They prayed to her that she might make known to them in what manner they were to dispose of their property in her honour. On August 5, during the night, snow fell on the summit of the Esquiline Hill and, in obedience to a vision which they had the same night, they built a basilica, in honour of Our Lady, on the spot which was covered with snow, and that is how Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome was built. Originally the feast was celebrated only at Santa Maria Maggiore; in the fourteenth century it was extended to all the churches of Rome and finally it was made a universal feast. Bol is always bursting with joy and festivities. You can only imagine what it will be like on its patroness’s day!
August 10, Saint Lawrence THE CELEBRATION IN VRBOSKA AND STOBREČ
On August 10, exactly 1754 years ago, during the rule of the Roman emperor Valerian (who in the year 258 A. D. organized a harsh persecution of Christians), the Prefect of Rome ordered Lawrence to bring the Church’s treasure to him. The Saint said he would, and then he went through the city and gathered together all the poor and sick people. When he showed them to the Prefect, he said: “This is the Church’s treasure!”. The Prefect condemned Lawrence to a slow, cruel death. The Saint was tied on top of an iron grill over a slow fire that roasted his flesh. Apparently St. Lawrence even joked. “Turn me over,” he said to the judge. “I’m done on this side!”. And just before he died, he said, “It’s cooked enough now.” The patron saint of Vrboska on the island of Hvar and Stobreč near the city of Split is venerated on August 10. The tears of St. Lawrence are actually the Perseids, a prolific me-
WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCH
ST. ROCCO U Bol
Soon after the celebration of The Assumption, the famous Wine Festival will be held. Should you happen to visit Jelsa during these events, you are bound to feel the subtle combination of the earthly and the heavenly, the divine and the human.
August 16, St. Roch EVERYBODY TO STARI GRAD!
The traditional festivity which keeps the whole of Stari Grad awake till dawn is actually the celebration of the patron saint of Stari Grad, St. Roch or St. Rocco, on August 16. Concerning the festivity itself â€“ you are going to have to check it out for yourselves, and for those who donâ€™t know, here are a couple of lines on St. Roch. He had lived such a short life, and yet managed to leave such a significant trail! Born and died in Montpellier, at the age of 32, St. Roch died a pilgrim, a benefactor, a healer, and a martyr. On the death of his parents in his twentieth year he distributed all his worldly goods among the poor and set out as a mendicant pilgrim for Rome. Coming into Italy during an epidemic of plague, he was very diligent in tending the sick in the public hospitals and is said to have effected many miraculous cures by prayer and the sign of the cross and the touch of his hand. Ministering at Piacenza he himself finally fell ill. He was expelled from the town; and with-
UNTIL DAWN! Written by: Ana Gaspar
drew into the forest, where he made himself a hut of boughs and leaves, which was miraculously supplied with water by a spring that arose in the place; he would have perished had not a dog belonging to a nobleman named Gothard Palastrelli supplied him with bread and licked his wounds, healing them. Count Gothard, following his hunting dog that carried the bread, discovered Saint Roch and became his acolyte (this is why St. Roch is often depicted with a wound on his thigh and a dog offering bread at his side). On his return incognito to Montpellier he was arrested as a spy (by orders of his own uncle) and thrown into prison, where he languished five years and died on 16 August 1327, without revealing his name, to avoid worldly glory. He is invoked against cholera, epidemics, knee problems, plague, and skin diseases. He is the patron saint of bachelors, diseased cattle, dogs, falsely accused people, invalids, surgeons, tile-makers, gravediggers, secondhand dealers, pilgrims, and apothecaries.
August 19, St. Vincent THE PATRON SAINT OF PODGORA Every year on the first Sunday after The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the town Podgora celebrates St. Vincent, its patron saint. This year the Sunday in question falls on August 19. If you are spending your summer holidays somewhere along the Makarska Riviera, come and visit Gornja Podgora and the All Saints church, one of the most beautiful churches along the Makarska coast. The relics of the body of St. Vincent, one of the early Christian martyrs, are kept under the altar of this church ever since 1831.
teor shower associated with the comet SwiftTuttle. The Perseid meteor shower is visible from mid-July each year, with the peak in activity being between August 9 and 14. During the peak, the rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour. They can be seen all across the sky but, as with all meteor showers, the rate is greatest in the pre-dawn hours.
August 15, The Assumption THE BLESSED VIRGIN, THE PATRONESS OF JELSA The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, informally known as The Assumption (the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her life) is an official holiday in all of Croatia, but it is a great celebration in Jelsa on Hvar because it is the festivity of the patroness of Jelsa. This charming town is widely known for its parties and fiestas, celebrations and pilgrimages, so quite a lot of fun and entertainment is expected.
A PAIR OF PLAIN CYCLISTS
ow did we ever come to the idea of riding our bikes back to Split from Zagreb? My roommate couldn´t find a way to send his bike to Split, apparently it´s not a simple thing to do in this little country of ours, and he knew that one of our mutual friends, Vida, rode on his bike all the way to Split about a month ago. So he set his mind on doing the same. I decided to join him only a couple of days before the date he set for the beginning of this crazy adventure.
FROM ZAGREB T ON A SINGLE L Written by Segor Garber Photo: Segor Garber & Mislav Jaić
It was a five day ride, but most of the time was spe unforgettable experience, but also unrepeatable, be It would be way too much uphill. On the other ha yourself if you do know fo
WHAT A GREAT MEADOW!
We chose a perfect date for departure – Friday 13th! We decided to use only the quiet roads with little or no traffic. From one village to another, slowly, without worries and steep parts. That seemed the easiest and most reasonable choice, but also the most exciting since it included some parts of the country which otherwise we would have hardly ever visited. The first destination – Slunj, because it´s a beautiful place we really wanted to visit. When travelling by car, you miss out a lot and the journey is just a transfer from point A to point B. We weren´t going to let that happen to us! On the first day of our journey we rode some 110 kilometres to Slunj. And then we slept from noon til 6 p.m. because we left Zagreb early that morning, around 4 a.m. after we were done moving our belongings from a rented apartment to a rented garage, because we will be going back to Zagreb after summer. And no, we don´t plan going back the same way, cycling, because that would be too much. Although... you never know what to expect from yourself if you´re a bit wacky. So, we made it to Slunj. It was so great we decided to hang out there the whole day. We got there around 1 a.m. and didn´t leave until 9 p.m. We camped right next to the No Camping sign. Fortunately, the local people didn´t mind. As soon as we woke up, we packed our tent and we weren´t officially campers anymore. We were just a couple of guys who came for a swim and to rest there all day. We left Slunj and headed for a night ride. Other cyclists´ experiences on night rides aren´t good, but we prepared ourselves and brought lights for our bikes. But I have to admit, night ride is really a bad choice. It wasn´t the traffic that worried me, but we were missing out on some great sights, we didn´t see Plitvice nor the entrance to the National park, and so many other things.
So there we were, cycling til 5 a.m. when we got to a place called Jezerce and saw a vast meadow with some shrubs in the middle. A good place for us to get some rest and put up our tent. We made sure not to be too conspicuous since there were a few houses around this godsend beautiful meadow. We went to sleep and woke up around 2 p.m. quite nervous because the temperature inside the tent must have been 50°C. Soon we were off to continue our journey. It turned out that we actually camped quite close to the houses – we realized it as some nice lady from one of the houses kept staring at us as we were leaving, she just couldn´t believe her eyes – two guys camping in her front yard. We waved at the amazed lady and pedalled on.
MADE IN JAIĆ We were desperate for a cup of coffee so we rode for another 10 kilometres and found a spot where we could prepare it. We had half a litre of gas with us and an improvized cooker made out of a graffitti spray can. An invention of my roommate and friend Mislav Jaić. The cooker “made in Jaić” served us well during the whole journey. The only downside points were the soot stains that couldn´t be properly washed – we had to economize with our water supplies and we felt kind of sorry for the river where people were swimming. Although unwashed, the cooker was more than ready for the pasta, after we had risotto the night before. We ate a lot of fruit during the journey. At the beginning we would buy it, and later we ... picked it. Stealing? I wouldn´t call it that when you´re out of money. We took a couple of peaches but I´m sure the lady from the greengrocer´s won´t hold it against us. Hungry and penniless, we met a couple of guys from Bosnia,who were having a picinic with their wives by the side of the
road where they parked their car. They were sitting on a blanket and eating sandwiches. We decided to walk over to them, hungry as we were, and they couldn´t wait to help us, that´s what people from Bosnia are like, so they fed us with some bread and pâté. We chatted for a while, thanked them and moved on, waving and smiling thankfully to all the other Bosnians we would meet along the way.
NIGHT SKY REVELATION The next stop was somewhere between Brvno and Klapavica, somewhere between Udbina and Gračac, we´re not sure exactly, we just wanted to finally stop and get some sleep. We put up our tent some ten metres away from the side of the road, again hiding in the bushes. Before we went to sleep we prepared a superb risotto on the now legendary “Jaić cooker” and fell asleep... The night sky was a constant discussion topic on the road. It´s impossible to see the sky like that from a city or town. As soon as you move away from the lights of the so called civilization there are so many things to see and admire in the night sky. The next day we woke up in the early afternoon and headed for Gračac. With only 6 kunas in our pockets we thought we were going to be forced
TO SPLIT WITH LITRE OF GAS
ent on having fun, camping, cooking, sleeping... an ecause I doubt we will ride our bikes back to Zagreb. and, you never know for sure what to expect from or sure you’re a bit wacky to ask for help from our friends and family. Luckily enough, I got my salary and when we found an ATM and discovered the fortunate fact, we went on a shopping spree and bought all sorts of chocolates, some bread and stuff to make sandwiches – a complete chaos and utter joy accompanied the coffee we had at Gračac. But then we found out there was a difficult uphill part ahead of us, the one we were told about by our friend Vida. Nevertheless, Gračac felt like home, I could order coffee with mliko and not mlijeko (Croatian for milk, pronounced differently in different parts of the country), it´s just a small example of things you don´t normally pay attention to unless you´re on a journey like ours. So, out of Gračac toward the dreaded uphill ride. I guess we heard so many stories about it that we managed to pass it successfully only thanks to all the fear and mind notes on breathing properly and looking at the ground and there we were – up on the top, as easy as that, and the ride downhill was a true bliss, whooshing down 15 kilometres without pedalling.
NO WATER, NO LIGHT We didn´t exactly pay much attention to speed limits on some parts, so we managed
to get to Knin by nightfall, where we stopped at a restaurant and had a pizza. In fact, we were actually looking for a place where we could order a mixed grill but this guy with a moustache showed us to this restaurant where only pizzas and lamb meat are served. But hey, never mind! That pizza was the best grill meat I´ve ever had! After having dinner and resting for a while, we thought of riding for a couple of kilometres to find a good camping spot, but I guess some strange enthusiasm got into us so we decided to ride for another 30 kilometres to Peruča. And there we were, two brave and ambitious young men pedalling away and then only a few kilometres down the road I lose my light. Refusing to be discouraged by this, we pedalled on with only one light. For another 100 metres or so, when the second light, the only light we had, mysteriously shut down as well. Thick darkness everywhere around us, the perfect set for a horror movie starting scene, very funny haha... No moon, only a few stars... A kilometre or two down the road we found a good place to camp so we had a really good night´s rest, completely unaware that we were out of water. In the morning we discovered there was not a drop of water left in our bottles.
NO TRUCKS! Obviously we had so much fun the night before that it slipped our mind to check our water supplies. An experience which leaves a bad taste in one´s mouth. Where to find some water? Luckily, there were some houses by the road and a nice guy from one of them gave us some cold water, probably from a well, at least that´s what it tasted like. After having quenched our thirst, it was time to satisfy our hunger as well, so we stopped at a restaurant some 20 kilometres from Knin. Mixed grill meat – finally! Since it was noon, we stayed there for a couple of hours and waited for the sun to go down a notch or two, and then headed for Split around 3 p.m. Somewhere along the way a truck driver offered us a ride to Split but we refused unanimously, because where´s the fun in that? A couple of hours later we stopped by the road to eat an orange or two and have a cigarette when we saw a guy with some strangelooking boxes walking towards us.
FLYING PIDGEONS For ten long minutes we wondered about the content of the boxes. I finally went closer, looked inside and discovered pidgeons. The man explained he trained the birds for races and he came here to fly them to Sinj. I never imagined I would be flying pidgeons some day, but the pidgeon guy told us: “All right now, boys, each take one box and let the pidgeons out, ready, steady, go!”, and the pidgeons flew away, all in one line towards the same goal. Amazing, isn´t it, all the things one can see and experience on a journey. And this is, more or less, the end of our journey. After that, we continued pedalling to Sinj, where we had three icecreams each, and headed to Split via Klis. That was the final thrill, the slide down from Klis, on a highway with crazy drivers speeding in their cars. Now that was a good shot of adrenalin...
The Hvar Emperors of Taste Milan Lakoš, Once a Mayor, Always a Synonym for a Hvar Immersed in Culture
Written by Mario Garber
henever I want to find out what’s happening in Hvar I give a call to Milan Lakoš. He held the office of mayor for eight and a half years, and his name is synonymous to the town of Hvar – the Hvar of culture. Today both this cultural Hvar and Lakoš are trying to stay alive and seize the day, seize every opportunity: – The old Hvar is gone, you know, today it’s all Carpe diem, Veneranda, Hula-hula... What are you, a time traveller from prehistory? That’s how Lakoš is reasoning while we’re sitting in the old library at the old palace of the family Vukašinović (De Lupis) right behind the Theatre. And as we’re wondering if its old stage is strong enough to resist the modern vogue, I know that Lakoš is still charging at the Hula-hula windmills like a 21st century Don Quixote. – There’s plenty of things going on this summer, and when I think of the last summer, we had some unforgettable poetry reading nights with Jakša Fiamengo who is quite popular in Hvar as well, not only in Grad (Croatian word for city, refers to the town of Dubrovnik), and music evenings too, the world-famous jazz player from Makarska Bert Josipović came to Hvar. Our stubborn persistence on drawing attention to culture sometimes makes us want to laugh, and sometimes to cry, as Lakoš admits half-laughing, half through tears: – I know it’s nice to see the young ones and the liveliness and playfulness they bring to Hvar, but still – it should be made known which town is for seizing the day, and which for seizing eternity. If we don’t bring some order in here, we’re going to lose the true Hvar guests, the serene and calm ones. Luckily, it seems that they have managed to realize that for them it’s better to come in June and September, and let the young ones have it their way in between. And that’s why the heart of the summer belongs to those guests who just stop by to have fun, to paint the town red as the saying goes, and I doubt if they really know where they’ve come... The Hvar summer is rich with events this year as any, says Lakoš, because with the budget of only 200 grand and the profit from selling tickets for the events Hvar and its Cultural Summer are still successful. Not on the large scale, of course, because if Dubrovnik or Split, with their million worth budgets, were proportionately as successful, they probably couldn’t stop bragging about it...
Seize the Etern The most recent Port News from the Island of Hvar, Central Dalmatia’s heart of tourism
THE HISTORICAL C July 26 2012 saw the first ever catamaran line that connects Split to Hvar where one can go both for a swim and a lunch in Hvar and come back to Split the same day. The catamaran “Krilo” leaves Split at 10 a.m. for an hour long ride and leaves Hvar at 3 p.m. This is carpe diem in its most literal sense. Our photo reporter Segor Garber captured this historical moment as one of the first, historically exclusive passengers.
THE FRESHEST FISH
LUCULLUS Anton MatkoviÄ‡, known as Car (emperor), is a true master of good cooking, and is presented as such by the Port News expert Kamanjo (page 18)