September 16, 2011
After an "American" breakfast of eggs and undercooked bacon, we wandered around Split and checked out the markets before we took the 11:30am catamaran (fast ferry) to the island of Hvar.
The catamaran was a quick one hour ride to the island and it was beautiful. As the ship was docking in Hvar, we were in awe at the beauty of the town. Hvar consists of all cobblestone walls with gorgeous buildings and the water is bright blue and crystal clear. The beautiful town, along with its laid back attitude, has been attracting the rich and famous. We just missed Beyonce and Jay-Z by a week. Prince Harry was also there recently partying. The yachts that are docked in the harbor are huge and worth millions.
As we emerged from the catamaran, the room hawkers were gathered around the ferry and this time I thought we should just follow one and check out what they were offering. Hvar is notoriously expensive and I was hoping it would cut out any black market charges from the tourist office and save us some money. We ended up following a kind woman who said the room was one minute away and in the center of the town. After walking what felt like a thousand steps we found a really cute, clean room...with a double bed. She apologized but said that we could have the apartment downstairs for the second night. She offered us the rooms for only 550 hakuna matatas for TWO nights. We decided we'd get cozy for the first night just to save some money and took the offer. This room was in an awesome location and after settling in, we grabbed some pizza and went to the water.
The Croatian beaches are very different from our beaches in the US. Despite the fact that the water is actually clean and beautiful, all of the coast line is comprised of stone beaches. You have the option of lounging on boulders or conquering the small parts of pebble beaches. We opted for the pebble beach and quickly learned how uncomfortable it is to lay out on rocks. The bright blue water made up for the bruises from the stones, though.
We searched for excursions for the following day and found a great boat trip to see the green cave, blue cave, and some beach time in a small fishing village. We signed up, dropped our towels off and we walked up to the fortress on the hill. While visiting the fortress, I saw the most incredible sunset that I have ever seen in my life (and I have about 1,000 pictures to prove it!).
We treated ourselves to a wonderful dinner at the Palace Hotel for some traditional Dalmatian Coast meals. We had a wonderful meat and cheese plate and the black risotto (made with squid). The restaurant was located in top of a building with views overlooking the main square and the harbor where all the yachts are docked. The city is so alive and vibrant and I cannot imagine anyone not having a wonderful and relaxing time while visiting Hvar.