Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Bridge To Hvar

We split the scene in Split and set off for our first Dalmatian island, Hvar, via cvar ferry.

This was not a quick 20-minute crossing like the one to Rab, but a two-hour Adriatic cruise in its own right.

The deck of an Adriatic ferry is not so different from a Washington State ferry, except that people are generally wearing a lot less clothing.

The busy corridor took us around the island of Brač, the largest on the Dalmatian Coast.

We clearly weren't the only ones setting forth on the wine-dark sea.

Finally, just as the natives were getting restless...

 ... we pulled in sight of the port of Stari Grad ("Old Town" according to Lisa, our Croatian language specialist).

We had already experienced some fairly narrow roads in Croatia, but the island of Hvar was about to redefine the concept for us.    Our accommodations were on the south side of the island, accessible (if that is the word) only after a winding drive through the hills led us to the Pitve Tunnel, a 1.4 km, single lane that looked like a mineshaft hacked through the mountain by a band of dwarves. 

The light signal, apparently, is new.  Previously, residents used walkie-talkies at either end of the tunnel to establish directional priority -- or else they just played chicken.

Once on the other side, we found a string of charming villages and vineyards clinging precariously to the mountainside that formed the spine of the island.

 The view of the Adriatic from our apartment could hardly be improved on.

Our local marina doubled as a winery...


... with a subaquatic cellar full of Croatia's first grand cru.


It began to look like we could get used to this place.

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