Monday, July 8, 2013

Bringing in the Hvarvest

You would think that an island like Hvar, with its precariously vertical topography, would not have been on the A-List for human settlement before the Age of Tourism, or at least until more accessible pieces of land had been occupied and exhausted.

But you would be wrong about that.   Paleolithic types were already partying hard in Hvar's caves, and the island was settled for agriculture by Greek colonists as far back as the 5th century BC (thanks, no doubt, to the strong drachma).

The port of Stari Grad is one of the oldest in the world -- and they have the ferry schedules to prove it.

Why?   Well, it's all about Big Oil.

In this case, Big Olive Oil. 


For centuries, the olive and the vine kept the wheels turning in Hvar.


Today, the warm weather attracts a different crowd.   As in much of Croatia, however, you have to be flexible about your beaches, as many of the best ones require a hike, and you're always well-advised to bring your surf shoes.

But the rewards are obvious.



Like much of the Adriatic, Hvar did some serious time under Venetian rule -- and the Lion left its St. Mark in places like Vrboska.

Now, there ought to be a rule that you can't call yourself the "Little Venice" unless you actually have more than one canal.

Still, it was a charming place to spend an evening, our last on Hvar.


No comments: