Saturday, October 09, 2010

Photos from the island of Hvar, Croatia

I haven't had a guidebook for a long time (I just can't find one in English) but when I came to the isle of Hvar I didn't even have a map and my GPS didn't show any roads. So I was really just pointing my car (or my Tevas) and seeing what happens. Every photo here was taken of things I didn't know were there until I stumbled upon them. 

Love to you!

This was taken in an ancient village, about half in ruins. This is the base of a wine press, along with one of the two wooden threaded screws for pressing the grapes. The juice runs into this stone vat, now in pieces.
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I'm obsessed with stone: walls, houses - you name it.
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I haven't found an open campground on the island, so I've been wild camping for the week that I'm here (and counting.) This was one of my camping spots. I had driven for miles on this gravel road without knowing where it goes.
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I turned off to see a church, then spotted a big cave to walk to. On the way up through vineyards, I was amazed by how steep these fields are.
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This is the cave, which has a very old church, mostly in ruins, at the mouth.
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Looking out from the back of the cave.
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I couldn't figure out why so many rock walls exist all over Croatia, and decided that many of them aren't walls at all - they're a way of reclaiming the land by moving the rocks into piles. Then they can plant olive trees, lavender or grapes. These look to be a combination of walls and stacked rocks.
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A trail led further up the mountain, and I came across this old ruin, in a spectacular setting.
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Grapes in a completely rocky soil.
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I followed a trail along the coast just down from the cave. It reminds me of Big Sur in California.
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At the end of the trail, I came to this (I gather) famous climbing wall. A guy lives in this house and charges people to climb. You can see a climber just to the right of the house.
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I love the contrast of colors.
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This beautiful cove is just in front of the climbing wall.
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Back at the other end of the trail, if you look up you can see the cave just above the trees. And the stone walls were on top of the mountains just to the left of the cave.
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This view is featured in a postcard or two, I bet. The water between the rocks is DEEP.
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How can the water be so blue?
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Sometimes I even cook decent food for myself. Who'd a thought. My new trick: saute onions and peppers, add garlic and add beans and/or corn to make a hearty stew. So good. (This is inside the van if you can't tell.)
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The little village and protected harbor of Jelsa. Such a cute little place.
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A dramatic morning from my second night in the hills. By the way, there are 1,000 islands in Croatia!
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The city of Hvar. Beautiful, and the pizza costs 50% more than everywhere else. I'm just saying. (I'm just saying skip it for the more low-key and equally beautiful harbor villages!)
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(The End)