Thursday, July 25, 2013

From Split to Brac

Our next day was another travel day. I guess one of the problems of getting three industrious and career-oriented girls together is that even though we're all on holiday and want to relax, we also want to see and explore everything that's out there. What this means is that we usually cram a lot into the planning in an attempt to do and see as much as possible. Which means a lot of traveling as well as seeing. Not much laying around and relaxing. As much as all of us probably need it. Which is a lot.

But we do try to take our time with the little things, and luckily we had done our research ahead of time enough to know that you could buy ferry tickets between islands on the day you were traveling (in fact you can't buy them online at all, so you have to buy them locally, though you can buy them ahead of time...like a day or so ahead of time) and that it only takes an hour or two between islands. So we had time.

Per Ivan's recommendation we hiked up the hill behind our hostel and took drinks in the morning (of the juice and coffee variety, not more wine, which was to be plentiful throughout our trip, along with other imbibements (yes, it's a word, look it up on urban dictionary ^_~)) as well as scoped out the gorgeous panoramic views of the city. It was well worth the short hike.






I had a Cappy peach juice. It was more like peach nectar. Very tasty, reminded me of a tinier Kern's nectar, from my childhood. Good way to start the day.

Unfortunately after that, since we hadn't bought the ferry tickets yet, we decided it was time to pick up the luggage from Ivan again and head into the town. The next part was a rather arduous and burdensome time of buying ferry tickets, picking up a rather unsatisfactory wrap of unidentifiable meat and lettuce (not that flavorful once again, but did the trick because I was starving) and then heading for the ferry to Brac, our next destination and closest island.

We were baking in the sun on the ferry (me with not much fun - I've found that I've much turned into a mole person since moving to Finland and now to England with regards to how long I can stay out in really direct sunlight...and I was wearing a hat and sunglasses and had done a so-so job staying hydrated...I even started wearing a cardigan to keep the sun off my skin) when suddenly we came up against light sprinklings of ice cold rain. Very confusing feeling to have glaring hot sun and ice cold drops. My body didn't know what to do.


As we approached Brac the rain looked more and more certain, much to our dismay. Especially since we were leaving Split, which was forecast to have rain but had had nothing but glorious sunshine all morning and had not a cloud in the sky.


When we finally landed in Brac (not too much later), it was fairly clear though there were some dark clouds around. We were offered taxies and bombarded with offerings for accommodation (this happens whenever you step off of a ferry or bus wherever you go, btw), but we turned them all down, German K having carefully planned our hotel to be within 200 meters walking distance from the ferry port.

We were on our way there with all of our luggage when it started to rain. Then it started to rain harder. Then it started pouring.

We stopped under a tree when it started pouring pouring. I, strangely enough (this never happens, and I mean never), had actually packed an umbrella in my luggage, having read the weather forecast while packing (something that I do religiously now that I live with Don and his weather is as unpredictable as ever). So I whipped it out and we huddled underneath it underneath the tree. We thought we would wait out the rain and see how it went.

The rain continued and eventually kind of let up about 15 minutes later. Didn't quite stop but certainly got lesser. We decided to make a run for it because the hotel wasn't that much further. We only got another 50 feet before it was coming down like monsoon season. We didn't even make it to a tree. There were only some high bushes near a stop sign...that was the best we could do before it really started coming down on us. The streets were completely flooded.

There was no denying it - we were going nowhere. To cross the street that was before us to get to the hotel we would have to physically pick up our rolley luggage and carry it, because otherwise the bottom 3-4 inches would have been submerged in water. That kind of flooding.

We tried to wait to out but the rain didn't seem to be abating. My umbrella was starting to soak through (as it was the cheap umbrella I had bought in Greece with my sister for exactly this sort of weather) and all of us were pretty much soaked. So was all of our luggage.

Eventually a taxi van passed us and the driver saw what a pathetic bunch we were. He U-turned and said we should get in. We decided whatever it costed us to go the extra 75meters to our hotel would definitely be worth the cost. So we directed him to our hotel (which really was like 2 minutes up the road) and he drove us all the way to the door. We asked him how much it was and he wouldn't accept money. All he said was that we call him if we ever needed anything else, gave us his business card, and left again. We thanked him profusely. It was amazing.

We took our time getting dry in our new room. It was nicer than our last room, being a real hotel with a restaurant rather than a room within someone's house. After changing into dry clothes and hanging up anything wet, airing out our wet luggage, all of us took naps for several hours. Being cold and wet is draining, at any age. And sleeping feels amazing.

By the time we woke up several hours later, the rain had finally stopped. We decided now or never would be the time to explore the town and get some dinner. So, we went out and explored Supetar, the town we had landed in.


I don't have too many pics from this time, since we were mostly wandering around and looking at restaurants, trying to find a nice place to eat.

The place we did find (called something like Grill and Steak, though I couldn't find a place to check-in at for FB) told us to come back in an hour and a half because they weren't ready/open yet. We were hungry then so we grumbled and after a little more exploration, decided to hit a grocery store and snack a little, wander around, then come back to the restaurant for dinner.

Luckily, it was well worth it.


I think you can see why we chose it. It had a gorgeous setting, and we sat outside, now that the weather had cleared up.


I ordered the most ridiculous (and highly recommended) item on the menu: steak a la villa. Steak with pancetta and cheese in it with grilled veggies and potatoes on the side with a small salad. Also got myself a glass of the house red.

It was food heaven. Especially after the disappointing food we'd had so far. The steak, despite my ordering it rare, was more like medium, but it was still tender and juicy and the meat and cheese inside it was tender and melted. It was amazing.

The grilled veggies were covered in extra virgin olive oil and well salted and flavored and the potatoes were crispy but still tender inside. I cleaned this plate. Completely cleaned it. Everyone else was pretty satisfied with their plates as well.

And though our waiter was a bit obnoxious (Hong Kong P didn't like him at all...I just found him mildly annoying but nothing special), we stayed long enough to the point of where they gave us free dessert. Some sort of almond cake with coffee chocolate drizzled all over it. This made the girls change their mind about him. Funny how good food can do that. ;)


And what I don't have pictures of but wish I did - while we were eating, a procession for the namesake of a saint came past. Apparently we had come on a specific day (happens once a year) where the town comes out and celebrates. They carry statues from the church around town in a procession and sing songs as they hold lit candles and such. We got to see the entire thing stroll past our restaurant as we enjoyed our food. Wonderful way to end a great meal.

This meant that after we were done (and rather satisfied), the town was alight with people out and about having fun and celebrating this saint. More vendors and people out eating. Lovely.


Hilarious anecdote of the night - as we were walking past a butcher, we noted a large animal spinning on a spit. We couldn't at all identify what kind of animal it was. It looked suspiciously like a dog. It had a tail, the meat was really white...German K started to freak out, thinking it was a greyhound. Eventually we got the nerve up to ask the merchant what kind of meat it was. Unfortunately he didn't speak much English but his younger counterpart did and said that it was lamb. Hong Kong P and I just said "oh okay" and were about to leave when German K said, "oh we thought it was dog!" and the Croatian man started laughing at us. He then told the older man what had happened and they both started laughing at us. Well, luckily it wasn't insulting. We thought it was great. :) Ah the friendliness of Croatians.

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