Lunch with the landlord
Visnja, my landlady, showed up at my door about noon today with clean linens. She even changed the bed linens for me, during which she invited me to lunch. I was glad to accept the invitation. She had made a soup of vegetables and spaghetti, a simple, traditional dish, with sausage and bread. Plus, some of their own red wine, which was very good. They grow the grapes and make the wine. Her husband, Zdravko, and son, Yeri (?) joined us. Yeri is a senior in high school, attending a private school in Sibenik, and like most of the young people in this country, speaks excellent English.
Zdravko is an IT consultant (www.adria.com) who worked for IBM and Merck in Canada and the U.S. for several years. I told him my background with two IT publications, and as we discussed his passion, I felt myself pulled back into so many meetings at trade shows when I was with Communications News and Health Management Technology. He works in Sibenik, about a 10-minute drive from Vodice and offered to take me there one day. They also offered to take me to a small village where Zdravko’s mother lives and apparently where they have their vineyards and olive trees. I could even help harvesting the grapes and olives, they suggested. I said “yes,” of course. Ken picking olives, who’d a thought? Will make good fodder and photos for my blog. I told them I’m always ready for a road trip (right Jack?). After lunch, I was given a large bottle of their olive oil and half a bottle of wine, with more promised. BTW, the apartments here are called Apartmani Rosko and can be found on the Web (www.vodicecroatia.com).
The island of Prvic Luka
I mentioned in my last post about a possible ferry trip to an island near Vodice called Prvic Luka. I hope to make the trip in the next day or two but here’s some information about the island I pulled from the Web (note: tried to take the ferry Oct. 2 but the ferry does not run on Sunday off-season, so I will try in a day or two):
Prvić Luka is the southeastern settlement on the island facing Vodice on the mainland, Island Prvić, part of the Šibenik archipelago. The island and its two villages, Prvić Luka and Šepurine are accessible with the boat sailing on the regular line between Vodice and Šibenik. Archeological finds confirm that the island had been inhabited in the antique era, still, people in larger numbers started to move from the facing mainland mainly during the 15th c. – the island was more secure than the mainland threatened by the Turkish Empire. Around this time, in year 1461, Franciscan brothers built their monastery in Prvić Luka.
As the island is car-free and the occasional tourists visiting Prvić Luka only come for day trips, vacations in Prvić Luka are tranquil and relaxed. For bathing on the beach people use the concrete terraces of seafront houses on the northern side of the harbor, the coast continues with rocky parts here. The outer side of the harbor pier has a small section of gravel beach, which is suitable for children and families, too. The southern side of the harbor’s bay is occupied mainly by the beach of Požega Resort – the beach here is concrete with ladder entrances to the water. Longer sections of gravel beaches are found in neighboring Šepurine, a 10 minutes walk from Prvić Luka.
The largest accommodation unit of the island is Hotel Maestral on the main square and Požega Resort – this latter is mainly for Croatian guests. Besides these there are several families who offer private apartments in Prvić Luka. The small village has a grocery store (Prima Čače), several restaurants and bars (Nanini, Marate, Punta, Val, Stara Makina).
There is even a post office on the riva and the main street has a small gallery, too.
Besides the old Dalmatian-style houses the centuries long history of Luka can also be traced in the Virgin Mary Franciscan monastery, as well. Right next to the monastery and its church the old cemetery of Luka and Šepurine is located – this cemetery was used between the 16th c. and the first half of the 20th.
OK, that’s the canned part I downloaded from the Internet. Here’s my report:
While this is a “chick Flick” kind of trip, the area is beautiful and interesting. Even to the most jaded of travelers, the stone buildings are unique, even interesting. Even with a lunch to break up the afternoon, however, a four-hour stay was too long.
The ferry ride takes about 15 minutes and costs $3 each way. The woman selling the tickets understood my English. The ferry first goes to Sepurine, on the opposite side of the island from Prvic Luka. Sepurine is a small town of stone and concrete, with a small,
protected marina. It’s main attraction is the Jelene church, which was built in 1620. I took a path up to the top of the hill and had a great view of the town and the water and islands all around.
A concrete walkway connects Sepurine and Prvic Luka, about a 15-minute walk. The two towns are not much different, although Prvic Luka is larger and has more restaurants, stores and stuff. It has a beautiful, little harbor and a stop for the ferry. I walked through town and as far along the walkway as possible, and then returned for lunch at Mareta. The choice for lunch came down to calamari or weiner
schnitzel or whole fish. I chose the calamari, which came with a salad and bread. The meal cost $15, service and tax included. Two Ozujsko beers (Croatian) were an additional $4.50.
Since it was only 2 pm and the ferry wouldn’t arrive until 4:15, I walked up the hill again for a new bird’s-eye view. Also walked around what ius left of the Marije od Milosti church,
built in 1461. Still had some time so assembled by fishing gear and tried my luck off the end of the concrete pier. No luck, but you couldn’t ask for a prettier venue. The ferry arrived right on time, picked a few of us up, then went to Sepurine to pick others up, and then back to Vodice.
Pool tables found
When I found out the ferry wasn’t running, and since I was already in the center of town, decided to look once again for the bar where I previously saw a pool table. Zdravko told me at lunch yesterday about where it is located – and I found it, and another two tables at the bar next door. So now I have someplace to play pool here at night, although I will probably need to ride the bike in the dark. Now if the fish would just cooperate, I would have my leisure pursuits taken care of.
Tested. I went to one of these bars at 6 pm, the other was closed already. The table was small, carpet worn out, cushions unstable and slate too bouncy. Was told the price to play was $1.20 a game. That’s two minutes to me. I played by myself for awhile and the bartender comped me whatever time I was on the table – probably the tip, with the drink, didn’t hurt.
I’ve kind of suspended work on my novel to turn my attention to a travel book about my experiences in Costa Rica. I’m culling all my blog posts for useful information and then writing around that information in an effort to give readers an inside look at moving to the country. It won’t be a long book, maybe 60 pages, but it would be the first in a series based on my travel. Once it is done, I hope to get back to the novel, which is maybe 70% completed.