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Archive for December, 2012

As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life. — Siddhārtha Gautama

VIS, CROATIA

July 24 – 27, 2012

Island of Vis, Croatia

A Haven for Honeymooners

After two hours or so of traveling by ferry from Split, Jonathan and I finally arrived to Vis. We grabbed our luggage and met our driver. We were in awe of the quaintness of Vis. It had the look of a small, old European town and was flanked by the most beautiful mountains in all directions with the exception of the sea to the north of the town. We had no idea that the Adriatic Sea would be so breathtaking and romantic.

We were dropped off a quarter of a mile from our hotel. The main road that follows the coastline (in the town of Vis) is closed during the day to allow for people to safely walk about. This meant we had to drive up the mountainside and back down to get to our hotel. Once we walked into our hotel – we knew right away that walk with heavy luggage, weighed down by an enormous amount of wine, was worth every step.

Hotel San Giorgio (on the left)

Our hotel, San Giorgio, is, in my opinion, the best on the island. The hotel is situated in the oldest part of the island. It’s modern and elegant yet is able to retain old world charm. There are only 10 rooms in the hotel. We were lucky enough to get the best one – the deluxe. This was set up by Alan, from Secret Dalmatia (more about him in a future post). He was kind enough to not only secure the best room on the island but to also have a table of fruit and champagne waiting upon our arrival – the latter was put together by the hotel owner as a honeymoon welcome gift. She would have never known if Alan hadn’t mentioned this to her on his own accord.

Our room at Hotel San Giorgio was by far our favorite of our two-week honeymoon. Even though we always find ourselves out and about rather than hanging out in our room – this room holds many memories for us. The deluxe room had a patio tucked into the mountainside with a grand view of Vis. The patio was large and had a table as well as two sunning chairs. It was spacious with all the usual amenities of an upscale hotel. But what took the cake…the jacuzzi! After 9 or 10 days of traveling and being constantly on the go, this was a feature that certainly didn’t go unused.

The Deluxe Room
….the second best part of the room
…and the BEST part of the room!
Best hotel welcome gift ever...enough fruit to last a few days
Best hotel welcome gift ever…enough fruit to last a few days

DAY ONE

After relaxing, taking in the views from the patio and enjoying a bottle of champagne, we left to explore the area and find a post office – we desperately needed room in our luggage for more wine to bring home. It is about a 20 minute walk from Hotel San Giorgio to the port…the beauty of Vis can only be enjoyed by taking your time to absorb all of its beauty. We made our way back and forth several times daily and always found something new to look at or stop and see; sometimes a fantastic doorway, many times to peek inside a little boutique and often to just to take a break and enjoy the beauty of the sea.

If you have a sweet tooth, you are in trouble. There is so many places to drop in for a pastry or ice cream. I’m the salty, savory type so I was a bit out of luck but Jonathan was a happy to try out everything in his path – making a short walk into a lengthy stroll.

The mission was to find the post office to buy a box to ship clothes (making room for wine) but someone I know got sidetracked...
The mission was to find the post office to buy a box to ship clothes (making room for wine) but someone I know got sidetracked…
Croatian style baklava
Croatian style baklava
Cherry filled pastry
Cherry filled pastry

Wine Tasting at Hotel San Giorgio

The rest of the evening went a little like this…wine tasting, eat, drink more, eat even more, fall asleep fully satiated and in complete bliss…somewhere in that was the jacuzzi because we hear it helps with digestion and hangovers!

Wine tasting at the hotel restaurant..all wines made on the island.  A great introduction to local wines and made ordering at restaurants much easier for the rest of the trip..if you don't stay here at least reserve a spot one evening for the daily tasting
Wine tasting at the hotel restaurant..all wines made on the island. A great introduction to local wines and made ordering at restaurants much easier for the rest of the trip..if you don’t stay here at least reserve a spot one evening for the daily tasting
Plavac Mali from LIpanovic Vineyards nearby  - The favorite from our tasting...yes, this went in our suitcase!
Plavac Mali from Lipanovic Vineyards nearby – The favorite from our tasting…yes, this went in our suitcase!
Someone got caught eating my cheese...I'm not amused but he is
Someone got caught eating my cheese…I’m not amused but he is

Dinner at Pojoda

If you don’t know what to order when going to Croatia you can’t go wrong with fish – Croatians have mastered the art of cooking the whole fish. Years ago I would have made a little face and been reluctant to dig my fork into fish on a platter with its head still attached. I’ve matured, my tastes have changed and now I see what I have been missing all along. The flavor of fresh caught and grilled fish is like no other.

With recommendations from Alan and great reviews from Trip Advisor we decided to head to Pojoda. We were lucky to arrive and be seated without a reservation, although this meant we had to eat inside rather outside in the large, beautiful garden. The food was unbelievable. I was running low on battery and only took a few pictures but at least captured our two favorites from Pojoda.

The daily catch is brought to each table when ordering. You pick the fish you like and that’s what goes on the grill for you. Great way to see what you are getting and determine the freshness before ordering, that is if you happen to have a skillful eye for such things…next photo courtesy of Trip Advisor.

Fresh fish selection
Fresh fish selection
Appetizer - tuna with a capers sauce
Appetizer – tuna with a capers sauce
Our fish - oh how I wish I could remember the name of this fish.  Although it was certainly not a pretty fish - it sure did taste delicious!
Our fish – oh how I wish I could remember the name of this fish. Although it was certainly not a pretty fish – it sure did taste delicious!

Champagne, Wine, Beer, and…

Rakija! When in Croatia…a little over indulgence never hurt anyone right?! Let’s just say it was a long day and we had lots to try and enjoy.

Post dinner rakija...Jonathan can't contain his excitement and wonder for this traditional croatian drink
Post dinner rakija back at the hotel…Jonathan can’t contain his excitement and wonder for this traditional Croatian drink
So lesson learned...making a bubble bath in a jacuzzi is not a good idea, unless you like cleaning up afterwards this is before it got out of control
So lesson learned…making a bubble bath in a jacuzzi is not a good idea, unless you like cleaning up afterwards! This is before it got out of control..
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