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Report 1912: Spring Time in Croatia

By Letha from California, Spring 2011

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Page 7 of 10: Good Bye Dubrovnik Hello Hvar - Wed May 4th

photo by Oscar Saldanha

On the Ferry from Drevnik to Sucuraj (Hvar)

The car was delivered as promised. We had taken a last walk down to the old town for a cup of coffee and got back at 9:00am just as Martin drove up with our car. This is a mom and pop kind of operation. You do all the paperwork sitting in the car and then it is all yours, while a buddy comes to pick the deliverer up. We knew we had to pay cash.

A note on credit card payments in Croatia. Many places, including Villa Adriatica, do not take credit cards. We were given various reasons: high charges, credit card frauds especially from East European countries but we also felt that it had something to do with the 23 percent taxes that we saw on all invoices. I also read that with these mom and pop car rentals, if one insists, they will take a credit card, but we just paid cash and were on our way after checking out of Villa Adriatica.

It was a two hour drive to Drevnik where we wanted to catch the 1:00pm car ferry to Sucuraj at the Northern end of Hvar. If we missed this ferry, the next one was at 5:30pm and we then had a two hour drive to Hvar Town where we had booked at Villa Nora in the old town. We were also using our GPS for the first time, and as it turned out it got us to the ferry landing at 12:53pm giving us just enough time to get the tickets and board the ferry, all working like clock work.

It is a half hour to Sucuraj. This is a small ferry, unlike the one from Hvar to Split and cost Kuna 90 for the car and Kuna 13 per person. Sucuraj, at the North Eastern end of Hvar is a small fishing village cum ferry terminal; most people exit the ferry and head off to Stari Grad or Hvar Town at the other end of the Island.

We were ready for a quiet lunch, so we did a quick check of our options. Many restaurants were still closed, this not being the season yet. We settled on one which looked like a family operation with three generations sitting around a table and fishermen passing by stopping to say hello. If you are in Sucuraj you cannot miss Konoba Gusarska Luka just by the harbor. We had a nice lunch of Cavapcici, the local sausage dish with potatoes, a salad, grilled squid, a pitcher of house wine all for Kuna 185.

We then headed to Hvar Town, a very nice drive, very little traffic and beautiful views that we kept stopping to admire. We finally got to Hvar Town and the GPS gave up just outside the old city wall. We phoned Villa Nora and someone from the family came by scooter within three minutes, led us to their private parking area, and then guided us to Villa Nora, which was a block away into the walled city with pedestrian traffic only.

I had read about the excellent cook attached to Villa Nora and its restaurant and was disappointed to find that he was "not cooking" that night. Later we understood that many of these B&Bs are run by joint families of uncles and two or three generations. The said cook was one of these uncles who had decided not to cook that day and hence the restaurant was closed. We were told that he would be cooking lunch for the family next afternoon and that we were welcome to join them for lunch, which we could not as we were planning go go to Stari Grad and Jelsa the other two areas on Hvar. So we did not get to eat at the Villa Nora restaurant. The restaurant, which is where we had a sumptuous breakfast next morning, seems to be on casual operating hours because it was not the season proper yet. The newly remodeled room at Villa Nora was very comfortable and the breakfast very generous.

We explored Hvar town in the evening and was rewarded with a gorgeous sunset over the harbor. This harbor is small and therefore cruise ships cannot enter. There are however many private yachts and much partying on the yachts and the curbside along the water front.

A final word on Dubrovnik: I still have mixed feelings about it. It is a charming, unique and fascinating city that has been ruined by its popularity. Croatia is so spread out that using it as a base makes sense only for four or five days and that only because of day trips to Montenegro and Mostar too. But to really see Montenegro and or Mostar/Bosnia you need more than a day trip. I would not skip Dubrovnik though.

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