After our night in Split, Robert dropped us off by the city’s main seaside promenade and then took the tour coach to join the queue for the ferry that, some two hours later, would take us to Supetar on the island of Brač.
So, there we all were, in the same part of town as we had explored the previous afternoon. Maggie and I did find a delightfully quirky cafe that served excellent coffee, so good that we ordered a second round. From there, we wandered somewhat aimlessly, vaguely shopping, using an ATM, etc, until it was time to walk across to the ferry.
The ferry ride itself didn’t take long and we were soon in Supetar, an attractive seaside town. There were numerous cafes and restaurants dotted around the harbour; we shared a platter of chargrilled seafood and a combination of boiled potatoes and spinach – simple and delicious.
Our local guide had arranged for us to visit the renowned school of stonemasonry at Pucišca, whose graduates have been responsible for much of the modern era’s acclaimed works of stone in public places, major buildings, churches and residences, both palatial and modest.
From there, we crossed the island to Bol, on its southern coast, where we would spend the next two nights. The Bora wind was up, so only a few hardy souls were on the pebbly beaches.
Bol itself is a small town but, from its one commercial street, a long tree-lined promenade leads to the famous sandy point called Zlatni Rat (Golden Point). Behind the trees, there are numerous resorts, catering for mostly northern Europeans in search of sun, warmth and leisure. It was not so suitable for tour groups – some of the reception staff seemed bemused, at best, by our presence – but Maggie and I enjoyed the views and the wines from the terrace adjacent to the bar.
Next morning, the local guide joined us for a day trip to some of the island’s attractions. We began with a gentle walk from a carpark to the summit of Vidova Gora, the island’s highest point. The views were spectacular but the Bora was, well, boring in, so we were glad to return to the comfort of our coach.
From there, we visited a small medieval village – not quite sure why, but some local women were selling very attractive soaps they had made from olive oil and Maggie bought several varieties, to be taken home as gifts. Next, we spent a good hour or so at a renowned olive oil producer. Following an informative presentation about how olive oil has been made, in the past and in modern times, our hosts served up a pleasant lunch of meats, cheeses, olives, homemade bread, salad and homemade wine. (I was too busy enjoying the lunch to remember to take any photos.)
By mid-afternoon, we had returned to the town centre of Bol, where Maggie and I found a cafe table out of the wind and enjoyed a coffee. (Possibly reflecting the history of Italian influences, we were rarely served a poor quality coffee in Croatia.)
That day’s tour program did not include an evening meal; we usually view this as an attractive opportunity. We had considered returning to the town at sunset but, having failed to find a place that appealed and, feeling footsore by the time we had walked back to our resort, we opted for the small in-house taverna, as distinct from the humdrum holiday-buffet option in the main dining area.
Maggie chose the octopus salad, fresh and tangy. My dish was not so attractive to look at but it was still very good, a braise of lamb leg chunks, an Italian grain and vegetables.
The next day began with another have-a-good-cup-of-coffee, while waiting-to-board-a-ferry, this time at the pretty town of Sumartin at the eastern end of Brač, for the crossing to Makarska.
From Makarska, we drove south-east along the Dalmatian coast, then briefly inland around a large, irrigated agricultural region that is fed by the Neretva river, producing large crops of citrus fruits, olives and some wine grapes. Viewed from the surrounding hills, it was quite photogenic.
We didn’t admire the view for long – there was another ferry to catch!