Getting to know Hvar

Trip Start Nov 09, 2007
Trip End Feb 03, 2008

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hvar town is a beautiful place. Even at this time of the year, when things are very quiet, there is plenty to occupy our time. Today was one of those days when you had to ask yourself 'what did we do today?' and the answer is we enjoyed just being here.
The day started with some excellent news. Cameron's suitcase had turned up and was on its way here. It would be on the 2pm ferry from Split and Cameron had to meet the ferry to get his bag. To celebrate, we went for a walk around the marble streets of the town admiring the buildings and doing a bit of window shopping. At 9am it was still a bit early for the shops to be open.
The town of Hvar is really quite compact and it's one of those places that rewards the patient person. If you walk along the same street more than one there is often something new to see. A shop that you didn't notice before, some decoration to a building that you noticed for the first time. We found a café for a morning hit of caffeine and ended up staying for a second cup. The café was on the main square of the town and inside it was packed so we had to sit outside. Even though it was cold, it was a lot of fun. As it started to rain a little we moved under an awning and watched the people of Hvar go about their morning business.
Afterwards we walked along the waterfront and Jean reminisced about the time she had spent there the summer before last. The water is crystal clear and I could imagine how inviting it must be to jump in on a hot summer day. Jean said that in summer the whole of the dock is lined with millionaire cruisers and 'beautiful people' flock to the cafés and bars.
We walked until we began to grow both cold and tired. We had reached a small park on our waterfront walk and the girls agreed to turn back for some lunch on the proviso that they had a chance to go back to the park later in the day. I think if Georgie and Maggie were writing up a blog of the holiday it might be called 'great swing parks of eastern Europe' or perhaps 'parks I have known'.
We went to the dockside restaurant called 'Bounty', one of the few restaurants that was open and had a very nice meal. The seafood was especially good although the soup that the girls ordered was a bit disappointing.
Towards the end of the meal it was time to go and meet the ferry to get the missing bag. Cameron and I watched the boat dock and then Cameron boarded to see if the deckhands knew where his bag was. I could see him talking to them and then could see them shrug their shoulders and point inside. 'I don't know, go and have a look' they seemed to be saying. By this time everyone had disembarked and those joining the ferry had boarded. I started to get nervous, as there was no sign of Cameron and the ferry was preparing to leave to go on to Korcula. I stood with one foot on the dock and the other on the gangplank, as if daring them to take off with Cameron still on board. Just as they were removing the ropes Cameron appeared, suitcase in hand with a happy smile on his face. Balance restored.
By this time the others had left the restaurant and were coming to join us. We took the bag back to our apartment and Jess prepared to honour her commitment to the girls for a return to the park. Jean demurred and I could see that the long hours of travel were starting to take their toll. Cameron came along for the walk though and we retraced our steps along the waterfront back to the park. The girls played for a while and then we explored a little further around the coast, turning back as the sky began to get darker.
We spent the remainder of the day eating, exploring the back streets and/or relaxing back in the apartment. Hvar has a laid back easy ambience that is apparent even when the cold drives most people indoors.
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