A hill not too Hvar

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

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

It was a cold morning on our final day in Hvar, but there was one important change. It was sunny today. The sunniest island in the Adriatic was finally living up to its name and it was wonderful to see. We all got ready in a leisurely fashion and headed to the main square for some coffee in the sun. Despite the cold temperature the sun had brought a lot of people out and so the tables outside of the cafes (on the sunny side at least) were much busier than they had been.
The immediate challenge we had set ourselves was to climb up to the fortress that sits above the town and check out what appeared from the ground to be a very interesting structure. We found our way through the alleyways that lead out from the main square, climbing steadily upwards. After a while we reached the edge of the town and crossed a road, still climbing upwards as we saw a sign with a picture of the fortress and a red arrow pointing through an archway. Clearly we were on the right track. Always a comforting thought.
Through the arch we entered a park, with a meandering path that took up both upwards and sideways. About halfway up we came across a small church with an ideal position nestled into the hillside. We tried to peer in through the keyhole to see what it was like inside, as it was locked with a padlock. From what I could see it was quite simply decorated, but I thought what a marvellous place it would be for some quiet contemplation. There was no sign on the church explaining what its significance was so we left it as we found it.
We continued on our way, with Cameron and Maggie leading the way. As we neared the top Cameron told us the sad news that the fortress was closed for the winter. Thinking he must be mistaken I took a look for myself and sure enough it said closed for the winter. It did promise that it was 'open periodically', with a contact number provided, but as it was our last day in Hvar it was not really worthwhile to ring the number.
The climb was not very strenuous but was well rewarded despite the fortress having a break. The views from that height are something special. You can see right down into the Hvar harbour and out from there to the small islands that lie just off Hvar's coast. Looking further afield you can see for miles out to sea. We congratulated ourselves on our minor achievement and sat for a while in the sun admiring the view before we headed back down.
When we reached the bottom again it was time to think about where we would eat. This is one of the great preoccupations we have. Where will we eat. Surely this is one of the pleasures of travelling, of being on vacation even, when one of the big decisions you will make for the day is where are you going to eat. Next of course is what are you going to eat, followed closely by what are you going to drink, then followed up by do you have room for dessert. Really, it's quite challenging this holiday caper.
For today, the decision had been made (after quite a bit of toing and froing) and the consensus was that we would dine at For Bistro, slightly back from the harbour front. The special of the day was goulash which sounded hearty and delicious, so most of us had that. It was a good decision because the daily special was very tasty.
All that remained really was to meander about the back streets of the town looking at the shops. Mostly they were closed but there were enough to go in and out of to hold our interest for a while. In the last hour before the sun set Jess took the girls to park while Cameron Jean and I went to a nearby bar for a drink and a game of pool which, upon fining an occupied pool table turned into a drink without a game of pool. We chatted until it was dark and then I caught up with Jess as she was coming back from the park. The girls had tales to tell about dogs they had met, shells they had found and rocks they had hopped. They were buzzing with it all.
As we walked home Jess saw a hotel on the quayside advertising a spa service so she went in and enquired about a massage for me. I was reluctant at first but she convinced me and booked me in. At 6 o'clock I went and had a very relaxing massage in rather nice surroundings at the Adriana Hotel.
My payback was to organise some take away pizza on my way home. I rocked up with some pizza and pasta to find them all hungry except for Cameron who may well have been hungry if he hadn't crashed out in bed.
We ate the pizza, packed our bags and got ready for an early start the next day.
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