Day 41 – Hvar, Croatia – Riding out a once in 3 year storm during a 50 year high tide.

The Franciscan Monastery.

Quick travel tips
Plug type: Type C, F, 220v, 50hz. Standard european plugs (two round posts). Fine for USB chargers and most electronics that support 100-240v natively.

Water: Safe to drink

Tipping: Tipping is a mixed bag. Generally 10% at restaurants is appreciated but not mandatory and for good service leave up to 15%. Leave nothing for bad service. Round up for taxis and cafes but it’s not expected.

Visa: The country is currently in the EU but not a part of the shared schengen zone (luckily for us). They have their own 90 day visa over a trailing 180 period or US passports like the schengen zone but doesn’t affect the other.

Essential phrases:
The island of Hvar like far. [hu-VAR] – Hear it here.
Cheers! – Živjeli (ji vo li)
Yes – Da
No – Ne
Hello/bye – Bok (bohk)
Good afternoon – Dobar dan. (DOH-bahr dahn) [This seems much more common of a greeting.] Goodbye – Dovidenja (doh-vee-JEH-nyah)
Please – Molim (MOH-leem)
Thank you – Hvala (HVAH-lah)
Thank you very much – Hvala lijepa. (HVAh-lah LYEH-pah)
You’re welcome – Izvoli (informal) Izvolite (formal)
Excuse me (getting attention) – Oprosti (informal) Oprostite (formal)
Excuse me (begging pardon) – Pardon. (par-DON)
I’m sorry – Žao mi je. (zhow mee yeh)
Bathroom/WC –
Where is the bathroom? – Oprostite, gdje je WC?
Beer – Pivo (PEE-vah)
Wine – Crnog (red)/bijelog (white) vino
The check – Račun (RAH-choon)
One – jedan (YEH-dahn)
Two – dva (dvah)
Three – tri (tree)
Four – četiri (CHEH-tee-ree)
Five – pet (peht)
Ten – deset (DEH-seht)
Twelve – dvanaest (DVAH-nah-ehst)

So . . . our time in Hvar was primarily surviving a massive storm during a tide that hasn’t been this high in 50 years. The news is abuzz about Venice being under water but that’s not far away and Hvar is under water too. The two together created a situation no one we talked to had ever seen before. The massive waves ripped apart the stone walkways along the coast and flooded the town. Metal platforms were ripped off their bases and 500lb stones were tossed ten feet across the promenade. Local boats were broken in two and swept up in piles along the streets. We even noticed a lifesize bronze statue of a woman sitting on a stone pier had been ripped from it’s mounting and taken down into the sea. Pretty exciting.

In the bit of time we had before the storm hit we managed to hike up to the fortress overlooking town for great views (even though the fortress itself was closed) and hit up the two restaurants in town that we found still open in the off season.

All in all it was a fun adventure getting knocked around by wind and dodging huge waves that continually tried to drag us out to a watery grave. All the ferries and catamarans were cancelled which created some complications but we managed to find a ferry back to Split late our last day (instead of the tickets we had with a catamaran to Korcula) and enjoyed a bit of luxury in a hotel back in Diocletian’s Palace. All in all it only set us back one day and our host in Korcula happily let us slide our dates back. It could have been worse.

From what we saw, Hvar seemed like a beautiful place that’s probably swinging in the summer months. It has a reputation for being the yacht scene of the area. And I can see why. The beach north of town looked amazing and there seemed to be a lot of things to do if it weren’t November. But like all of these seasonal places, it’s a completely different world in the off season. Our AirBnB host made things especially welcoming, gave us a free ride to and from our ferries on the other side of the island, and talked to us more than we’ve had conversations with anyone local since we arrived. It was nice to chat with someone for a bit and get the local perspective. She seemed proud of her town and wanted us to get a good impression of it. And even with the weather we really did have a great time.

That crazy ass storm


Boat owners kept jumping into the cove where our apartment was to save their boats.


Unhappy locals surveying their boats tossed on shore and through fences in a pile.


Katy enjoys the crazy wind.


I didn’t actually get to take a picture of this statue before the storm. This photo was taken by @bentems on Instagram.


Here’s what was left after the storm. We didn’t see any trace of her in the clear water, you could see pretty deep.


The tide came up over the town seafront flooding into buildings. Higher waves would wash through the streets up into the square.


Apparently this guy tied up too close to the seawall and his boat was crushed.


The waves were tossing massive stones like these ten feet across the promenade and sheering off asphalt.


I just kind of liked the moodiness.


Our little perch at the monastery 20 feet over the shore where we walked to our apartment. But a huge wave drenched us up there anyway.


Walking around town when things weren’t so crazy



Katy found a perch amongst the cacti.


An overgrown section of the original town walls.













The town is on a hill so expect a lot of stairs! Go Katy!


We hiked up to Spanjola Fortress overlooking town but it was closed. Still cool from the outside.


Our apartment

Our apartment was decorated in what I call 80’s futurist fantasy a la Ricky Stratton (aka Rick Schroder). This is what rich kid’s in 80’s movies had in their bathrooms.




Mizarola Pizzeria

This was pretty much the only game in town. Luckily it was affordable and the food was good. A family owned restaurant featuring pizza but they had meat and fish dishes as well. I felt a little uncomfortable shooting pictures of my food here surrounded by locals, so I don’t have much visual representation. But for our first meal, I had a pizza and Katy had the lamb which was excellent and a decent portion. Our second meal Katy got the seafood risotto and I had the tagliatelle with bolognese. Both solid dishes. We were very happy to have found it.

BB Club Bar

Honestly we just stopped in here to use the bathroom and I bought a coffee to justify the visit. But as it turned out this hotel bar was still serving food and we were very excited to find it. So we stayed and ordered burgers and drinks and the waiter comped us some local wine and was extremely nice to us. We also discovered that for lunch they served “marende” which is a Croation concept of a cheap lunch prix fixe. It’s a bit like the halfboard lunch, basic local food for a fair price. In this case it was 50kn, so we definitely had to come back the next day.

Marende turned out to be excellent. We got beef soup which is a simple broth with pasta, then a salad, then a hefty portion of stuffed peppers with mashed potatoes. This is a common local dish. In the summer they eat stuffed peppers and in the winter they eat cabbage rolls, essentially the same thing. The waiter was exceptionally friendly and brought us apple strudel on the house and a free cappuccino. A hell of a meal for $7.41. I was uncomfortably stuffed. I highly recommend stopping into BB Club on the waterfront.

First burger in a while. Pretty good.


Stuffed peppers are cheap and filling.
A must try in Croatia.


He brought me two pieces of strudel. I guess I look like a two strudel kind of guy? I was so stuffed but felt obligated to finish. Poor me.


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